October 6th, 2008

Queen Apple

Italy day 1 recap

Well , yesterday was a much quieter day than I expected. Although we made it for the Corso Cavour walk and the Pantheon (with pasta allamatriciana at Maccheroni and gelato at the place where the waiters wear epaulets), bu the time we got to Piazza Navona, my sister was beat (and the fountain was closed for repairs, very unfair!). "We" decided to get one more thing in (St. Peter's), but when we missed the stop, she said she was worn out and needed to go back to the hotel and rest. So we called it a day at 5 and didn't make it to the Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps - we went home and napped and then decided our evening walk would be to a local restaurant. (I slept hard during the nap so I'd obviously worn myself out a bit too. This cold hasn't entirely let go - now I'm just phlegming a bit but I'm very tired of it all.) On the other hand it was probably good to get in an evening shower as the hot water gave up before I'd finished the rinse cycle and I had to turn it off and give it time to heat up while I scrubbed. Missing from my luggage (my fault): slippers, soft warm pants, scrubby, razor. I should make a permanent packing list so I don't forget anything again. Today we're off to the forum though the weather looks unpromising (BBC lies with its sun: it's overcast and raining a bit). If it's really bad we'll go to St. Peter's. One way or another, I'm hoping we'll see the spooky Capuchin crypt - it's just really too cool. And now off I go.
Sea dragon

Roman Forum

I am in love with the Temple of the Twins (Castori, I believe), as ever. I wish Robot_Mel and Beluosus were here - we'd get free translations and a much rounder cultural experience. Not that being charged €3.50 to sit at a table and drink a €1.50 cup of tea wasn't a cultural experience in and of itself. Weather is mixed clouds and sun, warm enough and dry so far.

Sea dragon

End of day 2 in Rome (start of night 3 and leaving tomorrow=

Well! It's been quite a full day. After breakfast in the hotel (yogurt and toast with spreadable cheese on it, tea, and fruit juice) we went to Termini and picked up a lunch in preparation for a day at the Roman Forum. However, our trip took rather longer than expected, as we had to stop at the Stonefly store (no new boots for me though I found likely candidates if only they had been available in a 39), a lingerie shop (don't ask), and a cafe (as Amber wanted a coffee and a sitdown), where I misunderstood the table service to be 50 cents rather than the 3.50 it turned out to be. Ow.

Anyway, we made it there around noon, then pottered very slowly for about two hours. After a nice rest below the arch of Constantine, we decided to plunge into the Colosseum, as it was paid for with our Roma cards, and, what the hell, I'd never been. So ... er, it's not very exciting, sorry! Off we went to the tomb of the Capuchin monks, and, boy, there is nothing like being in a crypt that looks just like a setting for a 1970s Russian horror movie to really give you the creeps. I think we both loved it.

Amber then said she wanted to not be trekking all over the place, and wanted to settle down somewhere near where dinner would be - a bit of a trek since it was only about 5 and most dinner places don't open until 7 - or later! So we slooowly wended our way to the Trevi fountain (passing the "Street of Four Fountains," which was cool but a big clue I'd not quite steered us in the right direction). After we Trevied, we found the pizzeria we wanted wasn't open for another half hour, so we decided to try a joint that advertised a 12 euro prix fixe meal. Well! A glass of wine for five euros, a cup of tea for four? And just the cheapest dishes possible for their dinner? I was quite put off and we decided to just kill a little time there with an appetizer and a bottle of water (a half liter and they charged us 2.50!) until the other place was open.

Thank goodness we did, as our total bill at the "Pizzeria Sacra E Profana" was about 30 euros, including a quarter liter of wine, a bottle of water, two calzones, a salad, and table charge. This left us in great shape for a trip to the Gelateria San Crispino around the corner, where MY GOD it was so good. I had a cup of zabaione and "something boozy" (rum, I think), and afterwards I was ready to go back and get two more flavors. But it was the end of our night, so we caught a bus back to Termini (we might have shopped a bit once we got there (but I don't want to admit to anything) and then walked back to Gulliver's (our B&B place).

Tomorrow - Florence! And tonight - bed.