Yes, you guessed it, ITALY!
The only thing we regretted is that we didn’t plan for longer stay. We spent only 3 nights in Rome, which really means 2 full days. Garrat and I were seriously contemplating to re-schedule our flight and stay a few more days. But we were quite tired and a bit sick, so we decided to stick with our original itinerary. We tried to experience as much as we could in those 3 short days.
We flew from Paris to Rome and arrived at around 3pm. After checking into the hotel, we took it easy and relaxed until dinner. We went to a nearby Ristorante Alessio. It was like a block away from our hotel, but one of popular restaurants in Rome. Though we came in a bit early for dinner time (around 6:30ish), it was already pretty full. We were lucky and grabbed the last table. The staff was amazing, very friendly and courteous! I was quite surprised that our waiter not only spoke great English, but also spoke Japanese at another table!!! The service was top-notch!
Ok, let’s talk about food already! Their food was simply DELICIOUS! We had 36-month aged ham for appetizer. Umm, no words to describe how delicious it was! For main course, I had their signature Strozzapretti pasta, homemade fresh pasta with clams and porcini mushrooms. Garrat had calamarata pasta with salt cod and breadcrumbs! Both dishes were fabulous, pasta was cooked to perfection (al dante with perfect chew!). Italians sure know how to cook their pasta!
Yeah, you probably heard that Italian food is the best. Honestly though, I always thought it’s all exaggerated. Boy, was I wrong! No matter where we ate, in a little corner pizzeria, at a nice restaurant, or in a small eatery, the food was simply amazing.
Oh and that tiramisu was to die for!
We started our day strolling by piazza Vinezzia on a gorgeous sunny morning. Such a lively city filled with music, sun and lots of happy people!
And of course, we couldn’t miss Campo de’ Fiori Market. We had the most fun right here in the market.
Yes, it’s touristy, but oh so Italian! We spent the morning tasting truffle sauces, spices, cheeses, and lots of liquor. This one big family owned a few isles of goodies and they took care of us pretty well.
We started with tasting liquors, so, you know, we were in great mood. We communicated through broken English and Italian, we laughed, we drank, we had fun!
In the afternoon, we went to check out iconic Colosseum. We didn’t go in, but we just walked around, enjoying beautiful weather and some ice cream!
So many incredible details in every building…
And ruins… So much history here!
We had dinner at a very popular pizza restaurant, Trattoria il Tettarello. We again got lucky and snatched the very last table right by the entrance. People were waiting in a long line for their turn for over an hour. It was a bit uncomfortable to eat our delicious pizza while hungry people were looking at us through a glass wall! But we soon forgot about them, as we dive into our meal. Gosh, I want to go back and have one more pizza!
We started our morning with a quick breakfast at the hotel. (We stayed at trendy iQ Hotel Roma. Very clean and cozy!) Though Italian breakfast mostly consists of cappuccino and croissant, out hotel offered full breakfast buffet with scrambled eggs and sausages. They know their tourists well! Everything was super delicious!
After breakfast, we headed to Piazza Novano on our way to Trevi fountain. Unfortunately, Trevi fountain was closed due to maintenance. (No worries, we threw a coin into another fountain!)
Piazza Novano is a beautiful square with so much energy and life.
There, we met this artist with beautiful paintings! Once I saw his work, I had to have one. Aren’t they just gorgeous? I looked through all his work, and decided to get the one with Italian seaside town (on the right). Can’t wait to get it framed and display this beauty!
Then, we spent the afternoon exploring the Vatican City!
Marvelous paintings, art on the ceilings and all the sculptures were mesmerizing, intoxicating and so breath-taking!
We’ve been inside the Sistine Chapel, the place where Pope lives!
Now, I’m not a religious person, but it was quite an experience!
You guys, I’ve seen the famous “The Last Judgment” and “Creation of Adam” (the one with almost touching hands of God and Adam) by Michelangelo. Too bad, we were not allowed to photograph inside the chapel, but then again I was able to fully be present and admire the work of art without distraction!
A peek into the garden from the Vatican Museum!
And here is the top of St. Peter’s Basilica.
Rome, we love you! We will be back!!!