January 24, 2008

This was my day to be a picture fiend. Old stuff, lots and lots of old stuff!

After grabbing breakfast at the hotel (one of the few upsides of it is that it did have a complimentary breakfast, too bad the coffee sucked) we headed back down to the Roman Forum. The pay before we had bought a combo ticket for the Colosseum and Palatine Hill and it actually works for two days as long as you get there before 1. No problem. Before wandering into Palatine Hill though we did the Roman Forum. I was smitten with it.



I probably could have spent the entire day there.



I also started wishing I had a much better camera.



Mine just wasn't doing it justice. But it was handy for self portraits.



We did eventually venture past the gates and into Palatine Hill.



And we did lots of walking.



Sometimes through tunnels.



Sometimes in the sunshine.



And I feel in love with Italian trees.



And we realized we were really, really hungry and were really wishing we had packed a picnic like the guidebook suggested. Eventually we pried ourselves away from the old stuff to go in search for food. This is when we discovered the problem with going to Italy at the end of January - a lot of restaurants are closed as people go on their own vacations. So while we actually found that restaurant the guide book recommended it was closed.  We we wandered figuring there had to be something else close by. We found this little trattoria that was full of locals and tourists. We headed in and I really wish we knew the name to it because it was awesome. We were bad tourists and ordered totally, on purpose. We sampled a bunch of smaller dishes and they were fantastic. I know there was soup, and I think gnocchi. And the wine was the cheapest we ever saw. I got 1/4 litre of the house red for 1.25 Euros. Lee does not drink so usually ordered water and my wine was usually cheaper in Italy. Sucked for him, was fantastic for me.

As we were wandering along after lunch we passes a jewelery store and I hopped in to buy Cat her birthday gift. This involved not understanding how the security doors worked but hey, we eventually got in. And back out.We had hours of wandering time left. We found more churches.



And the Pantheon.



We saw fountains.



Lee continued his love affair with Roman streets.



We found Piazza Navona.



We had to stop and figure out exactly where we were.



We found Piazza del Popolo...



and its twin churches.



And then the Spanish Steps.



And then we were tired and hungry so we headed back to the hotel and then out for dinner. We were feeling adventurous (and like sticking close to the hotel) so we tried an Ethiopian restaurant. It was pretty good but half way through the dinner I figured out what the meat dish tasted like - Puritan meatballs.

We didn't really mean to see so many sites that day. Our plan on our trip was to plan two things each day and see what else happened. In Rome we just found ourselves really close to things and there was always something to see on the way.  And we walked everywhere in each city we went to. It was great.