D36 Italy - RomaAugust 9 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C
We stand here waiting in another queue, this time for some of Trastevere’s, and possibly Rome’s best pasta. Traditional dishes such as Amitricana, cacio e Pepe and carbonara al reside here in a very small hole in the wall with a seating capacity of about 30 that spills onto the cobble streets.
This morning we rose with slightly sore heads, well let’s just say tired heads after our night out. We headed straight to the Basilica di San Petro where given our early start and arrival of just before 8am, rewarded us with a quick entry through security and before we knew it (yep, more steps along narrow and curved tunnels), we were up at the top of the dome. The sun shone directly onto us, lighting up the square before us as we watched the hoards of tourists and groups parading after umbrellas, flags and other tall devices, start to pour in.
On our way down, we stopped at the souvenir shop which sits on top of the basilica roof, where it is some what of a tradition for people to send a postcard home utilising the Vatican’s Postale system. This system in faction doesn’t use Italiene Poste, but rather the more reliable Swiss postal service! We fulfilled the tradition and headed into the basilica for a wander around.
The basilica is nothing short of impressive, both Kate and I commented on the sheer magnitude of its scale. It really is so large that it’s difficult to digest. Statues that look a few meters tall stand 6 meters high, and mosaics and frescos line every inch of the huge walls. The nave alone is 46m high with the dome capping it off at a whopping 137m. That’s taller than any living tree in the world (my natural reference point).
We left the basilica and it was still only morning so after pulling out our tourist map, we set a course of walking to the main sites. We refuelled on some delicious pizza purchased by weight, then headed north to the expansive Piazza del Popolo. Not much to see really, and by this stage, the thermostat was pushing towards 33 degrees, so we wandered down to the Spanish Steps. Last time I was here, I remember sticking my head into the fountain and getting a seriously water-logged ear, so when I went in for the dive today, I was far more cautious. With a wet and cooled head, we wandered through the streets to the Pantheon. Another mega structure of Roma! While sitting and admiring its beauty, we wondered about the brilliance in creating the dome with its huge hole open to the sky. Perhaps it’s similar to the construction of a giant pizza oven; but then how does one keep it in tact without a keystone at its centre...
Feeling weary, we ate delicious authentic creamy gelato at Quinto Gelataria them drank a spritz at Piazza Navona while watching the Instagramers attempt to capture the beauty (of themselves of course, not the square).
And so, we end up here at Da Enzo eating pasta. Real, pasta. And my gosh, it was good. Rigatoni Amatriciana with my new favourite meat, Guancaile. While Kate devoured their famous Cacio e Pepe, a creamy sauce made with pecorino, starchy pasta water and pepper from Sarawak! This is the same famous pepper we bought back from our time in Malaysia last year. After the pasta course we were filling up quickly, having also chowed down on local sourdough and olio with salt and pepper as a starter, accompanied by a drop of the house Chianti. Despite this, more was on its way - an insulata mista and two of the special meatballs. The balls were the size of Kates fists, made up of slow cooked pork (probably) and them deep fried in a crispy arancini style shell. The were finished in a pomodorro and Parmesan sauce then dusted with cocoa.
We are quite content.Read more