Not sure if the guys on the scaffolding are reading my blog, but they did allow me to sleep later this morning. Although my body is very tired each evening, my mind keeps going and falling asleep takes a bit. So the extra time in bed was bene.
Today I really had no agenda. There were a couple of places I thought I might check out, but I was very open. The temperature here has been just like Texas. I kept wondering why all these well dressed Italians are not sweating like….let’s say me…then I realized their pace is MUCH slower. So today, I decided to try to camminare like an Italian….although not as well dressed. (More to come on their style later.)
Breakfast was the ho-hum usual. By ho-hum I mean a perfetto cappuccino and another oh so yummy almond and crema croissant.
Yesterday, my biking buddies (I use “buddies” loosely. The conversation didn’t flow much until the wine at the final stop did. One was a doctor from Florida and the other worked for The Bill and Linda Gates Foundation) laughed at my paper map. Ricardo wanted to show us something, but he said, “But we do not have a map.” On the contrary Ricardo…and I whipped my already well worn and marked one out. Anyway, they all thought a paper map was strange I guess and tried to give me a tutorial on downloading the gps maps on my phone. I shared with them my fear of costs but they said if when I was on wifi, I would download a map, then “move it around”…at this point, I really made them laugh…I asked, “move it around?”, as I held my phone and moved it through the air….no they said, move the map with your finger and it will load the surrounding areas and then you will have it later. The benefit they said was I would always know where I was.
ANYWAY, short story long, I decided to try to navigate in this manner today, or at least to my first stop.
So I put in “Gusto”. My sister-in-law had just told me about this place. Sounded kinda like a restaurant/shop to me…right up my alley. As I followed the blinking blue dot, I am sure I looked just as silly as I do holding and constantly turning my paper map, but it did the trick.
Now Tricia might be looking at this photo and saying, “That’s not Gusto.” In fact I am not positive it is the one she told me about. The blinking blue dot was not exactly here, but when I looked up, the place said Gusto, so I decided this would be my Gusto.
What a wonderful place. I arrived before any sort of lunch crowd and walked around a bit taking photos of everything. The lunch special was one plate of any and everything from the homestyle table. Although I probably should have, I did not choose that. I instead order Caprese number tre. Avery wondered if I would get tired of them on this trip…I am doubtful!
Will do! Andiamo!
As I left Gusto, I asked the hostess which way to Trastevere. She told me where a taxi stand was. I told her no that I would be walking. She said, “Oh no, molto pedi!” But if I hadn’t pedi-ed, I would have missed all this.
And finally to Trastevere. OK, travel tip…if you come to Rome…my recommendation is to stay in Trastevere. It was my original thought a year or so ago, but I let a few things sway me. It is not that I regret it. This trip is all about finding places I want to come back to. I think my family would LOVE staying here. It is said to be the “grittier” side of Rome. My kind of grit!
I had wanted to make my way here today because this is where my cooking class is tomorrow. I am so glad I pedi-ed all this way.
First stop was Santa Maria in Trastevere.
Of the churches I have visited, I think this one is my favorite. It has such warmth to it. It is one of the oldest Catholic churches in Rome. Perhaps the first where mass was openly celebrated. The groundbreaking was in the 4th century. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220.
I know to you it seems like I have just eaten, but I was ready for my first birra, so I roamed about choosing from many contenders. But when I heard “Stayn’ Alive” coming from this spot and the energetic, friendly looking waitstaff, I knew this had to be the place….and I PROMISE…I only ordered a birra, the rest just kept coming!
And if that wasn’t enough…my happiness was completed when this oily, salty bag of pane was placed on my table…thank goodness I had a plastic bag in my purse or there would have been no dinner for me tonight!
Could they be any more clear!?
In fact, I lingered in Trastevere long enough to attend 5:30 mass at Santa Maria in Trastevere. What a beautiful experience. To think of all who have worshiped there….and then there is me.
As I said, Trastevere was definitely a find. I will return tomorrow for my cooking class.