This entry marks the beginning of a two week trip through Italy compliments of my lovely parents Jim and Mary Ellen. After arriving in Rome at about 2pm I was transferred to the hotel where I met my parents and took a quick nap before the tour group’s first meeting. We introduced ourselves and headed off to a welcome dinner at Mino’s. Although I had already become acquainted with Italian dining in previous trips to Italy I remember being particularly impressed with the number of courses we were served at this place. I kept thinking we were done until I looked down at the pieces of silverware I had left. By the time I was served the main course I could only eat a few bites because I was so full. Little did I know this was going to become par for the course for my Italian dining experiences for most of the trip.
The next morning we toured Rome’s most important sites. It’s obviously impossible to see a lot in just one afternoon but we saw many of the ruins in the historical center including the Colloseum of course. After touring we went to a very nice restaurant near our hotel where I ended up doing a bit of translation to help some of the others (mainly my parents) order their food. We then opted out of our optional afternoon tour to take a “break” before eating at a place that our tour agent recommended. During the break I took a nap and did some homework since my professors clearly don’t think this two week holiday should REALLY be a holiday.
That night I argued a bit with my parents about having to dress up for dinner as I had already dressed up the night before. Anyone who knows me knows I like to keep the dressing up to a minimum but this place certainly warranted the nice clothes. The restaurant, called Imaggi, was on the top flour of a building with a beautiful view of Rome and was very modernly decorated. My mother and I discovered rather late that the menu my father was given was the only one with prices and as I glanced over to look a them I quickly realized why. We didn’t order every course but the chef must of appreciated how much we DID order because he sent us several extras. I once again could not eat my main course after being filled with appetizers and tid bits, most of which I hadn’t ordered. The flavors were original and exquisite but I am pretty sure I will never eat quite like that again. I have been to Italy before and will likely come again but that dining experience was certainly once in a lifetime (Thanks Dad!)
That night I had a bit trouble sleeping on a less than wonderful mattress and certainly didn’t enjoy having to get up 6:45 am in order to eat, put my luggage outside the room and check out of the hotel, but I did what I had to do! The next morning we visited the Vatican. The Sisteenth chapel was as amazing as always and I really enjoyed some of the sculptures in the museum. And Florence here we come!