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Perfect Satisfaction. That was dinner last night. We decided to cook in the apartment and picked up veal from Il Fiorentino. It was so tender and tasty. And the smoked mozzerella. Both E and I woke up this morning wanting more. But tonight we will dine at Monti. Natalie made reservations for us.

The Vatican and St. Peters was on our agenda today. The museum opened at 8:45 and would close around 1:00pm so we tried to get an early start. Off to the Metro. We both took a double-take when the train arrived. It was crammed full. Oh my - how would we fit in. We squeezed in. It was so packed. I held my camera and purse while we jerked back and forth between the stops.

We got off at the Vatican Museum stop and followed the signs. We arrived just before 8:45. The line extended down around the corned. We got to the corner and the line kept going... and going... finally about 3-4 blocks we got to the end of the line. It moved and finally by 10:00am we entered the museum.

The collection is amazing. We started with the Egyptian collection. It was on par with the King Tut exhibit. Next was the statuary. It got more crowded as we headed to the map room. It was one of my favorite rooms. I loved the perspective and the ceiling. Next was the Raphael Rooms. Stunning. We decided to escape the crowds for a bit and went through the Borgia Rooms. Finally, the Sistine Chapel. Crowded by so inspiring. Slowly as you absorb the painting, the crowds fall away and you are alone with the paintings.

By this time it was after 1pm and we needed food. We decided to grab a quick lunch at one of the restaurants between the museum and St. Peters. Hostaria Dei Bastioni was in the Cheap Eats so we gave it a try. It was actually just what we needed. I had a pasta and salad. They were very friendly owners with a mixed international crowd. The table next to us was a group from France.

On to St. Peters. Again, another line. This time to go through the metal detectors. We decided to climb to the dome. We got tickets for the stairs instead of the elevator and headed up. We were in condition and it went quickly. We took a quick view out over the floor of St. Peters before heading up the final narrow corkscrew stairs. But what vistas. And crowds.

A quick trip down and into the St. Peters. Michaelangelos Pieta was stunning. E and I were speechless and moved.

We decided to walk back to the apartment. It took about hour to go from the Vatican to beyond the Colosseum. We had some time to rest before our 8:30 dinner reservation.

We had high expectations of Monti. Several of the past guest had written highly of the restaurant. It also has some rave reviews on Fodors. It was good but we were a bit disappointed. The staff was excellent. They gave us a menu in English. It had just a bit of description of the dishes. We started by sharing an appetizer dish of deep fried breaded olives with lightly breaded and deep fried zuchini. Next we split the pasta of the day which was a fettucini with a vegetable cream sauce of zucchini, zuchini flowers and pureed carrot. Very nice. For a main entry, E had the lamb cutlets. This was the major disappoint of the night. We expected to get lamb chops but instead she got a rib lamb chop that had been breaded and deep fried. I had the rabbit stuffed with sausage and roasted potatoes. Our wine was a bottle of Montiano by Falesco. It was 70€. Although disappointed with E's main entry, we would recommend Monti's.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 12, 2004 8:27 PM.

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