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Day 10 - Rome, Italy
I can't believe my eyes! Ziggy and I are standing at the top of this hill overlooking Piazza Navona. This piazza is a marvel of light and sculpture. It is exceptionally long and owes its shape to the ruins that formed it. For under the buildings that surround Piazza Navona are the remains of the Circus Domitianus, Domitian's stadium -- a part of which can be seen if you leave the piazza by the north exit and turn left.

The piazza marks the area for the races in the stadium. It features many fine old buildings, a beautiful church and three stunning fountains.

We walked down the many steps towards the Piazza Navona. As Ziggy and I approached one of the fountains, we noticed an unusual number of pigeons fluttering about. We think they were even attacking some guy. When there was enough pigeons to carry him off to I don't know where, the crowd apparently broke out in a roar of appreciation. It seems the fellow was a pigeon protestor and had been in the square for weeks until his unusual but well deserved pending departure.

Ziggy meowed at me and scoffed at some pigeons that were checking her out. They were getting a drink of water. As we walked further on down towards the fountain, we saw a pigeon reading a book. Yes. I said reading a book. If you don't believe me, I took pictures.

Just as we noticed what the title of the book was, Ziggy was attacked by the four punk pigeons. They nipped at her ears and tail. But she stood her ground and struck back. She stood up on her hind legs and began scratching and clawing at them giving them a right and a left and a howdy doo from Ziggy. She knocked one pigeon right on the beak and he fell back into the fountain. It was truly amazing. The others flew off when they found Ziggy was more than they could handle.

Apparently, they must have read the same book as that other pigeon. Only one problem. I think it must have been written by another pigeon. It didn't work on Ziggy.

I patted Ziggy on the back and told her we should celebrate. We went to this really neat outdoor cafe near the square and have a cappucino and something to eat. We sat down and the person waiting on us complimented Ziggy on her hat. She looked at me, I looked her and a big smile came across her face.

I ordered me some cappucino and Ziggy a small glass of steamed milk. I told the waiter to bring me the specialty of the house and something Romans love and he brought me and Ziggy some Frappe. Frappe is a deep fried Italian pastry. It was perfect. I asked for the recipe and they were more than glad to give it to me. Here it is!

Frappe

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbs. unsalted butter cut into 1/2” bits and chilled
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 tbs. dry Marsala wine
oil and confectioner’s sugar

Blend the flour, sugar and butter. Blend in one egg at a time, then add the vanilla and wine and beat. Work the dough briefly, then roll out. Cut the dough into diamond shapes, or 8” strips tied in a loose knot, or into 4”x3” rectangles with three slits cut into them. Deep fry in hot vegetable oil, drain and dust with confectioner’s sugar. Serve with wine in which to dip the frappe.

Buon appetito!

We visited several sites including the Colliseum that day. I took Ziggy to St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. I was deep in prayer when I heard Ziggy snoring. I thought it best to get back to the hotel. It was a bit chilly too so we turned in early. It was quite a day and it surely was quite a week.

Monday, we go to Berlin, Germany. I've tried to tell Ziggy that there is no Berlin Wall anymore but little Miss National Geographic Channel expert says there is. Man, will she be sorry. I swear, ya just can't tell a cat anything.

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