(Friday July 8, 2016)  A final cappuccino and carrot muffin at Giorgio’s cafe this morning, packed the car full, and headed southeast. We made a spur of the moment decision last night to travel the coastal road so we could stop along the Mediterranean for lunch. (My other half really enjoyed the wines of Tuscany, but the food not quite as much. Lots of beef (chianina, the white cow of Tuscany) and pork (salami, prosciutto, etc.) He did have lamb the first evening in Trequanda, other nights we found pastas with goose ragu, or salmon pizza. Yesterday I think left him a bit hungry. (I, on the other hand, did not have a problem finding suitable dishes to enjoy…a wonderful pici pasta with bacon, garlic and bread crumbs followed by chianina in peppercorns and seasonings – apparently a very old recipe handed down through the generations. And I can’t leave out dessert – fruita panna cotta. Delicioso!)

But back to today…we realized early on we were headed the wrong direction, made a quick adjustment, and first spied the ocean about 1:30PM. We stopped in the port city of Civitavecchia for lunch, and a quick swim for those who had planned for the unexpected. (Those of us who packed light did not fare as well…just another reason for a return trip!) It was rocky and slippery, but wonderfully warm from what I am told.

Address for the hotel plugged into the GPS, and we were on the final leg of the today’s journey to Rome by 4:15PM. We are at a hotel just outside Vatican City. We have had a few “ohh and ahh” moments since we arrived in town, with a lot of photos out the car window. 

This evening we met up at a little wine bar, L’Angolo Divino near Piaza di Campo  di Fiore. Wonderful bottle of sangiovese and snacks (burrata, olives, deviled eggs and lupini). Dinner was a quick walk away, also just off the Piaza. I didn’t make the dinner reservations, so I do nother recall the name of the restaurant. It was across the street from a fabric store that held my attention for a bit. The wheels were turning in my head, especially as I had had the inspiration for our kitchen just a few days earlier.  

Our waiter, Rocco, was wonderful, and not only made wonderful recommendations for food and wine, he presented each of the ladies with a rose from the street vendor. We realized later he essentially chose our entire meal, but for dessert! And he picked quite well…sautéed Portofino mushrooms, lobster salad, rissotto, poached sea bass and poached red snapper. Lemoncella accompanied various desserts (tiramisu and panna cotta). All dishes were shared among the 6 of us, and we left full, happy, and just a little tired.

We have a lot to see in the next 2 days, starting with the Vatican and Sistine Chapel tomorrow.