Let me start of by saying that I found my notebook that I wrote in during my honeymoon with Dan. I wrote everyday to remember what had happened, what we did, the people we met, and the fun we had. We traveled through Europe- Rome, Florence, Venice, Lugano, Lucerne, Paris, and London. We had an awesome time!
September 2nd, 2009
We arrived in Rome! Our driver, Alex, met us at DaVinci Airport and drove us to the Hotel Michelangelo right by St. Peter's Square. We arrived a day before out tour group was starting so we could explore on our own! We weren't sure if the hotel was going to let us check in because we got there way before the check in time. The staff was really nice and they let us check in early! We got into the room and was not aware that they all had twin beds! We were exhausted from the plane ride so we pushed together the twin beds and quickly we knocked out! We laid down around 11AM (Italian time) and ended up waking up around 3PM.
We decided to go exploring with a map and some guidance from Guisseppi, who worked the front desk. First thing we did was hit the ATM for some Euros. We walked into St. Peter's Square and was amazed by how beautiful it was! We were holding off on Vatican City because we were doing a tour there an hour before it opened during the trip. We took a ton of pictures! We walked around and checked out some souvenir shops to see what they had. We stopped at a restaurant and grabbed some pizza and sparkling water.
Before we left the hotel, Guisseppi told us about a street (forget the name) that had a lot of really good shops on it. We decided to go looking for that which we could not find so we decided to ask for directions. We found a street sweeper guy who spoke pretty good English if he could point us in the right direction. He told us where to go but gave ME a warning. I was wearing a Minor Threat T-shirt and he told me to watch out for Skinheads because they do not like straight edge people (First, I am not straight edge. I just like Minor Threat). He then told me that there are a lot of Skinheads in the area we were in. I told him thanks for the warning and was surprised he knew what the t-shirt was about.
We finally found the shopping area and got our shop on! I got some really cute pajamas from a store called Yamamay. We then stopped at Sabon, which is Rome's version of Lush (they do have some stores in NYC as well). We found an awesome store that sold pretty much everything. They sold loose bottles of beer and they had a real bottle of Duff beer. Finally we stopped for some espresso and cappucino on our was back to the hotel. Time to relax and decided to get ready to go to dinner!
After getting showered and changed, we decided to go to a place that Ethan, Dan's brother-in-law, recommended. It was called Il Cappellaio Matto (The Mad Hatter) . Ethan told us it was a place that locals went to and they did not speak much English there (could not find a direct website). After a crazy cab ride, we finally arrived. The menu was all in Italian, of course, so we did our best and ordered. We got a half liter of red wine, bruschetta, ravioli, scallopini in vino, salad, and a Nutella & banana crepe. It was super delicious and super inexpensive. The whole dinner was under 40 Euro (around $63). Awesome! Finally got back to the hotel and was knocked out. We had an early morning the next day! We were going to get breakfast and meet the tour group a little later on in the afternoon!