Monday, January 5, 2009

Rome Day 4 (29 Dec 08): Tagalog is the Means to Rule the World

We started out the day on my mistake. We were supposed to go to Transtevere in the morning, known for its chill out and artsy atmosphere and great views of the city, but we ended up going to the Vatican City early, on my insistence. We had a tour of the Vatican Museum at 1:30 p.m., but because I just had to see Castel Sant' Angelo (Angels and Demons, anyone?), I bullied L into ditching Transtevere.

If I just double checked our guidebook, I would have noticed that Castel Sant' Angelo was closed on Mondays. So when we got there, we couldn’t go into the castle and had to content ourselves with views of the Castle, Ponte Sant' Angelo and Bernini’s angels (this was great, right, L?):

It was a leisurely walk from there to St. Peter’s Square, which was marvelous: 

We had some time for lunch, so we walked a few blocks to a highly recommended Hosteria called Dino & Tony. We were a little early and walked into the restaurant while the staff was still having their family meal. As we sat down, a Filipino face looked up and smiled at us, and soon, we met “Panny Boy”, an assistant cook at the restaurant. We ordered the items that the Lonely Planet Encounter Guide said were good, but then Panny Boy asked us, “Gusto ba ninyo ng buntot ng baka?” Of which L and I vigorously indicated our assent. He also asked us if we wanted some sort of baked pork, to which we also said, “Mabuhay ka, Panny Boy.” The result? Roman Cuisine fiesta, all extremely delicious (forgive me, I wasn't able to take down the proper Italian names for all of these):

Antipasto platter 1 (blue cheese pizza!!!):

Antipasto platter 2:

Bucatini alla grizia (Pig's jowl in a sort of carbonara sauce):

Roast pork and potatoes with rosemary:

 Ox tail:

After that huge lunch (for which Panny Boy made us pay only less than half price!), L and I ran back to St. Peter’s for our tour. I wasn't able to take a lot of pictures in the Vatican Museum (L was able to take some great shots of the Sistine Chapel), but here's one of the Hall of Maps (and tourists heads):

And here is the Basilica:

Still (a bit) full from lunch, L and I decided to head to a wine bar for dinner. Hanging out at Trimani Wine Bar is actually listed in the book 1000 Things To Do Before You Die, and for good reason. L and I tried four wines, the top two of which are pictured below (I loved the Barbera D' Alba Gattere Molino):

with a meat and cheese platter:

This being our last night in Rome, L and I decided to make the most of what the Eternal City had to offer late at night. We went back to Caffe Sant' Eutachio for the best espresso on the planet (this time we had double espressos each, perfect after the wines we just had): 

We also went back to the famous gelato place we tried the first night, Il Gelato Di San Cripino:

The server today was Filipino too, and he gave us double gelatos for free. I had ginger cinnamon and fig, and L had nocciola and peach.

Ah, Rome. We’ll be back. But for now, onwards to Venice.

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