16th June 2017

Note to self: When in doubt, order a pizza. 

You know those moments when you’re so overwhelmed with emotion you start to cry? Me at 10:30am this morning when I saw my sister, my cousin and their best friend arrive at Roma Termini train station. 

I know we haven’t been apart for that long, but I shared a bedroom with Em for 21 years, so 4 weeks of solo travel has really made me realise how much I’ve missed seeing and talking to her everyday.

After a lot of hugs and tears we gathered up all of our bags to get the bus to the hotel. Italy picked a great bloody day to go on a transit strike didn’t they! What ensued was a 2km trek up and down the cobbled stone hills of Rome in the blaring heat with my pack on my back, and the girls all wheeling their gigantic suitcases, a hilarious sight I’m sure. We earnt our gelatos today, let me just say that. 

We checked in to the girls apartment and I was gobsmacked, absolute luxury in comparison to the four seasons hostel. At this point, we were absolutely famished from our walk so we set out for some lunch. Unsure of where to go we ended up inside a restaurant that I should have known better than to eat at, if they try to call you in off the street walk away. 

What we ordered: a slice of bruschetta and a salad each (3 romeo and juliet salads, 1 smoked salmon salad).

What was delivered: One single piece of bruschetta, one romeo and juliet and one smoked salmon salad. 

After clarifying that we all wanted bruschetta we quickly realised that we were not going to clarify the mistake in the salad order. Not even worthy of a photo the salad was literally inedible. I honestly don’t know how it’s possible to screw up vegetables in a bowl but this place did a tremendous job of it. What I thought would be green beans were actually canned. Cooked mushrooms? Nope, raw. Rocket or cos lettuce? Nope, crappy part of an iceberg lettuce. I ate the tomato, we left the rest of the salad, we paid and high tailed it out of there. Never to return. 

Luckily gelato was around the corner. Smiles all round for Giolitti’s fragola sorbet. 

The afternoon was spent admiring the grandeur of the Colosseum. We were all absolutely captivated by its size but mostly, as we stared out at the arena floor, we discussed how utterly terrifying it must have been for the Gladiators as they waited to fight, potentially to their death.

We decided to host our own aperitivo hour on the outdoor terrace at the girls apartment. Salami, prosciutto, olives, pesto and cheese with a glass of Rosè made for an excellent evening festivities.

The highlight of my day though, taking a shower in a full sized, beautifully clean shower. Sorry hotel for your next water bill. 

A bit later in the evening, after a quick side trip we ended up at piazza navona for a bite to eat. Funny term that, “bite to eat”, the Italian’s must have never heard of it as I have never experienced such rude service in my life.

We ended up at Bernini ristorante wanting to eat something small for dinner. After the waiter sat us down and took our order for 2 bottles of still water he returned 10 minutes later with one bottle of still, one bottle of sparking and one giant attitude. 

We ordered a pasta to share and an appetiser, and 4 cocktails, none of us were really that hungry. His response, verbatim, “no, no, no, you need to order 4 dishes minimum. I asked you if you wanted to sit down for dinner and you said yes. We are not some place that you can come and have snacks and drink at. You must order 4 dishes.”
Stunned. Shocked. Horrified. Whatever you call it I was mostly appaled that he was trying to enforce some kind of minimum food requirement. I quickly retorted saying we weren’t very hungry and were not going to order more food to let it go to waste and be thrown away. 

It was 2230, the restaraunt was half empty, he wasn’t getting any busier, I really don’t know what his problem was. Knowing we weren’t going to budge he rolled his eyes, acted like he was doing us a favour by taking our order and walked away. 

The penne all’arrabiatta was nice, too bad the service left a foul taste in my mouth. 

Luckily Giolitti was around the corner, 24/25 scoops of gelato with 12 hours left in Italy, looks like I’ll make it!

Despite its ups and downs today I had an absolutely amazing time with the girls in Rome, I was so happy to spend some quality time with my family and it really rejuvenated me for the next 2 weeks.

Though I can’t believe at this point now it will be another 7 weeks before I see Emilie again, I expect many more tears on her return. And no, I never take for granted the relationship I have with my sister, she is undoubtedly the best one in the whole world. 

GREECE TOMORROW!!!!

Buona notte. Xx

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