Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Rome: Day 3

Day three in Rome was dedicated to visiting the Vatican. Before we had left for our trip we were looking through our credit cards and opening a new card that would help us acquire points, but also has no foreign transaction fees while abroad. While we were doing so I also realized I had points on another card. I realized we could use our points for tours so we booked a tour of St. Peter's Basilica. We took an 8/9:00 appointment to get our tour underway before it became too busy. (If you book a tour, go through the security line, into the front of the Basilica and there is a big table that has different tour groups.) It took us a minute to find our beginning location but we found it, picked up our headphones and were off on our tour. The basilica is very grandeur and overwhelming. I don't have a lot of knowledge of Catholicism but it was very beautiful being amongst so much history. (That and I could relate to watching Angels and Demons.. whoops!)
It's hard to fathom but all the letters around the top trim are actually larger than most people. The letters are all 6 feet tall! Definitely helps you grasp the enormity of St. Peter's Basilica!
Still not sure about the whole entombed Pope thing.. This is really the body of a deceased Pope.
It became a ritual to rub this pope's foot and your sins would be cleansed.. why not?! His foot was almost rubbed off!
 This picture just makes me think of Ewen McGregor in Angels and Demons by Dan Brown..
Everyone loves to see the Swiss Guards in their amazing outfits! After our tour of the Basilica we inquired about the Vatican museum tours. We opted not to do an official tour and just wander around the museum on our own, but FIRST it was lunch!!

On high recommendation from friends, and also Anthony Bourdain, we headed off to Pizzarium Bonci! Created by chef Bonci, this is not your average pizza joint even in American terms. There is no where to sit and the pizza is actually CUT (with scissors) by the slice! It is also weighed so you must tell them how big or small you want your slice. They use the most fresh and seasonal ingredients so all the pizzas are different. They claim he's invented 1,500 different pizzas! The best pizza must come from good dough and the dough at Pizzarium must rise for over 24 hours and is a recipe that's over 200 years old. You must try different slices and always try the simple tomato sauce because although simple, it's amazing. The longer you sit there the more pizzas come out and you wish you could eat ALL of them!! And don't forget your beer or wine off to the side, they have great craft beers and great wine! Pizzarium is a MUST VISIT!!!
If there's anything I would teach anyone visiting Europe in general, EAT YOUR MEATS! Especially the pork.. you see that proscuitto?! YUM! Eat all your charcuterie, you won't regret it!! Then you'll get back to the US and won't be able to find anything as good.. sad!

Then it was back to the Vatican to tour the museum!
Had to be immature because this statue above is so silly to me!! We really did not take in this museum as you should but we had a hard time concentrating on all the religious art as most of Europe is consumed in it and it all starts to look the same.. After a while we just really wanted to get to the Sistine Chapel and see what it had to offer.
I don't have any pictures of the Sistine Chapel because they're not allowed, although people are ALWAYS taking photos. It's also supposed to be a quiet place although they are herding you into the room like a bunch of cattle where you can't move and they're forcing you to move so you can't actually take in the grandeur because it's overshadowed by the mass amounts of people, yelling guards, and asking you to be quiet.. By FAR the most touristy place we visited was the Vatican. It was overwhelming and you were always in lines in the museum trying to get to the Sistine. We honestly just wanted to skip everything and just see the Sistine after a while but you had to maze through the whole museum before you were able to visit. It was a bit exhausting..
I really appreciated this Papel Robe by Matisse!

After our visit to the Vatican we headed off for dinner. The restaurant we scoped out was near the Pantheon so we decided to go inside and check it out. It was very unique and different considering this was one of the first real churches!! The open skylight allowing for the rain to not affect the surroundings was really a neat feature that you don't see every day and just being in a building from 120AD is mind blowing!

Then we grabbed some cocktails and appetizers at a neat little bistro where we enjoyed the nice weather and extreme people watching!

Finally we were off for dinner. We entered this off the beaten path restaurant I had found on one of the nice travel blogs. So we opened the door and asked for a table and were immediately told there was no availability... ALL night. The restaurant wasn't even full. We felt that because we were tourists we weren't welcome because it did say it was a locals joint. We were supremely disappointed. Then we found another restaurant on a list that we set out to find. We began to walk around and around because the map said we kept passing the restaurant.. WHERE is it?! Finally we realized it was CLOSED, due to being shut down by the city for a week?! What the?!.. Then it was down to just picking a random restaurant.. sigh.. Dillmans 0 - Rome 15..

I finally was able to try Cacchio e Pepe, which is pretty must olive oil and pepper but it was quiet good although it doesn't photograph nicely.. ha! All in all dinner wasn't bad, and it was always nice to have fresh pasta! Then it was time to turn in for the evening..


1 comment:

  1. I am so hungry after reading this post! And I am definitely going to read Angels & Demons after the Da Vinci Code. sucs about that restaurant blocking you...boo. Im excited to go overseas this summer but it can be intimidating too! Wish more ppl could be like they were in Cape Town, excited and friendly.