Our travel plans were formed almost a year ago to take advantage of frequent flyer miles. We wanted the most bang for our miles, so grabbed seats out of New York, flying through Dusseldorf. We drove down to NYC Sunday morning, and left the car for my sister to use. We had packed light, but the gate agent at Air Berlin actually weighed our bags, whoops, a few pounds over. So what was going to be carry-on had to re checked. All ended well, as our bags actually made it on our flight to Rome. Our landlady had arranged for us to be picked up a FCO, so we were in the apartment by 11 Monday morning. We’re staying in the same apartment in Trastevere we’d rented a few years ago, a quiet, air-conditioned refuge in Piazza S. Egidio.
We took a walk, picked up some fresh tortellini at the pasta fresca and slices of pizza from La Renella, the forno on via del Moro. Lunch, nap. Later in the afternoon we hit the TIM store, the grocery store, and what I think of as the Smiling Cheese Guy shop, Antica Caciara on via S. Francesco a Ripa. (they really are sweet in there, and a great selection) We threw together some salad and pasta for dinner, walked out for the first gelato (pistachio and cherry), and slept like logs.
Oh, here’s what’s new since our last stay in Rome–serious recycling. Our apartment has separate bins for paper, glass/plastic, compostable food matter, and “other.” With each bag picked up on a different day. Confused yet?
Tuesday morning was spent wandering, over the river and following the somewhat frustrating routes in the e-book Walking Tours in Ancient Rome. The book was formatted awkwardly, so no matter what size text you chose, you’d lose the last word or two in almost every sentence. “Look around the south corner for a fantastic…” well, we’ll never know.. We eventually gave up on following the walks, and just enjoyed walking and gawking, reading Wikipedia entries as we went. We spent time in the Pantheon, Santa Maria sopra Minerva, San Ignazio; people-watched in Piazza Navona and the Campo di Fiori. Love the street with shops selling the latest in couture for the well-dressed priest.
Met up with Sharon and Ed at L’Angolo Divino, an enoteca near Campo di Fiori. A good light lunch, fun conversation. We got plates to share, and the winner was a pasta with a Sicilian pesto of almonds, herbs, and tomato.
Larry wanted to go to the exhibit of Da Vinci’s machines at Piazza della Cancelleria, so we popped in. (tip–the bathroom is before the ticket office, so it’s a good place for a clean pit stop in the Campo di Fiori area.) Interesting to see his inventions created fullsize from his plans, (with explanations in three languages). Walked back home to rest the feet.
Dinner was at the tiny Le Mani in Pasta. http://www.lemaniinpasta.com/home.htm. It’s good we had called for reservations, as they were turning many people away. We began with an antipasti of grilled vegetables, and then went on to a special past for two, spaghetti with a wonderfully complex sauce based on calamari. I have no idea what else was in it, but it was somehow richly flavored and delicate at the same time. No room for anything else, which was a shame as they also had tuna in a pistachio crust. Ah well. We had a fun conversation with an Italian family next to us about kids, who felt they had to apologize when their angelically behaved young daughter fell apart at 10:30. Hey, kids are kids wherever you are.