My last day in Rome is beautiful and sunny and I'm getting itchy feet to go out and enjoy it. But first, I'm waiting for a friend from Ottawa, Marcie, who has been up in Florence all this week and is coming into Rome on the noon train before flying out tomorrow morning. I imagine we're on the same flight, and since she'll be staying with me in the apartment tonight, I've got to clear out the second bedroom for her. Up to now, it has been my dumping ground for various bits and piece of my luggage, as well as a very large pile of shopping bags! I'm actually shocked at just how much shopping I've done here in the past two weeks!!!! I'm not really a big fan of shopping, normally, but Natalia (my landlady) has taken me out to some of her favourite places here in Rome while she takes a good look at the January sales as well. So, I've been tempted and fallen several times.
Friday was another example. Natalia took me to lunch at Gusto with a group of her women friends, and then out for some shopping. Lunch was great. The women were very, very chic. Only one, Anna Maria, happened to be working that day, and closed her women's clothing shop for a midday break. Yet even on their days off, all of these women, including Natalia, were extremely well put together for a lunch and shopping with their friends. Funky shoes, patterned and wildly coloured tights and of course, bright scarves and jewellery.
Anna Maria was a regular (her very lovely but pricey clothing shop is right across the street) so Gusto staff sent over platters of antipasti platters to supplement the tasty frittatas that the ladies had ordered as our first course. While two of the women had tuna for their main course, I tried the smallest cichetti tasting plate, which I had expected would be a half-dozen small tastes of different things. It turned out to be about 10 sizeable servings -- for example, a large spinach and ricotta-stuffed ravioli; a little pile of cacio e pepe; a couple of tempura-style vegetables which had been rolled in some type of ricotta mixture before they were cooked. All in all, a very filling lunch. And the ladies at a lot of bread, which was a relief to see (since I feared everyone in the world except me is still on the low-carb diet and fears bread!)
At 3 p.m. we jumped up, settled the bill and dashed across the street for coffee, tiny espressos consumed (of course) in a single gulp, crowded around the already-packed coffee bar.
I then tried on a few gorgeous jackets in Anna Maria's nearby store -- excellent quality cashmere but, at about 500 euro each, far out of my price range (Natalia pulled me aside at one point and quietly suggested that I get a few ideas here for designs and fabric I liked, then we would look in more reasonably-priced shops!) Which we did and I came away with a black cashmere sweater-jacket that was still 200 euros. Not impossible, but I also wasn't able to buy one in every colour. Or any other clothes, for that matter. Basta!
Now, out in to the sun for my last look around Rome.....at least for this trip. I can actually enjoy a relaxed day, knowing that I will definitely be back!