Aug 3 – 5, 2015
Very true, “a lifetime is not enough” suits Rome!
Our day starts with breakfast at Tazza D’Oro cafe, their cappuccinos and cornettos, a thing which am missing already, certain things unfortunately have to be short lived to be truly appreciated.
Day 1, we headed off to the Testaccio food tour, our host was an American lady, currently living in Italy. She was very friendly and our other tour members were cool – a couple from Australia vacationing for 2 months, an American family of 6 with their kids and parents on a packed vacation schedule and another American couple who had apparently mandated for themselves a 2 week vacation in a year, anywhere in the world, but away from kids!:)
Apart from the great food that we got to taste, the best part of the tour was a visit to the graves of John Keats and Shelley. One of the Americans in the tour was an English teacher and he read us one of JK’s short poems. Who gets to do this in a food tour, really! The other most important thing was that she explained us how to identify genuine and fake gelatos…gosh, this was a crucial lesson:) We then parted ways post lunch at a restaurant named te l’avevo detto(I told you so). It does have a funny history in the middle of the Monte Testaccio, whose room temperature feels like air conditioning even in the scorching summer.
Our next stop was to visit Circus Maximus, Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine hill, the textbook stuff that I really didn’t have much to note other than the rich history on display. Absolutely no shade to take a break and I had to return home with a splitting headache. Mental note to buy myself a hat, apparently here it’s more a necessity than a fashion accessory.
By the 2nd day, I’ve figured out that Rome is a collage of the ‘Three Ps – the Palazzos, Piazzas and the Pizzerias’. Every street has one of these, if not all the 3!
The Borghese gallery – lived up to all the hype that we had noticed during our research. ‘Apollo and Daphne’, ‘The Rape of Proserpina’, the 2 Bernini sculptures were beyond mortal words. I had somewhere read that a sculpture is best admired from the place where it was meant to be. We unfortunately don’t get to do this in today’s world, but thankfully the audio tour explained us as to how and from where we have to view them within the museum walls. Oh my god, seriously(scandalised)??!! I do not claim to be a museum buff, but when I was running short of time for certain 3 paintings as Borghese is a time limited entry, I quickly clicked their pictures and was referencing them with my audio tour while lining up for the restroom, I realized I wasn’t the only one. Many others were sharing notes too AT the restroom! That’s Borghese for you!!
Next was a fun stop at the Spanish steps for lunch and yummy tiramisu of our life. Later that evening,we visited the Pantheon and a quick granita at our favorite cafe. History says that Michelangelo studied its dome for his work at the St.Peter Basilica. Pantheon stands unassuming for all its glory. There was a street performer playing some soulful music! We then headed to Trevi Fountain for the coin tossing tradition but it was closed for renovations. Strangely I wasn’t disappointed. Piazza Navona from there, having already become a Bernini admirer, I was excited to see the ‘Fountain of the Four Rivers’ – the Nile, Danube, Ganges and the Rio de la Plata. I didn’t get to figure out which piece is which river, but was joking to Deeps that the overdressed one of them could be Ganges. It was just that day that I happened to read in FB one of the trending topics that porn sites are banned in India ;)) We then indulged ourselves to the Italian dinner with the Piazza experience and music. A planned dent in the budget…