I had one more day on my Roman holiday excursion so I had 2 items that I wanted to visit:
2. an open market
These 2 items are always on my check list for whenever I visit a foreign country.
We departed the hotel and made our way to the Termini bus station, the main rail station in Rome. Imagine Union Station in DC but a whole lot bigger.
I had read that there were several restaurants and shops that formed the “Chinatown” area. They don’t possess an arch but you can tell the neighborhood had changed with a more diverse group of people on the streets. We saw signs for kebobs and we finally stumbled upon a restaurant that sold Chinese cuisine. The NY Times had reviewed one restaurant but the subsequent reviews from regular folks who ate there weren’t the best so we decided to take the impromptu walking route of a neighborhood that we would have never seen otherwise.
With my curiosity satisfied, we made our way to the Campo de’Fiori, the oldest market in Rome. We hopped into a cab at the Termini and the female driver got us all the way into the middle of the market (we’re talking winding streets filled with pedestrians and her parting words were, “Don’t forget to barter!”).
We saw beautiful flowers, fruits and vegetables, pasta, spices and all kinds of yummy foods.
Since we weren’t far from the Piazza Navona, we walked from the market to take in the views. The Piazza is built on top of a former Stadium, the Stadium itself was built in the 1st century AD and the Piazza has the outline of the open portion of the stadium. If you are a fan of the writer, Dan Brown or the actor Tom Hanks, the Piazza was used to film a portion of Dan Brown’s book “Angels and Demons”.
I loved the little balcony on top of this building. A little oasis from the hustle and bustle of the Piazza.
One of the traditions that the Mister I have when we travel is to find ornaments for our Christmas tree. In one of the corners of the Piazza is Al Sogno, a toy store that was established in 1945. They have beautiful toys and puppets that you don’t normally see in the USA so if you’re looking for unique gifts for the little ones, this is a great shop to browse. We found our ornament here!
We made our way to the Pantheon and one of my favorite parts was that when we approached it, I just saw a sliver of it from the vantage point of the side street we used. It was like, “Hey, we’re just hiding here waiting for you to find us!”.
One of my personal observations about this particular day was that the lighting was just beautiful!! I took the 1st photos with my iPhone and the 3rd picture is an Instagram of the 2nd photo but just look at the light at the non-filtered photos. The clouds look like a painting and I was completely enthralled. It was just so beautiful.
Look at the size of those doors!!
It was time for a pit stop so we ventured over to a wine bar that allowed for a view and some protection from the soon to come rain.
Since it was porcini season, I had the porcini risotto and several glasses of wine 🙂
It rained at a steady rate and since none of us brought umbrellas, we ordered more wine and beer and enjoyed the activity in the square.
Once it looked like the showers had passed, we made our way to the Trevi Fountain.
After tossing my coin for my wish, we headed off to one last trip to the Via Condotti and perused a few shops for gifts for family and friends. OK fine, so the only thing I bought there was at Gucci but they were my “birthday shoes” 🙂
Last year, I bought a pair of Gucci’s in celebration of my birthday and I’m a creature of habit…
We thought going to K and N’s favorite wine bar would be a nice way to relax so we made our way to our favorite seats. I kept saying that I wanted to take the whole prosciutto home with me!!!
Our last dinner was at Peppone, a neighborhood restaurant near the Hotel Eden. It was so good!
I was definitely a member of the clean plate club on this excursion!