Mmm, crusty bread and cheese!
Rome, the decline and fall of a healthy diet
In early April 2003, Carol and I spent an awe-inspiring weekend in Rome, Italy, adding yet another chapter to our European adventure. The history and magnificence of Rome has been well documented elsewhere so I won't bore you with much here. Suffice it to say, that in between visits to the Coliseum, St. Peter's Basilica, The Vatican, The Sistine Chapel, The Castle of St. Angelo, The Trevi Fountain, The Pantheon and the Spanish Steps, we enjoyed some beautiful walks, were blessed with nearly perfect weather, had some great food, great wine and had many truly unforgettable experiences.
We arrived on Thursday and had dinner at a place called Trattoria that Carol had read about. This is one of those places where there's no menu, they just bring you what it is they're making that night. In this case, it was several courses of traditional Italian fare. Cold meat and cheese starters, salad, pasta, veal and a dessert. The wine was a dry white with no label and no one at the restaurant spoke English well enough to really get much info on anything. I did ask Carol to take this picture of me with the cook so we could remember the evening.
For Friday morning, Carol had booked us on a Vatican tour. This was quite excellent, especially the tour of St. Peter's, the largest church on earth. Our guide David, an American theology student studying in Rome, was excellent and his insights about the church were very interesting and delivered with a passion that you would need to experience to fully appreciate. The Sistine Chapel was at the end of the tour and everything was just as you'd imagine, incredible. Michelangelo’s frescos were more inspiring than I would have imagined and the quiet time we spent in the chapel that day is something I’ll never forget. After an afternoon of walking, we ended up in Piazza Navona, the large market square within a block of our hotel, and found Caffe Bernini, a nice outdoor place where we dined that evening. Our server, Leo, was extremely helpful and attentive which made for a great experience.
On Saturday afternoon, before we toured the Coliseum, we had lunch at an al fresco pizzeria up the street from that awesome structure. After the tour and visits to The Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, we had a late afternoon repast at La Murrina, another place in Piazza Navona. We just wanted a snack, really, and we asked for cheese and bread. They accommodated and again, we enjoyed sitting outdoors, watching the people walk by and just relaxing for a while in nearly perfect weather.
This visit to Rome was an experience that we will always treasure. Actually, just St. Peter's and The Sistine Chapel would have made the entire trip worthwhile. But whatever else may be said, the food, the wine and the spectacular history and sites of the Eternal City are some of the best memories we'll have of our time living abroad.
There are lots of touristy things to do in Rome and I only briefly mentioned some of them here. If you're planning a trip, this website is a good one to check out: www.romeitaly.ca