After a modest breakfast with a friend, we trekked over to the Borghese Gallery, www.gebart.it, for the most splendid art imaginable, at least of the Italian Renaissance and later periods. The building itself, built in line with that of the Classical period, was spectacular while the grounds tranquil despite the noise and rush of traffic outside the walls.
How this happened, I’m not entirely clear but we had planned to go to Ciampini in Piazza San Lorenzo for lunch. Instead, at the top of the Spanish steps, we found a place called Caffe’ Ciampini,www.caffeciampini.com, and figured two places wouldn’t have the same name, or would they? We thoughtt perhaps that the one had moved. Anyway, we had a pleasant enough repast, especially covered in greenery on a hot (32 degree) Roman day but, naturally, found the other Ciampini on the way back to the hotel.
After some shopping, we sauntered by Tazza d’Oro, the famous coffee bar, for a cooling granita, espresso ice with whipped cream.
We headed out again later in the afternoon to la Feltrinelli onVictor Emmanuel II to pick up Stieg Larrson’s third Milennium book which I now can’t put down despite the fact that we have to leave for dinner soon.
Just as we liked the bistros of Paris, we’ve taken to the trattorias of Rome and, as a result of a Chowhound blog, having eschewed Trattoria Monti (apparently resting on its laurels) in favour of Trattoria dal Cav. Gino, Vicolo Rosini 4 (cash only), we weren’t disappointed. A completely un-prepossessing place in a kind of alley near the Parliament building, we had a completely satisfying dinner, the pastas being particularly good. I don’t usually mention price but, for 71,5 euros, we had two pastas, two mains (with some vegetables, often an extra) and two bottles of decent-enough Tuscan red. Even our server, Alto, was charming; told us about his family and even mentioned their cat, Alice. Hard to beat.