Wandering through Rome

After visiting the Foro Romano for a couple of hours and then spending some time at the Colosseum, Boyfriend and I were ready for siësta. Never mind that it was already half past four, we needed a break. So we spent some time in our hotel. Sleeping, reading, resting. Until my stomach was growling so much we had to get out for, what would be, the best dinner we would have in our week in Italy…

But first: gelato! We hadn’t had icecream yet and we didn’t want to break our eat-gelato-every-day streak on our second day there. This time, I only had white chocolate and it was absolutely delicious!

Note: I didn’t write down where we had icecream every day, for there are many, many, many places to get gelato in Rome. I could have decided to try to find the best icecream in Rome, but I never met a gelato I didn’t like! All gelato in Rome is good so just find the nearest place whenever you feel like having icecream 🙂

We wandered in a different direction than where we had previously been, setting out to the Bocca della verita. And we came across so many gorgeous buildings, temples, statues and fountains on our way there. That is what I love most about Rome. The entire city is just one big masterpiece and you’ll never know what awaits you at the next corner.

For example, enjoying our icecream, we stumbled across this magnificent building that turned out to be Altare della Patria, otherwise known as Vittoriano or the Victor Emmanuel II monument. The monument was finished in 1935 in honour of king Victor Emmanuel II, who was the first king of a unified Italy. It’s currently owned by the ministry of cultural heritage and activities.

After admiring the architecture for a bit (and resting, for we had walked so far already today that my feet didn’t really want to do another lap around the city), we continued on.

Just around the corner, we found this amazing building: Cordinata Capitolana (Capitoline hill). The stairs were killing me but on top of the hill we were rewarded by a beautiful view over the city, especially when the sun started to set.

This hill is said to be the most important of the seven hills that Rome was built on. It was dedictated to the god Saturn. On top of the hill we now find the Piazza del Campidoglio which was designed by Michelangelo in the sixteenth century. The statue that is at the center of the square, is a replica of a statue of Marcus Aurelius that was built in the 2nd century. The original statue can be seen in Musei Capitolini, located in the palaces around the piazza.

See what I mean when I say that Rome is one big masterpiece filled with the artwork of a thousand artists? And it got even better when the sun started to set, as we turned around to this view.

After enjoying the sight for a bit, we got hungry again. The gelato we had was delicious, but now it really was time for dinner. Even in Italian terms. So we walked on again, but it didn’t take long until we saw yet another breathtaking piece of architecture.

The Teatro di Marcello is another amphitheatre in the city of Rome, but it’s a lot less well-known than the Colosseum, because it’s smaller. It could ‘only’ accomodate 14.000 spectators. But that doesn’t make it any less impressive, if you ask me. It was amazing to just run into this. Julius Caesar cleared the space for the amphitheatre to be built, but he was killed before they started construction. It was finished in 12 BC and inaugurated by Augustus.

I still can’t get over how it feels like to just stumble upon a building like this…

After we saw the Teatro di Marcello, we came across a variety of other interesting buildings, like little temples and fountains. But my camera sometimes appears to be afraid of the dark so I didn’t get any good shots. It wasn’t too far a walk towards the Bocca della Verita, which was our goal before finding dinner. Little did we know that it had opening – and thus closing – times. It was getting late so we couldn’t get any closer than this, but I never planned to stick my hand in it anyway.

The Bocca della Verita, or Mouth of Truth, is a statue in Rome that is used in many a story. When I was a kid, I once read a book about it, and when I discovered it was an actual, real thing, I was amazed. I can’t recall the book, but I do know the story of the Bocca Della Verita: legend has it that it can tell if someone is a liar or not. Just let them put their hand inside the mouth and if this person has told a lie, the mouth will close and the liar will lose his hand.

The legend is really cool and since we were in Rome, of course I wanted to see the statue for myself. I gotta say I’m a tiny bit disappointed, for it does not look as impressive as I’d hoped. It kinda looks like someone tried to fry humpty dumpty…

After seeing the fried egg, it was really getting late and we had to find a place to have dinner. We were at the Tiber now and boyfriend had seen on the map that there were lots of restaurants at the other side of the water. And there were! The city here was bustling with laughter and clinking glasses and the smell of great food hung in the streets. It looked crowded, for at this time it was after ten p.m. which is when the Italians usually start dinner, but a couple of hours later than what we are used to. But we found a quiet little place. There were maybe four tables outside and only one of them was being used.

The restaurant was Sette Oche in Altalena and the food was heavenly. I mean it. This was our second day in Rome but for the remaining days we would spend in Italy, we would never have dinner as good as we had it here.

I had a simple dish of spaghetti with tomato and basil, and of course they gave me a little container of parmesan cheese, because what is pasta in Italy without it? It was so simple but it was so GOOD! I wish I could have dinner here every night for the rest of my life. And boyfriends dinner was the best he would have in Italy as well. He had a salad with goat cheese, pear and walnuts. So yummy! Put this restaurant on your lists because you will want to go here. I promise.

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