A non alcoholic bitter aperitif on the Appia Antica.

She was sitting at a small table in the afternoon sun reading the newspaper and sipping a Crodino at a cafe outside of Rome. She was the embodiment of elegance even in this semi-rural setting on the Appia Antica.

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http://www.appiaanticacaffe.it/new/index.php/en/

Her long grey hair was beautifully pinned back in a french roll, her legs in tights and smart feminine shoes. A modest winter-weight skirt and knit top completed the picture.

 

I didn’t notice her at first. I was ravenous and keen to focus on my melanzane and torta, and english breakfast tea. I had just walked around 6 kms or so on the ancient Appian way.

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Another table was occupied by two women and their gaggle of children. They didn’t bother me as I  enjoyed the eggplant, mmm.

The first I noticed of her was her speaking calmly and serenely to the noisy table. There was a sharp fast response in Italian and the children and their attendants packed up their things and abruptly left with a couple of further back bites thrown over their shoulders. It was all spoken far too quickly for me to follow with my limited Italian.

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My friend explained. The older woman in accented Italian had said to the women that they shouldn’t smoke cigarettes in front of the children; that it sets a bad example. They had been offended and told her to mind her own business. My friend said her Italian was well spoken, she had lived in Italy a long time. He couldn’t pick where she was from.

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I looked over at her as she had seemingly gone back to her paper completely un-fazed. I tried to discretely take her photo. I wanted to remember this woman. She is my dreamt of future. I want to live here in my later years when my children no longer need my care, I want to dress as beautifully and for my Italian to be well spoken. I want to sit in the sun in cafes in beautiful places sipping delicious drinks. I did the only thing I could for now. I ordered a Crodino.

 

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