We are really enjoying Rome. This morning we truly gathered our bearings in terms of where we are in relation to all else in the city. We've rented an apt on the Tiber between the Castel Sant Angelo & Vittorio Emanuele Bridges. Based on looking at maps I was concerned that getting from point A to B would be like getting from the lower east side to the bronx, but it is much more like soho to the east village. VERY managable. We began our day entirely by accident with the Pope's address to the piazza. We didn't plan it, we just happened to walk into it. We then spent some time in the surrounding shops which are essentially department stores of Catholicism. Very interesting and occasionally inappropriate (like when we browsed the shop where priests have custom robes made. We met up with a couple of friends who also just so happen to be in Rome as well and headed to the Jewish Ghetto. Imagine my surprise and pleasure when we stumbled upon the ruins of the Portico d'Ottavia. Enjoyed more fried zucchini flowers and the traditional artichokes alla giudea at Giggetto. A & I hit the Jewish Museum (Museo Ebraico Di Roma) & the Sinagoga Ashkenazita for a little heritage/culture. The exhibits were beautiful (elaborate torah cloths, etc.) but we quickly realized that the descriptive cards were written for people who know nothing about Judaism. We then decided to be silly tourists and bought open top double decker hop on/off bus tickets and circled the entire city. Popped off at Piazza Navona, wandered into the Chiesa di Sant'Agnese in Agone. So very beautiful. Checked out the art and her skull on display, lit a candle and thought nice thoughts in the memory of my italian grandma stella and left feeling really good/zen.
Back on the bus to the Colesseo. Actually breathtaking, we'll probably go back to spend more time there as our visit was super brief in order not to be late for our 8:30 reservation at Checchino dal 1887. We got the traditional tasting menu, took food porn pics, made friends with the maitre'de. I'll write more about the meal some other time, but suffice to say the recco for this restaurant came via a famous chef in NY. It was divine.