Rome, Italy – Day three

Our 3rd day in Rome started with us heading northeast to check out those neighborhoods and eventually ending up at Villa Borghese Gardens. Quiet often we don’t plan out where we want to go we just pick a direction and see what happens. We went through some shopping areas and past many more churches. The road that we were on began to climb upwards. We followed it, having to stop frequently due to my pneumonia. The top afforded us nice views. Many others were taking pictures and it seemed that we were in a very touristy area. We didn’t really know where we were at but it seemed like we should head down the flight of stairs since there were lots of people at the bottom. We laughed hysterically when we realized that we had just come down the famous Spanish Steps without knowing it.

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We found our way toward the Villa Borghese Gardens by heading north on Via Del Corso, one of the main shopping strips for the city. We first stopped at Piazza del Popolo which in ancient times was the entrance to Rome. Nowadays it serves as the beginning of the “Dolce Vita Stroll” where people walk along Via Del Corso nightly for dining, drinking and general people watching.

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The Borghese Gardens sit above the city and provided nice views of many of the sites that we had already visited. The gardens are similar to Central Park in New York. I only saw a couple of runners, looked like a nice place to run.

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We window shopped along Via Frattina but we’re not big shoppers so we actually only went into one or two stores just to look around. We had read about a great restaurant on Via Frattina called The Palatium Enoteca Regionale. They showcase foods and wines grown and produced from the Lazio region in Italy. This was right up our alley so we stopped in for lunch. We started with assorted meats and bread that paired well with the great bottle of red wine that the waiter recommended, Facesole from the Cavalieri vinyard in Lazio.

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I don’t remember the names of our dishes for our primi course but what it boiled down to was that I ordered the bombolotti with zuccini and hubby had the casarecce with thick sliced bacon and tomatoes. Both of them were fabulous! This place had quality food, a great ambiance, and we got the window seat to boot.

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Speaking of sitting at the front window. I found it interesting that the store across from us had a red dress in the window that everyone seemed to be stopping to look at. I saw women who appeared to be walking fast and on a mission stop to look at this dress. I saw men stop to look at this dress. I saw an old woman who was walking very slowly stop to look at this dress. I couldn’t understand why everyone was so intrigued with this dress so, of course, I became obsessed with this dress. When we were done with lunch I went over to take a photo of the red dress. It was a nice dress but I still don’t get it. If anyone does…please let me know.

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We walked back through the Pizza Navona area and towards Campo de Fiori. We saw the street sweepers cleaning up after the Campo de Fiori market that had occurred earlier in the day. It’s basically a farmers market where everyone goes to buy their fruits and vegetables. We walked the entire area. In fact, after our trip and we were back in the states hubby checked his Fitbit which recorded that we walked between 12-14 miles a day with the first day only being 10 miles since we didn’t have the whole day available. Not bad for someone with pneumonia!

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When it was time for dinner, hubby had said that there was a restaurant just outside of Campo de Fiori that we would like to try but that reservations were usually required and we had none. We tried anyway. They had one table by the front door that was available. Eating at Vineria Salumeria Roscioli was like eating in a fancy deli. The tables were lined along the front of the deli counter while ham hocks, lamb legs, and salumi hung everywhere.

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Dinner was great and once again nothing like the Italian food that we get in the states. The entire time over there we did not sample anything that tasted remotely close to our Americanized pasta sauce (thank goodness). The wine we had was an Ormanni Chianti that was selected off the large wine storage wall to our left. The decor was fun and rustic and the only downside was that it was a little noisy.

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After dinner we were walking around the Trastevere neighborhood when we walked by a storefront that caught our eyes. I actually think it was the chalkboard A-frame sign that said “Homebrewed” that caught our eyes. This place was so cute that we had to stop in to inquire about the homebrewed beer. Tastevere KMzero is an organic market where the multiple owners provide individual products. The guy we spoke with made the cheese from his goat herd in the mountains outside of Rome. One guy brews the homebrewed beers. And yet another guy provides all the vegetables from his farm. They also had homemade olive oil, vinegars, and jams. He let us sample all of the beers before making our decision. We both selected Neos, an American Pale Ale with an abv of 5.8. We also got to sample the olive oil and the cheese. We bought a bottle of the olive oil to bring back to the states and since we can’t export the cheese we bought it just to snack on in the room.

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Before heading up to our hotel room, I stopped at the deli/market next door to buy a hazelnut chocolate cookie. I had originally been looking for a cannoli but they were harder to find. The hazelnut cookie was the perfect end to the day.

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~ by willtriforbeer on January 13, 2014.

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