Looking back at [vegetarian food in] Rome

Despite lots of great potential content, I didn’t write much about our fabulous trip to Europe last spring.*  Over the next couple of weeks, I  will rectify that by sharing snippets from my travel journal in the “Looking back at  . . . ” series.

If you’ve read the other posts in this series, you know that I talk as much about what we ate while traveling as anything else, hence the slightly altered title of this post.

Rome, April 3-7, 2011
Sunday (4/3): On to Rome for the last bit of our journey, with panini ingredients for lunch on the train.  We arrived at Termini Station, and, after a bit of hunting, found the Roma Pass desk, where we bought the passes that would cover all of our metro and bus trips for the next three days.

After checking in at B&B La Roma di Camilla (smoky place again, ugh), we made our way to Shanti for an excellent Indian dinner.

Monday (4/4): Colosseum, Palatino Hill, and the Forum.  Found a good little pizza place, and ate our [very late] pizza lunch in a small park.  Walked around to various piazzas, saw the changing of the Italian guard.  Dinner at Cacio i Pepe’s – small place, no written menu, tasty eggplant parmesan and artichoke.

Tuesday (4/5): Started off at Castle St. Angelo.  Unfortunately, many of the rooms, including Matthew’s favorite, were closed.  After a relatively short visit, we headed to St. Peter’s Basilica.  Lunch at the Naturist Club, followed by a visit to the Capitoline Museums.  Visited gelato shop across from the Vatican museums, rightfully known for its huge portion sizes.

The spot we picked to grab dinner, Fa Bio, was technically closed when we arrived, but the owner let us in anyway, and gave us free pizza.  Decent, healthy food at an affordable price.  The seitan wrap and the seitan and pea dish were the best.

Wednesday (4/6) [See this post for this day’s narrative with photos]: A quartet of perfectly fuzzy ducklings salvaged Rome’s otherwise not-so-memorable botanical garden.  After our garden time, we headed across town for lunch at Il Margutta.  This vegetarian restaurant has a buffet-style brunch.  Huge variety, and all top quality – the soup was the only flop, but by then we were so stuffed it didn’t matter.  For affordability, both here and at the Naturist Club, lunch (rather than dinner) was definitely the way to go.

Fully sated, we made our way to the beautiful Borghese Gardens (wish we had more time to spend in the park) for our reserved slot at the Borghese Gallery, home of Bernini’s Apollo and Daphne sculpture, as well as a number of other beautiful Bernini pieces.  We paid for the audio guide, which was nice accompaniment.

For our final meal at Rome, we ate delicious pizza at ZaZa, followed by gelato at a shop Matthew frequented ten years earlier.  We also bought pizza to sustain us on Thursday’s plane ride.

Thursday (4/7): After a long, but not so bad (other than the woman with the gross phlegmy cough and my sore throat that started halfway through) flight from Rome to Chicago (and a surprisingly easy time going through customs), and a turbulent, nauseating flight from Chicago to St. Louis, the tired and happy travelers were back home.

Other: tap water in Italy = agua rubinetto, hard to get at some places

Read the previous post in the “Looking back at  . . . ” series.

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