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We're at the "Al Nono Risorto" trattoria, terribly near the museum of modern art and the best restaurant we've yet found (thank you Rick Steves) - totally gorgeous with its wisteria-covered garden and with oustanding prices including free mineral water. I've got the carbonara pizza (€8.50), a real beauty. I'd write more but I must eat!
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Insert long message here that LJ ate. I went with my sister to the Doge's Palace this afternoon and got to see some Hieronomus Bosch paintings I'd never seen before at the very end of the tour. (She was, of course, worn out about 1/3 of the way in.)

Tomorrow I'm hoping to see Klimt's "Judith:" one for the life list. Kudos to Hosteria Da Bacco for being the only restaurant recommended in either of my guidebooks that was worth visiting, not in the least because they remembered my sister likes a lemon in her water after just one visit, but also because their sammies hit the spot without emptying my wallet.
webcowgirl: (Default)
From Ponte Santa Maria Nova. We were heading to Burano but have been distracted about ten times, most recently by the antiques market on the "Field of Miracles." We may have bought some cheesy red wine glasses with dolphins on them, but I don't want to admit to too much.

My sister wasn't feeling well this morning so stayed in - not sure if she's getting a cold or just generally beat, but she said she felt sore all over and has spent the day reading "The Amulet of Samarkand" and napping in the hotel. Now she says she feels better, though, so it looks like we're skipping Burano and going to the hotel to take her to the Doge's Palace.
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webcowgirl: (Default)
The weather is perfect and Venice can't help but be lovely. Next stop: lunch!
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webcowgirl: (HappyHat)
Well, I have to say, when I was packing, the weather was looking pretty unpromising. I have three long sleeved shirts, including a lightweight sweater. Now, with temperatures predicted to be in the high 70s today, I'm finding it's the third time I've worn my lace tank top since I got here, and my sleeveless T probably needs washing. Who'da thunk it?

We had a fun time sitting in St. Mark's square last night listening to duelling string quartets. Today we'll go inside, and later we'll see the Guggenheim.
webcowgirl: (Default)
Jason, risotto alla marinara (seafood); me, house specialty graminia con crèma e salcicchia e (but "senza" for me) funghi. 375 ml house red, melone con prosciutto for antipasta, flor di zucca fritto (fried squash blossoms) contorni. Squisito! Afterwards, what with winter coming on (though not here, it's painfully pleasant again today), I did a bit of shopping, first at Calzedonia (fun stockings for winter), then at Coin (splurgey beautiful gloves and hat, Christmas present for my sister), finally to the gourmet shop directly next to the hotel for a few other gifts (and somehow I still picked up more stuff on the way to the taxi stand - a pound of 2 year old parmesan for €9).picture.jpg

We spent the morning at the church of San Petronio, which is terribly small and cute compared to most churches we've been in (four churches together, Lombard-Roman style, 11-13th centuries, including a terribly sad chapel dedicated to the airmen who died in World War II, the wall covered with their photos ... what a heavy toll it took on just this one town!)

We are on the cheap train to Venice now - 26 for the three of us instead of 23 each on Eurostar - a great savings. I will miss lovely Bologna and I look forward to returning. (Also look forward to having a computer again. Sorry no responses to email or lj at present.)
webcowgirl: (Default)
We're going to get married. It is true love.
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Bologna

Oct. 8th, 2008 05:34 pm
webcowgirl: (Default)
Tortellini.

Limoncello.

Clonk!
webcowgirl: (Default)
In front of Pizzeria Da Emilia, fresh from Amico Aspertini exhibit at the National Gallery of Bologna. I have many mosquito bites from Rome and my camera's batteries are dead. Thanks to my US lj'ers for your reviews of the debate last night. Respond to this post with your address and I'll try to send you a postcard. Bologna is lovely and low stress with the most outstanding food I've ever seen; everyone should vacation here once!
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This is the view out of our window at the Albergo Della Drappie (right off of the central plaza). We slept until 10 - well, I was up earlier but _mia sorella_ is quite beat so I let her sleep. We're going to go in search of cappuccino and a chocolate caldo in a few minutes. Suspect today will be really low key, just the art museum, strolling, and shopping. Shadowdaddy and a big yummy dinner tonight!
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We couldn't get int the recommended restaurant (Trattoria Mario, 30 minute wait) and instead went to Osteria Pepo next door(veal and mixed veggies €9, yum). Now with Le Dame gelato in our tummies and Modena vinegar in the cool tote bag/gift with purchase, and the Duomo visited, we're ready to check out the Uffizi.
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webcowgirl: (Default)
Well! It's been quite a full day. After breakfast in the hotel (yogurt and toast with spreadable cheese on it, tea, and fruit juice) we went to Termini and picked up a lunch in preparation for a day at the Roman Forum. However, our trip took rather longer than expected, as we had to stop at the Stonefly store (no new boots for me though I found likely candidates if only they had been available in a 39), a lingerie shop (don't ask), and a cafe (as Amber wanted a coffee and a sitdown), where I misunderstood the table service to be 50 cents rather than the 3.50 it turned out to be. Ow.

Anyway, we made it there around noon, then pottered very slowly for about two hours. After a nice rest below the arch of Constantine, we decided to plunge into the Colosseum, as it was paid for with our Roma cards, and, what the hell, I'd never been. So ... er, it's not very exciting, sorry! Off we went to the tomb of the Capuchin monks, and, boy, there is nothing like being in a crypt that looks just like a setting for a 1970s Russian horror movie to really give you the creeps. I think we both loved it.

Amber then said she wanted to not be trekking all over the place, and wanted to settle down somewhere near where dinner would be - a bit of a trek since it was only about 5 and most dinner places don't open until 7 - or later! So we slooowly wended our way to the Trevi fountain (passing the "Street of Four Fountains," which was cool but a big clue I'd not quite steered us in the right direction). After we Trevied, we found the pizzeria we wanted wasn't open for another half hour, so we decided to try a joint that advertised a 12 euro prix fixe meal. Well! A glass of wine for five euros, a cup of tea for four? And just the cheapest dishes possible for their dinner? I was quite put off and we decided to just kill a little time there with an appetizer and a bottle of water (a half liter and they charged us 2.50!) until the other place was open.

Thank goodness we did, as our total bill at the "Pizzeria Sacra E Profana" was about 30 euros, including a quarter liter of wine, a bottle of water, two calzones, a salad, and table charge. This left us in great shape for a trip to the Gelateria San Crispino around the corner, where MY GOD it was so good. I had a cup of zabaione and "something boozy" (rum, I think), and afterwards I was ready to go back and get two more flavors. But it was the end of our night, so we caught a bus back to Termini (we might have shopped a bit once we got there (but I don't want to admit to anything) and then walked back to Gulliver's (our B&B place).

Tomorrow - Florence! And tonight - bed.
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No time for St. Peter's this trip but I promised Amber it would still be standing when she returned. Next stop is the "Pizzeria Sacra E Profana," some (more) gelato, and then we'll be done for the day.
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Roman Forum

Oct. 6th, 2008 12:52 pm
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I am in love with the Temple of the Twins (Castori, I believe), as ever. I wish Robot_Mel and Beluosus were here - we'd get free translations and a much rounder cultural experience. Not that being charged €3.50 to sit at a table and drink a €1.50 cup of tea wasn't a cultural experience in and of itself. Weather is mixed clouds and sun, warm enough and dry so far.
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webcowgirl: (Queen Apple)
Well , yesterday was a much quieter day than I expected. Although we made it for the Corso Cavour walk and the Pantheon (with pasta allamatriciana at Maccheroni and gelato at the place where the waiters wear epaulets), bu the time we got to Piazza Navona, my sister was beat (and the fountain was closed for repairs, very unfair!). "We" decided to get one more thing in (St. Peter's), but when we missed the stop, she said she was worn out and needed to go back to the hotel and rest. So we called it a day at 5 and didn't make it to the Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps - we went home and napped and then decided our evening walk would be to a local restaurant. (I slept hard during the nap so I'd obviously worn myself out a bit too. This cold hasn't entirely let go - now I'm just phlegming a bit but I'm very tired of it all.) On the other hand it was probably good to get in an evening shower as the hot water gave up before I'd finished the rinse cycle and I had to turn it off and give it time to heat up while I scrubbed. Missing from my luggage (my fault): slippers, soft warm pants, scrubby, razor. I should make a permanent packing list so I don't forget anything again. Today we're off to the forum though the weather looks unpromising (BBC lies with its sun: it's overcast and raining a bit). If it's really bad we'll go to St. Peter's. One way or another, I'm hoping we'll see the spooky Capuchin crypt - it's just really too cool. And now off I go.
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The most perfect building in the world. We are looking for Rafael's tomb. Oddly I am reminded of James Turell ...
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webcowgirl: (Default)
Just saw Rafael's Chiggi Chapel in Sta Maria del Popolo - they let us in though they were having services. Am imagining now we'll walk to the Spanish Steps, then have lunch. Bank machines giving Amber lots of trouble.
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webcowgirl: (Default)
Well, we thought about skipping the breakfast and just keeping on with the sleeping - but the people in the kitchen were making enough noise to keep us up. Cereal, fruit juice, yogurt, toast and spreadable cheese - it was enough. I especially liked the tea bag tea - Everton Brand English Breakfast.

For some reason the hall smells like poop. I'm guessing someone had a very long visit in the bathroom. Ick.

On an unrelated note, there's a terribly charming little dog (a Maltese) here at the hotel whose curled up next to me on the couch where the computer is. It's nice to have some canine company again.

Dinner last night was delicious, if terribly late - we went to a restaurant up the street because that was our only hope of getting food before everything closed for the night. "Ristorante Monte Arci" was full of tourists (well, there was only five tables left, but they were all tourists), but they were serving, and my plate of "paglia e fieno al Monte Arci" (homemade taglietelle like pasta with a sauce of cream, pancetta, spinach and parmesan) was delicious and filling. Amber got a pizza, which was not too bad. We ended with some kind of cake which was like a sopapilla with a sweet ricotta filling. Yum!

Anyway, we're off for the day in a bit. I have no idea just what we're going to do, but it's gorgeous and sunny outside.
webcowgirl: (Queen Apple)
Ah, another country, another keyboard. This one doesnàt appear to have an apostrophe key, so when I hit the thing that looks like an apostrophe, I get a letter with accent on top, like ò. I donàt know how itàs picking whether to do an accented A or an accented O. Sadly the cheap Easyjet flight stuck us at Ciampino, meaning we had to take a bus in, which led to an additional half hour wasted as we waited for the bus to show up. I nearly had a heart attack as when I tried to take money out of the ATM, it said I was out of credit. Thankfully, it turned out I was only attempting to withdraw over my daily limit, so I was able to get cash. Not so for my sister, who was unable to get bupkus off of her US card ' and the customer service reps (hey! I just saw an apostrophe! Where did it go! and why can't I find the question mark now). This led to a tense ride as the hotel said on the confirmation they wanted payment in advance. Well, this was not the case, as we had no money demanded from us and were in fact rushed out the door so we could get a meal before the reastaurants closed. 40 euros and two hours later and we are now stuffed to the gills, and had a good visit(for example, my sister asked what was up with Rosamicula and Steer (not to mention the left and right brackets), which led to a long chat). Tomorrow: we'll do something possibly involving old buildings or art or skeletons, and we'll have more food.
webcowgirl: (I Miss America)
I'm curious - what do you think? Should Congress have passed the bailout or not passed it? Is it a good thing for the world economy? Is it just guaranteeing the demise of America as a superpower - er, either the passing of the bill or the non-passing?

Is it just staving off the inevitable?

What do you think?

In other news, I want new tea balls (I like the 1 1/2 inch size ball only, and they're hard to find), and I had to rebook Uffizi tickets (the first place was going to have us there in the morning after I'd specifically requested the afternoon). I'm a bit worried that there's something to do for the trip that I've forgotten (combo ticket for Colosseum and Palatine Hill?) I also stayed up late finishing my latest Charlaine Harris mystery (A Bone to Pick), and I did correctly guess the murderer! It was a fun book to read. Now I'm going to crack down on the Proust (I'm at page 255 of Time Regained, in the middle of a long and unflattering discussion of aging) - I have just more than a hundred pages to go and I want to have this finished by the end of the month. Oddly, I think I just might be done by Friday ...

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