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The last day of Italia.

What time is dinner?

rain 67 °F

May 20th, 2012

It's a drizzly morning on our last day in Rome. The plan is to be as relaxed and unrushed as possible. Our guesthouse has a morning breakfast that we were glad to join before taking off for the day.  I met a really nice Kiwi (kiwi: someone from New Zealand) that is living in London, and travelled to Rome for the weekend his friend from Holland. We had a great discussion on the best places to visit in New Zealand and I think Nicole and I are sufficiently inspired to go there.  We even talked about the Lord of the Rings! New Zealanders have a very similar accent to Australians and I had almost blurted out that he was Australian before he said otherwise.  I'm glad I kept my mouth shut! That could have been awkward. 

Because we had caught the wrong bus only the day before, we knew exactly where to go to catch the correct bus. This found us in downtown Rome to do a bit of shopping. We headed to the Palestine Hill entrance to the same vendor that  I had bought my shirt from when we were here last. Nicole has been talking for a week now about the hat she wanted to buy. He had exactly what we wanted and Nicole was so excited to get it! From here we realized that sport jackets were really cheap in Rome, and decided Nicole needed one of those too. For an idea, as you walk around the popular sections of Rome, there are souvenir stores on every street, and alway more than 2 or 3. We knew we'd buy a jacket when we found the deal we wanted.  K, so I must let you in on a secret. Today is going to be our last visit to the Bruschetteria, and to be honest, that really is what the day is about. It's terrible and awesome that a restaurant can impact you so much that you look forward to it as the highlight of the day. I was determined to enjoy all of Rome, but we couldn't stop talking about the evening we would have. Thankfully, we found a map and decided to see the pantheon.  This building completely forced dinner out of my mind. The pantheon is the most complete structure in Rome. It has massive pillars supporting a dwarfing entrance. The main building has a dome roof that completely dumbfounded Nicole and I. How in the world did these people move stone and build in such a lasting, but also beautiful and artful way? Even though the proof is before my eyes, I just can't wrap my mind fully around it. Raphael the artist's tomb is here also in the pantheon. From here we decided to see some of the famous piazza's and squares in the area.  This led us to more beautiful fountains and buildings.  By this time we realized we were getting close to the Vatican that we had been so foiled in reaching.  Since we needed to pass some time until seven and our glorious feast, we made the walk. The Vatican and Saint Peters square is so huge! I reckon, without looking it up that they could fit over half a million people in that square. My scrutiny found cameras everywhere. Apparently the pope himself had been out to make a blessing that very morning, but we did not know that until later. Still not enough time burned. We had now seen a ton of Rome and all the big sites and it was only 4:30. We decided to stop into, what we thought, was a coffee shop. Oh quick backtrack. The rain had started to fall lightly, and I said to Nicole," Those little men should be selling umbrellas. At least that would be useful." About ten minutes later, every five feet, there was a little Indian guy offering umbrellas! K, back to the coffee shop. We planned to sit down while Nicole enjoyed a cappuccino.  Upon buying it we headed towards the tables.  Just before we could sit, we were told that we could not sit and had to back to the coffee bar. Apparently, there were three restaurants in this one little area and we were not part of the seated side.  Lame. We began again to find something to do. Finally the rain was coming down so hard, that we took refuge under some big leafy trees. We came to the conclusion that we would need to buy an umbrella if we wanted to get around the city. As luck would have it, we could not find a little man anywhere. Up this alley? No. This? No. A shop! Three euros to stay dry and mobile and we were happy. I was happy that we didn't have to give in to the little men but bought one from a legitimate shop. We still had a few hours before dinner.  This found us jumping in a shop to eat a piece of pie. Only burning 20 minutes, we decided it was time to eat early. I know what you may be thinking, because I thought it myself.  How can you possibly have good conscience enough to BURN time in Rome! It's sacrilege is it not? Well I'll tell you. It was raining to start. Secondly, we really did see quite a bit that day. And third, you've never eaten at the Bruschetteria, , you just don't know. So there :). We happily skipped along to the best place in the world! The lights were off. It is closed. Noooooooo! Hold the panic, it says italian words and 12:00-3:00 and then more Italian words and 7:00. We put our hope in this. It was difficult put putting away 2 more hours, but we did and stood waiting by the door for opening.

Ah the Bruschetteria! The owner came in just about ten minutes after us and with a huge smile at the recognition came and shook our hands! He then had the waitress bring us a bowl of green olives that had not been pitted. Yum yum yum! He was in and out while we made our way through the best bruschetta, Nicole's pizza, and my pesto pasta. Nicole had red wine, included in the meal, and enjoyed it very much.  Then, for my final course, they brought out sausage. Let me tell you, it was like drinking sausage. Not in a gross blended up with water way, but the meat was so savory, so succulent, so juicy and flavorful' I can't describe it any other way. On the owners orders, the waitress brought us each some Limoncello.  We did not want to leave yet! What's the best way not to leave after dinner? Order creme brûlée and tiramisu! Holy goodness on my tastebuds. About this time, a German couple came in that were apparently regulars to the restaurant.  They had even brought another couple who had just come to Rome! They hugged and kissed the owner and then gave him a gift. We felt an immediate bond with these people.  Here were people that knew and were fond of the place we had grown to love. I made eye contact with them, and through our smiles we had communicated this to each other. Sadly we had to leave to make room for others coming in. We asked the owner for a picture and his name.  He said it was Johnny.  He doesn't look like a Johnny but was happy to take the picture. On the way out, the German couple made it a point to wish us a good evening. We literally pouted the entire way home. It's so sad to leave a place you love so much, and never know for sure when you may be there again.

Posted by hangtime41 11:42 Archived in Italy

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