I really enjoyed being in Rome for the second time on this trip, since Rick and Monica were here and also since it was so much less crowded. Rome is always busy but this was nothing like when I was here a month ago for the beatification of Pope John Paul II.
Our hotel was in the Prati area and it was a perfect location, maybe even partly residential. We did a lot of walking every day, and as I said, Rick kicked my butt. I think his main agenda was to see how many miles he could walk in a day!
We spent one day at St Peter’s for about four or five hours and really enjoyed it. We did the typical sightseeing things, and some not so typical.
Campo di Fiori
In fact we had some great pizza at Forno Campo di Fiori and were able to watch the process from the door.
Of course we went to the Spanish Steps, and spent time in Trastevere several times, having dinner there one evening as well as some good pastry with almond filling at Bar Quadrani on Viale Trastevere.
The last day we took one of the Hop-on Hop-off sightseeing buses and went to Santa Maria Maggiore, which is one of the most beautiful churches in Rome.
We were definitely in need of some stracciatella gelato so we headed to Big Ben’s in the Esquilino area, where we knew it was good from a previous trip together there four years ago.
We also went to Borghese Park and then walked back over the Ponte Cavour bridge. It was hot while we were in Rome but we had no rain. The best restaurants were the ones we found on side streets, and one of them featured an antipasto bar, which Monica and I tried, and I actually had some octopus with potatoes, and liked it. The place we liked the least was near the Vatican, very touristy and expensive, but we were hungry.
Rick and Monica leave early in the morning, and I am going to meet the oldest Savoca brother, Salvatore at 8am. He and his wife live just outside of Rome, and we made arrangements to meet. I will look forward to that, and then in the early afternoon I will be on a fast train to Salerno.