Saturday, April 21, 2012

Formia Hospitality

The Cistern of Formia, darkly pictured here, is the third largest in the world, a 7,000 cubic meter marvel of Roman engineering lost for well over a thousand years and then again from the mid-1800's to 1974 ("We Italians are very good at forgetting," our guide says). It gathered spring water from the mountain above town and distributed it throughout the area through lead pipes that are still usable (but happily for the health of the locals, not actually used).
The cistern was part of our tour of the city, which was followed by greetings from the deputy mayor (pictured with our very cool guide) and then by a sensational dinner prepared by a local cooking institute to reconstruct what the real medieval pilgrims ate.
So why is this the last blog post? I loved the local hospitality everywhere, but this is not a pilgrage walk or any sort of walk whatever (as opposed to a variety of made-up activities to while away the hours between pilgrim-on-parade activities), and the organizers can't be bothered to say what's happening or even what time breakfast is, even under cross-examination.