In the last week, I’ve daydreamed/planned pretend vacations to Maui, London, Madrid, and Buenos Aires. Guess I’m feeling antsy to travel. For now, on this cozy, rainy, Saturday morning, I’ll reminisce about the last two days of our Thanksgiving trip-in Florence and Rome.
Saturday morning, we took an earrrrlyish train to Florence. The ride was efficient and pretty-I loved seeing the views of the green countryside. Soon enough, we were in Florence!
We walked around the Florence Cathedral before heading to the Galleria dell’ Accademia.
Man, he is impressive. These two ladies were having too much fun examining the David from all angles :)
After admiring Mr. Davinci’s talents, we climbed the Duomo. The climb isn’t bad but the tight stairs are not for the clausterphobic faint of heart. Had one of many “how on earth did they did they build this, centuries before modern engineering?” moments of marvel.
Spent some time taking in the fresh air and admiring the spectacular view of the city.
Killing time (I’ll always cringe and associate the Phantom Tollbooth with that expression) before our reservation, we stumbled on the Florence Botanical Gardens, and admired the grounds.
So much beautiful art and architecture…but the REAL masterpiec: Trattoria Antica da Tito. Ohh myyyyy goodness. First, the atmosphere. A room of Florentines, throwing back bottles of red wine, laughing, singing, and sinking into a long winter lunch. Then, the food! We quickly acclimated to the slow, have a bottle of wine with lunch culture, and we were relaxed and hungry when this sizzling T-Bone arrived. We sat for hours, lapping it all up.
At one point, the table behind us rose to their feet, and broke out into song. Pretty soon, the whole restaurant was singing! As we left, we asked the host if he knew about the special occasion the men behind us were celebrating. “Those guys? Nothing special. Just a bunch of farmers escaping their wives.” Ha!
Eventually, we walked back to city center, eager to see a few more sights before the train. We wandered through the Uffizi, admired the Birth of Venus, and David found some more Grecco-Roman curled brethren.
We walked around the Ponte Vecchio and through a little Christmas market, and it all felt very special to be there together.
And pretty soon we were on a train back to Rome! Our last day greeted us with warmer weather and abundant sunshine. We enjoyed one last delicious Hotel Brittania breakfast before walking to the Coliseum.
Listening to Rick Steve’s audio guide describe the historic gore and violence makes me hesitant to say it’s a beautiful place, but it is certainly impressive. More marveling at their architectural brilliance.
From there we walked through the Forum.
AMAZING. Think this was my favorite historical site. It’s so well preserved, and you can almost imagine the buzz of standing in the center of commerce, government and religion. There’s still such vibrancy despite its incredible age. I loved it.
Eventually, we made our way across the Tiber back to Trastevere for one last long Roman lunch at Le Mani in Pasta.
It was a Sunday, and yet again a long, leisurely, Prosecco and pasta lunch. The best thing, again, was everyone around us was doing the same thing. Relaxed Romans, truly enjoying the weekend together. And no phones at the table!
Finally, it was time to say goodbye to pretty Trastevere and Italy and head to the airport. We spent the night in Stockholm and flew back to Oakland that afternoon.
On the plane, we jotted down our food superlatives:
Best supporting dish: Pumpkin soup, Barrique (Fay), Meat ravioli, Trattoria Antica da Tito (David)
Dish to recreate at home: Amatriciana sauce, Andrea’s cooking class (Fay), Make homemade pasta (David)
Most unexpected or surprising flavor: Ginger drink, Tehran Grill (Fay), Coronette with Nutella at breakfast (David)
Best all around dish: Tortellini ala griccia, Mani de Pasta (David) Amatriciana, Mani de Pasta (Fay)
Best all around experience: Trattoria Antica da Tito