Rome 11-26-08

When we got up this morning we had breakfast and left for the train station. We caught the 9:30am train and got into Rome around 11:00. The ride over was quick with no stops and the weather was sunny. We got to see the Tuscan region from the train, but it isnít the same as in the summer when all the grapevines are green. It was still pretty though. At least itís warmer here. We still need a jacket but itís not as cold as Florence or Venice. We then took a taxi to the Albergo Cesari. The same hotel Tony and I stayed at on the 9th of November before our cruise. It is so centrally located we thought it would work good for us. After checking in we walked a couple of blocks to the Trevi Fountain. We stopped and Dad bought a bag of roasted chestnuts. We sat at the fountain and ate some. Dad said he hadnít had them in about 60 years. They were sure good. Dad & I tossed in coins in hopes we get to come back!

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We walked back toward our hotel and stopped to get some pizza. I donít know if we were really hungry or just the smells of the food cooking got us!

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After we left there we walked past our hotel and next door is some ruins. Iím not sure what they are but it caught our eye.

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Next we kept on walking until we got to the Pantheon. It wasnít crowded at all and we got right in. Dad was impressed with the columns and the front doors, at how heavy and big they were.

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When we left that area we walked on to Piazza Navona. They were setting up some kind of festival and lots of street artists were out with their paintings. We stopped for a gelato and sat and people watched for a while and decided since it was so pretty out that we better take advantage of it and go to the Coliseum. We walked for a ways and then decided to get a cab the rest of the way. The traffic isnít as bad as in the summer here. We had prepared Dad for the worst, but so far so good.

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When we arrived at the Coliseum there was only one English speaking tour left so we jumped in line and had a great time looking around there. That building is so impressive. The below pictures are of different angles of the Coliseum while we were there. We are going back tomorrow to the Forum area to finish up the tour.

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After returning to the hotel, Dad took a nap and we rested for a while. We asked the desk clerk at our hotel where to go to get lamb for dinner as Dad was hungry for something like a Sheppardís pie with lamb. He called a restaurant and confirmed they had lamb and we just had to turn the corner and walk maybe a half block to get there. It was called da Sabatino. When we got seated the waiter ďwho acted like the ownerĒ asked us what we wanted. We told him, as best we could that Dad wanted lamb. He said Si! Then came the food. This was one of the best meals of all! First they brought a bread basket, and we had hardly had time to take a bite of it before he brought a big puff of bread like none I had seen before. He said it was Focachia but it didnít look or taste like what we call Focachia. When we put a knife in it steam came out! Then it turned into a cracker like bread. Then bruchetta showed up right after.

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So far we hadnít seen a menu and had no clue of the price either, but it was so good we just kept on eating. Ha All of this was served family style too. Next came the anti-pasta. It had a pea salad, grilled eggplant, grilled yellow peppers, olives, bean salad, veal meatballs, mushrooms and fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese! We were thinking we werenít going to be hungry for dinner.

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This next picture is for John! Ha After the anti-pasta and without ordering it he brought us each a big ravioli stuffed with spinach and cheese and topped with a fresh tomato sauce. Sorry John, no picture because it was so good we couldnít wait to take a picture before we ate it all up! Ha

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Then came the lamb chops. They were so good, you canít describe them. Dad said he loved them and the potatoes they brought too. They were roasted with rosemary.

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Dad told the chef that the meal was soo good that he was going to tell his children and his grandchildren and his two friends!! HaHa We all had a good laugh at that one. Just when we thought we were all done he brought out some homemade Tiramisu and THEN what he called fresh cookies. It was more like a sweet biscuit and felt like they came right out of the oven. He also brought an icy bottle of Lemonchello and three glasses. It was a fabulous meal.

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After all of this and a bottle of wine, here is a picture of Dad! HaHa (Just Kidding)

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We are going to Vatican City tomorrow and will post when we get back.

Love,

Tony, Candy & Gene