I had heard that Rome was dirty and congested with great landmarks in-between; therefore, I was completely surprised to find it quite the opposite. There are crowds of people, but there is room for them to spread out, unlike Venice, where there is little “spread-out” room, and people are stacked up on each other. And, the city of Rome was clean with great piazzas everywhere. It is all quite inviting.
Our hotel, the Residenza in Farnese, is well-located–a short walk to most landmarks–just steps from the Tiber River to the south and the beautiful Piazza Navona to the north. The piazza has three beautiful fountains, with the central fountain being representative of four great rivers coming together and copious amounts of water gushing forth. Another close piazza holds a daily market with fresh foods and dried Italian seasonings and other goods.
The day was fast. The Berg’s, Dan and Charlotte, joined us from home, and to keep them awake we took a walk towards the Vatican and the Castel San Angelo, a medieval bastion to protect the pope while also serving as a prison. We crossed the beautiful Angels Bridge over the Tiber with its soaring angel statuary along the way. Exhausted, we all (Graumann’s, Krahn’s and Berg’s) went to the hotel and took naps.
We have already learned that American Italian and Italian are not the same. Pasta is very al dente cooked and sauces are quite different. Italian salt pork, ox tail and hot spiced tomato sauce are some of the varieties we have tried. Different pasta noodles come with certain sauces, with many being a noodle variety we seldom, if ever, use. Pizza crusts are super thin.
While eating in an outdoor osteria today, a vendor came by with a fun and beautiful serving tray. It caught Allen’s eye. I won’t spoil the secret of the tray, but maybe Allen will bring it out at some of his fabulous cookouts at home–or ask him to let you see it sometime. I was helpful in bargaining the price down from E40 to E15. I thought the seller believed I would also buy a tray, but one in Tomball is enough.
August 29, 2015 – WEG