Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Italy~ Day 1 Mike's Version

When we first arrived in Italy both Lauren and I were tired and hungry. Being "economical" we decided that we would catch the train into Rome and walk to our hotel. We could have caught a taxi, but that would have cost an extra $50 or so. We also could have transferred from the train to the subway to get closer to the hotel, but it was only an extra quarter mile....and so we walked.

To back this story up a little bit, Lauren had read that it would be really cold in Italy. We packed sweaters, jackets, and even hand warmers. Most importantly....we dressed really warm on the flight so we wouldn't be cold when we got off. Funny how mother nature can be so fickle......so there we were, walking in jeans and thick long-sleeve t-shirts in high 80 degree weather. It wasn't long before we decided to stop for a break.
Our first food in Italy came from a bar on the side of the road as we walked to Hotel Domus Aventina. We were both hot and tired and hungry, and we decided to share a mozzarella and tomato sandwich. It was simple, fresh and good. Just look at how red the tomatoes are.
After we arrived at the hotel (and showered to cool off) we decided to go and see some of the sights. Since our hotel was right next to the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill we began our explorations there. We started at the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill since we read that the Colosseum ticket line is always crazy long, and admission at one place pays for admission at both. The Roman Forum was basically where the Roman city square and government were located. Palatine Hill was where the emperors lived. We didn't want to wait around for a guided tour, so we decided to purchase an electronic audio guide to help us understand what we were looking at. A bit of advice, don't ever do this (unless you think Ben Stein reading you an art history book would be riveting). Basically you get a device that plays recordings explaining the sights when you punch in certain codes. You have a map to tell you when to punch in the right codes. We were so confused because the map codes didn't accurately match up with the proper areas. And to make things worse, Lauren's audio guide ran out of batteries! Anyway, it was surreal to be standing in the midst of things you learn about in school, but also a bit confusing.
After the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill we went to the Colosseum. Lauren already put up a picture of this in the previous post. This was much more interesting, fun and understandable. Plus we had already seen Gladiator. :)
After our long day, we went back to the hotel and fell asleep.....yes, before dinner! But after a 2 hour nap we woke up and went looking for food. We ate dinner at a restaurant called Insalata Ricca which was recommended by the receptionist at our hotel. Lauren had an anchovy pizza, I had a creamy artichoke pasta, and we shared a half liter of the house red wine. I'd say that our first meal was average. The pizza was okay. The pasta was rich and creamy, and I really liked it, but by the time I was half way through, it was a bit heavy. All in all, nothing special, but not bad. The wine was smooth, and along with jet lag, it hit us hard. Comparatively speaking, it was a pretty cheap meal. Italy can get really expensive really fast. There are no pictures here because we were both too tired to remember to bring the camera.

1 comment:

DianasaurDishes said...

So cool you guys got to go to Italy. I would love a tomato mozzarella sandwich right now!