Rome, Italy: Our plan today was to wander about and find ourselves mid-day at Pizzarium for a late lunch. And wander we did, covering over six miles before lunch!

First photo stop was at the top of Quirinal Hill, the highest of the Seven Hills of Rome. This fountain (not running today) sits across from the home of the President of Italy. The house of the President of Italy looks like an office building and I didn’t even think to snap a photo, sorry!

Pretty building in Rome

More ruins

Fountain in front of Pantheon and a parrot outside a restaurant

We stopped at a little toy shop, looking for a small gift for a certain little boy in Los Angeles, but could not find an appropriate toy for a toddler – too many dangerous moving/breakable parts on the adorable bendable Pinocchio dolls.

Some boys never grow up:

Just in case you are missing the C.B.E. as much as we are… Lisa emailed a photo this morning:

We continued our way towards the river, passing through narrow lanes and trying to avoid the touristy areas (if there is such a thing as a non-touristy area in Rome).

We crossed the Tiber River on the pretty Vittorio Emanuele II bridge.

Vittorio Emanuele II bridge

The Castel Sant’Angelo was built by Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself nearly 1900 years ago. The castle is now a museum (and several rulers are buried on the site):

This bridge leads straight to Vatican City – another crowded tourist mob we tried to avoid. (We visited the Vatican on a previous trip to Rome.)

Finally, several hours later (we stop often to check the map and take photos), we finally reached Pizzarium (Via della Meloria, 43)! Yes, we know it is at the end of a subway line, but that certainly would not have been as fun… nor would it allow us to each have two nice fat chunks of pizza al taglio.

Pizzarium

Pizzarium is a hole-in-the-wall. No seating at all. It is take-out or take-out to eat on the lone bench outside. The place was packed, with a line down the block. Operated by famed baker, Gabriele Bonci, Pizzarium only vends pizza al taglio – large sheets of pizza cut into chunks and sold by weight. I can best describe Bonci’s version as light focaccia-type bread loaded with savory toppings. Today he offered margherita (tomato & basil), potato with cheese, cheese, roasted pepper, fig & cheese, greens of several sorts, plus more – about ten varieties in all. I did not notice meat on any pizza, so cannot tell you if this is a vegetarian place or if the pizzas today just did not include meat.

Pizza Margherita and Potato & Cheese pizza al taglio

Yummy crust!

Eating on my lap, using my tote as a table, did not allow for anything but iPhone photos, but I think you can get the general idea that this pizza was over-the-top and well worth a six mile walk.

But we’re not crazy. We rode the subway back to our hotel!

Our touristing is working well with the events from the World Championships in Moscow. We watch the morning session, head out to explore and return to our hotel room in time to catch the afternoon session. When the events are over (8p here), the restaurants in Rome are just opening. If we choose, we can catch the replay just before bedtime. Perfect.

The restaurant we wanted to try tonight is closed all week for summer holiday. August is really a very bad month to visit Italy – so many restaurants shut-down for weeks or the entire month of August. We ended-up walking a few blocks from our hotel to a pretty little restaurant where (unfortunately) every single patron was foreign. Though our meals were delicious, I will not name nor recommend this joint as it was just too expensive for the service/food.

Braesola (air-cured beef) rolled in truffled cheese and
pasta Cacio & Pepe (pasta with cheese and black pepper)

Pedometer: 17,422 steps. 7.43 miles. Still probably not enough to off-set pizza AND pasta.

And wine.

Until my next update, I remain, your blister-free correspondent.

About our hotel in Rome

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