Woke at 9:15am. According to the sign at the front desk last night, it is supposed to be 93 degrees today.
They stop serving breakfast at 10am – we are late!
Normally, we do not eat breakfast at the hotel but when it is part of the price of the room, why not. It is always interesting to see what they offer. The breakfast room was in the hotel basement and it was large with vaulted ceilings and many small tables covered in red table cloths. There are only a couple of tables open – those far from the rim of the buffet. The buffet is quite large – coffee and hot chocolate (from a fancy high-tech machine), juices (from a cooler), assorted pastries like croissants and cream filled buns, cereal, and scrambled eggs with pesto and tomatoes and mozzarella on the side! I try a bit of everything, my DH focuses on the eggs, tomatoes, mozzarella, and an interesting cream filled pastry that he was lucky to get (there was only one left). It is really a nice spread!
At around 10:30am, we head out for our first full day in Rome. First we stop at Campo De Fiori to see the market. Our original intent was to buy fruit here for breakfast but we stuffed ourselves at the hotel breakfast buffet. So we just look around, going from one shady spot to another because it is already hot.
After the market, we decide to take one of Rick Steves’ walks of Rome. Our plans was to bump into the main shopping street, Via Del Corso. To do this, we go through the Piazza Navona, and pass the Pantheon. We stop in the Pantheon to cool off. The Pantheon is now a church but it wasn’t always like that. We marvel at the dome just like we did when we were here in 2007 – it is still impressive.
After the Pantheon, it is still hot so I get a refreshing lemon sorbet at an gelato shop recommended but Steve – it was wonderfully cool and icy!
On our way to Via Del Corso, we walk into another church with wonderful frescoes on the ceiling! But we do not linger, it was a bit too warm for me. We will visit this again,.
When we finally reach Via Del Corso, but we make a right turn instead of a left to visit the Palazzo Doria Pamphija. We spent a couple hours here going through the rooms and looking at the paintings. To me, it is always interesting to see how rich people used to live. They lived a life of excess when compared to today’s standards. Photos were not allowed in the Palazzo so I can not show you all the amazing art work this family collected. Take a look at the link to learn more about this family and see their collection.
Around 5pm, the heat has really gotten the best of me. We walk back to the hotel but not without picking up a cold liter of water along the way. At the hotel, we rest and scope our a restaurant for tonight – something next to the Fontana Del Trevi (as made famous by the movie, “Three Coins in a Fountain”), I think. My DH found three!
By 8pm, it has cooled off and the walk to the Trevi Fountain was pleasant. Of course, there are a ton of people here to enjoy the fountain and the five gelato places that surround it. We have three restaurants to choose from. We decide on the restaurant a few streets away from the crowd.
We went to La Fontana di Venere. The resturant was nice and it promised air-conditioning. The menu had all the classic Italian items. We ordered, (1) Melon and Ham, (2) Spaghetti Pepe (Speghetti with cheese and black pepper), and (3) Roasted Chicken and Potatoes – all to share! All were tasty but the chicken was not the whole bird we expected. Instead we got four chicken joints and lots of potatoes. Don’t get me wrong, it was tasty but when my DH says, “Hey, now we have room for gelato”, something is wrong. When the waiter came by to check on us, we expressed our disappointment in the dish. He sent the manager to our table. We again expressed our disappointment in our dish. He listened to our opinion (there just was not enough chicken) and said he was sorry but that is how they make the dish. OK, fair enough.
BTW, we were also disappointed in the air-conditioning — it was weak at best.
As we waited for the bill, my DH was figuring out what he was going to write in his TripAdvisor review of the chicken dish. Soon, a waiter came by with two small frosted glasses of Limoncello, a lemony after-dinner drink that is mostly alcohol — I love this stuff! My DH does not drink, so I had his too.
When the bill came, I was loopy and beginning to tell jokes. My DH noticed that there was not a charge of the chicken dish. “Drat!” he said, “how am I supposed to write a bad review now?” When the waiter came to swipe the credit card, he looked at the bill and said, “There has been a mistake, one moment please…” and ran off. When he returned, the chicken dish was back on the bill. Apparently my DH’s dilemma has been solved, he would write a poor review after all! “OK, that sound great, Sweetie!” I said with a bit more emphasis than I intended — I was loopy on Lemoncello! But I bet that was their plan — we get drunk on Lemoncello and we would forget all about the chicken joints! Bastards!
On our way back to the hotel, we passed a gelato place called Valentinos – highly rated on TripAdvisor. The owner, an nice older guy said “If you don’t like it, you don’t pay for it!” My DH could not resist such a deal! We got a small cup with dark, dark, dark, dark chocolate and intense mixed berry. We paid for it! Go to the website and look, look, look — there is music and EVERYTHING!
We got back to the hotel at around 10pm and that is all I can remember.
Quote of the day: “Should I tell them about the chicken? — Loopy Anna to DH when a new couple is seated at the table next to them at the restaurant that serves chicken joints.