We absolutely love Rome! Sure there are tourists but who wouldn’t want to come visit one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world? Every single direction has massive buildings with unbelievable architecture. The ancient ruins in the middle of the city, the oversized fountains, the detailed statues, the amazing colosseum and of course the Vatican. Maybe someday we’ll own an apartment here!
Breakfast was served in our room which was nice except it was gross. The doughnuts and watery coffee with pre-packaged crackers were not exactly a healthy way to start the day. We walked down the street a bit and found a place for lunch ordering a pesto barley salad and pasta before setting out for our long day of walking the Roman streets.
Hours and hours of walking made us love the city even more with every site we visited. The city is big but manageable and much cleaner than Naples! The detail in the monuments is so specific…it is easy to just stare. After a while we found a square and sat to rest our feet and quench our thirst with a local beer. By the time we finished our tour of the city, it was about 9pm and time for dinner!
We could have easily gone to a number of restaurants but chose the same one as last night…why fix something that isn’t broken? We sat outside again greeting the same family. This time we ordered the homemade noodles with truffle and mushroom along with the arrabbiata dish again. We also started with an antipasti of mixed veggies and finished the meal off with an extremely delicious homemade tiramisu. We had tried to order it last night but they had sold out. Tonight we managed to get a piece and the cream itself was heavenly with the thick layer of cocoa on top.
Our day had been a long one…we probably walked 15 miles and still didn’t see the entire city…we were tired. We walked back to our place to unwind and get to bed.
After our leisurely breakfast on the rooftop overlooking the city of Naples, we set out to explore a different area. We walked through a huge square with massive buildings including the theater and large cathedral. Even the ceilings of some of the walkways had such detailed design. We continued getting our daily exercise going up and down various streets until we had worked up an appetite for…yes another pizza.
As we approached the restaurant, L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele (http://damichele.net) there was a crowd of people waiting outside. We walked in and took a number hoping someone would help us to recognize when it was our turn being the numbers were all called in Italian. About 25 minutes later, our number was called and a nice Italian couple pointed to us. We walked in and immediately saw a packed small restaurant with a wood burning oven and a guy placing the pizzas inside. We sat down at the only two seats left in the restaurant which were at the same table as another couple. We saw pictures of Julia Roberts smiling with pizza in her mouth on the walls. We realized we were in the Eat, Pray, Love pizza place! The menu was short and sweet. Margarita or marinara…we opted for two margarita pizzas.
15 minutes later, two pizzas came out with juices literally boiling on the top. We all got quiet as we dug into what was supposed to be the best pizza in the world. We were not disappointed…I wouldn’t usually describe a pizza as juicy…but it was. I’m not talking about grease…but the juice of the fresh tomatoes. The gooey cheese and the marinara sauce was oh so good. Giff usually eats his food very slowly when it is delicious…dragging out each bite, but this time was different. I had eaten about a quarter of mine and Giff’s plate was empty. We voted this pizza the best we have ever had. It was simple and it was cheap (4 euros) and it was #1. Do not, I repeat, do not miss this pizza next time you are in Naples…well worth the wait.
With our bellies filled to the rim we walked out of that place with big smiles on our faces. That is the type of pizza worth getting a little muffin top. We walked back to our hotel, checked out and got on the road for Rome. We hadn’t been back to Rome since our honeymoon in 2005. We were a little nervous about driving in a city the size of Rome and more importantly trying to find a public parking spot since our B&B didn’t have private parking.
About three hours later we arrived in a surprisingly quaint neighborhood in Rome which was very easy to drive in and which we found a parking spot on the street right away. The area was fairly residential but was very close to the Vatican and within walking distance of all the major sites. The room at our B&B was nice and big with air conditioning, internet and a clean bathroom…all of the essentials. We relaxed for a bit catching up on computer stuff and watching a little Italian TV.
Believe it or not, by dinner time we were hungry…is it possible our stomachs are expanding? The B&B owner told us there were tons of restaurants around but that the neighborhood had a very good one on the block. We decided since it was three doors down to sit at one of the tables outside and order some pasta. Cucina Umbra (I don’t think they have a website) was a family run restaurant. The son was our waiter and the mother hand-made all the pastas. Both the mom and dad were outside helping to serve all the customers. They were probably about 70 years old.
We ordered the spinach lasagna and the tagliatelle with arrabbiata sauce and both were extremely delicious. I looked over at Giff as he continued chewing in slow motion with his eyes closed…he used the phrase, “making love to his food”. Ahhhhh, Italian food…it is never too much. We ate and chatted with the waiter, cleaned our plates and walked back to our place where we slept soundly.