For the past week or so, I've been getting "memories" reminders on Facebook of photos I'd posted from last year's trip to Iceland, Milan, Rome, and Zurich. Because the end of that summer was so chaotic—having to find a new home in the New Hope–Lambertville area after the debacle involving the Solebury Township house with the untrustworthy sellers and then moving into our new home—I didn't get my first post about the trip—this one—on the blog until mid-November. And then I got busy writing about other things, like the end-of-year holidays—including another European trip, to London—and losing my job. So I haven't gotten back to writing a second post about that first European vacation of 2015 ... until now.
Thankfully, I took pretty good notes on my iPhone, so I'll pick up where I left off: We'd had a nice dinner at a restaurant in Milan within walking distance of our hotel. I'd changed back into the jorts I'd worn most of that day and posed for a photo. And then we polished off a bottle of wine in the hotel bar.
The next morning, we took a train to Rome. Here's Tony waiting for said train:
And here's me, on said train, in non-jort shorts:
The scenery wasn't anything spectacular overall, but there were some nice moments. We saw several stone farmhouses in the distance and rolls of hay in fields closer to the tracks. And a few beautiful expanses of sunflowers in bloom:
Our first hotel in Rome, Gran Melia Rome Villa Agrippina, was gorgeous. And here are many photos from our first couple of hours there to document that fact:
I was disappointed in the first dinner we had in Rome, which was at a place recommended by the hotel and which now appears to be closed: Da i Sandri a Trastevere. Tony was able to eat gluten-free there, and his cacio e pepe and veal saltimbocca were OK. But I had a meh salad ...
... (in a pretty bowl) that seemed to have been flown in from South Jersey and a salty but otherwise terribly bland margherita pizza:
Back at the hotel, at the Liquid Garden Bar & Restaurant, we enjoyed a bottle of rosé ...
... and shared our poolside venue with a not terribly aggressive but not exactly retiring seagull:
The next morning, we had breakfast in the same spot, overlooking the pool, and then I sat by the pool, which I had almost to myself:
We met up with Mark Hollmer, who was spending several weeks that summer in Berlin with his husband, and had lunch at a fine seafood restaurant called Ristorante Sardegna. (Most of the links on that page don't go to the information you'd expect to get.)
Mark got a tomato-based seafood soup that would have sounded appealing to me except the waiter emphasized the octopus, squid, and shrimp in it. He also had a side of spinach and ate some of my side of very bitter chicory. I got turbot with potatoes and cabbage. Here's a photo of that dish and the chicory:
Tony kept it super safe and got only a fruit salad to eat. He and I each had a glass of a delightful Sicilian white wine.
Then we visited the Spanish Steps:
At the bottom of the steps is the Fontana della Barcaccia (Fountain of the Ugly Boat):
Next, we stopped by the Trevi Fountain, which was undergoing restoration, so there wasn't much to see:
Then we wandered over to the Piazza Barberini, which we, being children of the '70s, naturally referred to as the Vinnie Barbarino Plaza. Here are Mark and Tony acting like goofballs for the camera ...
... near the plaza:
At some point(s) during that day, Tony and I checked out of the Gran Melia and the three of us checked into the Baglioni Hotel Regina, a sister hotel to the one where T and I stayed in Milan.
That evening, we had a dinner that I took no notes on. I was able to figure out, based on this photo of Sophia Loren that was hanging up next to our table, ...
... that the restaurant had to have been Taverna Flavia.1
Mark took this cute photo of Tony and me there:
I snagged it from Facebook. You can see part of the Sophia Loren photo to my right.
And here are a couple of cute photos of Mark I took there:
We must have enjoyed this wine, because I took photos of the front and back labels:
Up next (in six to 12 months? 😆): tours and terrific food (that I did take notes on).
1As I was getting ready to make this baby live, I discovered the name of the restaurant was also in the itinerary that Tony had made for the trip and that I'd kept in a bag of papers—receipts, brochures, maps, and such—from the trip.