Wednesday, November 5, 2008


We left Cortona early this morning for Chuisi to catch the train. Keith gave us excellent directions and the trip took less than an hour. The car rental office is within walking distance to the train station. For anyone taking the train to Rome, do not exit at the first Rome station, wait until you reach Termini.

The train station is extremely hectic. With luggage in tow, we headed for the front entrance and the taxi line. Beware! There are many men there to quickly offer you a ride to your destination, but work your way past them to the taxi line!

Once we hit the streets, it didn't take long to find our way to Hotel Forte. Hotel Forte is located on Via Margutta, a quaint street just off the busy thoroughfare between Piazza del Spagna and Piazza del Popolo. After checking in, Kenny and I take off to find lunch. We stop at the Osteria Margutta. The Osteria Margutta was featured in an issue of one of the foodie magazines as a great place to eat. The atmosphere was wonderful, but the food was not. We both had pasta and it reminded me of that terrible stuff you get in the mall - pasta that is overcooked with tomato sauce. And the wine was the same, tasting like someone had watered it down.

But the caffe continues to be excellent. I know I have said it before, but I do wish we could get coffee at home that is as good as it is here. Or maybe not! Kenny tried caffe and chocolate gelato at a cafe at the Piazza del Popolo and the two together were delicious.

For those of you who have read Angels and Demons, the Piazza del Popolo is where the adventure begins. There are 3 churches in the piazza - the Santa Maria dei Miracoli, the Santa Maria and the Santa Maria del Popolo. I love the churches. The architecture and the frescos are amazing. It is hard to leave a church in Rome and not feel the hand of God. The Santa Maria del Popolo is home to works of Bernini and Caravaggio and is spectacular. Today there was a film crew filming the Caravaggio masterpieces. This was a rare opportunity to see the details of the paintings brightly lit.
For dinner tonight we try the Trattoria dal Pollarolo. It is a "mom and pop" type of restaurant with tables set closely together for intimate dining. I had Spaghetti Carbonara and it was extremely tasty. For dessert we try the panna cotta and tiramisu, both great endings to a wonderful meal.
Another "must see" in Rome is the Trevi Fountain. It is a nice walk from the Hotel Forte and a very big tourist attraction. You know you are close to the fountain when you can hear the water. The fountain is massive, the largest of the Baroque fountains in Rome. The legend is that is you throw a coin into the fountain you will return to Rome. I know for a fact that it works. Two years ago we tossed the coin and here we are, back in Rome at the Trevi Fountain. Hopefully we will return again!


  1. Greetings from Georgia! I haven't been able to read your blog for several days but was able to catch up on events this evening. Sounds like you and Kenny are having a wonderful time. I noted that you cooked something with Alessandra that you have made before...the fried squash blossoms!!!! Did you like the Italian version more than your own? Enjoy your last days in Italy. I look forward to hearing more stories when you get home!

  2. I have made squash blossoms, but I stuffed them with a cheese mixture. Alessandra's were blossoms simply dipped in a beer batter and fried until crispy. They were delicious. I will try these next sumer when we have squash in the garden.

  3. very nice blog! to those who will be inspired by it to travel to Rome I suggest to start planning your trip on vacation rentals in rome where you can choose from selection of hotel rooms and apartments for any budget...ciao