Maureen joined Brad and I after coffee for some shopping, and walking through another section of central Rome. We began at Piazza del Popolo, and walked down the pretty Via Margutta as shops were opening. We continued down Via del Babuino, where Brad found gifts for his friends at work. We stopped at a beautiful cafe for a "real Italian breakfast" of good coffee and cornetti.
We ended up back at Piazza Navonna, and took Maureen to see the Chiostro del
Bramante at Santa Maria della Pace. We had a cold drink, then stopped at a cafe for a longer break, and I found some small gifts for my friends at work.
It was definitely time for lunch. We were all hungry and hot after walking all morning. We decided to take Maureen to one of our favorite spots, the wine bar, Cul-de-Sac.
We shared a plate of assorted salumi and some gorzonzola dolce with a bottle of wine. I bought a Brachetto d' Acqui for later tonight. It is always fun to watch the waiters take down bottles from the high wine shelves lining the walls, and I am always fascinated by the bread cutting/storage drawer!
We returned to the hotel for an afternoon nap and a refreshing shower before "happy hour". We noticed lots of welldressed couples walking through the neighborhood. When we got to the corner, Piazza Farnese had swarms of people attending an event at the French embassy.
A light bulb went off in my head, and I realized it was Bastille Day on July 14. (Being a Francophobe, the ONLY reason I know this is because it is a friend's birthday.)
Every evening (except Sunday), we had been meeting before dinner at the closest wine bar to our hotel, Camponeschi, on the corner of Piazza Farnese.
We enjoyed our last evening's wine, and walked across the piazza for dinner at Osteria ar Galleto. After the last zucchini blossoms of the trip, I had a delicious veal tonnato, and Brad had veal rolotini.
Brad and I tried REALLY HARD not to think about the fact that we were leaving in the morning. Our bags were packed and ready, and we know we will return to Rome. I had our waiter chill and open the brachetto to toast to our next Italy trip. Everyone thanked us for showing them "Palmabella's Italy".
After a "last gelato" in the Campo with Jan, Brad and I sat and discussed our successful tour, great friends, and plans for next year.