We’re on our way from Anghiari to Atlanta. Our pit stop is Rome. We fly out Thursday late morning and didn’t want to be rushed, so we drove from Anghiari to Rome on Tuesday so that we had one full day regroup and enjoy Rome. By now, all the packing is done, we’ve cleaned the apartment in Anghiari, we’ve said all the goodbyes we needed to say and all we have to do is wait on Delta to take us to Atlanta. After the hectic schedule of the past week, it’s nice to have this last day and a half to just do what we want in one of our favorite cities.
We asked for a large room because we have – are you ready for this – six suitcases, and, of course, Millie the dog. We are staying in our favorite place, the Hotel Villa San Pio on the Aventino Hill. The weather today was divine. It was about 68 degrees and sunny. Our room is on the corner and has a gorgeous balcony that wraps around the entire room. After we got the rental car turned in, we opened one of the three bottles of wine that were given to us by our friends in Anghiari and went out on the balcony. We reminisced about our sabbatical and enjoyed the unseasonable temperature and the beautiful afternoon.
Rome is near enough to the coast that you see a lot of seagulls here. While we out on the balcony, we were listening to Pavarotti and watching the gulls. Such a simple thing – watching birds fly, yet how often do we do it? You could see how they would be carried on a current for a ways, then they would have to pump their wings until they found another current. Sometimes they would turn so that they almost disappeared, and then would turn and become visible again. Listening to the beautiful instrument of Pavarotti’s voice and watching the graceful elegance of the gulls reminded me of how intertwined art and nature are. It was the perfect afternoon spent listening to music that seemed divinely created and watching the gulls fly over the eternal city.
Dinner was at one of our favorite places in Rome, Cestia Taverna, very near our hotel. We walked over and had a fabulous meal. We asked the waiter what the table next to us was having and they evidently overheard us and told us that it was the fried artichokes. He went on to say that he had been coming to this restaurant for 50 years and they had the best fried artichokes in the city. Pretty bold statement. So we had them. They were fabulous – thinly sliced small artichokes, lightly breaded and fried to perfection. Then I had a rombo – not sure what that is, but it’s a wonderful white fish – fresh, pure white, clear – perfection. Then a mixed salad, because I felt the need for some healthy greens. Steve had fried vongole and shrimp and puntarella, a kind of chicory. It was a great first meal in Rome and we loved it.
Great start to the last part of our adventure. We’ll see what tomorrow holds. Our last full day in Italy. For now.