The sun set over the Tiber and the Vatican, like it has done for thousands of years. For us this meant good wine with spaghetti cacio e pepe, a traditional simple wonderful Roman dish with cracked black peppercorns and cheese.
Did the “ancient Romans” from the times of the empire have black peppercorns? Probably not. Just like they did not have tomatoes, corn for polenta, nor eggplants – all staples today in Italian cooking. Instead of salt the Romans used a (probably terrible-smelling) fermented fish sauce, similar to today’s Thai fish sauce.
But there was honey, all sorts of nuts, bread, cheese, olive oil, and of course lots of wine. And in the best cases, some intellectual discussion in place of the never-ending war talk.(Rome, Italy; September 2018)