I had most of the day in Rome but somehow it never seems quite the same when you know you’ve got to make your way to the airport later on. However, the sun was still shining, the sky a glorious blue, and it was hot and summery so there was still a strong holiday feel. Once I’d done my packing and we headed off for breakfast, thoughts of Fiumicino and the flight home were put aside for a time. We went to the same cafe we’d gone to on the second day for breakfast and sat outside in the warm sun to enjoy excellent cappuccini (Robert took my Italian to task for writing ‘cappuccinos’ the other day!) and cornetti. It’s all amazingly cheap by London standards: under €2 each. There’s a flat rate for the coffee and any cornetto – either croissant or what we’d call Danish pastries.
While they went back to the flat I went to the local station, Tuscolana, to buy a ticket for Fiumicino Airport and check trains times. Then I had a wander round the local area. Robert told me about the cafe at the top of Coin store right by the old city wall, which has a very good view across to nearby San Giovanni in Laterano, just a 100m or so through an arch in the wall. Jenny added the best view was from the ladies’ toilet. I’ve passed Coin so many times over the years but had never gone in. Perhaps it’s as well I discovered it at the last minute today as there was plenty in there to tempt me to get out my credit card! Jenny was right. I got a brilliant couple of photos from the Ladies window (below and top photo).
It was decided we’d go for a good lunch at the trattoria round the corner from the flat in Via Taranto as we’d be travelling in the evening. We’d tried to get into Dar Bruttone a couple of nights ago but it was full. It was pretty full at lunchtime today but we got a table. There were a few good humoured jokes with the owner about me being a mere inglese as Jenny is Irish and Robert half Italian/half Irish. The owner lived in Ireland for a while and loves it so likes talking to them about all things Irish when they go in. However, your Single Gourmet Traveller was not put off stride. Not with such a good choice of Italian specialities to choose from. Mmm. Sea bass ravioli to start was an irresistible choice with osso bucco and peas as a main. I particularly liked the pasta.
In true Italian style we decided to go to the local gelateria for dessert. Gelateria Procopio at Re di Roma has always been a favourite since my first visit to Rome back in 2001, so it had to be visited before I left for home. Being perhaps more of a glutton than a gourmet, I have to admit, given the large lunch I’d just had, I couldn’t resist a small cup of three flavours. And then it turned out I was the only one with room for pudding!
By late afternoon the inevitable trip to Fiumicino had to be made. But I’d had one of my loveliest visits to Rome, enjoying seeing the city in a different way with semi-locals to show me round and introduce me to some of their family and friends. The time there has been really special.
Once I’d finally made it through security at Fiumicino – an horrendous hour’s queue! – I was pleased to see my favourite airport haunt: the Frescobaldi wine bar. I’ve sat at the Rome one and the Venice one many times with friends and family and it’s a wonderfully civilised place to wait for a flight. With a plate of Insalata Caprese before me, some excellent bread and a glass of very good prosecco, going home didn’t seem so bad after all.
So, here I am now on my flight home. High in the sky on my BA airbus, finishing this Roman holiday blog before my feet touch down in UK again.