Tuesday, November 29, 2005
A Very Roman Weekend
Last weekend saw Mum, Dad, Dougal and me trek off (at 5am no less) to Rome to celebate Mum's Birthday. Arriving around lunchtime we wandered through the streets and ate delicious proscuito and mozzarella or melazane and mozzarella sandwiches. The weather wasn't at its best but we ambled around various sites before getting to the Colloseum at dusk. Dinner on that first night (Friday) was at Giardino di Albino as recommended by Hotel Modigliani , where we were staying. The antipasti were totally breathtaking - there were more than twenty delicious nibbles - though we only sampled a few - such as the sausages, crustless quiche, sweet onions and fresh mozzarella. Dad chose a scrumptious bottle of Brunello to accompany our food. We all opted for the house special - roast suckiling pig with rosmary roast potatoes - exceedingly tasty and the portion was just the right size after gorging ourselves on the antipasti. Finally dessert - the boys couln't resist the tiramisu while the lasses ate almond cake, which was a light sponge covered in a thin layer of lightly toasted marzipan.
On Saturday we met for a tour of the sights of Rome used in the Dan Brown book Angels and Demons. Our guide gave us a quick run down of real and acknowledged events (which end in the 18th century) before showing us the Bernini statues in first the church of Santa Maria di Popolo before we progressed on to Piazza San Pietro (to see the West wind), the Pantheon via the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva (where Gallileo was held for 18 days, which is not in the book), the fountain in Piazza Navonna and finally we walked across Angel's Bridge to Castel di Sant'Angelo. From here there is a 'secret' via duct to the popes rooms in the Vatican!
After a long day on the streets of Rome we headed for Federico Primo, a fantastic fish restaurant down by the column of Marcus Aurelius. Unfortunately the heavens opened once more and we were drenched on the walk down to the restaurant. However, it was well worth the effort. We all had pasta to start, I had spaghetti with lobster, which was lightly spiced with chilli. I then had the pan fried halibut - we all had a different fish, with Dad and Dougal trying out things we had never heard of! And finally an apple sorbet - which tasted so fresh I'm not sure they didn't churn it just for me! Dad came up trumps again with a beautiful bottle of Gavi.