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Risab and Husband: 9 days Italy Sunny & Tranquillo Report

Risab and Husband: 9 days Italy Sunny & Tranquillo Report

Old May 2nd, 2009, 02:59 PM
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Risab and Husband: 9 days Italy Sunny & Tranquillo Report

What can I say...another wonderful trip to Italy.
Some of you may remember my post in November following my trip with my 18 year old daughter. Well...this trip was a bit of a quick plan. Our daughter was invited to go to Florida with her boyfriend's family for Passover and airline vouchers we were saving for her for a possible summer in Israel were not going to be used so we were faced with two weeks by ourselves and airline vouchers. My husband said let's go somewhere and see if we can do it using the vouchers. Well, I was able to find very cheap flights to Italy with a change in Paris and even a bit cheaper if we were willing to change in Paris, then Boston on the way home. Our goal was being economical and so we went for it and were able to use our vouchers. We decided to fly into Venice since we knew they had a active Chabad where we could have Passover seder and then fly home from Rome.

I contacted SleepinItaly and they had a few apartments left in Rome, one of which was the apartment I was going to rent when I was there in November (but I chose another apartment.) So, we rented the Delfini Apartment in the Ghetto. I really like renting with SleepinItaly and now that they know what I like they are really recommend places that will meet my needs.

Chabad in Rome recommended Hotel Principe in Canereggio not far from the Venice Ghetto and we got a good price for mentioning Chabad. The hotel had wonderful reviews on tripadvisor and venere. We had been to Venice a few years back and stayed in the San Marco area but this time we wanted to venture to more of the off-the-beaten track areas of Venice.

I purchased our train ticket from Venice to Rome in advance (not on trentitalia but the other website - a bit more expensive but I couldn't access trentialia and I was loosing patience so I was willing to pay for convenience). I also booked the Borghese Museum since it is my favorite and my husband had not been to Rome in two years and wanted to visit the museum again. So, two weeks before we were set to leave we had it all pretty much together. I made some dinner reservations prior to leaving, too - La Zucca in Venice and Osteria Del Pegno in Rome.

We didn't know what to pack since we knew it could be cool, or rainy, or warm or all. So we took some things that could be layered and definitely overpacked with too many warm items.

It ended up being sunny and warm almost every day of our trip - raining only two evenings. While we did go to many of our favorite busy tourist sites in both Rome and Venice we also made a point to spend time in less touristy areas. Thus this trip was Italy Sunny and Tranquillo - not too mention romantic because we were also celebrating 25 years together. We drank a lot of Prosecco to celebrate.

Itinerary: 3 days in Venice and 6 days in Rome

We left JFK on Air France and had a very nice flight. We slept a few hours but basically rested on the entire flight. I watched La Dolce Vita in Italian with my music IPOD as the soundtrack.

We had an 1 1/2 hour layover in Paris which was great - no rushing through CDG- and I even got some sleep while waiting. Quick trip to Venice with a wonderful view over the Alps and another little nap. We arrived in Venice and our bags were one of the first off the plane - yeah- and we headed outside for the aliguna water bus. Low and behold it was in the 70's, hot and sunny. I took of my leather jacket and put it in my suitcase. We sat in the sun and waited for about a 1/2 hour until our bus came. The boat was a bit beat but it was a really nice way to arrive into Venice and our hotel was a short walk from the Guglie Stop.

Hotel Principe- located on Lista D'Spagna - it is quite a busy street with a lot of touristy shops and very close to the train station. But a very nice area. The hotel was really lovely. Our room was small but adequate for three nights with a very comfortable bed and it was clean. There was plenty of storage, and great full length mirrors. There was a small fridge stocked with the usual overpriced items (we'd buy our own). The bathroom was fine and had plenty of hot water for showers. The room was serviced nicely each day. I highly recommend this hotel. The breakfast was quite good for Italy - we're vegetarian so they had eggs, yogurt, and fruit for breakfast along with breads and meats. We brought our Matza with us so we took that along for breakfast. Traveling on Passover has it's challenges so we do the best we can do and do not eat bread. But we do eat out. Our favorite sandwich ever was eaten in Venice years ago and when we walked passed the sandwich stand on this trip we just kept walking.

Venice: Day One
We checked in, unpacked and took a nap. Yes, we nap. We woke, showered, then went and got some vino and water for our room. We stopped across the street from the hotel for a salad and glass of Procecco since we knew we'd not be eating until late. Then we headed to the Ghetto to find out the specifics for the seder and services. We took a walk along Miseracordia then we came back to the Ghetto for Services at the Chabad shul. Services were packed with travelers and chassidum all coming together for seder. I met a few Israeli women and a woman from Venezuela, and a family from our home NYC during the service. After service they had the Hebrew speaking folks go to Gam Gam and the English speaking (or other) went to the Rabbi's home. Walking over we were greeted by college age travelers from Miami. There were at least 50 people heading to the Rabbi's. We were met by his wife who remembered my email and our names. She was lovely. There were three sections of a very large space filled with tables. In our section there was a family from Canada, Germany, a Russian fellow, a man from Australia who lived in London and came just for seder, a couple from Verona, and a group of college students, all friends originally from Boston who met in Italy during break - one of them is attending the college my daughter will be attending in the fall. It was quite an interesting experience. The seder leaders did a great job of engaging everyone - it was not easy. And there were quite a few kids. It wasn't until 11:30 when we finished eating appetizers - but since most were vegetarian my husband and I were sufficiently fed and since we were also getting exhausted we knew we woudl not be able to hang through the entire dinner. It was already close to midnight when we left.
After all that sweet kosher wine we were ready for a good night sleep and we slept great!

Day 2: Venice
We woke up at 7:30 to the sound of church bells from the church next door. It was a lovely sunny morning. Last year we were in Istanbul and woke up to the prayers from
the mosque each morning (very early).

After breakfast we walked through Cannereggio (through the Market place) to San Marco via the Rialto. The walk was quite crowded and of course when we got to Piazza San Marco it was jammed. We did want to visit the Basilica but it was closed until 1:00 and only open for a short time. Since we had already seen it on our prior trip we decided to pass and since it was also holy week we knew that it would be huge lines...and it was.

We listened to the orchestra's for a few minutes in the Piazza then walked along the water and found a small park to sit and have a cold drink. Then we headed for the Guggenheim museum.

We loved the Guggenheim- great collection and space. After the musuem we walked to the Zattere and we took a nice route that left us quite free of crowds. It was so warm and sunny. We sat at a cafe and ordered a caraffe of Prosecco and salads and had a wonderful lunch. We loved the setting and felt so blessed that we were able to be in Venice.

After lunch we wondered through Dorsaduro and every step was another photo to take. Venice is an open air museum and the quiet areas are so wonderful. Of course, even in the tourist filled areas, without cars there is a feeling of tranquility.

We made our way to San Polo and found a small park to sit in for awhile. I small child came beside our bench with a bag of plastic animals. His mom waited as he placed the animals inside the roots and vegetation of a tree. He was telling her a story about the animals which I was able to catch a bit of. Then he took out a camera and photographed his scene. I asked the mom if it was for school...she said no "photography is his passion." He couldn't have been more than 7 years old.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped for an espresso, picked up a few gifts, then headed back to the hotel to rest before dinner.

We decided to find a restaurant on Miseracordia. We went to Restaurant Diana. It was full but the dinner was not memorable. We had a nice cheese platter and grilled vegetables but we ordered sauted spinach and it was so tough you could not chew it. They prepared it again for us but it was still the same. I was looking forward to our dinner the following night at La Zucca.. and feeling in major need of a good meal.

Took an evening passegiata and were in bed by 11:30. Slept great!

...to be continued.
risab is offline  
Old May 2nd, 2009, 03:08 PM
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hi risab,

a lovely start to your report. your description of the passover service was very interesting to a non-jew.

Like you, I'm looking forward to Rome!

regards, ann
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 05:49 AM
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Day 3 Venice:
Breakfast included delicious strawberries we bought at the nearby market the day before. Another sunny warm day and we were lucky to get a table facing the Grand Canal (the rear of the hotel). I love watching the life on water- deliveries, ambulances, people going to work, and even a water hurse...it is all so interesting.

We did a bit of shopping before venturing out - a Tenezin for some pajamas and basic t's was right near the hotel along with some nice shops closer to the Ghetto. We stopped to take some photos in the Ghetto before heading back to the hotel to drop off some our bags.

We then walked through Sante Croce area to find La Zucca restaurant where we were going to dinner that evening. I went in the wrong direction at first but then consulted my trusy Knopf Mapguide and found it. Venice is a bit tricky but once you remember some visual markers and follow signs it isn't too hard to navigate.

We sat for a few minutes in Campo del Olio - a real neighbhorhood experience with families, older folks, and kids running about (with soccer balls, of course). Then we walked through beautiful Sante Croce to Santa Maria dei Frari. It is quite the massive and impressive structure. We were so impressed and it was a good thing to pay respects to the tombs of two of my favorite artists, Canova and Tiziano. Their tombs were impressive. The carved wood choir area is magnificient, too.

We knew there was more art to see in the area but the day was so gorgeous we decided to just stay outside. We walked towards Campo San Barnaba and stopped to get a gelato at Grom. I had pera & fragole and my husband had one of the chocolate selections. Both were delicious. Note: We did not have gelato until day 3. Then we wondered down a nearby tiny street and I smelled chocolate...just wonderful...and lifted my eyes to see a window filled with gorgous chocolates. Of course we went in and bought a selection. The store is Vazio Virtu and I highly recommend a stop there.

We walked again through Dorsoduro taking lots of photos making our way along Rio d Romite to the Zattere were we wanted to hang out in the sun. We settled into another cafe and ordered Prosecco, ate some of our chocolates and just bathed in the sun. We were so excited to tell our daughter in FLorida about our sunny warm days in Italy. Since she spent last summer in Tuscany studying she did not feel left out of this experience. She was so happy to hear that we were having such a great time and great weather!

We decided to walk back via San Marco, massive crowds since it was good Friday, but then we went through San Polo on a lovely walk back to the hotel. It was a long active but relaxing day. We did some packing, since we were heading to Rome the next morning, and rested a while before heading out to our much anticipated meal at La Zucca- reservations at 9:00.

La Zucca: Simply Divine. When we were seated the couple next to us told us that the couple to the other side of them were carrying on and airing their dirty laundry (my words) but an interpretation of their description. The couple seated in our seats left because of it. But it ended up that the weird couple were settling their bill when we came. The couple next to us, from Scotland, were just lovely and we ended up chatting for quite some time and exchanging business cards. Of course for vegetarians this restaurant's selection was heaven. We ordered 1/2 liter of house red, I ordered the pumpkin flan & potato & provelone and my husband got the vegie & rice platter. We shared and it was all so delicious. Instead of dessert we ordered another potato and an order of the spinach which was soft and seasoned so well. It was worth the wait and for Venice - quite reasonable. We took an evening passegiata and then went to bed. Slept great again!

...next up Rome...
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 11:46 AM
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Very interesting view of Venice!
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 12:07 PM
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Day 4: Off to Rome on Euro Star...
Had a nice breakfast, took a morning walk then headed down the street to the train station. We departed Venice at 11:45 and took 2nd class. The seats were a bit tight but we managed to get our suitcases under the seats. We vowed to pack lighter next trip.

We were off to a good start for the first few stops without any one joining our seats but soon a couple with a baby joined us...I thought, oh,my four hours of this cute little baby wiggling all over mostly my husband and a mommy who I wish would not keep raising her arms cause her pits didn't smell too good...okay this may not be nice but you have all been in this situation and you know it is not pleasant.

They departed in Bologna and were replaced by two college age kids who looked like they had been out all night and devoured two boxes of crackers. But they were quiet and sleepy.

Arrived in Rome at 4:00, took a taxi to our apartment and in a few minutes Mr. Vinod from SleepinItaly arrived to help us settle in to our apartment. Via Delfine is a great location, located in Piazza Margana, around the corner from the Campodoglio and the Turtle Fountain. The apartment was on the second floor and it has steep steps...our suitcases were a challenge but we made it. The apartment was wonderful- bright kitchen and living room, nice bedroom with super comfy bed, wonderful bathroom. There were plenty of plates and things to cook with, but it lacked a sharp knife. My only complaint was that they forgot to send us extra towels and I was too chilled out by mid-week to call because everything was really just all good. The TV only had a few English option channels although it was suppose to have satellite. If you can handle stairs then I highly recommend this place.

Since the next day was Easter and most markets would be closed both Sunday and Monday our first priority was going to the market and getting our basic provisions - of course cheese, wine, and fruit and olives topped the list.

We unpacked, rested a while and then dressed for dinner.
We had dinner at Ostaria Del Pegno - highly recommended on this site. The restaurant is obviosly reservations only. We loved this restaurant - it was romantic, with great service, great prices, and excellent food. Tonight we did go for pasta - although we passed on the bread and the woman serving us looked at us like we were crazy.

We ordered a bottle of House Red which was Sicilian Nero d' Avilo, a wine we particularly like. I ordered the carciofi romana to start and the Ravioli w Orange Safron Sauce. My husband ordered insalata mista and Penne Arrabiata. Everything was deliciious (the artichokes weren't the best I have had but good) otherwise, everything else was great. I loved my ravioli but I really loved his penne - the sauce was excellent and wonderfully spicey. We were so full we did not order desert but they sent over complimentary lemoncello which we just loved! My husband was smitten with this restaurant and said that he'd like to eat here our last night so we made reservations.

Then off we walked for an evening stroll. Beautiful weather and Rome was just packed. Hundreds of people were at the Pantheon - some trying to get into Mass and others watching and milling around. We went to the Campo Fiori where it was also jumping with people and sat in one of the cafe's and ordered a glass of Persecco. We hung out for a while and just people watched and took in the Rome vibe...one of my favorite places!

...back to the apt after midnight and off to bed...

Day 5: Rome
Easter Sunday.
Another warm and sunny day! No coats needed.
After breakfast we took a walk through the ghetto. Most stores and restaurants were closed through Passover. One of the cafes was open were kosher clients could get some snacks and coffee. Forno al Ghetto was open and selling special Passover cake. There was a long line outside, including a few nuns.

We had reservations for 3:00 at the Borghese so we walked to Piazza d'Spagna where it was quite crowded. We sat for a bit and then we headed for the park. We decided to spend a few hours in the park before heading to the musuem, so we took a stroll and then found a nice place to just sit and relax. It was quiet and just beautiful with trees and flowers all blossoming. When we were in Rome in November my daughter took a photo in the park with trees in autumn colors- this time we took a photo of the same trees but they were all in bloom with lilac colored floweres. She got a kick out of seeing that.

The museum visit was wonderful as always. My husband loves the Canova sculpture and marvels how the mattress looks so soft...and we both love the Bernini's. I have postcards of all of the Bernini's in my office so I can see them all of the time.

We then headed to the Pincio and to Piazza del Popolo to Canova for a late lunch of roasted potatoes and kir royales.
This spot holds special meaning for me because when I was a student in Rome I lived in a pension on Via Babuino right off of the Popolo, way back in the days when cars drove insanely around the piazza.

We took the quiet route back down Via Repetta. We stopped by Obika and checked the menu- looked good so we made reservations for that evening. Then did massive window shopping as we walked back to the apartment. The Pantheon was jammed packed with people...

We took a rest in the apartment - my husband played his clarinet and I did some laundry and took a short nap.

We went to Obika at 9:00 and had a nice dinner al fresco although I thought it was a bit overpriced. We ordered a bottle of Orvieto Classico, and two mixed salads with mozzarella. Great Mozz (I would expect) the salad was a bit "weedy." We ordered grilled eggplant parmesean and that was delicious. It started to rain while we were eating but
the seating area is covered so it was fine. We passed on dessert at the restaurant but decided on gelato at Della Palma. Then we took a nice long walk to Trastevere where we wondered around and stopped along the way to buy some things for our daughter. It started to rain so we made our way back to the apartment...we were a bit soggy but it was fairly warm so it wasn't so bad...we got home after 1:00. Slept great!

Day 6: Rome
Slept late.
Cooked wonderful tomato basil omelet.
It was still a holiday so the street to the Coloseum was blocked off. There were many street performers so we enjoyed our walk. We ventured around the Coloseum area and then were going to go to the Palentine but it started to get cloudy so we walked over toward the Circus Maximus and sat for a while. We headed over to Trastevere.

We went to the church of St. Cecilia and that was a wonderful experience. The underground area was very cool and the chapel just was gorgeous. Of course, the sculpture of St. Cecilia is pretty wild.

My husband loved the walk to St. Cecilia and then S. Francisco d Ripa because it was so quiet and a part of Trastevere we had not ventured much in. Of course, we loved the Bernini sculpture in S Fran d Ripa. I was so glad we made time to visit both churches.

Then we headed over to Piazza Santa Maria d Trastevere and went to Cafe Arancia where we ordered two glasses of Arancia that took a good hour and 1/2 to drink. But the sun came out and it was really nice again. A woman came and played cello, wwe ended up seeing in other locales around Rome- but, she was excellent. Then we headed to Vicolo della Cinque to visit a favorite little jewelry store -Anna Restico. My daughter and I love her glass earings and jewelry. I was wearing earings my daughter bought for me and when I walked in she recognized me and introduced me to a woman who was deciding on a ring. The woman spoke English but I recognized her Israeli accent so we started talking and I helped her choose a ring. Then my husband treated me to a ring! It was all good.
I told her I'd be back because I wanted to get something for our daughter.

We headed back to the apartment to rest before dinner. We went out about 9:00 but stopped at Intenet Point before heading to Cul de Sac. We had a 1/2 hour wait. When we finally were seated we were going to get a shared table so we opted to wait for a smaller table. We were starving. We ordered greek salads, potato pie, & artichoke pie. Wine was good- can't remember what we had. Food was delicious and prices are great there but we prefer not having to share a table. I think I prefer eating there earlier before it gets really crowded. We could have eaten more but decided to go for gelato. It was late and we were tired...

Day 7: Rome
Woke up early to another warm and sunny day. Today was shopping day. After breakfast we walked to the Campo and then down Via Guila. We stopped to take photos of the castel because the sun was out and the sky was so blue and it was really a spectacular day in Rome. We walked past the Vatican then headed to Cola di Rienzi one of my favorite shopping areas. My husband was on a mission for pants and as luck would have it the first store we went into had just what he wanted. The man who owned the store noticed my hamsa necklace and wished us Happy Passover then we started talking and I learned that he was of Libyan descent and I knew that there was a large Jewish Libyan community in Rome. They took good care of my husband and even showed him a fab blazer that, of course, we had to buy. He walked out of the store with a few fine things. My turn, I found Desigual and fell in love with almost everything but narrowed it down to a skirt, and two tops. I was happy. We needed caffeine so we headed to a cafe I had gone to in November with decadent desserts & coffees. Since it was so hot we ordered iced moka's and they were so decadent - espresso with a cup full of sweet whip cream, and carmel around the rim of the cup. Yum. We walked back and stopped at my little store in Trastevere where I decided on a ring for our daughter and a pair of earings for my new skirt.
Back to the apartment to rest.
Dinner that night was at Insalatta Ricci in Trastevere. Salads were fresh and excellent- house wine was lousy.
Passegiatta and then we called it a night.

...two more days to go
risab is offline  
Old May 3rd, 2009, 12:21 PM
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It was so nice to "go" to Venice and Rome with you. Great TR!

I share you love of Bernini! Can I presume that you have seen the statues at Santa Maria della Vittoria?

We just got back from Perugia and Rome (March). The Rome part of our TR is similar to yours in many ways! If you are interested, just hit my name.
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Old May 3rd, 2009, 05:02 PM
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Day 8: Rome
well...fodors amici...you had all helped us plan a day trip to Naples and this was the day we had thought we'd go...but things didn't quie go as planned and we got to the station a bit late and after truly realizing what two round trip tickets would cost us for the day we kind of said "the hell with it let's just stay in Rome" (but we vowed next time we'd go straight to Naples- I saved everyone's food and itinerary advise).

It was another warm sunny day so we walked back on Via Nazionale and then wondered into another favorite area - Monti- heading down Via Boschetto where I stayed a few years back with our daughter. We loved the area and the cool little shops. Over the years they have gotten more upscale. On our way back to the apartment we stopped at our now favorite little cafe on Via d Aracoeli (near the Campodoglio and right around the corner from Piazza Margana)- can't remember the name but they had the best cappucino I have had in Rome. Frothy and thick and a perfect heart in the center of the foam. We were smitten.

I decided to make lunch so while my husband played some music I went off to the grocery store to get salad fixings for lunch. We accompanied our salad with bellini's and had quite a nice feast with lots of sunlight coming into the kitchen. Love this apartment. And they don't have a dryer but clothes dry very fast if you put them on the clothes dryer rack in front of the window.

After lunch stopped at Antica del Moro and made reservations for dinner that night. That was a restaurant we ate at over 10 years back when we did our first family trip to Italy. Then we headed to the Botanic Gardens in Trastevere. It was just a heavenly quiet and wonderful afternoon! As soon as we entered the garden it was frangrant with the smell of flowers and herbs. We wondered around for a about two hours, sitting, walking and taking photos and of course taking the view of Rome in from the top of the gardens - it runs alongside the Giancolo. I highly recommend this park to those of you who have already seen the major sights and are now at another stage of Rome.

We came back to the apartment in the late afternoon and did some packing since the following day would be our last day in Rome.

We stopped in a very cool art gallery in Trastevere on our way to the restaurant and had a good chat with the owner. Like so many people we met in Rome they tell us how much they love NY and either just came back or have a trip planned. It is fun to hear how people spend time and equally love my home as well.

Dinner at Antica del Moro was so good. We had a bottle of Prosecco and delicious grilled vegies to start. Then we ordered two Margherita pizza's that were just yummy. My husband helped me finish mine. There was a gentleman sitting next to us who had a great looking dessert. My husband inquired about it and was told that it was Cassata Siciliana. He said that he'll take a slice of that- which we shared and it was just divine. A very economical meal and we were on cloud nine. Afterwards we took a passegiata to the Forum then home to bed! A really special day in Rome.

Day 9: Our last day...
Since we hadn't gone into the Pantheon due to the crowds we said that it would be our first stop of the day- especially since my husband hadn't seen it since it was renovated- it was under scaffolding last time he was in Rome. It is my favorite sight in Rome and my favorite Piazza. And my good friend who lives in Rome part of the year lives right down the street on Via Cestari...lucky!

Then we headed off to the Trevi Fountain since we knew we wouldn't make it there at night. We threw our coins and a nice woman took our photo. It was so jammed and I almost got mowed down a few times by tourists running to the fountain as though it was going to get up and move somewhere else. I guess they were told they had only 5 minutes. But, I can go there year after year and like so many places in Rome be smitten all over again.

From there I took my husband to a leather store on Via del Tritone where I bought some gloves in November. They had gorgeous gloves and great prices but a grumpy owner. The grumpy guy was still there and very grumpy but my husband bought a pair of gloves anyway. He truly has much better prices than other places and a very good selection of styles.

We decided to walk to Piazza d'Spagna again and then through all of the ritzy streets - via Condotti, Borgnona, etc. But my goal for the afternoon was to eventually end back in the Pantheon and sit in a cafe and drink Prosecco since it was our last day. So we did...at the cafe that faces the Pantheon. We ordered two glasses of Prosecco, my husband ordered a caprese salad and I ordered frutta di bosca gelato with strawberries. It came out in a sundae dish with whipped cream and a cookie shaped like a tower and a cookie in the shape of an ice cream cone - oh, how decadent. The prosecco glasses were itty bitty and we commented on them. When we ordered a second glass my husband told the waiter no tiny glasses and he brought the next round in a traditional size fluted glass. Ah, but it was so warm and sunny! We sat and enjoyed the view, each others company, and reflecting on our wonderful trip...it was perfect!

Eventually we had to leave and pick up a few things before heading back to the apartment. It started to drizzle so the first thing I picked up were some lovely earings in a store we darted in to avoid the rain. How convenient. Then it stopped and we went by the grocery store to get some small jars of sauces and olive spread to throw in my suitcase. While walking to Forno del Campo Fiori I noticed I lost my small bracelet with a hamsa on it. It came off when I was talking off my sweater. My husband suggested I stop at the judaica store in the ghetto where I had looked at a similar bracelet two days earlier. We headed to the "forno" and bought bread and pastry to take home. My husband eyed a chocolate pastry and had to have it. Last day in Romee - eat everything that your heart desires is my motto. As we walked out of the bakery I noticed a lovely dress in the window across the street - at Solo. Tried it on and it fit like a glove...I was quite happy. On our way back my husband found two thin ties he'd been wanting. He was happy, too.

As we headed back to the apartment through the Ghetto. We walked past the jewelry store we went into a few days earlier where they had lovely judaica and where I noticed a hamsa bracelet that I thought of buying for my daugher. However, at the time the owner was busy with another customer. As we got a few feet away from the store a man came running up to us and stopped me. He said he was the man from the jewelry store and recognized us and wanted to apologize for not being able to help us the day we came to the store. What a coincidence...especially since I just lost my bracelet. I thanked him and said that we might come by later. I was feeling a bit shopped out so later I decided that if the store was open on our way to dinner then it would be "meant to be." We headed back to the apartment to do our last minute packing and rest up before our dinner at Col Pegno...and on our way to dinner the store was still open, it was meant to be, so we went inside and we both ended up purchasing bracelets - we chatted with the man who was actually tending the store for his daughter who owned it.

...we arrived at Col Pegno to find the door locked. We were standing at the door with a family who asked about the restaurant and we said we had reservations. They were knocking but no one was coming to the door. I peaked in and waved. Finally the propietor came to the door and greeted us and let us in...but told the family without reservations that they could not come. They did ask to make reservations for the following night. We defintely felt priveledged to be there. It was another magnificient dinner. We got a bottle of house red - another Nero d'Avilo and shared the spinach salad. This night we had bread and were so glad to finally enjoy their olive bread. We both got penne arrabiata and the sauce was so awesome. I wanted seconds. It inspired me to make an arrabiata sauce when I got home, hoping to somewhat replicate the experience. We were full but not too full have the tiramisu - and, we went the entire vacation without tiramisu. It was delicious and they served us another round of complimentary lemoncello. Now were were stuffed and totally fuzzy. My husband said the next time we come to Rome he wants to make reservations at Col Pegno for every other night. I'm there.

We had to get up the next morning at 4:00 for a 5:00 cab to the airport - departing at 7:30 AM. So, we settled our bill and headed out for our last evening passegiata. It started to rain but we had umbrellas so we took a nice stroll back to the apartment bidding arrivederci to my favorite sights, Piazza Navona, Pantheon, & Turtle Fountain. We only had a few hours of sleep before it was time to get up...and I was still feeling fuzzy!

Our driver from RomeCabs (they are awesome) was outside waiting for us. It was a quick ride to the airport and I was feeling sad to leave but also so happy that my husband and I had this wonderful time to spend together in Italy.

It was a long flight home...Rome to Paris with 4 hours in between flights...good for two cafe au laits and our Italian pastry. We flew back Air France to Boston and then changed in Boston to New York. Our suitcases were waiting for us when we got to the luggage carrier at JFK...and we were home 24 hours later with our cats and a glass of Prosecco.

...it was Italy Sunny and Tranquillo (and romantico)
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Old May 4th, 2009, 02:45 AM
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lovely report.

a real example to those who want to cram everything in at once of what they are missing!

regards, ann
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Old May 4th, 2009, 06:27 AM
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Loved your report, Risa. I've done several leisurely voyages myself. Don't you love Desigual? Even the name is appealing.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 07:51 AM
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Thanks. Great report.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 09:01 AM
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Your trip report was wonderful. How nice that you got to really enjoy your stay and be rushed from one sight to another. Your report makes me want to be in Rome again.
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Old May 4th, 2009, 03:41 PM
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Thanks for the nice comments. Yes, slow travel rules. Now my daughter says she couldn't imagine traveling and staying in a hotel for longer than three days...only an apartment will do. My husband is there, too.

Treesa...I did love Desigual. They also have a store on Via Nazionale. Funny, last week I was going on the NYC subway and noticed a family with a large Desigual tote. Since I hadn't seen the store in NYC I figured they may have come back from Europe...later in the day while in Soho I saw another woman with a bag and asked her where she got it. She pointed across the street and told me it was the "grand opening" of Desigual in Soho and they were passing out tote bags. I ventured over to see the store. It is on huge and had an enormous stock- men, clothing, too. Well, I was excited but a bit sad since I wouldn't be wearing what I thought might be unique. Well, the world gets smaller each day- and that is actually a good thing!
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Old May 4th, 2009, 06:23 PM
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Loved your report! I am especially interested in the restaurants you went to. I tried searching for Col Pegno, but came up with nothing. Can you tell me anything more so I can find it? Thanks!
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Old May 5th, 2009, 02:33 AM
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Actually, it's Osteria del Pegno: sorry about the mistake
The address is:
Vicolo di Montevecchio, 8
06.688.07.025 phone
You must have reservations and the owner speaks English so if you don't speak Italian it is not a problem.

It is right off Via dei Coronari-not far from Piazza Navona.
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