Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rome Day 5: Arrivederci Roma

Our final day in Rome and we had to check out of the hotel by 10 am.  Our flight wasn't until that evening, but fortunately, the hotel let us leave our bags there while we wandered around for one last round of tourism.  We went past the Jewish Ghetto again and found our way to Campo del Fiori.

At Campo del Fiori, they were having a market with lots of goodies.  There were vendors with the typical I Heart Roma shirts and bags, some other clothing sellers, and food.  Lots and lots of food.  There was this great vegetable stand with the most gigantic red bell peppers I have ever seen, humongous eggplants, and everything looks bright and ripe.  It was fantastic.  Another few stalls were selling pasta and herbs.  The pasta guy would start to sing a song and the vegetable stand man would join in.  One vendor had all sorts of different truffle items: straight up truffles, truffle oil, truffle with parmesan, and truffle butter.  Another vendor had jars upon jars of honey.  There were all different kinds: thyme, "woods," chestnut, orange, eucalyptus, acacia, "sweet," and mixed flower.  I wish I could have had samples!
Victor Emmanuel Monument
After the market, we stopped at a sidewalk cafe to have cappuccinos with a lovely view of the Victor Emmanuel Monument, which we couldn't seem to get away from the entire time were there.  Every time we got a little turned around, we ended up at the Victor Emmanuel Monument.  The sun was shining, and John and I actually got uncomfortably warm, which I loved.  We then went off for lunch without the help of a concierge recommendation.  Big mistake.  We ended up at this horrid restaurant because we got so hungry looking that we just gave up.  It was a nightmare- almost literally.  There were Halloween masks hanging on the walls, Santa Clause costumes in opened packages, dried meat hanging unused above the bar.  We put in our order and John took a piece of bread from the basket.  It literally snapped in half and crumbed into little pieces.  I feigned illness, put 4 euro on the table, and we canceled our orders and left.

The lunch we ended up with wasn't bad, but it wasn't great.  Then we picked up our bags from the hotel and headed off to the airport.  I checked a bag and we made it through security.  I went to use the ladies, which was actually co-gendered and had everyone confused.  When I came back up, John informed me that I had been called back to security.  We went back and they said they needed to search my bag.  Strange, but okay, and I started to give them my laptop bag.  No, they needed to search my checked bag.  Fine, go ahead, I checked it!  Nope, I had to leave my bag with John and go with a non-English speaking male security guard back through the airport, outside onto the tarmac, and into a little corner where some trucks were parked.  With no one else around, he had me open the bag and he sifted through it, occasionally holding something up for me to clarify what it was, even though I'm pretty sure he didn't understand me.  It was unnerving, but uneventful and I was brought back through security and John and I managed to have a peaceful flight back to Dublin.

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