I have fifty likes on my blog now. I’m pretty certain most of them are from Sillyliss. You should go check out her blog, she is very funny and a good writer (and mother) to boot.
But anyway, on to how I spent my evening. I had spent all afternoon recuperating my ankle (the walking this morning killed it). I was no longer limping and the swelling has gone down dramatically, but putting a shoe on still hurt. It looked for a moment like I would not be able to go to the Trevi with my roommates. Fortunately, I discovered that my boot didn’t put any pressure on my ankle and I could walk just fine. I’ll spend tomorrow morning with some ice on my ankle, and wear my boots when I go to the market and the butcher.
So I got to go to the Trevi with my roommates. I forgot my camera, so all these pictures are taken with my cell phone. I was surprised when I arrived — this was a spot that I had visited eight years ago with Lacey and Beth, last time I was in Rome. I was immediately on my guard. Last time I was here, we saw a con in progress. Some locals confronted a woman, yelling at her and confusing her. While she was distracted, their friend stole her wallet from her bag. Fortunately, we were only bothered by three separate guys offering to take our picture (for 5€) or centurions offering to be in our picture (for 5€) or sell us flowers or various light-making knickknacks. Yep. We had hit tourist town.
The first thing that caught our eye was that there were kids playing on the fountain. It was so cute!
Here are my roommates — Sarah, Deanna, Ayini, and Nicole. I did a really bad job on remembering their names earlier. I’ll go back through my entries and correct them.
Here is the Trevi. I have no idea why it’s so famous. It’s a very pretty fountain with lots of nice restaurants around it, in a very pretty area, so I guess it might just be famous for being a nice place for tourists to hang out. There might be a larger reason than that, I don’t know.
Then we all made a wish and tossed a coin into the fountain, per tradition.
Some nice folks from Michigan saw Deanna’s sweatshirt and thought she was from Mason, Michigan. We’re not (obviously) but we all took group pictures for each other on various cameras.
After we had looked at the fountain for a bit we started to look for a place to eat. Sarah was very, very hungry and had spent the entire morning walking to the Pantheon, then around the Pantheon, then Palantine Hill, then down to what she called “the cat shelter” but we all know is the Largo di Torre Argentina, right? So she led the search for a place to eat. We ended up at a place a block or so away that had excellent prices. Most stuff was in the 8-15€ range. Very reasonable. Sarah and I got veal dinners and were very disappointed (hence our plans to go to the butcher tomorrow). We think the veal was frozen and then defrosted. Very tasteless and dry. The olive oil they put on my veal was overpowering. The rosemary potato sides were decent though. Deanna, Nicole, and Ayini got pasta dishes and were very satisfied.
Next, however, we searched for gelatos. There were gelaterria everywhere, so we walked around judging them. I kept on getting distracted and looking at people and souvenir stands. This is a lady who was painting to a large, cheering crowd. She was speed-painting with spray-paint, jabbing the loose brush into wet spray paint and then painting gorgeous scenes. I saw other American girls in the crowd and, in the darkness, assumed they were my American girls. When I realized they were not, I ran down the street, hoping I hadn’t lost them. Fortunately, they had stopped just short of the Trevi and were realizing they had lost me.
We went to the gelaterria right off of the Trevi. Two cute guys were working the gelato counter. There was a double-scoop minimum. I ended up with strawberry and caramel, although the strawberry was too tart. The caramel? So good. So, so good. As I struggled with coinage to pay (there is no difference between 20 cent and 50 cent coins, Europeans, get on that), Sarah ducked in to make sure I hadn’t gotten lost again. One of the guys at the counter lit up at the sight of her. He asked her name and where she was from and if she had a facebook. He was pressing her for contact information. She said that of course she had a facebook and then left without telling him about it.
I left with my cup of ice cream in hand and said, “That guy was hitting on you like mad.”
They all laughed.
We sat and ate gelato and chatted (Nicole informed us that her retirement plan is to open a teashop). When we were annoyed enough by the knickknack seller standing next to us, we left, but now we had a problem: Sarah had to pee and I was desperately thirsty. We quickly realized that all the small gelaterria and souvenir shops were either closing or didn’t have a public bathroom available. There was no other question. We had to go into a fancy restaurant to get water and bathroom access.
We all felt horribly guilty as the waiter rolled out lovely thick tablecloths and another set a fancy place setting for us. After they left, Sarah asked me how to ask for the bathroom. “Dov’è il bagno,” I said, “And the gn is like the ñ in Spanish.” Americans seem to understand that instruction. We’re all so used to Spanish.
We felt bad that they had made such a fuss for us, so we got a bottle of wine and some tea and I got cake, because I didn’t want tea or wine. It was my second dessert of the night. I got some sort of torte — it was kind of creamy and not the best dessert, but it was well-made and it wasn’t bad. Nicole and Sarah asked for a bottle of white Moscato, a dessert wine. The waiter recounted the orders and ended it with “A bottle of Moscato and three glasses,” pointed vaguely in the direction of Deanna and I, and left.
“Three glasses?” we asked. “Who gets the third glass?”
I had found an alcohol I like. I like it well enough to finish one glass, at least. I normally hate alcohol, so the fact that I liked this wine was reason enough to have my picture taken of me drinking alcohol, which is a pretty stupid idea normally. This wine was sweet, but it still had the bitterness to prevent the sweetness from being overpowering. It’s everything I want in alcohol, the very thing I thought I would never find. It doesn’t taste like alcohol but it doesn’t taste like medicine. It tastes like a drink.
Apparently when the wine is almost empty you’re not supposed to chug the last of it down and slam the glass down on the table.
I did not finish my second glass.
Then we headed back to the apartment.
We were loud and obnoxious on the subway, laughing at every little thing, probably hitting every single stereotype of American study abroad students, but we had a blast and it was a fun evening.