Our flight from Barcelona to Rome was early, and while Food and I prefer sunsets to sunrises, we somehow made it to the airport and through the hazardous situation that is security and weren’t late. After making it to the hotel, dumping all our belongings in various places in the room and taking the briefest of catnaps we were off. Our first stop? Lunch, clearly. La Carbonara dal 1906, well known for their interesting decor choices (visitors get to graffiti the walls) and the classic pasta carbonara, is located around equidistance from both Termini and the Colosseum. 10 minutes walk in either direction and you either find yourself on a train or fighting with lions. Take your pick. I went with their specialty and Food chose spaghetti bolognese, and, while it was just fine in our very hungry state, I wouldn’t necessarily return should I visit Rome a third time.
We exited the restaurant to pouring rain and made a mad dash across the road to a cafe to wait it out over cappuccinos. Meanwhile, Food was researching the average caffeine consumption of the Roman population and discovered that most adults drink somewhere around 6 espressos a day. Holy…Starbucks.
Off to the Colosseum we went, snapping some beautiful pictures of Rome’s classic architecture and being blissfully unaware that the Colosseum closes when it rains… it’s an open structure so I’m not sure why we didn’t think of it, but we resolved to come back another day and instead climbed a hill and took a bunch of photos before we were told to get down by police on horseback.
We then ran to Piazza Navona and made a wish in Bernini’s Fountain. In typical fashion, Food wished for love and I wished for money so that I could travel to all the places I want to go to. I highly doubt either are going to come to fruition, but if anything can make a dream come true it’s this guy.
After walking through and viewing some of the amazing artwork painted, sketched, and sculpted by the many vendors in Piazza Navona, we headed towards the Pantheon and stopped to listen to a cellist play some of our favorites. Food was impressed with the massive dome of the Pantheon but had no clue who Raphael was. Clearly I’ve failed in my duties as her older sister.
We headed over to the Trevi Fountain, possibly my favorite fountain in the world, and did the customary over-the-shoulder coin toss to ensure we return to Rome at some point. After all, all roads lead to Rome, so we’re already headed in that direction. We made more wishes, but this time we traded places – me for love and Food for money. We’ll see whether Bernini or Salvi and Bracci are more powerful. A huge scoop of gelato from a nearby cafe, which was absolute bliss, and then we were getting lost on our way back to the hotel. No one knows their way all of the time, and we only know our way about 50% of the time. I worked and chose a pizza place for dinner while Food took yet another catnap. Prior to coming to Spain I was the queen of naps – she has usurped my throne.
We went to Sapori e Delize, a convenient 10-minute walk from our hotel, and one of the best pizza places in the Termini area. I got a to-die-for Margherita pizza made with bufala mozzarella (otherwise known as water buffalo cheese) while Food went wild with mushrooms. Oddball tip for eating in Europe – they all eat pizza with fork and knife. It probably has something to do with being polite and European, but honestly I don’t understand it. Pizza is meant to be devoured and I can’t devour if I’m eating like a member of the British monarchy. I haven’t quite committed to this social norm, so half my pizza was cut into bite-sized pizza bits, and the other quarter that I was able to finish (these were huge pizzas) was eaten with my hands because it was getting cold and who has time for politeness when pizza is at hand?
We decided to be 80-year-olds, skipping the partying to go to bed at 10 PM – after all, day 2 was an appointment with the Pope (also known as the Vatican Museums) bright and early and there was no way we were letting ourselves wake up late!
Be sure to come back in a few days to see Day 2 in Roma… and watch me eat more pasta than is healthy for any human being. To see more about Italy, check out our adventures in Cagliari, and if this is your first time here find out which one of us is which at “Hi, I’m Fernweh!” XoXx Fernweh & Food