I got off on the wrong foot with Rome on my first trip to Europe in 1970 so I decided to try again. That is one of the reasons I selected the South Italy Tour this year for my third Rick Steves tour. When I committed to going, my friends Starr and Holger (and Lily!) in Switzerland decided to drive down to meet me there. We arrived at our hotel in the Trastevere on Saturday within minutes of each other, got our bearings and took a stroll in the neighborhood.
We settled in a restaurant overlooking the piazza, ordered Aperol spritzes and dinner and celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary.
Sunday we headed out to explore, crossed the Tiber on a
pedestrian bridge into the heart of Rome. We wandered a bit then turned a corner and found ourselves
at Largo Argentina, a ruin of four temples, right in the middle of a busy modern intersection. Ah! The magic of Rome!
(We learned later that this is where Julius Caesar was murdered not in the Forum). We wandered on to
Piazza Navona with a beautiful Bellini fountain and lots of tourists. We followed the signs to the
and even more tourists. This is an amazing example of Roman architecture but it was a bit hard to enjoy being herded like cattle in and out. I escaped to the piazza where a young and beautiful street musician was playing tango (and other) music for tips with her accordion. She was good and the people watching was great!
Then we headed to Starr’s favorite Roman restaurant in the Ghetto, Da Giggetto. Along the way a darling houndstooth coat with detachable petticoat (WHY did I not take a picture?) caught our eye in a store window. We went in so Starr could try it on. It was a bargain, she bought it and the charming store owner agreed to hold the coat for her while we went to lunch.
Pranzo was not a disappointment.
We ordered carcioffi alla Giudia (fried artichokes) and fiori di zucchini (fried mozzarella stuffed zucchini flowers) for Antipasto and I had the best Melanzana (eggplant) Parmigiana
I’ve ever tasted. It was so good that I returned to this restaurant a couple days later to have it again. I am already in love with Roma!
After such a big lunch we headed back to the hotel for a nap. Then we took a passeggiatta in the evening, had another Aperol spritz and watched the locals and another band of musicians playing tango music. One couple dared to get up and dance. Oh, For a partner!