Monday, October 13, 2008

Day 8: Ciao Bella

We only had a few hours left in the Italian Riviera, since we were leaving for Rome that same day. Breakfast at the hotel was ok, it did, however, serve an absolutely delicious blood red orange juice from Sicily. (I later went on a hunt for that juice to take back home with me... which I successfully conquered). We quickly left after eating to take advantage of the little time we had left to visit the other 4 of the 5 villages. I couldn’t get over how picturesque Cinque Terre is. I could have spent hours taking pictures in each of the villages. It happened to be what we spent doing most of the few hours we had, and the rest of the time we enjoyed the water and browsed the shops. The 5 villages are connected by a walking path. From the first to the last it takes approximately 7 hours to walk. Although we didn’t have time to walk the entire thing, we walked from the 4th to the 5th village. (That only took 20 minutes). However, we still had to pay the full fee to enter the walking path. As we walked around the final village, we both agreed that the first village, which we visited the day before, was our favorite.

We wanted to go back up to that village, but yet again, the Italian train met our expectation… 100% unreliable. Instead we bought two slices of pizza and had a picnic on the coast, and left for La Spezia to wait around for an hour before our train to Rome. It was quite disappointing having to waste an hour in the Italian Riviera in the city of La Spezia… but I’m sure I don’t have to explain the reason why we did. Fortunately our train to Rome was direct, so once we were on it, we were able to have a stress free ride. We ended up sharing a compartment with a cute girl from Rome. She didn’t speak much English, and we didn’t speak Italian at all. So, we improvised. We had a few hour long conversation, with my mom was speaking in English and Spanish, I spoke a bit of Portuguese, English and Spanish, and she spoke bits of Italian, English and Spanish. Surprisingly we understood each other quite well.

She had called her dad during the ride, and he offered to drive us to our hotel. How grateful were we! Our Rome experience was already starting on a good note. When we pulled up to our hotel, we were extremely happy. We ended up having a room in the basement… which we were sure meant it was the lowest room on the totem pole, but it was absolutely fabulous! What a great hotel, and a great room.

When we were checking in, we informed the concierge that we hadn’t eaten dinner, and were wondering if there was anything open in the area. She said she’d make us reservations at a nice restaurant nearby. So, after we dropped off our things, and washed up, we left for Restaurant Sud. We were pleasantly surprised that the prices were more than reasonable, and it ended up being the best food we had on our entire trip. We had to stop ourselves from going back there the other 2 nights we spent in Rome. But, I know where I’ll be eating the next time I visit.

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