A Taste of Italy: Rome (Day 1)
Twenty-seven years ago I visited Europe for the first time. I was an 18 year old, inexperienced traveler who was equally concerned with finding inexpensive souvenir t-shirts and hair bows as I was at discovering new sites. Now, at forty-five years young, I had the opportunity to return to Italy to more fully experience the culture, the food, and the history (not necessarily in order of importance, and, if I'm being truly honest, food topped the list!) thanks to Trafalgar's #TasteofItaly tour.
After months of allowing someone else to plan my trip (do you know how difficult that is for a #travelagent?!), I was in Rome. Our hotel was located in a residential area with a small shopping square a few blocks away. It was time to conquer jet lag and explore the neighborhood. And, if I happened to find a little gelato... well... when in #Rome...
Gelato is the Italian word for ice cream, but it is different. Gelato is made with milk (not cream), eggs, and sugar. It's perfection in a cup or in a cone. It's important to know that great gelato looks like the above photos. It's not presented in huge heaps of temptation, but in small batches of perfection. And, if it's mint, it's not green. Keep these tips in mind for your next gelato experience. In Italy. You're welcome.
Our evening took us to a moderately sized pizza restaurant closer to the sites of Rome. We expected a little salad and pizza. We were correct, but on this Taste of Italy tour, we received much, much more. Dinner included antipasti, caprese salad, an unknown spiraled green with anchovy dressing, no less than five different types of pizza, fruit, and dessert. And wine. Lots and lots of wine. #toomuchfood
Our evening of gluttony was followed by a drive-by tour of Rome before returning to our hotel. I highly recommend seeing the sites by day AND night to get a real feel for the mood of the city. It's a beautiful and worthwhile experience.
My first day back in Rome in nearly three decades was complete, and I was anxious to get some sleep for the next day's treat: Vatican City with exclusive access to Bromante's Staircase.