Rome 10/2009~Day 7



Follow wired2theworld on Twitter

Saturday, October 17, 2009
Today is our last day in Rome. In looking back at my notes for this day it says:
That sums it up nicely I think.
The day starts chilly and overcast, almost gloomy. We set out with no particular plans only to walk around and enjoy out last day. What haven’t we seen yet? Where haven’t we been? What haven’t we eaten? Today we will walk and try to take it all in.

Tris and Jessica enjoying their breakfast on the Campo di Fiori.


Dog waiting patiently in the "dog parking"
spot outside the Forno.
Photo by Tris.


The first stop is back to the Campo di Fiori market for breakfast and some last minute souvenir shopping. The first stop is the Forno bakery for a couple of pieces of their foccacia and a few cookies. I know this place is supposed to be the best, but the foccacia I had was not exceptional. Good, but not great. I will just have to go back and try it again another time.


We select one of the outdoor cafes with a heater and settle in for cappucino and pastry. From here I can participate in two of my favorite pastimes; watching the goings-on of the market and daydreaming about an apartment with a terrace with a view.

There is one such apartment in my line of sight today (see photo at left), overlooking the Campo and I wonder if it’s for rent. All over Rome I have been pointing out such places and swear that my next rental will have a terrace.



After breakfast, we walk around the market shopping, watching the vendors clean and prep their produce (puntarelle is very labor intensive), and Tris videos the guy selling the vegetable slicer and dicer.

While we are watching the vegetable man (photo left, by Sharon), a very old woman comes around the crowd, silently begging.
She is bent over with her hand out. She sits down on the steps surrounding the statue of Giordano Bruno and removes the scarf from her head. Her thin hair cannot conceal the large growths on her head and suddenly my resolve is gone; I empty my pockets of all their change into her upturned hand. She takes it and I grab her other hand to give it a squeeze. I want her to know someone sees her. There are hundreds of people around, but no one stops. My mother gives her some change as well. She says “grazie” about a dozen times and I have to leave before I empty my wallet too.


After shopping in the Campo, Jessica, Tris, and I make a quick trip back to the apartment to drop our purchases while my mother waits for us at a café. When we get back, we continue our walking, now toward the Pantheon and the purse shop we had visited earlier in the week.

The shop is called “Volterra” and it’s at Via Del Pantheon, 48, open mon-sat until 7:30pm. It’s a narrow, tiny shop with a hand picked selection of bags in all the colors of the rainbow. As far as I could tell, all the bags were Italian leather and ranged in price from €30 for small ones to a little over €120 for the largest ones.

"Volterra Pelletteria" photo by Tris.

I buy a gorgeous, simple hobo bag in a deep eggplant color for around €70. I never spend that kind of money on a purse, but I absolutely love it. It’s big enough to hold my SLR camera when I travel and is fashionable enough for me to carry daily at home. In fact, at the airport on our way home, I was pulled into a secondary search right before getting on the plane, and the young female security agent complimented my choice of color and bag as she was searching it (I told her it was my one souvenir of Rome). I felt like I had gotten the Italian fashionista stamp of approval.




By now, we’re ready for lunch and we check out a number of places surrounding the Pantheon from my list. A few aren’t open for lunch or on Saturdays and some just look too touristy or expensive. Eventually, we end up at La Tavernetta (Via degli Spagnoli 48) which is completely full inside, but has empty tables outside. It’s chilly, and threatening to rain. But we’re hungry and the €12 lunch menu sounds good so we take our chances and sit under a large umbrella. It does indeed begin to rain while we are eating, but the umbrella keeps us dry and the food and wine warms our bellies. The street is not much more than an alley with almost no traffic; it’s surprisingly quiet for being so close to the center.

Between the four of us, we have almost everything on the lunch menu. There are four choices for the appetizer and four mains. The €12 gets us one of each plus a ¼ liter of wine and ½ liter of water per person. I have the pasta al pesto and it’s excellent. Everyone enjoys their first course; Jessica’s pasta with calamari is beautiful and Tris loves her risotto alla Milanese. My mother’s pasta e fagioli is perfect in this weather. Both Jessica and I have the stracatti al rughetta, my mother has a beautiful grilled Orata (fish) and Tris has fettinadi manzo al pizzaiola. This place is clearly popular for a reason and I would definitely return.

I love these buildings which incorporate
much older buildings into the newer



With no room left for dessert we walk to the Trevi fountain next to make sure we toss our coins in to ensure our return. The area around the Trevi fountain is packed with tourists and it's almost too crowded to move. In fact, the whole centro area is so crowded it's shocking considering this isn't the summer or a holiday week.

Tris, Sharon, Kristina and Jessica, after tossing coins into the Trevi Fountain.

The statue on the fountain across from the
Pantheon. Think he's looking at the
pigeon on his head?

We stopped by Frigidarium, but Fabrizio
was not there yet. Unfortunately, we didn't
make it back there that night.








One of the things Tris really wanted to do before leaving was get a photo of St. Peter's Dome through the Knights of Malta keyhole. While my Mom and I go back to the apartment, they go up to the Piazza Dei Cavalieri Di Malta and wait until Tris gets the perfect shot.









On the way back down, they get a little lost and somehow find themselves near the Coliseum. Tris snapped the awesome photo, below right, right as she was stepping into a cab.

Collection of various graffiti from all over Rome. Photos by Tris.



By the time dinner rolls around none of us are very hungry. We've had so much to eat and drink in the last few days, it's really no surprise. Tris says she's feeling "green" so she stays in and Jessica, my mom and I go out in search of something light. We end up at Enotecca Trastevere, a place we had been in 2008 on Easter Sunday. We each get a glass of wine and a little something to eat. My eggplant parmesan, a chalkboard special of the day, turns out to be excellent; a much lighter and fresher version than the more traditional Roman restaurants.

Buy the book about the trip!

A Week in Rome, Oct...
By Kristina Johnson ...


Kristina was quoted in
Fodor's Italy 2010.
See page 47...




Kristina's Food Blog


Sunday, October 18, 2009

We're all up early, getting ready and the apartment owner's son shows up right on time at 6:30 am to return our cash deposit. The rome cabs driver is also prompt, arriving a little before 7am. In short order we have our stuff downstairs are bundled into the van and are on our way.

At the airport, we have to go through a preliminary screening before we can go to the area where we check in. Then, Jessica and Tris are held up because the ticket agents are only taking people for a flight to Atlanta which is leaving before ours. After about half an hour, we are all able to go through security. We find the only place open for food, the cafeteria, and it's chaos. Most people are tourists and don't understand the Italian system of paying for your items first at the cashier and then bringing your tickets to the barrista. People are 6 deep at the counter and tempers are rising when they get there and can't order without paying first. It take a while buy finally we all get our coffee and food and are able to relax.

The flights back on Delta, FCO-JFK-LAX, are about the same as on the way there; uncomfortable but made almost bearable by a decent video system. I watch a lot of movies, unable to sleep sitting up. At JFK we have to go through immigration, get our bags, go through customs, recheck our bags, go through security again and then take a shuttle to our departure gate. We barely have enough time to make it. Back in LA, all of our bags are there and my husband is waiting to take us home.

I’m so happy to have had a second full week in Rome in such a relatively short time period (18 months). I could easily see myself visiting annually, or at least every other year. There's an endless supply of things to do and see, and let’s not forget, places to eat! I don’t know when it will be, but I know I’ll return.


Contact us!

Back to top

Has this site helped you? Help support us by checking out our Amazon Page