27 June 2011

Day 23: Trastevere, old things, new things, and weird gelato

Today I ran Villa Borghese, a park to the north of the main historical center. There were lots of trees, a lake, some boats, and plenty of stairs. It was a nice run - much nicer than the run on Circus Maximus yesterday.

S and I got a late start out the door, but we made up for lost time with a long long walk. We started with breakfast right around the corner from our hotel. From there, we ran a couple of errands (finally got those Father's Day postcards in the mail!), found a lovely art shop, and hit a shoe store before crossing the Tiber into Trastevere, a neighborhood of Rome that feels more small-town-y. we wandered there for a while, through piazzas that look like this:

and like this:
... ducking into churches and shops along the way. I wanted to see Bramante's Tempietto, which is in Trastevere, so we sought it out. It's on top of one of the seven hills of Rome, and while we were up there, we found this big old fountain:

From the top of the hill, you can see most of Rome laid out in front of you.

The Tempietto was locked away, so we weren't able to get a good shot of it, but after we descended the hill, we continued through Trastevere, where we found a tailor who hand-stitched neckties. Some of his work was truly beautiful, and he was very generous in showing it to us. He didn't speak a lick of English (nor we Italian), but that didn't stop any of us from talking neckties and stitching.

We ducked into the church of St. Cecilia, which sits on top of some Roman ruins (don't look surprised - ALL OF ROME sits on top of Roman ruins). For a few bucks, you could descend beneath the church and have a look around (apparently, one of the ruins beneath the church is St. Cecilia's house!):

After St. Cecilia, we found a little modern bar to grab a drink and a snack. I had a compari and soda (mmmmm), and we were thankful for all of the modern art books that were laying around as a balance to the excessive history that we'd been seeing during the day.

From there, we headed back across the Tiber, past some funky statuary, past the Pantheon, past the Spanish Steps, and then to a small trattoria for dinner. We split a pasta course (cannelloni with ricotta and spinach) and each had a secondi. S's veal meatballs were incredible, but I didn't really enjoy my tripe. I've had it a number of times with different preparations, and I think I can confidently say that I just don't care for it. Still, dinner was good, and it set us up nicely for gelato at Il gelato di San Crispino, which came highly recommended on the internet. It lived up to expectations. S had chocolate (natch), and I had a half-and-half of whiskey and honey. All three flavors were delicious, and a new bar has been set for gelato!

Post-gelato, we stopped off at Trevi Fountain for a photograph before heading home. We passed by The Pantheon once again:

Tomorrow, we head north to Firenze to see the city for a day. We're meeting Liz, an old friend of mine from high school. I can't remember the last time I saw her, but it's been at least 10 years!

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