Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Rome - Day Two

Last night before we went to bed we arranged for a wake-up call. The quaint hotel we are staying at, perceives a "wake-up call" as pounding on our door 10 minutes late and yelling "get up" in Italian.

We were told that breakfast was included in the price, which it was, but what was served I wouldn't have fed to Deuce. Josh and I took a look at what there was and decided to head out.

We started walked at 10:00am, and some of the sights we saw were: Trevi Fountain, the Four Fountains, the Spanish Steps(where I wore the numbers off my credit card) at Salvatore Ferragamo , then on to Castel Sant'Angelo, Vatican City, Saint Peter's Square and the Sistine Chapel. The store with the name "Expensive!" just about sums up the day beautifully. ;)

As luck would have it, Vatican City was celebrating "World Traveller Day" today, so Josh and I got into the Sistine Chapel for free! We saved 24.00 euros, thank goodness for made-up holidays. ;)

There are simply no words to describe what it's like to stand in the Chapel, look up, and see all of Michelangelo and Raphael's art. To say that it's breathtaking is an understatement.

After leaving the Chapel at 4:30, we walked outside, turned to each other and said "let's get a cab". We got back to the hotel, relaxed for a short while before our dinner with Josh's colleague; "his man in Rome".

We met up with Rocco at 7:00pm and walked around while we waited for Maximillian to show up. Josh and Rocco talked business while I was ignored for the most part. We walked up and down the street and around the block but still no Maximillian. They continued talking and walking and finally Rocco called Maximillian on his cell, but got no answer. We walked some more, and finally at 8:15 Maximillian called to say he was stuck in traffic and would be another 15 minutes. He eventually showed up at 8:45. I guess Jewish time is equivalent to Rome time.

A very noticeable difference between Toronto and Rome. When we got into the backseat of Maximillian's car, we were trying to put the seatbelts on. Maximillian turned to us and said "don't bother, you won't get a ticket, only driver's have to wear one." Umm, it had nothing to do with getting a ticket, I didn't want to get splatted, thankyouverymuch...

Maximillian suggested a restaurant called Papok, and when we arrived he walked into the kitchen, spoke to the chef and ordered our dinners. We started with a salmon dish which was akin to smoked salmon (lox) surrounded by shaved carrots and had a light drizzling of olive oil on top. This was followed by a bottle of wine and our main course of small fusilli (small spirals) in a mushroom/cream sauce. WOW!

After we ate that, the chef came out and asked if we wanted something else. He said anything we wanted he would cook for us, but we declined. He then offered dessert and that too we declined. He began to rhyme off all the desserts he makes from scratch and kept nudging me to order. We did, however, settle on some specialty coffees. Since we were "special customers", he came out with apperitifs.

This is the part of the meal that gets a little fuzzy. I tried grappa, jagermeister, and a very sweet wine like ice wine. I swear I could feel the room spinning!

Maximillian paid for the meal and asked if we wanted to go to a club and unwind. We declined and suggested he take us back to the hotel as we planned a very busy day the next day.

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