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Aug 7, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

Cannes to Rome

We packed and left the hotel a little after 9am, drove to the Nice Airport. I had time to buy perfume – paid American money – the prices were the same as Paris (if you used travellers’ checks & got 20% discount).

The jet to Rome took less than an hour. We got ourselves through customs easily & caught a bus to town to the terminal. Were met & taken to the hotel – Massimo d’Azeglis Another hotel still around today: 'In 1875 Maurizio Bettoja, passionate about wines, good food and hotels, opened a restaurant just above its wine cellars which today still host more than 30,000 bottles of wines and offer a unique setting for special candlelit dinners. Since the end of 1800 the hotel welcomes its guests in a classic setting that has preserved the ambience and the style of the end of the century despite regular renovations. The exterior is typical late 1800s. The Massimo d’Azeglio has hosted many illustrious historical figures: the King of Serbia, the air force hero Francesco Baracca, Benito Mussolini, General Diaz, Louis Armstrong, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Fausto Coppi, Mascagni and many others.'– which is air conditioned – and the room and the most convenient we have had (soap, toilet paper, stationery, & of course, bidet.)

We had lunch at the hotel ristorante (breakfast and one other meal included with room) – food very good & service extra good. Unpacked & rested until about 6 – drinks with A & J who had adjoining room.

Walked through Plaza de RepublicaPiazza della Repubblica is a semi-circular piazza in Rome, at the summit of the Viminal Hill, next to the Termini station. On it is to be found Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri which has tallest/largest fountain, on to Via Vittorio Veneto – the 5th Avenue or Champs Elysees. Sat at Cafe de Paris sidewalk cafe – had NegroniThe Negroni cocktail is made of one part gin, one part vermouth rosso (red, semi-sweet), and one part bitters, traditionally Campari. One of the earliest reports of the drink came from Orson Welles in correspondence with the Coshocton Tribune while working in Rome on Cagliostro in 1947, where he described a new drink called the Negroni, 'The bitters are excellent for your liver, the gin is bad for you. They balance each other.' (an aperitif Abeel told us to order). Crossed the street to Doney Restaurant – found hamburger on the menu & couldn’t resist.

The men had a time watching the girls, & watching the men watch the girls. Bill Moss walked by and talked for a minute – Harry and Allen saw him later while Jeannette and I were at the opera.

The opera was Aida and at the Baths of Caracolla. We went by bus – enormous crowd – the place seats 14,000. The production was magnificent – the setting was simply awesomeYes, mother was ahead of her time and employed 'awesome' before it was cool to do so. I might take this opportunity to point out that I've tried to type exactly what she wrote...I'm able to read 98% and figure out most of the rest. Some of the foreign language names have thrown me for a loop though. Most enjoyable. J & I got home after 1am but twas worth it.

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Aug 29, 1961 - Europe 1961    No Comments

London, Day 2

This was another hot day – up to 85° – and it really was hot in the sun. Harry and I shopped all morning – wandered through Selfridge’s, then to Bond Street to look at antique jewelry. Found a store on Hanover Street with a lot to choose from. I bought a charm for Kacka and a pin for myself – both antique.

We stopped for a beer at a table outside – the sign said “Licensed” but had had to order food to get beer served. So Harry obliged – he’s always willing to help out. But his reward was from a pigeon perched above us – it’s a wonder it hasn’t happened before, as many pigeons as we’ve seen all over Europe.

We went back to the hotel and Harry & Allen went to see part of a cricket game before the afternoon tour.

Jeannette and I had lunch and met them at the sightseeing office. We visited St. Paul’s Cathedral & the Tower of London. There were so many people waiting in line to see the Crown Jewels & it was so hot, we decided not to wait to see them.

Instead we went into the white Tower – a museum for a while. Took some pictures of the “Beef-Eater” guards and one of me standing by one in a tall bearskin hat. [too bad that picture is nowhere to be found]

Back at the hotel, Harry & I bathed & rested & had sandwiches sent up. We met the Early’s at the theater at Piccadilly Circus – the theater was underground, much to our surprise – small & rather stuffy. But we saw such a cute play, “The Irregular Verb to Love,” a comedy with very clever lines – most enjoyable. After a drink in a nearby bar, we caught a bus back to the hotel.

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