All Roads Lead To Rome

It is 5:35 AM right now… and I can’t sleep. Not sure if it is because I am too excited because we head to Florence today or if it is because I had a too much grappa (maybe too little?) with dinner last night. Anyway, I figure this is the perfect time to write this blog, so here it goes.

It has been pretty wet here but we haven’t let it damper our spirit (or our stomachs). I actually think the rain might have actually enhanced some of our experiences here… aka walking around the Colosseum while the rain came down was pretty intense. Unfortunately for Laurie and Jieae, they had to deal with all the one liners I recalled from Gladiator. Anyway, here are a few lists to sum up Rome.

My two favorite sights of Rome:
1. The Colosseum – the fact that this ancient stadium can seat up to 70,000 people is insane. Big thumbs up. (mental image: me sitting in the stands giving the thumbs up to a gladiator…)
2. Museum Borghese – Situated in the beautiful Villa Borghese gardens, this museum rocks. Beautiful from the outside and filled with mind blowing Bernini sculptures. Also interesting is the fact that it is so small. We had to make a reservation two days in advance for a two hour appointment in the museum (seriously, they kick you out after two hours). Two hours well spent.

My two favorite restaurants of Rome: (for those foodies out there, Jieae is keeping close photo records of all the food we eat.. expect a post on this when I get home)
1. Le Sorelle (The sisters) – The short, stocky sister was our waitress. The fresh pasta with bacon.. the mushroom risoto.. all incredible. We need one of these in San Fran.
2. La Cicala e la Formica – You can’t beat this little place for lunch. 5£ for a plate of fresh penne with olive marinara, it was very difficult to not order it twice in one sitting! Also, something about the daily handwritten and photocopied menu makes it very… cozy.

Some other random stuff on my mind:
1. The stomach is a powerful body part – I calculated that we probably spend half our waking hours either in the process of eating (walking to food, reading a menu, deciding on where to eat, etc.) or actually eating.
2. Would you like food with that wine? – I think one root cause of (1) might be the fact that wine seems to be the drink of choice with every meal (don’t worry, I’m not including breakfast). I’m hoping it isn’t just an urban legend that a glass of wine a day is actually healthy…
3. Get an Italian-English dictionary. How else will you be able to interpret all the gelato flavors? I’d say this is pretty critical.
4. Museum audioguides – I am officially addicted to these. Walking around the museum like you are on the telephone looks retarded, but the stories behind the art are what really get me going. The 5£ are well worth the expense.