Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Italia: Day 7 - Roma

Hey!  Remember how we went to Italy, like, 2 months ago?

Let's talk about that again, okay?  

Okay! 

Our seventh day in Italy found us waving Arrivederci! to Florence and greeting Roma's Termini Station {a very wary} Buongiorno.  Gladly, there were no near assaults and we both made it into a cab without being sold into white slavery.  

We checked into our final B&B of the trip - the Hotel Scalinata di Spagna - which I'll equate to a semi-cheesy Italian Marriott... faux-Baroque furnishings, heavy wallpaper and a stoic manager who took himself way too seriously, etc.  But, the bed was comfy, the breakfast terrace was charming, and the location couldn't be beat... 

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... Right smack at the top of the Spanish Steps!

After check-in, I asked Mr. Somber-Pants to book a reservation for us... He scoffed at our choice and told me "this is very important, serious Roman restaurant! Only most important Romans eat here.  Very important and serious!"  

Um.  Okaaaaaaay.  So I'm going to take a gander and say my sparkly Toms aren't properly indicative of my importance and/or seriousness?

Piss off, Douche Monkey!

{In reality, I was rather shamed and just agreed to have him book us somewhere more "appropriate" so I could scamper the fuck out of there.  So super lame of me.  However, The Restaurant for the Less Serious and/or Important  actually ended up being super-duper delicious} {BUT STILL}

After I was made to feel like an Ugly American in my own hotel, E and I meandered down the Spanish Steps to sniff out some Roman pizza for lunch before we hit up St. Peter's.  We picked a cute sidewalk cafe with shitty, shitty, shitty service and food.  {Well, "shitty" is relative, as I'm a pretty happy camper when mozzarella and prosciutto are involved... but it just wasn't the quality that Roman pizza is known for.} That's what we get for veering off the beaten Frommers / Fodors / Rick Steves / Local Recommendation path.  

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side streets off the Spanish Steps
After Mediocre Pizzaville, we caught the Metro over to St. Peter's Square / Vatican City.  E and I had both visited Rome before {separately}, but St. Peter's Cathedral was one thing we wanted to do again {we did bow out of the Vatican Museum though. My regrets to Michelangelo and his ceiling... I'm sure it's still as breathtaking as I recollect}.  We did the requisite Taking of 1,034 Unnecessary Photos of the Vatican thing...

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{If you'll indulge me for just a tick, I have to take a Vanity Moment. I wore this same nautical stripe dress on Friday...  Comparative Reactions (a) HOLY HELL, (b) Thank you, Hippie Asians, for your whacked-out fertility nutrition, and (c) I'm foreseeing a lot of Photoshop in our 2011 Holiday Card's future.} 
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thousands of chairs set up for Easter services
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... and then snaked our way inside with hoards of other post-lunch sight-seers {me with a pashmina fashioned, sarong-like, around my waist to cover my naughty, naughty knees}. 

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Michaelangelo's Pieta
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It was much as we both remembered... Huge. Austere. Impressive.  Candles were lit for grandparents.  Prayers were prayed.  Wham bam, thank you, San Pietro. 

Next stop... Castel Sant'Angelo.  While, we both managed to miss Hadrian's Tomb on our previous trips, it was definitely worth the 12 Euro this time around... if not for the history {although E did go on and on and on about Roman emperor this and Mesopotamia that}, but for the breezy views alone. 

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views from the top of Castel Sant'Angelo
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After wandering the castle for a while, we pounced on some prime, wine-sipping real estate... This direct peep hole to the Vatican was 100% worth the inflated cost of museum vino.  

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{ancient} window with a view... the best seat in Rome!
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Vine-covered bar in Castel Sant'Angelo
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checking out our footage
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After our Impromptu Happy Hour, we started the quiet "exploratory" {re: long-ass} stroll back to the Spanish Steps.  But not before EXPECTO PATRONUS-ing a familiar face. 

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VOLDEMORT (!)

{the plaque said Bust of Hadrian... but we know better}



We gussied up a bit and watched the Roman streets come to life as the sun set and we {well, I} sipped prosecco {E was undoubtedly drinking something red} as we waited for our reservations as The Not That Serious or Important Restaurant.  While my pride would have liked to add Crummy Restaurant Recommender to Concierge Douche Monkey's resume, Cafe Not That Serious or Important was actually quite tasty... tasty enough, in fact, to merit a place in my Top Eight.  It would be helpful if I could remember the name of said dining spot, but, alas, I have misplaced the business card I took just for that purpose.  It possibly starts with an O... or can be found on a street that starts with an O... a street which is, like, half a mile to your right, at a gentle angle, if you're standing at the bottom of the Spanish Steps.  

HOW AWESOME AT DIRECTIONS AM I?

Anyhoover, at The Restaurant That Cannot Be Named {Which Is Also Neither Too Serious Nor Important} {But Did Turn Out to Be Yummy}, we ordered and devoured: 

- Jewish-Style Artichokes... Life-Changing.  Seriously. 
- Insalata Caprese
- Fresh Linguine al Carbon with Truffle Oil... for me
- Meat Ragu... for E
- Tiramisu 

This was another meal that I did not photograph as we were elbow-to-elbow with actual-Italians and about the only non-locals in the joint... I didn't want to lose my street cred, since I'd already been deemed Unserious & Unimportant.  

And thus ended our second-to-last evening in Italy.  I swear it won't take me another month to finish up this Opus. 

4 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you got back to your recaps, because I'm currently planning our Italy trip and have loved looking at your recommendations. I'm taking a lot of your advice for things to do on our trip, so thank you very much!
    Looks like a great vacation.

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  2. Hilarious about the restaurant. I found Romans to be some of the rudest meanest Italians I met - including the ones working at the hotel we stayed at, so don't feel too bad for not being important or serious.
    Love St. Peter's. So stunning!

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  3. That must have been pretty scary to see a bust of Voldemort in Rome :) I guess we now know where the creators of the Harry Potter movies looked for inspiration for Voldemort's character!

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  4. now i'm so curious...what was the"serious roman restaurant?" loved reading this recap, it's bringing me right back to my honeymoon last june!

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happy little comments!