Food and art. Mmm… The two things that have drawn me to Italy. My sophomore year of college I took Art History with Professor Opp. And thanks to him I fell in love with Renaissance art and the Baroque period. Art History was not an easy course – it was challenging, which made me appreciate it all the more. I learned so much and knew that one day I’d have to see the works for myself.
When I stepped into St. Peter’s Basilica today and saw Bernini’s baldacchino (the bronze pavillion) I was amazed at the size! In class, I memorized artwork and artists and dates based on tiny pictures, and to see this piece in real life and so massively huge brought tears to my eyes. “I am here. I am in Italy,” I thought. It finally hit me.
St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel are things you have to see in person to really, truly appreciate. Not to mention the sistine chapel does not allow photos. Below is part of St. Peter’s.
Lunch today was a classic 4 course Italian meal. When the waiter came around and offered omelette to each person I took one look and said, “Frittata!” His whole face lit up! “Brava,” he exclaimed! He was so happy I knew it was a frittata. Haha – Josh and I laughed ? I make frittatas all the time.
Also, side note, the arugula was so fresh and delicious! For our final course they brought around a dessert trolley with all the choices. The tiramisu was definitely better than anything you’ve had in the states. And the macchiatos were delish!
Dinner occurred at a place where I’m sure we were the only non locals – il Pomodorino. Score. The pizza was by far the best I’ve ever had in my life. Each and every part of it was better. The smoky, crunchy crust, the buffalo mozzarella with the salty prosciutto, and the thin tomato sauce that was proportioned just right. Oh my word. How will I ever be able to recreate those flavors?
The spaghetti carbonara was again nothing like in the states but ten times better. It’s a Roman dish so that’s what Josh chose for his meal… of which I ate half.
Our evening concluded with drinks in the hotel enjoying the piano music. Papa Mike wanted us to try his favorite Italian liqueur Galliano on ice. Honestly, not much of a fan, but the conversation was rich. Josh and I learned things that otherwise wouldn’t have come up if not for a trip to Rome and the Vatican. It’s times like those that I cherish.
Learning art history is wonderful and enlightening, but to learn your family’s history is just a bit sweeter.