Day 5 was our last day in Rome. Sad!
My parents told me about Campo dei Fiori and I made it a point to go. It was well worth it! There are also cute clothing shops in the alleys surrounding the market.
Pasta stand. I bought squid ink pasta (which doesn't taste like squid ink, but was still delicious, according to mom). And also I bought the pasta they used at ne arte ne parte.
This curly vegetable reminds me of the dragon vegetable from Taiwan. I wonder!
I had a dream about this butcher stand later when I got back to the States. I dreamt that I could pick up the whole window with the meat in it like a suitcase. Then I picked up another suitcase full of power tools. Good dream!
Then we went back to the hotel to pick up our bags and say bye to Caterina, Barbara, and Gianni at the B&B. This time, we figured out how to get from our B&B to the train station without taking a cab (we took a bus instead). Rome is so easy to get around with public transportation. You really can get anywhere with their buses and subways.
We met the funniest couple on the train. They were our age. His name was Jason, and his wife’s name was…I can’t remember, but she reminds me of this girl Candice so let’s just call her that. They were traveling because Candice recently got laid off, and Jason was on leave from the military. They were on a budget, but because of military priviledges, all of their hotels and transportation tickets were on major military discounts. We got on the train and were in the midst of lifting the big suitcases above our heads to put them in the luggage racks (ok Aaron was lifting, I was directing and attempting to help while he says “it’s easier if just ONE person does it!” ahhaha). We hear someone say “Oh, are you guys going to Florence too? That’s cool, so are we! We’ve been in Rome for a couple days. What about you guys?” and on and on. On his own. Ahahah!! So we were talking back to him and trying to do the luggage at the same time. I was thinking, why doesn’t he HELP us instead of yammering on. But it was clear he was just oblivious and not being malicious. So anyway we sat down and talked to them some more. They were some of the friendliest people I’ve met. Candice was saying how she forgot about something and Jason said “this one, she forgets about everything! She’s like that Adam Sandler movie. Which one was it? You know? That Adam Sandler one? What was it called?” meanwhile not realizing the irony of the whole thing. Other highlights of the conversation:
Jason: Wait. Honey. Look at that! AHAHA!!! Look what she’s reading! (pointing to me, I was reading Twilight, don’t judge)
Candice: I love that book AHH! My little sister has the audio book! She listened to it on the road trip we took from ____ to ____! Isn’t it so great?!
Jason: I’m not going to read it but THEY love it
and on. and on. They were too funny!
Here’s another gem:
Jason: My brother’s fiance is such a mean person. She is so stupid too. She only care about money. Like the purses. Oh, honey, tell them about the purses. It was funny!
Candice: Yeah like, his brother just buys her a bunch of fake Prada and Fendi purses, and he doesn’t tell her they’re fake, so she thinks they’re real, and she brags about them all the time! Oh and the one up thing! honey!! Tell them about the one up thing!
Jason: SO!! They always have to be better than us! Like we’d be like, oh we went to Sandals for our honeymoon. It wasn’t too bad, about $3700 for the whole trip. And they’d be like, oh, we went to Sandals too! But we spent $8000 there. And we’d be like, oh well we rented a sailboat for the wedding reception, and they’d be like, oh well, we rented a yacht!
Amy: Ahaha! That is funny. You should have said, well, we rented TWO yachts!
Jason: No. But we rented a sailboat.
YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN about these people being absolute gems? One last story and I promise I’ll stop.
Jason and Candice found this nice little grassy area for their picnic. Later on during the meal, they realized they were sitting in the yard of a poor person. I’m not exactly sure what this means, but they termed it a “bumyard.” I believe it was perhaps a homeless person’s yard? Or maybe just a very ghetto house? Maybe the homeless person was living in a tent on this green pasture? I am really not sure. Anyway they were very VERY excited about this incident. After they ate their picnic, they left a half bottle of wine on the yard for the homeless person to drink and felt very magnanimous about the whole thing. I laughed along confusedly and returned to my book. Next thing I knew, Candice had whipped out her pink camera, and Jason was next to my seat, camera in my face with images of green pastures with half bottle of wine, saying in a sing-song voice “Bumyard!” I would laugh agreeably and a minute later I would hear in my right ear “Oh, look! BUMyard!”
Aaron and I have taken the term “bumyard” to describe anything now. Examples:
“I told you it was goign to rain. Oh, BUMYARD!”
“Ugh. This leftover is not good anymore. Bumyard :(”
And sometimes I want to say “burn” instead of “bumyard” and it comes out as “burnyard” or “barnyard.”
And as I type this out I am realizing how ridiculous this is all sounding. Back to the pictures!
Here we are on the train to Florence:
As much as we loved the chattering of Jason and "Candice," we escaped to the dining carriage for some quiet time.
Second course: pork medallions with mushrooms. The pork was…very hard…I would not recommend.
- Our waiter preparing the food in the small kitchen. First course: linguini with spicey tomato sauce. The waiter / cook came over with a big platter full of steaming pasta and served it on to our plates. Yum!
We felt like we were in a movie!
We arrived in Florence and walked about 5 blocks from the train station to the car rental place. We got a Mercedes by pure luck (yay!) and drove to Montepulciano, about an hour and a half. Unfortunately, I had taken a Dramamine on the train in order to not get motion sickness, and it really did not kick in until we were in the car. I white knuckled it until I got Aaron safely on the highway, then I handed him the GPS and promptly passed out. We got to Montepulciano and proceeded to drive around the city center four times before we were able to reach our hotel. Our hotel was in the city center, which basically looked like this:
Now, imagine that these streets are all one ways. And on a 45 degree incline. With lots of buildings that come very VERY close to your car when you try to turn. And when you do turn you scraped your rental Mercedes. We don’t have to imagine any of those things because they happened to us!
Fortunately by the time we turned the car in, the car was covered in dust so the scratch was not visible. Also the scratch was minuscule, so all’s well that ends well!
Osteria del Borgo
via Ricci 53045 Montepulciano (SI)
Our hotel was a very nice place, very clean and romantic, and at the top of the city center. It was next to the main piazza and chapel, surrounded by the civil museum, two restaurants, and the main wine house. But because of the harrowing driving memories, I forgot to take any pictures! But here are some from the web:
The hotel was owned by a family who has a wine bar and a terrace attached to the hotel. They were so nice and gave us directions many times. The bathroom had a nice big tub with bath salts and fizzies provided. It was also very clean and had a full kitchen. I highly recommend it if you don’t mind the drive!
We then walked next door to the best restaurant in town, where I once again forgot to take pictures. It’s a good thing I have an encyclopedic food memory. For appetizer, we had bread with lardo (french bread topped with cured pork fat and toasted). For our courses, Aaron got the cheese ravioli and I had lasagna. Then we shared the tiramisu, and I had one of the best cappuccinos I’ve ever had. I highly recommend this place! If you go to the hotel you will surely see it, because it is the only dinner restaurant in the piazza. Our waiter was a young guy with a ponytail (he made a very good wine recommendation), very courteous, and the owner was a very nice woman in her 40s with very curly hair.
See you in the morning!