In May of 1996, Ed Crowley, my roommate, won a week's trip to Rome. He did it by being the best salesman in the United States for his Italian pharmaceutical company—Serono. The trip was both a series of work assignments and a vacation. He was allowed to bring his wife, but talked the company into allowing me to come along!
Rome was a delight in late spring. Her monuments, sights and sounds were alluring.
Generally, Ed typically spent the mornings and early afternoons working for the company. I had the entire time for vacation. I went around to various sites in the morning and Ed and I would have a late lunch in the afternoon followed by sightseeing and enjoying the city. Ed told me, of course, about his work. One of the most interesting stories was about a trip to a nunnery in the countryside. Serono employees had the function of picking up nun's urine from various remote spots. The urine contained a excellent concentration of a particular substance used in their drugs. That was a surprising story!
One evening, three of his Italian colleagues took us to a fantastic restaurant. It was the famous Villa Borghese in the Borghese Gardens overlooking Rome.
First of all, driving up to the entrance, there were liveried footmen holding torches! We chose to eat on the terrace overlooking Rome.
The menu had no prices. I can't even imagine how much it cost.
Ed and I enjoyed Rome. It's a fascinating city
---the Eternal City.
We decided to take an additional week to tour Italy. So,
Next, THE COUNTRYSIDE.