Pizza, gnocchi and the ice cream lift

Day two of the surprise trip to Rome went as follows.

We started out with coffee and a croissant near the apartment before heading to the Colossuem.

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We just about missed the huge crowds being led by tour guides and got a relatively uninterrupted visit. There has been lots of reconstruction and cleaning work inside and Danda said it is very different from when he was last here, years ago. Like I said yesterday, everything in Rome in so big. The Colossuem is the ultimate in massiveness. As there were about 80 exits and entrances, post-games, the place could be emptied in ten minutes, despite being able to hold 65,000 people.

The games were all free. Citizens would be given a ticket to get in, which indicated where they were allowed to sit, depending on their position in society. The plebians and women would sit right at the top, being rowdy and uncouth and the dignitaries would sit in the best seats at the front.

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At the bottom of that picture, you can see where they have reconstructed a section of wooden flooring of the arena where the gladiators fought. A few times, we saw groups out on this wooden flooring so I decided I wanted to go on it. When we eventually found the gate we needed, it was shut. So I don’t know how you get on the arena floor bit.

Interesting fact – in the first 100 days after the Colossuem was opened, 5000 animals were killed in a long opening celebration. 5000! It’s a wonder there are any animals left in Europe!

Next we went to the Emmanuel Vittorio II building, known as the “wedding cake”. Recently, it had a glass lift built onto the outside which takes you up onto the roof. For some reason, I kept getting mixed up and calling it the “ice cream cake” building and the lift, I called the “ice cream lift”. So anyway, we went up the ice cream lift and views over Rome were amazing. As the Romans don’t seem to build very high, you have pretty much uninterrupted views to all the main monuments.

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Although it was built a little over a hundred years ago, it is in keeping with the general grandeur and style of the ancient Roman statues and buildings. So it is still amazing to look at.

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Next, we headed to a cafe for a top up on our coffee levels. We were like alcoholics, panicking as we sobered up. Parallel to the Via del Corso, we found a lovely little back street cafe, where I ordered an iced coffee and channelled my inner Italian.  

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What came was a kind of cold coffee-chocolate-cappuccino thing. It was good. But I don’t really know what it was.

Next, we made a beeline for the Spanish Steps and passed the Trevi Fountain, quite without meaning to. A quick squeeze through the crowds and a pic then we continued on our way.

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We stopped for lunch at the Spanish Steps and found a lovely little bistro, next door to the Ristorante alla Rampa, which is what we had been heading for, on the strength of a recommendation. It was full, though, so we settled for eating next door and it was a fantastic choice. We had our first pizza of our Roman Holiday and it was really good.

Next, we strolled along the Via Condotti, admiring the fancy shops and expensive items…

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… And not buying anything!

We realised, by this point, that our legs were feeling the pressure so walked back to the apartment to get ready for dinner, which we ate right in front of the Pantheon.

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Thankfully, we were under canopies because it rained pretty heavily, all of a sudden, for about forty minutes, hence the tourist-less view of the Pantheon on this photo.

I had asparagus and egg for starter and gnocchi with ragu for my main. It was soft and springy and tasty and exactly how gnocchi should be.

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We took a taxi back to the Colossuem and walked from there. It was the first time we had travelled in Rome using anything other than our feet.

We headed to the ice cream shop near our apartment where we had been the previous two nights and I dithered around taking forever to make a decision. I got a tiramisu and some caramel-peanut ice cream. Mmmmm. The tiramisu I saved and had the next day for breakfast (when in Rome…?).

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Did you see any Scousers in the Trevi?

    Reply

  2. Posted by Alex Jones on October 25, 2012 at 00:10

    Had there been as many humans in Roman times as today I am sure their entertainments would have caused a mass extinction.

    Reply

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