Rome, Italy – Day two

We slept in so that we could get adjusted to life in Rome which means eating dinner around 8pm. What?  Back in the states I usually go to bed around 8:30 or 9pm. Oh well, when in Rome. Ha ha.

It was a beautiful stroll to get to the Vatican City area. Rome has so much history and architecture and the streets are just fun to walk down and take in all the sights. It was a gorgeous and sunny day. No winter coats or rain coats needed today.

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Photos are not allowed in the Sistine Chapel so obviously I have none. The space was amazing and not exactly what I expected. Since I graduated with an Art degree I was used to seeing the images the Michelangelo painted from the Sistine Chapel but to see it in person was a whole different story. We stood and tried to take in all elements on the ceiling. The end wall is where Michelangelo painted The Last Judgement which I specific remembered studying from college. Very cool.

The rest of the Vatican Musuem was also impressive. Many painting and sculptures all filled into tiny rooms. The museum as a whole is like a maze. In fact, we walked by some of the same artwork a couple of times trying to find our way out.

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The Thinker, a bronze sculpture by Auguste Rodin, was also inside the Vatican Museum. Rodin did several copies of this sculpture and this is just one of them. And, of course, hubby had to pose next to it as if he was “the thinker” as did every other visitor that I saw. The poor security guard that has to stand there all day and watch people make a fool of themselves.

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St. Peter’s Basilica, the world’s largest church, was definitely the most impressive church I have ever been in. It was huge! I couldn’t believe the size of the pillars, statues, and wall art inside. The space was immense and ornate and my little camera just couldn’t capture it.

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Next up was lunch at Hostaria dei Bastioni. Since it was such a nice day we opted for al fresco dining. We both had the spinach ravioli with walnut and gorgonzola and a bottle of Le Rubbie Rosso wine. Great service and great food. This was one of our best lunches while we were there.

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We walked around the neighborhoods surrounding the Vatican. Eventually we found ourselves back in the Pizza Navona area and saw a great little place (Fattoincasa) that we just had to stop at to split a bottle of wine, in this case it was a ceramic craft of wine. It looked so homey and inviting, I wish I would have taken pictures of the outside. We were a little hungry but were not planning on this being dinner so we just split a radicchio and buffalo mozzarella pizza. If only we could have seen into the future we would have learned that we would not get dinner this night. More on that later.

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We continued to walk the streets. At night everything comes alive with people out dining, drinking, and people watching. We saw a beer that we had not tried inside of a little market so we bought it and split it while sitting on the cute little seating area along the cobblestone streets. This is the part of Rome that I really enjoyed.

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We talked to a local who had told us about a brewery that was nearby. We circled the area for quiet awhile until we were finally able to find Open Baladin which was tucked away down an alley. The decor was artfully finished with beer bottle set on metal shelves with indirect lighting. It was beautiful and just what we were hoping to find.

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The bartender, Alexandro, was so helpful. We explained to him what types of beers we usually gravitate toward and he provided many samples for us. Open Baladin brews their own beers but also has many others to try whether in bottle on on draft. We eventually met the two guys sitting at the bar next to us. One guy was originally from California but had been living in Rome for the past 19 years. We shared beer stories and talked for hours all while trying different brews on recommendations from Alexandro. My favorite brew of the night was definitely the Barrel Aged Xyauyu. It was an English Barleywine that tasted more like a port wine than a beer altogether. I loved it! We ended up buying a bottle of it to bring home. I certainly cannot list all of the brews that we tried that night but here is a few that stood out.

  • Violent Shared, an American IPA brewed by OpperBacco
  • Never Ending, a Stout brewed by Free Lions
  • Spaceman, an American IPA brewed by BrewFist
  • Overdose, an Imperial IPA brewed by OpperBacco
  • ReAle Extra, an American IPA brewed by Birra del Borgo
  • Palanfrina, an Ancient Herbed Ale brewed by Birra Troll
  • Demon Hunter, Strong Dark Ale brewed by Birrificio Montegioco

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This unexpected beer adventure was the reason that we ended up with no dinner on our 2nd night in Italy. By the time we left the joint it was after midnight. As we walked along the dark empty streets noticing that nothing was open and realizing that we would go without food for the night we found ourselves back at our hotel. There was a little market/deli, Antica Salumeria, next to our hotel that was still open. We couldn’t believe it but they had sandwiches still available. The owner was closing down shop but was willing to give us two salami/cheese/pepper/tomato sandwiches that he heated up for us. They hit the spot!

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~ by willtriforbeer on January 12, 2014.

2 Responses to “Rome, Italy – Day two”

  1. Beautiful images of Rome! I used to live there last year so these photographs brought me a lot of good memories. Also, I did an architecture map of the city that may be useful to you too 🙂
    http://duranvirginia.wordpress.com/2013/04/05/architecture-planning-a-trip-to-rome/

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