Monday, September 7, 2015

Italy: Rome Day 4 -- Borghese Gallery + Villa Borghese Gardens

We had an easy day planned for our last day in Rome, including a little "sleeping in." And given the schedule we'd been running for our first several days there, the kids actually complied. We took our time getting ready (Cam insisted that the two of us don coordinating patterned jumpsuits), hit up a different cafe in the arcade across from our hotel for our morning cappuccino and cornetti, and then headed over to Borghese Gallery. I had made advance reservations for the 11:00 a.m. entrance -- admission to the gallery is timed and you should absolutely purchase tickets ahead of time online because they sell out far in advance. We picked up our tickets and rented two of the audio tours, thinking that the kids wouldn't be interested. So of course that meant they took the audio gadgets for themselves, but I didn't mind sharing and was just happy that they were listening intently.

The Gallery is the perfect size for kids to get a glimpse of amazing Bernini sculpture, including seminal works such as Apollo and Daphne. Cam and I were also pleased as punch to discover that displayed throughout the gallery, mingling with classical sculptures, were a special exhibition of couture sculptural fashions from Azzedine Alaia. It was the most perfect way to spend a few hours and the fact that the tickets are timed meant that we were able to do so in uncrowded rooms with so much fantastic art.

And then they were ready to run. We hadn't spent any time in Rome where the kids could just play in an open green area and they needed it. Those two ran hills, played tag, and chased nothing in particular. We took a stroll around the gardens for a bit and then headed to one of the several bike rental setups in the park. A few minutes later, Joel and I were peddling a fabulous surrey (which also had a motor kick in on the hillier parts of the park). The kids sat and screamed as we swerved and worked out a few of the kinks (and then as we just swerved for fun). We picked up a bag of popcorn and they chowed while we rode all around the park, riding by the zoo, and stopping high above Piazza del Popolo for a great view of the city.

Everyone was starting to get hungry, so we walked back towards our hotel, popping into various cafes along the way. The kids continued their endless looped games of "rock, paper, scissors" and taught each other various songs on the way. We ended up eating at a little place with a hidden rooftop right around the corner from our hotel and then hightailed it back for a nap and to pack up.

We had planned an afternoon in the Trastevare neighborhood of the city, but like so many of the other items on our "to do" list, we just hadn't been able to make time yet. So we decided to taxi there for dinner -- we were looking for a low-key pizzeria and heard Pizzaeria Nerone was the place to go. It was deliciously perfect. Trastevare is the young, artsy (aka hipster) spot in the city, with lots of bars and restaurants and people just wandering about. We were too tired to spend much time poking around, but we walked a bit through the "market" set up along the river -- dotted with beer gardens and shopping. And then realized we were back close to our second favorite gelateria in the city on Isola Tiberina and we happily went back for a second visit.

And that was all she wrote of Rome. We put a pretty good dent in the list of activities we planned, but added plenty new things as well. We'll just have to go back. We left early the next morning for the Amalfi Coast, which was the perfect follow-up to our time in the city.

1 comment:

Darcy said...

I loved reading about your trip! can't wait to hear about Amalfi!