Thursday, February 28, 2013

Are we old yet? Day 2 in Rome

Quick!  What is, "We are stiff and sore today, but we kept going because we are in Rome" in Italian?  I think I need to know that phrase to explain why two old cripples are hobbling down the street to the locals.  Today was a harder day, because our old bones were aching.  But, dear reader, we needed to persevere just for you.  What kind of blog entry would "We sat on our fannies all day" be?

Last night after we finished the blog, Jerry had 2 restaurants for us to check out in the neighborhood.  Now it is important to clarify that "in the neighborhood" is within 10 blocks of here....You get me...more walking.  We took off from the hotel about 9:15 (everyone eats late here) and walked down to a spot 5 or 6 blocks away called the Trattoria Monti.  Small, packed, no English being spoken, but the waiter understood that we wanted to eat and told us to come back at 10:00.  So, being the sort that always do what we are told, we took another walk around the neighborhood for another half hour, and came back.  Boy are we glad we did.  What a delightful place.  Family run, sons were the waiters, the mama was in the back cooking.  Everything was great!  Here are a few pictures that I snuck (I have to keep my readers happy!)  In case you haven't figured this out, if you click on the picture it gets bigger.

 Doesn't look like much does it?
 Antipasta:  Fried zucchini flowers, olives, sausage...Yum
 My Ravioli - Stuffed with potatoes, prosciutto, chives, and garlic!
 Jerry's Rigatoni:  prosciutto, garlic, butter, and pecaroni cheese

 Dessert - Apple tart with Zabilonni cream
Looking towards the kitchen

We got back to the hotel at 12:00 and slept like babies.  Set an alarm today and got up at 8:30 to make breakfast before we needed to be at the Borghese Gallery at 11:00.  We had purchased a bus schedule and map yesterday at the tobacco shop (they sell everything) and Jerry had the route planned.  Last year we had taken a cab, but this time it was free with our bus/Metro pass.  The Borghese is outside of the Roman City walls and sits on a beautiful, now, park, which used to be the Borghese family "garden".  The day was  barely warm (like 58), but the walk through the park was delightful, and then we came to the Gallery.

 Hey Bobbi, It's spring here!
 Lemon trees
 Orange trees!

 These flat topped trees are everywhere!

 The goddess Diana

The gallery has a magnificient art collection including great sculpture by Bernini.  Here are a few.

 Enea e Anchise - Son carrying father
 Bernini's "David"  Look at his determined face
 Apollo and Daphene - She is turning into a tree before he gets her
 Pluto and Prosperpia - Look at his hands in her flesh on the leg.
 La Verita

According to the map and "Mr. Geography" the Borghese bordered on the south by the Spanish steps.  A tourist destination for sure, but one we needed to see.  So we walked, and walked, and tried this way and that and finally about 2:30 we got there.  Fortunately, it was a lovely day and the gardens were quiet and peaceful.  Not so the Spanish Steps.

People, people everywhere

 I bought a watercolor
 The walking wounded resting up
We had a slice of pizza (fabulous) and shared a coke at this little hole in the wall, but it was good and clean.  You know, I am such a food snob, but this was really good.

We were tired, so we decided to head back to Termini station and find a bus that would cross the whole city.  Bus 40 was just the ticket, so we jumped on and rode to the Vatican stop (we go there tomorrow so we didn't stop)  Saw all kinds of press there:

waiting, we found out later, for the Pope to take off in his Pope helicopter.  We rode bus 40 back to Termini and arrived at 5:00.  When all of a sudden, every church bell in Rome, and there are a lot of them let me tell you, went off.  It was crazy.  They were saying goodbye to "Papa" (the pope)  So I guess when I am old and gray (wait, I already am) I can say we were in Rome when the Pope left.  

Well that's all for now.  Hope you are enjoying reading about our travels.  Tomorrow is the Vatican museum (huge) Sistine Chapel (little but beautiful) and St, Peter's.  Jerry is NOT wearing black tomorrow in case someone thinks he is a priest.  Arrivederchi!

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