Sunday, November 10, 2013

When in Rome

I mean, I had to with the title. I was waiting all trip to say when in Rome. For example, I was just at the airport waiting for my flight so I ordered a cheese and meat plate with wine on the side. It was the perfect 'when in Rome' experience. I mean, check it out.

I'm typing this as we sit on the Tarmac because something is wrong with the plane. I'd love more information, but I'm surrounded by Germans which is by far the hardest language to understand so I only got 'defective' and then they all laughed. Plus, when they do speak English, they sound like the guy on the video 'Jennifer is a party pooper' and I want to start laughing. Seriously, go google that video and try to not laugh. I'm trying to find comedy in this unfortunate turn of events. I will now be late to the first meet up on Contiki and it's making me quite anxious. Now I'm that girl. Alright, enough ranting about this delay. How do you say beer in German?

So Rome...we stayed at the best hotel here. We walked in and were greeted by a very kind soft spoken Italian man who was ready to give us all the highlights of Rome. When he spoke about food, I felt that we shared some of the same philosophies. He even said, 'you first enjoy a meal with the eyes, then through the soul, and finally through the mouth'. Damn Mario, that was beautiful. We settled into our fancy room with motorized shades, a bidet (I have still never used one of these), comfy beds, and tapestry walls and then we were definitely ready for dinner. We walked less than a block away to little restaurant with twinkly lights that the concierge recommended. It was our first Italian meal and it was delicious. Mine wasn't the best thing I've ever eaten, but when paired with the wine (a chianti from the area) it made it much better. My mom had a lasagna that was everything we had hoped for. It had a delicious meat sauce on it that had clearly been cooking all day. We finished our meal with some chocolate panna cotta with strawberries.

The next day we started off bright and early to the Vatican. I'm not Catholic, but I can see if someone was, how important it would be. I mean, they found St. Peter's body barrier below St. Peter's basilica and Jesus made him the rock of the church. It was pretty moving even for me. Our tour guide must have had a masters in Roman history. Her detailed knowledge of every fresco in there was quite impressive, but also very tiring. We were on our feet from 10-1pm and my mom and I were ready for a break. Before I talk about lunch, here are some of my favorite pics.

So, we were pretty tired from the tour, but the guide said food nearby was mediocre at best and suggested we go to a different area that was a short walk away. We ended up setting in at a place that was down an alley and had amazing wood fire pizzas. We got a mushroom and sausage pizza on the freshest crust that was so damn good. 

We continued to walk through Rome discovering the ancient area. Colin told me to take a tour, but my mom was toured out so we just have pictures of the area. I figure the is something my dad and I will enjoy when he comes later this month. Until then, you will have the same knowledge as me.

We finally caught our hop on hop off bus which was a total waste of money. When we first got into Rome it seemed so big and we thought we would need the bus to get around. We only used it 2 times over our 2 days in Rome, so it was a bit frustrating that we spent that money and didn't even use it. Not to future travelers, as long as you are ok to walk 5+ miles, you absolutely don't need the tour bus. Let our 50 euro mistake be your lesson learned. 

We got back to our hotel and stopped to pick up some wine to drink on the gorgeous roof terrace that was at our hotel. It was by far my favorite thing about the hotel and the weather was so much better than it was in Paris and London. I'd even go as far to say it was hot in Rome (for San Francisco standards - maybe 72 degrees). We enjoyed some Risotto on the terrace and had a pleasant evening chatting about how much we miss our hubby and fiancĂ©. 

With Friday being my moms last day, we knew we had to make the most of it. We started at the Spanish steps since they were walking distance from our hotel and then made our way to The Trevi Fountain stopping at all the little shops along the way. 

We caught our bus and made our way back to the colosseum. That area is so amazing because of its rich history which dates back to 2-3 BC. After briefly stopping for photos, it was already time for lunch so we split another mushroom and sausage pizza. The first one we had was better, but this was still better than the average piece of pizza, so I was happy.

Our final meal was a bit disappointing. Our concierge recommended a place and he absolutely raved about it. We walked to the adorable restaurant and really had high hopes. I asked the waiter for his suggestion and it was exactly what I had been hoping for - gnocchi and seafood. My mom decided to order the pasta carbonara and he brought her some wines to try and she ended up getting a very strong margarita. He helped me select a wine that would go well and brought us bread while we waited. My dinner was placed in front of me and I was a bit turned off by the very large prawns that still had bodies, heads, and that gross poopy vein. The waiter saw me struggling so he helped my deconstruct the shrimp into something edible. In the meantime I tried the gnocchi which were smaller than I'm used to. They were definitely frozen or pre-packaged gnocchi and were not good. Plus, there was maybe only like 12 Jordan almond sized gnocchis so I was getting worried I wouldn't have enough (typical American worried about portion sizes...). I  finished my meal, quite bummed that it wasn't what I had hoped for, but excited that I still get another week in Italy at the end of my trip.

I really enjoyed our time in Rome with most of our meals being positive and being able to walk most of the city. When all was said and done, we only had two full days in Rome which is not enough at all. I am so thankful that I have the time at the end of my trip to continue to enjoy Italy. It's a great city with extremely friendly people. My final thoughts: don't do the hop on hop off tour, find a restaurant with truly homemade pizza, don't do a full tour of the Vatican - go on your own, and buy leather :)

1 comment: