Dec. 7, 2012
We slept in for the first time in weeks and decided the rest of the day would be laid back. We headed downstairs for breakfast around 9:00am. We had italian pastries, salami/cheese, nutella toast & juice. After seeing the Pantheon the first night we went back during the day and went inside and used Rick Steves’ audio tour. He did a great job walking us through the pantheon and explaining what we were seeing & the history.
After the Pantheon, we headed toward the direction of the Victor Emmanuel monument to stop by a charcuterie we were eyeing. We ordered 2 paninis with prosciutto & mozzarella on a ciabatta roll to go and a pickle. We walked about a block down to a “cute” cafe that had a nice view of the Victor Emmanuel Monument. We ordered another cappuccino & had our panini for lunch. The prosciutto & mozzarella was fresh & tasty and the roll so moist the entire sandwich was devoured in less than 5 minutes. So. good. The coffee was tasty until we found out it would cost us 6 euros ($8 usd!). I can’t remember the name of it but it was a tourist trap and sadly was always busy.
After lunch, we went to a cafe located next to the Pantheon called Tazza d’Oro. The place was packed with people having coffee at the bar and purchasing beans & chocolate. I found it on tripadvisor and bookmarked it as a place to try so we went! We ordered 2 cappuccinos for 1 euro each. In Rome, you pay for your coffee first at the register and then you give the receipt to the barista at the bar where you have your drink. Each sip was heavenly! It was so good we bought their coffee beans to give as gifts.
After reading about the famous night markets in December we decided to check out Piazza Navona in the evening to see what the hype was about. Piazza Navona sparkled at night and was fairly busy on the rainy evening we went. Tourists & locals were playing carnival games, snacking & shopping at the booths lined in the square. Restaurants surrounding the piazza all had their heaters on and were busy with dinner service.
On our way to the hotel, we found a restaurant called Da Tonino near the Piazza. The place was filled with locals seated and waiting outside for a table so we decided to try it for dinner. We ordered 2 pasta dishes – penne amatriciana (pasta with tomato sauce, pork & pecorino cheese) and spaghetti in cream sauce. Both dishes were disappointing – way too salty! The bread that accompanied it was stale. Clearly, we didn’t learn from Florence about going into places that look busy….
Disappointed yet again I wanted gelato to make up for the bad pasta at dinner. With so many gelato places near our hotel, we opted for a place a few blocks down called Blue Ice. Italy is serious about their gelato. There are so many flavors to choose from and they change daily! I’m boring and always get the same flavors but that way I don’t get disappointed ;). This time I got hazelnut & Anthony got pistachio. The gelato was only 3 euros each! Yum Yum….
With our tummies satisfied & no more complaints we went back to the hotel to get some zzz’s in. Tomorrow we are headed to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, & the Roman Forum.
***Travel tips to remember***
❤ Don’t go to a place just because it looks busy (We never learn….)
❤ Tripadvisor isn’t always right. Da Tonino had great reviews but bad food
❤ Capp’s cost more if you sit down vs drink at the bar
❤ Download Rick Steves’ Audio Tour for any attractions available