On the plane from Amsterdam, I met Simon, who is a Dutch chaplain who used to live in Rome. We got to talking and he gave me enough advice about Rome to fill a page and a half in my notebook.
“Guarda!”, he exclaimed mid-sentence, to make sure I didn’t miss this spectacular view of the Swiss alps (according to him, it’s very rare that it’s this clear and the light is just right).
Oddly enough, it turns out he uses a certain medical software that’s made in Wisconsin. What are the odds? (I guess 50/50 since he works in the Netherlands.)
Then the guy behind us said “You live in Madison!?” It turns out Marc works in Madison and makes regular trips to Rome for his job. We split a cab and he pointed out lots of great ancient things that I would have definitely missed.
Arrived at my hotel in Rome at 2 PM local time, which was 7 AM back home – after sleeping only an hour on the 18-hour trip. I took a shower then crashed hard. I’m still not hungry, so I think I’m writing off tonight and going to try to sleep until breakfast.