Bounjiorno from Italy! Chelsey and I arrived safely from DC on Aeroflot with a brief layover in Moscow. This layover was enough time to get some borscht and have a nap before heading to Rome. When we got into Rome, we checked into our apartment and got started on drinking wine, eating delicious food, and seeing some sights. We met up with our friends Jules and Jakes (friends of Chelsey’s from college), who we will be travelling with through the next week. We decided to use the little time we had in Rome to go see the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain before eating our first big Italian meal. The Pantheon was truly breathtaking to see in person. The Trevi Fountain was actually under construction, but helpfully they left a little baby pool to throw coins in to make a wish. I successfully got my coin in the fountain on the first toss (Jules and Chelsey weren’t as lucky). I hope whoever is in charge of granting wishes from the Trevi Fountain takes American coins.
After that it was on to the most important thing: FOOD. We went to a restaurant that was highly recommended by Yelp that makes their own pasta right in the restaurant. I had a delicious pasta with Arriabiata sauce (spicy tomato). So far, Italian food is living up to the reputation.
The next morning we got up and took the bus to Siena. Siena is a smaller, less-visited town in Tuscany. It is simply beautiful. We stayed at Al Mercado B&B, which had amazing staff and a great location close to the main piazza. We toured the town, and went up into the very top of the bell tower – about 400 steps straight up. The view at the top was worth it though. The view stretches over the red-tiled rooftops of Siena into the green, rolling hills of the countryside. For lunch we ate at this fantastic place, La Prosciutteria. Here, we gorged on various cured meats and cheeses, with fresh-baked bread. I’m not even sure what most of them were, but they were tasty! The guy at the counter said to trust him, and I’m glad we did!
After lunch we wandered around town a little more, and ended up at the Enoteca Italia, which was created as a showcase of Italian wines. It is in the dungeon of a former Medici fortress. We walked around the fortress, taking in more views of Siena and the surrounding area, before heading back into town for dinner in cave. This place, while on the “romantic” side, served up plates of wild boar ragu, roasted rabbit, and most importantly risotto that came served in a wheel of cheese. It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that it was amazing.
After coffee and shopping the next morning, we headed to Florence.