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.Continue reading “Looking back at [vegetarian food in] Rome”

Looking back at . . .

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.

Flight to Rome, March 26, 2011
Being kicked out of my exit row seat on the Ryan Air flight from London to Rome was only the beginning of the fun.  Oh wait, actually, the fun began before that, with the super-strict carry-on allowance (which we fortunately knew about ahead of time) and the chaos and stress of the boarding free-for-all.  We were decompressing after managing to get seats together, seats that even had leg room, when a flight attendant informed me that I would need to relocate for take-off and landing.  Apparently all pregnant women are considered “persons of impaired mobility” and incapable of performing exit row functions.  Ahem!

After take-off, I hightailed it back to my rightful seat, where I spent the rest of the flight enduring a barrage of sales pitches.  They started with lotto tickets then moved on to electronic cigarettes, which could be smoked in-flight.  Blood boiling and contemplating the wisdom of opening the emergency exit while in flight, I watched the flight attendant walk most of the length of the plane without selling any cigarettes.

I thought we had escaped with the air quality of the plane intact until they brought out the next item for sale, announcing that they had testers available for people to try the scents.  Are you kidding me?!?!  Testing perfume on an airplane?!?!?  Fortunately, my passengers seemed equally uninterested in this offer.

Luckily, the scheduled two hour flight was closer to an hour-and-a-half, which is the only thing that saved us from the final product offer, wherein the flight attendants would have announced the presence of poisonous vipers on the plane and come through the aisle selling anti-venom at the low, low price of 85 euro per dose.

*Apparently, I did write a few posts immediately after the trip:

Last day in Rome

So I’ve written about the beginning of our trip, which started in London.  In between London and Rome, we visited Florence, Cinque Terre, and Siena.  Today I feel like writing about Rome, where we ended our trip.

We began our final day in Rome with a large dose of cuteness.  A quartet of perfectly fuzzy ducklings salvaged Rome’s otherwise not-so-memorable botanical garden.  (We recommend Kew in London, and Siena’s small, but nice (and free) Orto Botanico.)

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 (another vegetarian place where we enjoyed a meal the previous day), lunch was definitely the way to go.

Only catch?  Instead of the typical U.S.-style “all-you-can-eat” buffet, Il Margutta limits diners to one plate.  So, as you can see, we made the most of our one trip through the line.  We thought we were embarrassing ourselves, and being “those Americans,” but there were some real authentic Italian diners with plates that rivaled, and perhaps exceeded, ours.  We both cleaned our plates and were actually NOT uncomfortably full when we left — so no food wasted!

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.

We ended the day with a moonlight stroll through Rome, including a pass by the Trevi Fountain.  I tossed in a coin for good luck 🙂