Rome…the first part.

Cappuccino-(5820)

As I write this, the sky is grey. Surely not great when I’m trying my best to write about Rome. But there’s nothing like the present to go back once again to that amazing place. Though I must admit that watching Two Greedy Italians last night gave me the final nudge. (What I thought of the programme is another thing but there’s no doubt that Carluccio and Contaldo know their food.) I have never been to Italy before. Not that going to Rome, once, is enough! That’s not what I mean. But it’s a start. It’s a great start…

Saying that there’s loads to see and do (and eat of course) is an understatement. I don’t even know where to begin. After three exhausting weeks in Malta (which was partially another culinary adventure by itself) we landed in Fiumicino early next morning. I was tired. No-sleep-on-the-plane-dead. That meant that all I wanted was thirty minutes of peace, but our taxi driver (such a nice man, seriously) was a huge fan of Amy Winehouse and that-a little bit of quiet time was a no-no-no. But still, I did enjoy the chaotic entry into the city. Listening to some Italian was also somewhat surreal.

Ciabatte-(5609)

It was a whirlwind holiday from the very start. First stop: Fontana di Trevi. We were ambushed. I never saw so many people crammed into one tiny piazza! But what a piazza! After taking the compulsory snap shots my bro-in-law, who was kindly leading this quasi-gastro-tour of three, took us to L’Antico Forno, a charming little bakery and everything-in-between place. Everybody stops there on the way back and forth to other sights; it’s practically two seconds away from the fountain. The lady at the bakery counter saw me eyeing the pastries and asked me what I wanted. What I wanted? One of each please. I could have walked out of there with cinque cornetti (alla crema or al cioccolato didn’t matter). Thank God my Italian was not so fluent or I would have! J & J (like the A-team) had to drag me out of there. We had just arrived and I wanted to buy the whole shop. J2 (in case you’re wondering, he’s my brother-in-law) reassured me that L’Antico Forno was not going to relocate any time soon and also there were other pasticcerie in Rome. J (my lovely hubby, no intro needed, you know the guy) who knows me well promised me we would return. OK. Done deal. Move on. (That’s what he really wanted to say.) I, on the other hand, could feel the pain.

So we already established that if we walked towards the Fountain there would be a slice of Heaven. What I didn’t know yet was that if we headed the other side of the street there would be another slice of Heaven. Three days…three whole days went by before we went to Antico Caffè Castellino (the word antico featured yet again), not for pastries first, but for bus tickets. Nice. We were in such a hurry, we didn’t stop for something al banco. But with *that* Wednesday being a day off for all, there was not a bus to be seen, not even some sort of shuttle that would take you to the Vatican. The only big car that was not diverted was the President’s, we think…we didn’t even see him wave. Some German tourists asked one bemused Carabiniere about the buses. He said that they will come but frankly he seemed knowledgeable and clueless at the same time. If the Carabiniere said so then the bus will definitely be there…well…not? (I could not see why we couldn’t have due cappuccini and due cornetti at the bar.) Instead we walked to another bus stop and relaxed. You see, there’s no need to panic in Rome. You start learning to take life as it comes. The general attitude is if-you-missa-de-bus-you-missa-de-bus kind of thing, so you’re set for the rest of your holiday. Don’t order a cappuccino after lunch though. That can get you into trouble…

TBC…

Rob x

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