sunnuntai 10. marraskuuta 2013

Backflashes from October: Eternal emotions, Mediterranean flavors

In October we decided to conquer the city we haven’t visited before. The City was the eternal town Rome.  We had three complete days (from Wednesday noon to Saturday afternoon) to do it. We hired a bed and breakfast place for our purposes and used metro for our actions.

Visiting Italy, we of course had to try local pizzas. The first one was a pizza slice in a suburban take away pizzeria. It was a boletus mushroom pizza and I asked the sales girl if she had heard of Dalla Valle, the man who imports these mushrooms from Finland to Italy and told her I pick them too. She shook her head and replied these cannot be such, and asked the chef what’s the name of the mushrooms. She then came back and said there were something like bolet…

The first day we did only the preliminary scouting in downtown. However he result was convincing: Lots of lovely views and nice contact with Roman hospitality in a tiny shop. When we told our interest in some dresses we were immediately guided downstairs to dressing room areas where we commented our findings with local ladies. The total result was a dress with a bolero for both of us, however very different in style.

In the evening we went for supper near our hotel. I wanted to eat something small and tried to explain I only wanted some fried vegetables. The waitress replied he’ll have something nice for me. When he served our meals I noticed I did get some fried vegetables – with a huge beefsteak!!

On Thursday day we had Vatican as our destination. We visited the St Peters Church and the Vatican museum which was an astounding experience: How on earth did the popes want to collect, rob or commission such huge treasures. I heavily doubt it was not done in the honor of the God…   Anyway it was a great lesson of art history, including ancient art and the renaissance and later masters, as Rafaello, Michelangelo, Chagall and Dali.

Our pizzas of the day was claimed to be a huge one but we get a normal size and quality under the average. So we decided to have something better in the evening and went to a fish restaurant near Via del Tritone. We ordered a gilthead bream with some vegetables. The taste was a bit like our bream but much richer in flavor.  On our way back to hotel we still saw a nice fountain, one of the numberless fountains in Rome.

On Friday we concentrated on ancients places like Colosseum and Pantheon. Unfortunately the Forum Romanum was closed because of the strike. Because of the strike also the buses and trams didn’t go but fortunately our mode of transport, underground wasn’t striking.

After the Pantheon visit we still did some shopping tour and accidentally ended up in front of the shop we have visited two days before. I went in and found the sales lady who had served us to thank her and tell we were satisfied for our dresses. She was very delighted for that.

On Saturday we still had a lot of time to find new … I mean ancient places to see. So we went to the Circus Maximus area and from there we walked to Caracalla bath. The dimension of the places were huge, the old Romans really had room for having fun. 

We walked even further along the Roman wall through the nice villa region to see Roman pyramid which was unfortunately under construction. So we returned to Rome main station area to have our last Roman lunch – and it was not a pizza.

On our way back to Finland our concern was we had tickets with only hand packages, maximum 8 kilograms. There were very strict rules to regard almost any other items as an extra package with extra charge. Fortunately it turned out the ladies handbag was not included to that category so we could divide our things neatly to two bags per person J

The temperature in Rome was between 15 and 27 Celsius degrees. When we got to Helsinki airport it was a bit below zero and the streets were a bit icy after a rainy day. So I was very happy that I had already changed the snow tires.    

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