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Dina4's Family Adventure: FRANCE and ITALY trip report

Dina4's Family Adventure: FRANCE and ITALY trip report

Old Jul 9th, 2006, 02:05 PM
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Welcome back! I knew you were doing a trip with teens at a similar time.

I am bookmarking so I can follow along. I haven't had time to read the whole report yet, but hope to sit down with it tonight.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old Jul 9th, 2006, 02:40 PM
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bookmarking!
We are doing a similar trip next year so love reading about yours!
Thanks
Rosie
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Old Jul 9th, 2006, 08:36 PM
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Looking forward to Italy. I never was brave enough to travel with my own kids overseas until two were in high school. Wish we had done it earlier and oftener.

Now I take grand children (one at a time) on trips--but not out of the country...yet.

Vera
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 06:30 AM
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Sounds like your kids had a pretty good museum tolerance. Your report is bringing back memories. We had lunch (on my birthday, no less) at the restaurant in the Orsay with the clock. So pretty!
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 09:18 AM
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Vera,
That is SO nice that you take your grandchildren on trips. My inlaws met us in Rome, and it was so fun with the kids to be on vacation with them.

Missypie,
How fun that you were in Paris on your birthday! Yes, that little cafe is quite lovely for a musuem cafe!
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 09:19 AM
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DAY 7: Beaune to Nice through the Luberon

The next morning, we had a 9:30 appointment for a tour and tasting at a winery owned by a friend here in L.A. It was fantastic. The kids were fascinated and it was one of the highlights of our trip!

We then hit the road….
If my plan sounds overly ambitious, you’re right. It was. The plan was to drive south, cut through the Luberon, see Gordes, Roussilon, Menerbes, LaCoste, and Bonnieux, and then head to Nice.
Well, it took a really long time to get to Provence. The kids were sort of sick of being in the car, so I cut the agenda to just Gordes, Lacoste and Bonnieux. No one wanted to get out of the car, although we did stop at Stu’s vantage point near Gordes and got great pictures. We even got a little lost, which didn’t help their impatience. In hindsight, it was a great adventure, really. I also realized that this is supposed to be a wonderful leisurely drive and much too long for a Beaune to Nice drive with teens in the back seat. They were dying to just get to Nice and take a swim. Getting lost didn’t help either.
Also, I had envisioned seeing endless fields of lavender, as well, but only saw one tiny plot outside of Lacoste. We did see rolling fields of sunflowers, though, which were gorgeous!

Oh well. We made it to Nice by 6:30 after leaving Beaune at about 11 in the morning.

We stayed at LE MERIDIEN (3 nights) -- The service was outstanding, and our room was amazing. We were upgraded to a corner jr suite with walls of glass overlooking the sea with a huge wrap around balcony and cushioned chaise loungers. It was heaven! The location is excellent, too, since it’s just 2 blocks from the old town and right on the Promenade d’Anglais. You just have to get passed the horribly ugly exterior of this hotel, in addition to the McDonald’s and neon-lit casino on the ground floor. We LOVED our room and the location of the hotel.

Nice was our R&R time. We basically spent our days at the beach. One day, we tried the Ruhl Beach Club in Nice, which is associated with our hotel. The next day, we went to a beach club in Juan les Pins. Both were fantastic. The weather was great, the lunch was great, and it was very relaxing!

One afternoon, we drove to St. Paul de Vence. (My plan had been to do the whole drive to Gourdon and the Loup valley, but everyone wanted to take it easy.) It was surprisingly not very crowded (we arrived at about 7pm) and had a lovely dinner in an outdoor café. near the statue of Rodin’s The Thinker. (We had unsuccessfully tried for reservations at Columb d’Or.) This is a very charming town. We were all very impressed. We had tried to go to Vence before we arrived at St. Paul, but it was SO crowded and difficult to find parking, so we just drove in and out.

We loved exploring the old town in Nice. We had wonderful pizza one night, and a great seafood dinner at Castel Beach Club another night.

One of my favorite things to do was to get up before everyone else and walk to the Cours Saleya market. I would be fresh fruit and croissants and return for breakfast on the terrace. It was so fun to have a coffee by myself and browse the stalls and shops. I loved it!

Also really fun was hanging out in Old Nice and watching France win a World Cup soccer game. Plasma TVs were set up about every 50 yards, and the energy was so exciting!

Soon we were to say au revoir to France, and head to Italy. Florence was calling our name…

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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 07:20 PM
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NICE TO FLORENCE, and 2 nights in FLORENCE

We started our morning with breakfast on the terrace at Chateau Eza. What a treat! What a view! We loved Eze. It was early in the morning and there were very few tourists. Parking was a breeze, and climbing through the town was lots of fun! We stopped in a great shop (Les Trois Etoile?) that sold all kinds of vinegars, oils, and liquers. There were vats with spouts and little glasses to smell and taste! I was like a kid in a candy shop! I could have spend hundreds in that shop, but since our breakfast was a bit of a splurge, we settled for a few bottles of limoncello for ourselves and a friend. By the way, the owner had an award displayed and told us he had a won culinary award in San Francisco for his products!

Our next stop was Monte Carlo. My husband had fond memories of visiting when he was younger, and he had fun explaining the whole Grand Prix thing to the kids. We parked and walked around a bit. A lot of people on this forum don’t like this town, but I thought it was lovely.

The views from the corniche roads were amazing, and we managed to drive a bit on all three. The drive once we got into Italy was really interesting. It seemed that for hours we were never on a regular road, but rather either on a bridge or in a tunnel!

We had an excellent lunch in Santa Margharita. It was a café across from the beach, and I didn’t write the name down unfortunately. The pesto pasta was amazing, and the fried seafood platter was shockingly delicious. It was the first of many wonderful meals in Italy.

The family then put a moratorium on stopping anywhere else, so no leaning tower in Pisa and no biking the ramparts in Lucca. Next time…

We made it to FLORENCE by late afternoon.

We stayed at the WESTIN EXCELSIOR (2 nights) This is beautiful hotel right on the Arno. We had a lovely view of the Duomo from our room. It looked magical at night.

Our dinner reservations the first night were at IL LATINI, which gets a lot of good reviews on this forum. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but we were sort of taken aback by how touristy it appeared to be when we walked by in the afternoon. They actually have a television in the window showing diners inside eating. We thought that was sort of weird, actually, and decided to eat at SOSTANZA on our first night instead of our second night in Florence. We love this restaurant and had eaten here on our last trip. In fact, we ended up eating at Sostanza twice It was so good. The boys love the Steak Florentine. The green beans are amazing, the tortellini al burro (butter) was to die for, and the tortellini with meat is excellent, too. But, if you eat here, you MUST MUST MUST order the merengua cake for dessert. It may be the best thing I have ever put in my mouth.

At Sostanza, we sat with a guy who was actually a chef and he recommended TRATTORIA MARIO for lunch. It's a tiny place that only serves lunch on a little street near the Mercado Centrale. It was amazing. I think they change their menu every day, but I had a tortellini with shrimp that was shockingly good.

Regarding sightseeing, we had already done a lot of major sights in Florence on our first trip. On the afternoon that we arrived, we basically took a long walk We did see DAVID again, because how could you come to Florence and not see him again?! We then went to the BARGELLO. It was great to see Bernini’s Davids and Verrechio’s David and then compare the different artists’ interpretations. The sculptures were beautiful, as was the building. Hard to believe it was once a prison!

It was really hot when we were in Florence, and we were starting to lose energy after the 2 museums. We had planned to climb the Duomo’s dome, but the heat and long line quickly deterred us.

We headed to the MERCADO CENTRALE, which is a fantastic indoor gourmet market. My husband loved it.

We also had fun SHOPPING in the outdoor market next to it. I bought a great linen skirt for 15 euro, and a purse with really soft leather for 30 euro. We actually spent the rest of the afternoon just shopping (and sticking to the shady side of the streets). The kids found a fun athletic store, and we paid a visit to the Farmaceutica de Santa Maria Novella (or something like that). I just bought a measly little bar of soap, but I love it! In fact, right across the street we found a really cute, very reasonably priced leather store. They had beautiful wallets, but my daughter and I bought matching leather key chains.

We really enjoyed Florence despite the heat. On our visit in ‘04, we had a guide who
took us on a walking tour and we did almost round the clock sightseeing. It was fascinating and actually really fun, but we didn’t get much down time. I had promised the kids we would take it easy in Florence this time, and we did. Other than the 2 musuems, we just basically just shopped, walked around, tasted different kinds of gelato, and ate like kings. We had a great time.

The next morning we checked out and headed to the Tuscan countryside.
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 07:54 PM
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bookmarking..

cant wait for more.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 07:00 AM
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Great report!

Sally
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 07:25 AM
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We spent 6 nights in Rome, 3 in Florence and 3 in Venice. The place we all want to return to is Florence. I feel like we barely scratched the surface. There were so many museums we didn't get to visit, so many stores and restaurants unvisited. I had read several reports from people who hated it; others love it. I'm so glad we went and we all want to go back. (I'm thinking that a trip to Tuscany and Florence when the kids are older [and maybe can drink wine] might be sufficient to lure them on a trip with good old mom and dad.)

As for traveling on my birthday: My birthday falls during my kids' spring break about 75% of the time. Since I'm the trip planner, I have planned some great birthdays! The down side is that my birthday also coincides with the anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, so depending on where we are traveling, there are protests and demonstrations. We were in Paris for the 1st anniversary. There was a HUGE (huge!) demonstration/protest parade down the street by the Pompidieu (sp) Center - the people just kept coming and coming. (We were on our way to see Nicholas Flammel's house.) It frighted our kids a bit, but I just told them to keep their mouths shut and their eyes open.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 11:19 AM
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missypie,
yes, not everyone loves Florence, but we really do. I'm just sorry it was so hot because I STILL have a very long list of things I want to do there. Our energy got zapped really quickly. My husband and I decided our next visit to Florence will be in the spring instead of summer.

i really need to finish this report. Montalcino was a definite highlight of our trip!
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 03:15 PM
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Dina -
I am so enjoying your report. It brings back great memories for me of Paris a few years ago and Florence just this past February.

Just a couple of comments:
1. I absloutely agree about the cafe at the Musee d'Orsay! There and at the cafe in the Louvre, we had the most delicious bacon and chicken sandwiches - and they were pre-packaged! I still salivate remembering them . . .

2. Les Vedettes du Pont Neuf - I thought it was so funny that our guide had such a heavy accent when speaking English that I could actually understand him better when he spoke French - and I hadn't spoken French since college 30-some years before! (Just a little bursh-up before the trip.)

3. I also love Florence. It was quite chilly in February, but I prefer that to the heat of summer. Our hotel was just down the street from the leather shop across from the Farmacia Sta Maria Novella - I remember it well!

Loving your report and looking forward to more . . .

Linda
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 03:49 PM
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Thanks, Lynda.
I would love to visit Florence in February!
What exactly was the weather like?

Well, here's the MONTALCINO part of the trip...

MONTALCINO

Our plan after leaving Florence was to have breakfast in SAN GIMGIAGNO. We had missed this on our last trip to Tuscany, and thought we should include it this time because of all the hype. We got there early, following fodorites’ suggestions, and parking was fairly easy in the pay lot across the street from the gate into the town. When the kids asked, “Where are we going?” I answered, “To have breakfast in San Gimgiagno” instead of “To see another hill town!” It worked like a charm.

It is definitely a very charming town! We had read aloud about it from our guidebooks (Fodor’s TUSCANY and Rick Steves’ ITALY) in the car, so the kids were really interested in seeing all the towers. I can see why people would use this town as a base. Lots of great restaurants and shops, and lots of sights to see. We, however, were in and out within an hour. (This was the limit to how long my husband’s babies –aka the wine he bought in Burgundy—could be left in the car while it was parked.) That was enough time for a lovely stroll, a yummy cappuccino and pastries, and a purchase of a beautiful ceramic mug to have my tea in at home.

We arrived in MONTALCINO by about 1:30. We had been here before, but only for a quick one hour stop. We knew we had wanted to return, and were so happy we did! We all loved staying here, especially at the…

HOTEL DEI CAPITANO (2 nights) – there were a lot of mixed reviews on this website about this hotel, but we loved it! The pool area and the views from our rooms and their breakfast terrace were breathtaking. The rooms were very basic, but clean and functional. Both of the rooms had small balconies that could fit a chair. The kids had a much bigger bathroom than us (201), but ours had an attached sitting room (202). The rooms were only 105 euros, breakfast included. A great value!

(By the way, I know parking came up as an issue in other threads about this hotel. They have a parking lot down a narrow steep driveway, but it was not available because they were tearing up the road in front of the driveway. We just parked on the street directly in front of the hotel the entire weekend. We only used our car once, but didn't have trouble parking there again.)

We had a lovely lunch at the main café in the main piazza (Frasciatera, or something similar), and then strolled back to find our rooms ready. We got settled and then sat by the pool until about 6pm. I can’t describe how lovely and peaceful it was. You would think you would get used to the views after seeing them constantly, but each time I looked, I was stunned. It was like a green and yellow quilt spread out below you, and you felt as if you were on top of the world.

In addition, it’s such a small town, that it was so easy to just say, “I think I’ll go get a gelato” or “ I think I’ll go buy a bottle of wine”, take a walk and be back sitting at the pool a few minutes later.

We had an outstanding dinner at GRAPPOLO BLU, also recommended on this forum. The bruschetta and chickpeas were the best I ever had, and everything else was excellent, too. I had an excellent pasta with porcini mushrooms and truffle oil, then the rabbit cooked in Brunello. My son had an amazing gnocchi in ragu sauce, and my husband ahd the beef cheeks. We all loved this place!

The next morning, my husband and I left the kids at the pool and set out with the car to drove along the dirt roads surrounding the town and surrounded by vineyards and olive tree groves. We got a little lost, but had a lot of fun. LISINI was the one winery he had his heart set on wouldn’t give us an advanced reservation for a tasting and tour (they only do that for companies in the wine industry), but said we could come and buy. So we went, and they were closed. Luckily, a nice guy unlocked the place for us, and we bought a couple of bottles.

Afterwards, we drove to the S’ANTIMO ABBEY. Since it was a Sunday morning, mass was going on, and it was an unbelievably beautiful experience. This abbey is set in a lovely valley, surrounded by cypress and olive trees. We loved it.

That afternoon, we had some pizza on the steps of a church, enjoyed the market that was going on that day (Sunday), and did some shopping. I bought 3 small paintings from a little art gallery. The artist was working in the back. I was thrilled; one was of Montalcino, one of the Abbey we had just visited, and one was a field of sunflowers. We also bought a gorgeous coffee table book with photographs of Montalcino. The pictures of snow in the winter were beautiful!

We still had about 4 hours of pool time… It was warm and sunny, and we relaxed and read on our chaise lounges until after 6pm.

Dinner that night was at IL GRIFA (or Grifo?). The pizza was excellent, and my husband had a pasta with wild boar sauce that was really good. We had more great chickpeas and more delicious cheese and salami, here served with fig and pear!
All heavenly.

By the way, we had tried to get Palio tickets for that day, which were offered to us at $500 a pop. It was a bad time for us to splurge like that, and we decided against being corralled in the center of Il Campo. My husband actually got to watch the Palio live on a tiny black and white TV in the piazza, which belonged to one of the flea market vendors. He was SO excited! The 3 of us had impatiently walked ahead to the restaurant because we were starving and he had gone into another wine shop! We just the heard the screaming, and were wondering what was going on. I was so disappointed I missed it! I did get to see the replay on the news that night, but not quite the same thing…

The next morning, we sadly checked out of our hotel and headed to visit PIENZA, ORVIETO, and then to our final destination ROME. Will continue later…
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 09:10 PM
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Hi Dina -
Florence in February was in the low 60's during the day and into the low 50's in the evening. Not bad at all. (Rome was in the upper 60's just about every day.)

It was a little rainy, but no hard rain. Probably the coldest day was the one we took the Accidental Tourist Cooking Class. At the winery portion, it was freezing in the old (12th century) stone winery. But it was a perfect day to learn to make pasta and sit in the kitchen of a 12th century farmhouse for lunch. Perfect day!

All in all, we did not stay out too late in the evenings but that could be just because we were going all day long and I am not really a "night person".

Of course, the best part is that there were really no crowds. We still made reservations for David and the Uffizi, and were glad we did, but we were able to take our time and enjoy everywhere we went without being crowded - truly a pleasure that I will want to repeat.

This report is wonderful and has lots of information I will use on our next trip. Thanks!
Linda
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Old Jul 12th, 2006, 07:01 AM
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hi linda-
That kind of weather sounds perfect.
And I think that we might try a cooking class next time. We've never done that, and both my husband and I love to cook. (And love to eat Italian food!) I'll google the Accidental Tourist Cooking Class. Sounds really interesting...
Thanks,
Dina
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Old Jul 12th, 2006, 11:06 AM
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Dina -
Here is the link to my trip report. Just scroll down to almost the end and you will find the description of our Accidental Tourist cooking class.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34763995

It is not a "heavy" cooking class, but was perfect for us. We had a blast! And the food was delicious.

Their website is www.accidentaltourist.com.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 05:58 AM
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Linda, that sounds fantastic. We will definitely try that next time!!! I also loved your trip report. What a fabulous trip you had!

I will try to finish mine today.

DAY 14 - Montalcino to Rome
(I realize I lost track of the days in this trip report-- oops!)

We sadly left Montalcino and drove through the gorgeous Val d’Orcia.

StuDudley, if you’re reading this, we stopped behind the Barbarossa restaurant in San Quirico and got that perfect photo shot of the lone farmhouse on the top of the hill surrounded by cypress trees! It turned out so beautiful—thank you for the tip (and all the others!).

We headed to PIENZA, which we fell in love with. It is SUCH a cute town. We bought some Pecorino (which we devoured later that night in our hotel in Rome) and found a beauitful store that seemed to specialize in wrought iron and silver. Everything was gorgeous. We could have easily spent thousands . We did buy these lovely iron cypress trees for our mantle at home, and a really cool “dinner bell” for our backyard. The shop is called Biagotti and its just off the main piazza on that main street.

We drove by Montepulciano, unfortunately, but I guess you can’t do everything, but we did stop in ORVIETO for lunch. My husband refused to park in the lower lots and bravely kept driving through the town until we got to a parking lot right behind the Duomo—perfect. It was only 1 euro per hour, too. What a deal. And wow—Orvieto’s duomo is quite impressive! The façade is incredibly ornate. We stared for a long time and were all quite impressed, but then my daughter said something that made me think it was a good thing we were heading for Rome… “Mom, I’m sorry to say this, but these hill towns are starting to look more and more alike.” After a nice stroll, a nice lunch, and some gelato, we were on our way to ROME!

We were determined not to get lost this time, so as navigator I had the map in hand, the kids were on alert to look for signs, and we made it to our hotel without a hitch!

We stayed at the WESTIN EXCELSIOR (3 nights) – A beautiful hotel. We have stayed here before, and were staying on points again. The Via Veneto location is nice, but not the most convenient, especially since there was a taxi strike during our entire stay. I was very envious of the people on their balconies of the Albergo Senato hotel by the Pantheon. Nevertheless, we’ve stayed here before, and we would be happy to stay again.

My in-laws had arrived in Rome the day before, so we were all excited to meet up that afternoon. The taxi strike made it tricky, since my in laws were not as eager to walk as much as the 4 of us were. They hadn’t been to Rome in 20 years, so we did a quick walk to the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, stopping at Piazza Barberini on the way back to see Bernini’s beautiful fountain. The weather was really really hot.

For dinner, we did walk to the Pantheon area. The PANTHEON had just closed (7:30), but there’s an incredibly nice view from the crack of the closed doors. We had a beer in the Piazza, and then headed to our restaurant, IL BACARO, where we had a reservation. They would not let us sit outside since there were 6 of us, and put us inside. It was so incredibly hot, we were all sitting there sweating and looking at the menus. This may be the rudest thing we ever did, but we all got up and left. It really was unbearably hot in there.

We headed to DA FORTUNATO, by the Pantheon, where we had eaten before but had sort of thought it was over rated. We ended up in a nice air conditioned room and had a decent meal. Their pasta vongole is delicious, and so is the burrata mozzarella. Everyone was actually very pleased with their meals, although it wasn’t fantastic, like so many of our other meals had been so far.

Walking back to the Excelsior we had a wonderful treat. A symphony orchestra was playing beautiful music in a beautiful piazza. Many were sitting in the chairs set up, but many were also standing behind, enjoying the evening. We stood and listened for a while, but then headed on through, because my father-in-law was really tired.

My in-laws were heading to the airport in the morning, and we had one full day left in Rome, on our own. I went to bed trying to figure out how we were going to see everything on our list with the taxi strike.

More later...
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 06:16 AM
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oops... I'm really getting confused with my own report.

"My in-laws were heading to the airport in the morning, and we had one full day left in Rome, on our own. I went to bed trying to figure out how we were going to see everything on our list with the taxi strike." -- IS NOT TRUE

We still had one more day with them in Rome, here it is:
(I'm sorry this it taking so long...)
DAY 15 - ROME

The next day we had an 11am reservation at the GALLERIE BORGHESE. We spent 5 euro extra per person (2.5 for the kids) for the live guide. She was wonderful. It was a wonderful museum experience. All 6 of us were in awe of Bernini and his genius. This was a highlight of our entire trip.

A friend who had lived in Rome for a few years recommended a restaurant in the park. We had a very memorable meal (and a splurge) at CASINA VALADIER in the Borghese Park. It was so lovely. The food was outstanding, and we sat on a terrace of a beautiful villa overlooking the entire city. St. Peter’s dome was straight ahead. It was SO peaceful and SO good. I had a crostini layered with fried zucchini blossoms, pesto, fresh mozzarella, and anchovies! It was divine. But we ALL loved everything. My son had the fried lamb chops and roast potatoes—they melted in your mouth. The Caprese salad was the best I had on the entire trip, and my daughter had the salad with feta, and it was divine, too.


My husband then walked his dad, who wanted a nap, back to the hotel, while the rest of us walked down to Piazza del Popolo to see the Chigi Chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo. My son had read Angels and Demons, and had really pushed me to read it before we arrived in Rome. He wanted to visit all the churches and sights in the book, but sadly the church was closed for the afternoon siesta.

We headed towards the Spanish Steps and did some window shopping and real shopping. We had gelato, Grandma treated the kids to a few nice things, and everyone was happy. But it was still really hot, and we were pooped.

A nap, and then off to dinner.
This time, our dinner reservation was near Campo de Fiori, which is really far for my in laws to walk, especially there AND back. So we took bus #116, which was very convenient and very easy . We got off near CAMPO DE FIORI and walked through the piazza. All the cafes were getting ready for the big World Cup game, which would decide if Italy would make it to the finals. We also walked through the lovely PIAZZA FARNESE and down the really pretty part of VIA JULIA—with the hanging plants over the street.

PIERLUIGI is in Piazza Ricci, and our table was ready inside, in perfect view of the TV. I would actually recommend sitting outside because it’s so lovely, but our daughter is an avid soccer player and serious fan. We had an amazing seafood dinner at Pierluigi in Piazza Ricci. My husband told the waiter to "just take care of us", and they just kept bringing more and more food. It reminded me of that movie “Big Night”. Everything was excellent--the branzino entrée, the shrimp salad, the octopus salad, fried calamari, grilled vegetables, and pasta-- I can barely remember all of it.. All that and wine and cokes for 6 (Jim's parents came with us) came to about 250 euros. It is the best seafood meal we had every had in our lives, and it was definitely one of the best on our trip. We highly recommend this restaurant.

Watching the soccer was an incredible experience as well. As you all may know, Italy beat Germany, so we got to celebrate with the Italians in the streets. It was mayhem—honking, screaming, flag waving. The energy was lots and lots of fun. (We had been in Athens when Greece WON the Eurocup in ’04, so we were thrilled to be involved in another celebration.) We took our #116 home, watched the partying on Via Veneto, and went to bed.

The next morning WAS to be our last in Rome and of our trip. It was already a little sad. No one was ready to go home yet.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 06:28 AM
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Yes, we had to do our own "Angels and Demons" tour, too. (15 year old son.) We made it into Santa Maria del Popolo, but DS was disappointed that we couldn't see the obilisque (sp?) in the piazza. It was a national holiday and they had big screens erected all around it to broadcast something or other. Did they have the screens set up when you were there for world cup coverage? (The funny thing is that out in hall right outside my office is an old engraving of the piazza and the obilisque - it seems to mock me every time I walk by.)

We also loved the Bernini at the Borghese. I've never really heard anyone but fellow Fodorites talk about it as a "must see." Had I not read these boards, we probably would not have gone there. Wish I'd known about the restaurant in the park, however. We were in a hurry to do the surrey rides, so we had the worst, most expensive hot dogs in the history of mankind from a cart in the park.
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Old Jul 13th, 2006, 06:58 AM
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Missypie,
The screens were not set up in the piazza, so we saw the obelisk. He was still disappointed to not see the Chigi Chapel. Was it really cool?

The other disappointment was not finding what he was looking for by the obelisk in St. Peter's Square. I'll get to that part of my trip report later, but I was wondering if you guys found it. We looked and looked for it --it was the "air" marker-- but couldn't find it.

Did you an official Angels and Demons tour or your own?

thanks,
dina
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