My mother and I returned from our Italy trip Sunday night and it was everything I could have dreamed of and more. We spent three nights in Rome, and the rest traveling down the coast to Capri, Positano, and Sorrento.
Here are our Rome trip details...I will post Amalfi coast in the other forums later. I hope this will help all those still planning their trip or just looking for a little walk down memory lane...Please feel free to ask any questions...
We flew from NYC to Rome, landing at 10 in the morning. I was not as jet lagged as I thought, probably from the excitement.
We arranged for Stefano of Rome cabs to pick us up. The driver was waiting for us as promised and happily pointed out historical sites before dropping us off at our hotel. I would definitly recommend them for aiport transportation.
My first impression of Rome was swayed by all the grafitti on the buildings...but I told myself to be patient. I knew that like all great, bustling cities, there was more to be discovered than writing on walls--although even that could be considered a form of art.
HOTEL SANTA MARIA- a quaint little hotel in Trastevere. Living in NYC, I absolutely LOVED this area. There is a local feel that we did not experience anywhere else.
We headed right around the corner for lunch at DA AUGUSTO.
Two pasta dishes (ravioli and cacio e pepe) and a carafe of wine for 14 euros...amazingly cheap and delicious. We were the only tourists at the restaurant and I loved it.
Next we braved our way to the Vatican---
A word to the wise---get to the Vatican in the afternoon if you don't want to wait--we walked right in at 2pm. I don't understand why people get there so early in the morning unless they are looking to do a tour.
I will have to write about the Vatican another time-- I am too jet lagged and there are really no words to describe the sheer brilliance of what this museum contains--of how certain I was upon leaving that was indeed a God, and that art can truly jump out at you and grip your soul.
After the Vatican we cabbed it to Piazza de Popolo and walked up Pincio Belvedere to take in the view. Breathtaking...
Walked to the Trevi and had gelato at San Crispino then at Della Palma....I have to say that I was not impressed at all with the gelato at San Crispino...and I tried at least three flavors. I have no hesitation when it comes to eating gelato. I will eat as much as I can until I am fully satiated. Della palma did a much better job of winning me over...especially with their tiramisu gelato. YUM.
Dinner was at SABATINI--yes it is true--quite touristy--but we had a great dinner (though our priciest). A bottle of wine, antipasto, pasta, two meat dishes and tiramisu for about 110 euro. Had we known the antipasto was 22 euro we probably wouldn't have ordered it, (as it was nothing more than two marinated mushrooms and two slices of salami). This would have cut the cost of the bill considerably--but alas, you live and you learn.
We walked over to Campo di Fiori--I had been counting down the days to taste the pizza bianca at Il Forno--and it did not disappoint. A huge piece for about a euro was quickly washed down by a cappucino from a bar in Piazza Farnesse. I highly recommend checking out this market--we bought a lot of great spices to add to our pasta recipes.
We then headed back to the hotel to check out--(the hotel was booked for our final two days) and headed over to Capo d Africa hotel near the Coliseum. This hotel was GREAT! I cannot recommend it enough, as the service was above and beyond what we expected.
We headed to the Coliseum and bought our tickets at the Palantine Hill office, as so many people in this forum recommended. We walked STRAIGHT into the Coliseum and I felt so bad for the hundreds of people waiting in line to buy their tix. My mother and I wanted to let them all in on the secret but it was just too hot outside to save everyone :)
Lunch at Le Naumachie (sp?). I thought the food here was just okay. My mother had a pasta dish here that tasted like Chef Boyardee. Maybe we just caught them at a bad time. Nonetheless--for two pasta dishes and salad it was only about 25 euro.
Later that evening I had granita at Tazzo d Oro...I wanted to lick the inside of the cup it was so delicious! Starbucks should rethink their frappucinos...Then off to the Pantheon...
Dinner at Da Baffetto....we arrived around 8pm and the line was just forming...by the time we left around 9 it was all the way around the corner. This pizza was AMAZING! And I live in NYC so I know pizza. Forgive my assuredness--this is also from living in NYC. Order the mushroom and sausage pizza. Our bill was about 25 euro for two small pizzas and two beers.
We ended the night by walking around Piazza Navona...magical.
We decided to skip the flea market Porta Portese...and I am happy we did. I don't think I would have had the patience for the hordes of people.
We had a lazy afternoon and lunch at Cul de Sac behind Piazza Navona. This was a great choice. Three dishes and four glasses of wine for about 40 euros. Try the greek salad---it was one of the best I've ever had.
We had a 5pm reservation at the Borghese museum. I have little patience so museums are hard for me--but at the Borghese I took everything at a slow pace and enjoyed it thoroughly. The way Bernini carved stone to look like flesh is beyond me!
Dinner was at Checco er Carritiere (sp?) in Trastevere--a charming restaurant that is always open on Sunday--a major plus in Rome. I ordered the carbonera and closed my eyes with each bite it was so delicious. Two glasses of wine, one pasta dish and one meat dish came to about 60 euro. They are not the cheapest restaurant but the food is definitely worth it and it seemed to be very popular with the locals.
After dinner we stumbled upon a random bar down the street called Good. We had some delicious mojitos here and danced the night away to a great dj who told me her dream was to come to America.
I told her my dream was to come to Rome, and there I was. She smiled. I hope she gets to fulfill her dream as I did very, very soon.