01 July 2017

2016 ITALY Rome 16 - Doggie Bag!

Our next stop was Gelateria del Teatro. This is a modest little establishment selling fantastic gelato and ices. The only preservative in their products is "cold." The line was long, but moved fast and definitely worth the wait.
After getting our order, we sat around small white tables with white chairs, very ice cream parlor-ish. Mike had a scoop each of pistachio and watermelon. I ordered peach. It was pretty warm that day and these treats were VERY refreshing and SO tasty.

I loved this sign on their wall. Instead of everyone with eyes on their phones, people were happily talking and interacting together. Smiles instead of furrowed brows. Yay!

Next we whisked past Piazza del Popolo (People's Square), a large urban space. For centuries this was the place for public executions, the last being held in 1826. In the center of the square is an ancient Egyptian obelisk. Three sides were carved during Pharaoh Seti's reign (1290-1279BC) and the fourth side during Ramesses II's time (1279-1213BC). It is topped with a pyramid shaped cap. (Sorry, no photos.)

On our way to Piazza di Spagna (plaza of the Spanish Steps), we motored past elaborate homes and gardens of the ancient rich on Pincian Hill. The Steps were our last attraction of the day. Years ago I had climbed and lounged my way to the top and back down with girlfriend Sandy on a promotional airline trip. This time, however, the steps were under construction. No loungers, no meet-ups, and no beautiful purple-pinkish azaleas. Still a sight not to miss.
They were built in 1723-1725 by little known architect Francesco de Sanctis. The project was funded with 20,000 scudi, a bequeath from French diplomat √Čtienne Gueffier. Gueffier wanted to link the Spanish Embassy, the Trinit√† dei Monti Church (under the patronage of King Louis XIV of France) with the Spanish piazza below. A statue of King Louis was planned for the top of the steps, but the pope nixed that idea. There are 135 steps in kind of a butterfly shape.

At the bottom of the steps is an early baroque fountain titled Fontana della Barcaccia or Fountain of the Old Boat. It was designed in 1629 by Pietro Bernini, father of the famous Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Folk legend says that the sinking boat was carried all the way from the Tiber River during a flood in the 16th century.

Also in the area was this interesting Column of the Immaculate Conception with wrought iron decoration.
We arrived back to the hotel about 17:30. It was a long day and we had a short time to refresh for dinner. We headed back out at 19:45 for a ten minute walk to Chef Angelo Troin's Il Convivio Troiani. This is a one-star Michelin restaurant.

We dined in a private and elegant room. The ladies were given miniature "footstools" to set our purses on. The table decorations were intriguing--branches with beautifully colored potato chips "clothes-pinned" onto them. The chip colors nicely coordinated with the art glass dinnerware. It's these kinds of little and creative things that make a Michelin star restaurant.
 Here is the paired wine and tasting menu which included many pre- and post-course surprises not listed.

Crackers were served in slits carved into a bamboo "log."
Some pretty appetizers.

Not sure exactly what this was, but I remember it was delish, as was every single course!
Spaghetti with toppings.

Deep fried mushroom, potato, and stuffed zucchini blossom.
Watermelon ice.
The evening ended with a final surprise--a little doggie / cookie bag to go. It was suggested to continue the meal through the next day with morning coffee. I must admit, however, these tasty treats were eaten as a midnight snack.

We got home at midnight. No much sleep that night as I was stuffed all wound up.

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If you have visited any of these places, we would love to hear your comments. Or send us recommendations of places we should not miss.