I have a difficult time getting a fix on reaching the via appia; there is a different suggestion for every landmark, be it the catacombs, metulla's tomb or aquaducts. I realize after 3 hours worth of walking on the jutting tufa that there is a good reason. That being, thanks to this highly informative metal plaque and map, that the road in question stretches along 3500 hectares of land, Asshole. We managed around 1000 before giving our feet up as lost. But made it to the old bit in the brochure before succumbing.... And then we walked all the way back, being unable to blag our way onto a bussload of Dutch invalids, and nowhere even near a metro. We join a later than usual train to Venice at 11pm, discovering our seats taken by an enormous Italian man reclining porpoise-likeover the entire row, spilling injudiciuosly out of his narrow shirt. A complaint to the conductor turns into a request for upgrade, and we land softly into our first class sleeper compartment, where christiane attempts actual use of the bedding, while I contemplate how best to straddle her face using the two parrallel bunks as a bolster. She thankfully recognizes the the unavoidable force Eros exerts over jungle gymnasium escapades, and the cost of the compartment is duly offset many orders of magnitude. We arrive in Venice just before 6, well rested for once, and worm our way through the labyrinth to the domus of an archeologist, a dear man named Diego who has agreed to host our brief invasion.
22nd Appian Way, the long way round.
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