Thursday, July 27, 2017

May 22nd, Part Two: St. Peter's and Lots of Cheese

We were only outside for a couple minutes before heading in to our last stop of the tour: St. Peter's Basilica.

To say it was impressive is an understatement. We spent a couple minutes with our guide while she pointed out a few features, then we handed in our headsets, thanked our guide, and our tour was officially over. That left us as much time as we wanted to explore on our own.

We wandered all around the different areas; the church was huge. (I learned a little bit later that St. Peter's is actually the biggest church in the world.) I especially liked the inside of the dome.

We eventually made our way outside. This guard was off to the side at one of the gates. Mark especially liked his uniform.  :)

Looking back toward St. Peter's. We wandered out through the courtyard...

...and took one last look back before saying goodbye to Vatican City and wandering back into Rome.

After so much snacky eating on the go for the past few days, I told Mark that the one thing I definitely wanted to do after the tour was sit down and have lunch somewhere. Luckily, it didn't take long to find a place where we could sit in the shade and stuff our faces.

I had an entire mushroom pizza to myself. It was delicious. (In hindsight, maybe I should have skipped the glass of made me want to curl up and take a nap!)

After lunch we wandered through a couple nearby shops, then eventually wound up grabbing some juice and hanging out in a small park near Castel Sant'Angelo. It was nice to hang out in the shade for a little while, and we spent the time watching a couple small kids chase pigeons.

We followed the Tiber River part of the way back toward the hotel.

There were a few groups of people rowing on one part of the river. We eventually cut back into some of the neighborhoods, found some gelato and a fancy whisky shop (where Mark bought himself a couple souvenirs), then took the Metro back to the hotel.

A nap and a shower later, I felt much more functional, so we set out to find dinner.
Mark did a little research online and found a nearby trattoria, so we decided to go check it out.

It was delicious. My appetizer was a big plate of cheese (which I shared with Mark). There were different jellies and spreads with it, and we wound up eating the entire thing.

I had bucatini all'Amatriciana, which is basically pasta with pancetta or prosciutto, tomatoes, onions, and cheese. It might be one of the best pasta dishes I've had. (We even found a recipe and made it ourselves after we got home.)

Mark teased me a bit when my last plate was basically a plate of fried cheese. It was still delicious.   :)    We finished up our bottle of wine while talking to the ladies at the table next to us; they were from Chicago and had just arrived that morning, so we had fun giving them some tips on how to get around and what was worth visiting before eventually thanking our waiter and heading out for the night.

The restaurant wasn't too far from the Colosseum, so we walked down to check it out.

It was pretty cool to see it all lit up.   :)

We walked around for a couple minutes before making our way back to the hotel, where we grabbed a drink on the roof before heading to bed. It had been a long, but fun, day!

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