Friday, July 10, 2015

Rome Day 2 - Vatican, Il Vittoriano and (our fav!) Mime e Coco

On day 2, we had tickets booked to go to the Vatican.  We didn't make set plans for many activities on this trip but we did pre-book Vatican and Borghese Gallery (more on this next post!) for Rome and the Accademia Gallery in Florence.  What a smart move on our parts because the lines were horrendous!  I forgot how bad they were until we breezed passed all of the people.  It brought back memories of when I waited in line to get into the Vatican in 2012 and it was at least an hour wait, which supposedly is not that bad.  But I remember it was 90 degrees and sunny and I was in pants with my shoulders covered per the dress code.  Not pleasant! 

^^ Andy and I have a little lemon tree at home so when I looked up and saw this tree showing off its bright yellow fruits, I had to snap a picture!  Andy is the green thumb of the house and makes sure that each empty spot gets filled up with a house plant.  Jules declares war on said plants from time to time but he is getting better than when he was really young!

The Vatican was about a 30 minute walk away from our hotel and we had fun taking in the pretty colors along the way...

We decided not to join everyone else and take a bunch of pictures while we were in the museum since one rarely looks at these types of pictures again.  There were so many selfie sticks.  I still have nightmares.

^^ Like a pack mule.

^^ This was taken right after we saw Jude Law in the Sistine Chapel!  We didn't talk to him or take pictures because the guards in the Chapel say "Silencio... Silence... No video, no peetchers"  I could not get his mantra out of my head for the rest of the trip :P  The Sistine Chapel was still awe inspiring.  I could look at it all day, it really is incredible.

After the museum we stopped at a cafe on the way home for refreshments and caprese.  Oh how I love this a caprese!  I can't eat this much mozzarella at home and feel good about it so I did as much damage as I could in Italy, haha!

We took a break back at the hotel to freshen up.  Keep in mind it was like 90 degrees F the whole time we were there, the slightly overcast sky was of little help.

Andy pointed out that anytime you saw a fenced off area in Rome without buildings coming out of it there were some ruins.  This one was near our hotel...

...the home of some furry friends...

We walked over to the Il Vittoriano Monument, affectionately known as "the wedding cake" or "the giant typewriter"...

Up, up, up a lot of steps!  A good spot for a breather to take in the views...

Another perfect view off of the other side was the Roman Colloseum (back right) and the Roman Forum (bottom right).  We've both been so this is as close as we went this time.  It looks close in the photo but its actually a commitment getting there and the Colloseum is HUGE!

I later learned about the Arch of Constantine on the other side of the Colloseum, I would've liked another look at it, so we'll just have to go back!

^^ ANOTHER glass of house wine, another picture, you know it ;)  But really, can you blame me?  Look at that man <3

That evening we went to what turned out to be our favorite meal in Rome!  It is tough to find an authentic place that isn't packed with English-speaking tourists and still have an excellent meal.  Mimi e Coco was just this.  Although technically considered a wine bar, the food was tasty and the wine, of course, was delicious.  Looking back, we enjoyed the wine bars much better than the restaurants!  (Our other favorite was on Elba Island!)

I wore my very easy to pack LBD - check out this post for a closer look - and my M. Gemi heels, you'll fine me raving about them here in this post.  If you haven't heard of M. Gemi and you are a shoe lover like me, you'll want to check out their website.  It is only a matter of weeks before I buy my next pair, I'm sure.

Piazza Navona

At dinner, we started with a Negroni, the Italian apertif of choice.  In France, we learned from a local friend that the drink of choice is the "Kir", a French cocktail made with créme de cassis, a blackberry liqueur, topped with white wine.  I was hooked almost right away!

At this meal, I learned I prefer the pretty colors of a Negroni to the actual taste of one.  Although I can see how it is an acquired taste and I'm sure I'll give it another shot next time I'm in Italy.

Our first carbonara of the trip, yum!  We love to make this at home when we're low on ingredients for dinner.  Get the recipe here in one of my first blog posts :)

For secondi we basically ordered patates e patates....Chicken with potatoes and Prosciutto with potatoes.  We ordered Chicken with artichokes originally but the server was like "no, no, you don't want this.  Get this one."  And just like that, we had all the potatoe we could want in an evening.

Crispy, salty, cheesy and fresh, oh ya!

My love took a sneaky iPhone photo to send to his parents who coincidentally were in Venice, celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary at the same time we were in Italy!

Anyone else in love with the Peach side babe nail polish from Essie?  I see it everywhere now that I own it.

We stopped for a nightcap on the way home when we noticed that this little bar popped up at the south end of Piazzo Navona.  It looks like a large door to nothing in the light of day but at night its a patio in a garage-type setting so we sauntered in, happily stuffed with wine e patates.  I went for the non-alcoholic fruity blended kiwi and it was a perfect dessert!

Next up, Borghese Gallery...

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