Sunday, July 7, 2013

When you go to Italy, the first thing you think of is of course Food!

So, we left off with everyone napping off the jet lag! We're still on our first day in Rome! 

We knew going in that it would be ambitious, but you will come to see that this entire journey was going to be ambitious! When all was said and done, the only one who didn’t like the pace of the trip was Keith – the rest of us actually seemed to thrive on the excitement of seeing just what was coming up next! DH is much more of a lay on the beach and relax type of a vacationer than on the guy kind of guy...and that's fine. But it is what it is! Of course, this was the real world and there would be the occasional melt down!

So, we didn’t want to sleep away our first night in Rome and what better way to be introduced to this amazing city, but a Food Tour! Now, I had the most difficult time finding an evening food tour! The majority of them focused on going to a market early in the day and proceeding from there. That just wasn’t going to fit our schedule due to our flight arrival time. After scouring the internet I was lucky to stumble upon Food Tours of Rome with Bruno. We had a 6 pm meeting point at a fountain in the Piazza Mattei. Ok….we’ve been in Rome less than 10 hours, we’re jet lagged and we now have to set out on our own to find a fountain somewhere? There are an awful lot of fountains in Rome!

Have no fear! The very helpful and friendly man at the front desk at the Albergo del Senato drew me a map, on my map, gave me great directions and we were ready to go! We planned to take the rest of the group to the Pantheon for a quick stop, but they weren’t letting tourists in due to Saturday evening mass. Imagine, mass in the Pantheon! So, we just took our time strolling to our meeting spot since we had more time than planned.

This worked out well since we walked right past Largo Argentina. We spent quite a bit of time here not only looking at the ruins, but of course, what else but checking out all of the cats! It would be a couple of weeks, and we weren’t exactly sure where, but we knew our final few days would be spent somewhere in this area. Boy, would be in for a pleasant surprise when we saw the apartment we’d be getting….but that comes much later in the story!

After our stop to see the cats, I mean ruins…which we later found out were the site where Julius Caesar was killed! We made is successfully to the fountain! We all started to feel quite a confidence in navigating those winding, zig zaged streets now! 

We were a few minutes early and we waited for Bruno to arrive. A small crowd started to gather, which we assumed was also there for the food tour.

Can you spot the American Tourists in the Piazza? We sure stick out like a sore thumb don't we? 

Bruno arrived right on time. He was a charming as the reviews indicated he would be. There were about 15 people in our group. Maybe there were more? Bruno told us we'd be going to SIX, yes SIX locations and to enjoy everything, but pace yourselves! Believe it when I tell you the food and wine flowed freely!

Our first stop was an osteria right in the Piazza where we met. Our group was seated at two long tables. Thinking about it there were probably closer to 20 or 24 in the group in total, rather than 15. It never felt too big of a group for the tour though. We sat down and they began with white wine – even pouring to the kids! Ok – when in Rome! Well – to a point! A sip or two is fine, but 11 years old?? It’s going to be a long night! Even at 13 years old! Let’s move onto water! Some of the appetizer type food we enjoyed here included the absolute freshest prosciutto, sheep cheese, ricotta with honey – something I never thought to try, but was delicious! Also included was crostini with ricotta and artichoke and polenta with venison. There was plenty for all and it was far from just tasting size little bites!

During the time we were there, as well as throughout the evening, Bruno kept the whole group entertained with food trivia games. After our delicious starters it was time to move to our second location! Everyone was chatting among the group and we all were thoroughly enjoying the food as well as the company!

We couldn't wait to see what would come next!

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