Chiesa di Santa Maria di Loreto and Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Maria al Foro Traiano, trying to out-beautiful each other in the Roman night.
This was one of those moments when we were just like, "Daaaaaaaaamn, Rome." We were just wandering around at night and ran into this spot, where the Alter of the Fatherland is behind you on one side, and a beautiful domed church is behind you on another, and Trajan's Column is to your left, and the remnants of Caesar's Forum are in front of you, and and the gorgeous ruins of Trajan's Market are lit up off in the distance. The (other) tourists in Rome really overwhelmed me, but I'm so glad we visited just to have moments of awe like this.
Inside Chiesa di San Marcello al Corso, which dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries. Right by the Pantheon and yet somehow totally hidden!
Pretty streets of Rome.
If you're like me and have watched too many years of "Hell's Kitchen", nothing is more exciting than seeing a beef Wellington on a menu. So that's how four of us ended up at @takroomnyc, the new 50s-era @hudsonyards restaurant by 3-Michelin-star chef @chefthomaskeller of Per Se and The French Laundry. We started off with wonderfully balanced cocktails, complimentary crudités, and bread service with this neat little butter-dispensing device that push-popped the creamy goodness up through the center into individual portions. We also ordered: 4) the jumbo lump blue crab cake with spicy mayo, 5) braised short rib and forest mushroom lasagne, and 6) grilled Ora King salmon. My husband and I shared the prime beef short rib Wellington for two, which was presented to us whole before being cut tableside. I thought they were going to take the ends away because the server put them on a separate plate, but no, those were also given to us! (I'm greedy.) It was so incredibly tender, I wonder if they sous vide the steak before wrapping it in the pastry and baking it. The steak fries we ordered for our side were special somehow, like they had been brined in salt before cooking rather than sprinkled with it afterward. And though we didn't choose to order dessert, we were given a cute box of caramel corn at the end! It was a pretty pricey at $315 for my husband and me (the Wellington alone was $138), but the experience was really special. We were in a semi-private area overlooking the Vessel at Hudson Yards, the service was impeccable, and the little extras like the crudités and caramel corn made me feel like I was having an almost Per-Se-level meal. Plus, I just loved the throwback green velvet banquette seating and the light piano music that sounded old-timey but was actually renditions of Nirvana and Coldplay. Come here for your next special occasion!
We climbed a bunch of stairs to get here, so I thought we were atop the Spanish Steps. But no! It was Campidoglio, a museum-lined square designed by Michelangelo, up on a hill overlooking the Roman Forum. (The Spanish Steps are very, very far from here. 😁)
Last little collection of the Roman Forum, now with travel bros included!
Our first sighting of the Roman Colosseum, the former home of gladiators and the current home of every. single. tourist. in the entire world. Totally magnificent, though!
The Roman Forum, a plaza with government buildings dating back 2000 years, the center of everyday life back in ancient Roman times. We didn't even intend to come here, we just happened upon it on our way to the Colosseum, which just goes to show you how Rome is just insanely beautiful everywhere you look.
A storm rolling in near the Forum of Caesar in Rome.
That beautiful blue-green water at Trevi Fountain in Rome, which opened in 1762 and could feed a small nation with the amount of coins thrown into it. You always see photos like this that are close-ups of the fountain with nothing around it, and it made me believe that this was out in the middle of a big open town square with, you know, a normal amount of people milling about. BUT NO. It's a tiny square with buildings closing in on it, and there are tiers of viewing areas to allow for the IMMENSE THRONGS OF TOURISTS trying to selfie in front of it, even at 10pm like we did. Phew! But well worth it to be in its stunning presence.
Gelato at @don_nino_italia, which is riiiiiiiiiiiiight by the Pantheon for those sticky summer Rome nights.
Dinner at @roscioliroma will probably come up on every best-of list you read about Rome and for good reason! This was our first meal in Rome, and what an amazing introduction to the dining scene it was. It's part deli, part restaurant-that's-also-a-pantry, and our server was so helpful in navigating the menu. I'd read that the starters are the thing to have, so we ordered 2) mortadella with grated Parmigiano Reggiano, 3) burrata with sun-dried tomatoes, 4) anchovies and butter (the butter was yuzu-flavored!), 5) gnocchi, and 6) carbonara. Cookies with chocolate dipping sauce were a little extra from the house. Make sure to get a reservation before your trip!
My travel partners for the Italy trip! My amazing husband, who finds travel deals for us and books us flights to Italy while we're on our honeymoon, and our best travel buddy, who lets me plan his life as long as there's good food involved. We had been warned going to Italy that it's VERY IMPORTANT not to order milk in your coffee after breakfast, lest you offend Italian sensibilities. I read that a macchiato was okay, because it's just milk FROTH. Great. So we sat down at a cafe before dinner, and I spotted a latte macchiato on the menu. Sold! We ordered three. And it turned out to be THREE GIANT GLASSES OF MILK with just a splash of espresso. "Latte macchiato" means "stained milk". 🤦♀️🤦♀️🤦♀️ But obviously "stained milk" became our favorite phrase of the trip.
The Pantheon (and its soaring rafters) at night. This doesn't show the 800,000 tourists milling around it. 😂
I chose Hotel Pantheon in Rome for our two-night stay, and the location was AMAZING. This view was approximately ten steps from our front door. And you can't beat the epic paintings above the bed inside the rooms. ⠀