Bill and I gave our official lecture last night, at the magnificent Villa Aurelia, which might just be the most enchanting place I’ve ever been. The gardens are vast and well-tended, with great wafts of wisteria giving way to more manicured paths and arbors and hedges. The villa itself is a vision: pale yellow and regal and elegant, with a terrace offering perhaps one of the most beautiful view of the city.
We spoke for about 50 minutes and answered questions for nearly as much time. The lecture was well-attended, and the Academy hosted a lovely reception after, followed by dinner in the dining room where we all ate and drank splendidly.
Meanwhile, life in Rome continues on in its wonderful Italian way. Fiona’s actual birthday fell on Easter Sunday, and we went with some Academy friends to the one, great local restaurant, where the woman at the next table was turning 90.
Fiona posed with her for a photo, and moments later, the woman’s son filled ALL our glasses with champagne and brought Fiona a huge slice of his mother’s birthday cake. As we got up to leave, he waved to us and called over, “Same time next year?”