Buongiorno readers! It is currently about 2:42pm in Roma. This blog is coming up awfully late because we have been super busy today (also had a slight sleep in!). Yesterday wasn’t the biggest day, but it was definitely one of the best days.
We started the day off in our shitty hotel near Cinque Terre – a rough sleep was had. The bed was so poor. We had the hotel breakfast, which was, as expected, pretty poor. Then we got on the coach for approximately an hour which took us to Pisa. We all know what Pisa is famous for – if not for the tower, nobody would go there. Of course we were there for the leaning tower. In 1990 it actually was closed due to leaning at an unsafe angle where it could have fallen over and 9 years later they used weights to bring it back to a safe angle. They could have completely straightened the tower but it would have wiped Pisa off the map.
You have to walk through a little street with about 1000 street urchins trying to sell you cheap nasty shit. We’re pretty used to avoiding these guys now, so it is easy for us. You usually just say “No Grazie” which works pretty well. If it is the African ones, they are a bit more difficult. If you give them any little bit of attention, they keep badgering you. They say things like “Nice shoes Africa!” Or “Nice tattoos Africa” or “Black and White Africa”. For some reason they always say Africa which is pretty weird haha. But they are big time pests and don’t leave you alone. The way you deal with these ones if by completely ignoring them as if they don’t even exist and you can’t see them. It works a treat.
We saw the leaning tower of Pisa. It is an impressive structure. Jimmy gave us some history on it which was interesting – it was to be bombed in World War II but a lone soldier was taken by it’s beauty and refused to bomb it. We didn’t do the classic tourist holding the tower up photo, because it is lame haha literally thousands of people do this daily – there must be millions of people who have this photo – completely unoriginal.
Afterwards we had a little bit of time to kill before we got back on the coach. We were pretty hungry because we didn’t have much of the breakfast and there was a McDonalds nearby – we did it. (I know, we’re in Italy, but it was needed). After a few of the most expensive cheeseburgers ever we were off to our next stop.
We then had 1.5 hours on the coach to Principe Corsini. This is a Tuscan winery and vineyard. They produce their owns wines and olive oil. We had a tour around the winery which was really nice and had the chance to take some pictures.
After that they took us upstairs for some wine tasting, They gave us some prosciutto, some bread and some cheese as well as three different wines. The first one was a sparkling rosè. It was very sweet and very easy to drink, but quite delicious. The second was a strong smelling red which was actually quite mild when drank and the third was an expensive oaky red that had been in a barrel for several years. It tasted oaky and strong, but delicious.
Before coming to Italy Aimee and I didn’t really like red wine. We used to drink whites a lot. About 10 weeks before coming to Italy we decided to drink a different red wine every weekend to try and get used to it. We now barely drink white wine and we love red. It was pretty big for us but now we are always down for a delicious red.
After this is was about a 3 hour drive to our hotel in Rome. This was our longest drive and Jimmy gave us the Contiki evaluations to write about our highlights and lowlights of the tour. If you’ve been reading so far you will know the answers to this. However, we will do a wrap up blog post when we leave Italy that will go into more detail about our thoughts on the Contiki tour.
We got to Rome and checked into the Polo hotel, which is still as average as when we first stayed here 10 days ago. We weren’t really keen to grab anything for dinner, we were just going to go to bed as there was no dinner event tonight. We weren’t to the hotel room and caught the first episode of the new season of The Handmaids Tale – fuckin good episode of a fuckin good show.
I (Ronnie) was in a good mood after this, so we decided to make the effort to go out for dinner..and boy am I glad we did. We went to a restaurant that was about a kilometre away called Ambasciata d’Abruzzo. This was hands down the best meal we have had in Italy. It was absolutely divine. We ordered a nice red Chianti to start and a primo each. Aimee got fettuccini Lamb Ragu and I got Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli with a sage butter sauce. Both of them were excellent. They tasted so creamy and fresh and delicious. We even wiped up the extra sauce with our bread.
We then shared a secondo which was roast lamb and potatoes. It was really so flavoursome with the lamb juices and the saltiness of the skin mixed with the crispy potatoes. The meat was soft and fell off the bone at the slightest touch. It really was something special. Needless to say we smashed this.
We decided to grab a dulci each as well and oh my goodness…I had a pana cotta with strawberry compote and I would honestly say it was the most delicious dessert I have ever eaten. I couldn’t get through a single bite without making that “mmm” noise – it was just that damn good. It had two different textures with a traditional cream on the top with a more gelatin type sweet cream underneath. Words cannot describe. Aimee had a chocolate mousse which she said was excellent and she loved.
Afterwards, we got the traditional espresso after a meal which was delicious – Italy does coffee damn well. A great day all up.
- McDonalds – 11€
- Water – €2
- Servo snacks – 14€
- Dinner – 95€
- Conditioner – 3€
Total: €125. A great day and good food – still well under budget. Good times!
See you tomorrow from the chaotic but excellent Roma!
Ronnie and Aimee