When in Rome

Caroline Lawrence is a determined woman, and she may well be the one to get me to go to Rome or Greece. At least, if I ever have the time. Her new guide book From Ostia to Alexandria with Flavia Gemina makes for tempting reading. Despite few photos the book manages to sell Ostia and Greece and North Africa in a way most glossy travel supplements fail to do.

Caroline is bossy, too. Rather like Flavia. She sets her reader tasks to do, just like a teacher. I do think learning to say “toilet” in Italian is a useful skill. She prescribes eating ice cream. And you should always carry an apple, just in case.

I like the idea of buying a chickpea pancake, but this can only be pretend. You should sniff Vesuvius for the smell of rotten eggs. Caroline is even suggesting you take your first steps on the road to drink, with your parents’ blessing. Learn to say “no”, Greek style. Eat goat or kalamari. Say “toilet” in Greek, and find a baby’s ceramic potty.

Personally I would like to avoid watching the killing of a ram, but some might enjoy it. Smell the tanneries, or sketch a snake charmer. Use a two-feet-and-a-hole toilet. Make friends with a Libyan.

“See how many smells you can list in a day.” Quite. But it’s different. And it’s a nice touch with the extracts from Caroline’s notebooks; a new one for each trip. Worth copying as an idea, if only for your collection of toilet related words.

Just not sure about the pronunciation of HELP! in Italian. A bit American?

2 responses to “When in Rome

  1. My younger daughter loves her books. She can’t wait for the next, each time. The latest is on the way from Amazon but I daren’t tell her because she’d just live by the front door without moving until it arrives.

  2. It’s more or less at the top of the TBR pile here. Or rather, Daughter has read it, and so has the Resident It Consultant. I seem to have had other books with more priority.

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