by Melinda Gallo

A Roma per pranzo

An old family friend emailed me to say that he and his daughter would be visiting Rome this week. I was really excited to go to Rome to see them since I had not seen him in 14 years and I have never met her because she's only 10. We hopped on a train this morning to go to Rome by Eurostar to have pranzo (lunch).

Living in Florence :: A Roma per pranzo

Because it was quite difficult to find a spot on the Eurostar to Rome this morning, we had to leave earlier. I ended up buying tickets for our return because the woman yesterday told me that it's a busy season. Almost every time we've been to Rome, we've never bought return tickets in advance. As we got on the plane, I had thought that maybe our trip was too short.

When we arrived in Rome, we took a taxi directly to the restaurant where we had reservations to meet our friends. We walked around the via Veneto and into the Villa Borghese since we were over an hour early. We were happy that it was sunny in Rome, and that the temperatures felt quite mild. I had on a scarf and coat, but some people were walking around with much less.

When we walked into the restaurant at 1PM for our reservation, there was only one table with two people eating. The restaurant could probably fit at least a hundred people, and during our lunch, it quickly filled up. I was surprised at how busy the restaurant was; the table behind us had two different parties eat at it while we were having lunch.

I had noticed before that the romani (Romans) are very well dressed, but I was surprised to see so many men in ties. Back in Florence, it's a little less common. The fiorentini (Florentines) are a little more casual.

Afterwards, our friends went to the Trevi fountain that they said was being cleaned out yesterday and we took a taxi to Il Colosseo (The Coliseum). The last time we were in Rome, we only went past it on a bus and took a few pictures of it. There were crowds of people all around it the last time we were in Rome, so we didn't visit it. Our friends told us that there was no one there when they went this morning, so we figured that we could go for a quick visit.

We walked inside Il Colosseo to get tickets and had a walk around. I didn't remember what it looked like on the inside; I had been there only once before probably back in 1990. It was very beautiful inside and quite enchanting. We saw a few men dressed as Gladiatori (Gladiators) standing outside.

The weather cooled down rather quickly while we were at Il Colosseo. We were actually happy to hop back in a taxi to go to the stazione (train station) for our train to Florence.

All day I had been listening to the romani speak Italian. I do love their accent, but I felt more comfortable on the train when I heard a few fiorentini speaking. There's something about the Florentine accent that warms my heart. I can't explain it, but it felt like I was already back home in Florence.

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