So today was wonderful. It started a little iffy but ended on a high note. We started with breakfast. Delicious as always. I can’t wait to get Greek yogurt back home though, I miss it. But I love the muesli. And cheese. We had looked up the borghese Galleria online and it said you could only get in through reservations if you called or online. However, since today was a holiday we couldn’t call because the ticket office was closed. All the same we decided to give it a try and got there at 815 before it opened and waited in line. When we got in we asked the guy if we could make a later reservation or wait to see if no on else fulfilled theirs that we could take. He said “no is not possible” but really I think he just didn’t want to listen or put in any extra work. We feel like that happens a lot here and definitely more than it did in Germany. So we decided to go for a walk through the Borghese Gardens which were absolutely stunning. It is too bad we just discovered them on our last day because it was literally what we had been trying to find, a perfect shady garden of trees and statues and benches for picnics or just relaxing. Then we headed to the national gallery museum of the Barberini Palace. It was only 5euro each and no line. This was a hidden gem, kind of like the Bavarian national gallery museum I went to with my dad in Munich. It had 35 rooms that went through almost every stage of art in Italy. It was really quite incredible. There were also two Carravagio paintings in the gallery. He is one of lilly’s favorite artists so she got very happy! One painting, Judith slaying Holfernes (check spelling) was one that is often compared to the same named painting by Genteleski (spelling again) which we saw at the Uffizi in Florence. It was really cool that we were able to see both in person and compare them and the facial expressions in both. We both agreed we liked the one in the Uffizi better because of the strength of woman is portrayed.
Then we headed to the room for some lunch of Luna bars, almond cookies, and the little plums we had bought before. Then headed to Sant Eustachio for a cappuccino. Best. Cappuccino. Ever. Pococ zuchero though (little sugar) and it’s perfect. That was our third time there lol. Then we headed back to our favorite gelato place, San Crispini. The worker (one of the owner / brothers I think) recognized us from yesterday! We both got the same flavors which is a testament to how good the gelato is because we NEVER get the same flavors (so we can try as many as possible) we had the honey gelato ( so light and refreshing, not heavy or super sweet like you may be thinking) and zagabione (spelling…) which is made with 20year old Marsala wine. Such unique flavors with so much depth. We ate them in the shade so they wouldn’t melt and we could savor them longer.
A little more walking and then back to our room to pack and take a quick nap. All the walking in the super hot roman sun really drains us!
Dinner started a little stressful but ended up just great. We walked around forever to find a restaurant because not many places have gluten free pasta. We found a restaurant online that had crazy good reviews but we went there and they didn’t have gluten free pasta. We went on a search asking every restaurant if they did and we got about 6 or so “no’s” before deciding to go back to the first place and I would get something else. Well, the other place was booked with no open spaces. Great. By now Lilly was super hungry because she didn’t have a snack like I did in the hotel. We continued back on our search. This time it only took us 4 restaurants to find one with gluten free pasta but there was something about it that just wasn’t right. Nothing bad, it just didn’t feel like “yes, this is where I want my last meal in Italy ” so we kept on walking and walking…. We ended up going to the area we know best, the piazza and streets around the Pantheon.
We came across a restaurant down the side street where Sant Eustachio was and yay! Gluten free pasta! We had prosciutto and melon and grilled vegetables (zucchini and eggplant) to start. Delicious. Lilly really loves prosciutto and it’s like the only thing cheaper in italy than america (and wine maybe). We shared our .5 l of wine and liter of water as well. I had pasta bolognase (tomato and meat sauce) and Lilly had spinach and ricotta ravioli with a walnut cream sauce and homemade pasta. I think we were both very happy with our selections and it was not a let down for our final meal.
While we were sitting enjoying dinner, the host started playing the accordion and this group of boys at another table started to sing! They sounded like the “In the Stairwell” guys at the academy. It was really pretty singing. A bit later, we were sitting enjoying our wine and two boys (I guess they were similar in age to us so maybe boys isnt super accurate) came up to us and handed us each a single rose (white for me, red for Lilly) and told us that they had enjoyed having their meal and being able to look at how beautiful we were and that they hoped we enjoyed their singing and if we would like they would be singing at some church (don’t remember the name) tomorrow afternoon. We were completely shocked and very flattered and told them we very much appreciated it but unfortunately we were leaving for home. They had been in the same restaurant so we could have walked up to our table but instead they walked around to the other side of the little gate surrounding the restaurant (about wait high with some plants) I think to respect our personal space. They DEFINITELY were not Italian boys. I think they were German actually. But we let them down nicely and we both felt bad of course since they were the first non annoying/aggressive/obnoxious boys we had met since going out with Alessia and her friends. We were then given a free panna cotta with walnuts for dessert. Were not sure if it came from the restaurant or the guys but we really didn’t want it since we were saving up for gelato but we force fed ourselves about half of it so we wouldn’t be rude.
We slowly made our way back towards the hotel stopping at the two sites so dear to our time in Rome. The Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. We have passed these two glorious locations 2-4 times a day since we have been in Rome and they never look less magnificent. We stood In from of the Pantheon for at least 15 minutes again tonight just staring in awe of the history and everything it represented.
We touched the marble columns on last time and sadly said good bye, knowing we will be back again some day even if it won’t be for 20 or more years. Then the Trevi Fountain. I still think it is my favorite at day but night is incredible too. We took a couple more pictures with our roses and then sat on the steps and stared some more until the people got overwhelming and we left.
Then the final stop in saying good bye to Rome. San Crispino. One. Last. Gelato. This time I had banana and hazelnut with meringue. So incredible. (except there may have been gluten in it because as I write this I am feeling those horrible pains that I have avoided this entire trip. Damn. I think it was in the banana…it tasted like the best banana pushing in the world so I’m probably being punished for it being so good) Lilly got whiskey and raspberry. They were so fresh and true flavors! Together they were even better than alone! The raspberry she had was 10times better than the raspberry she had at the other gelato place with the champagne flavor. We felt sad we had wasted so much time on inferior gelato. At least we had it while we could.
Now we are all packed up and ready to head back home. I hate long plane rides, thank goodness I fall asleep almost immediately.
We have our cheese ready for breakfast tomorrow. Next time I post I will be back in the USA!