Daily Archives: August 14, 2004

Italy : Day 4

August 7th
Today we slept in and started our walking tour around 10:30am. Most every day we started our day around 7:30am so this was a treat. We had a flexible agenda and started the morning at the Spanish Steps for knock off handbags (for Suzi). No Luck though. Took the back streets and found the post office and stumbled upon some great stores. Suzi was very excited about this 🙂 We headed to Piazza Navona for the best panini, beer, and entertainment. This was the second time we ate at this small cafe outside and it was great the 2nd time too. Checked out two beautiful basilica’s, some obliesks and moved to Trastevere. A big hike, Trastevere is known as “the true and oldest Italiano ghetto”. We visited St. Maria of Trastevere and gave our feet a rest around 1pm at a great pub. Here we met 2 ladies from Scotland with whom we had a great conversation. We needed to get back to the Ferrari store, which we managed to miss several times. Matt really wanted a souvenir from this store; he ended up with a Ferrari red t-shirt. Matt had a Ferrari poster over his bed for almost his entire childhood. We concluded our fifteen mile hike at our hotel and took a small siesta and much needed shower. Did I mention that the weather is hot, hot, hot. We had dinner around the Fountain di Trevi at L’Archetto. We had a great Caprese starter, Pizza funghi (mushrooms), and spaghetti bolognese. There were several English speaking couples and the restaurant, which had been recommended to them as well. The tables were set up in an alley, which cars periodically went by. Very interesting. We had a great bottle of wine (Barbaresco). We had a fun conversation with a couple next to us which were from the country in England. Neat people, great food, wine made for a great night. We survived Rome and many had problems with the Gypsy’s. Thankfully we did not, having been very used to panhandlers in S.F. We caught the last metro, so we never used a taxi, only relying on our feet and the metro. On to Venice…

Italy : Day 3

August 6th
Got a good night’s sleep, headed down to breakfast and on our way to our room a critter scurried across the floor as soon as we opened the door to our room. It was a small beady-eyed lizard. Matt had to dispose of it and in the process removed his tail, which continued to wiggle around – ugh! (No animals were harmed in the process) We had a big day planned at St. Peters, the Vatican museum, and all the surrounding sights. We got an early start to avoid the crowds. We started the tour with the hike in the cupola. 520 steps later as we did not select the lift and at a sweat factor of 10+ Matt and Suzi made to the top of St. Peter’s. It was touch and go for Matt because it was so hot and claustrophobic in the tight quarters leading up to the top. The view in the dome and all of Rome outside the dome was absolutely beautiful! Mass was going on in the midst of our tour, so it was incredible to see the priest and hear the music and the Latin liturgy. We concluded with the Vatican Museum and the highlights including the Sistine chapel – amazing and the Raphael rooms. What an amazingly beautiful piece of art. We showered up and headed out to the Spanish Steps and some great wine & beer at Enoteca Antica (a recommended hot spot). We also has dinner at Difrante a…, but it was Italy’s Pasta Pomodoro equivalent. We thought it would be good, but just okay.