Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Relaxing in Rome

After putting our bags away at our new B&B we went to find a nice spot for lunch before our 2:30 Vatican tour. Again, we went to a place recommended to us by Rick Steves, and again we were impressed. It was a 9 euro lunch buffet that had everything from pizza, pasta, lasagna (veggie!), cheeses, meats and more. TONS of veggie options. We had that along with some wine, and again we were happy campers.

After a leisurely lunch, we walked a short distance to where our Vatican tour started. It was a 3 hour tour, and it was great!  We saw so much it's hard to keep it all straight. Aside from the Sistine Chapel, the thing I am most impressed with is the method of frescoing. I always just thought fresco was a style of art, not a method. But it is when you take plaster and color it while it is still wet. This means no layering of colors to shade or anything. Every color you see on a fresco was mixed beforehand and applied directly to the plaster. And since plaster dries so quickly you can only do small sections at a time. That's what makes the Sistine Chapel even more impressive!

It started raining a little when we were done with our tour, so we went to an Internet cafe to kill some time. I got to see a few wedding pictures!  So exciting!  I think they turned out great!

For dinner I really wanted to find some good gnocchi. We haven't had any yet and I wanted to try the fresh local pasta. We stumbled upon a little family owned restaurant that was fantastic!  The couple sitting next to us were at a table for four and it was completely covered with food!  Tons of salads and veggies and fresh cheeses and foccacia bread. They turned to us and asked us if this was a typical Italian meal. Ha!  Not like we've seen.

Apparently their hotel recommended this place and told them to tell the owner he sent them. After that, the waiters just brought them food without them ordering anything. They had so much food they literally couldn't eat it all. So we helped them with their mozzarella :)  Turns out they were also on our ship. Small world. Either way, my gnocchi was among the best pasta I've ever had!  I'm so happy we found that place.

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