In our first two months in Italy we’ve had almost no rain, so the intermittent showers and even thunderstorms I experienced in Rome were a welcome change, despite the fact that we dashed from sight to sight between downpours.  The cloudy sky created terrific light effects as we took a panoramic guided bus tour of the hills and ancient sights of Rome.

St. Peter’s Basilica under Clouds

I will never tire of seeing historic sights of Rome, from the Coliseum to the timeless piazzas and sources of government intrigue, as well as the beautiful art found in the Vatican Museums.  I feel so lucky and privileged to be able to explore Italy in a relaxed setting.

Rainy Rome!

And of course I gain new insights every time I visit.  Besides spending 2 hours in the Vatican Museums with a talented guide, the visit to Ostia Antica (deserving of its own blog post!) expanded my understanding of life and commerce during Ancient Rome.  Seeing friends and law partners from Atlanta also made this visit special.

On my first night we enjoyed a reception at the top of the Rome Cavalieri hotel  where the entire view of Rome was terrific.

After the reception, we had dinner at a pizzeria favored by many in our host law firm (the Chiomenti firm), where we had delicious appetizers and pizza typical of Rome.  One person even had truffles grated onto the top of their pizza!  I need to see what the excitement of truffles is all about!

Another night we had a special dinner under candlelight in the Baroque wing of the Palazzo Taverna, an estate built in the 13th Century as the residence of the Borgia, and referenced in Dante’s “The Divine Comedy.”  The place was beautiful, from the intricately carved wooden floors, to the high ceilings and paintings from top to bottom.  We saw a musical performance of  violinists and cellists and ate like royalty.  It felt like a wedding!  The appetizers and drinks beforehand were typical Italian fare, and dinner included the following (which I copy from our printed menu):  trofiette pasta in a cremolata rind,  truffled asparagus with crepes and julienned ham, braised beef in Barolo with sweet and sour onions, spinach flan and tomatoes au gratin.

Pasta with truffles!

The items on the dessert buffet, like the appetizers, were on large round tiered tables consisting of dozens of choices of confections, semifreddo delicacies and cakes.  Of course you could have coffee or a digestive after dinner as well.  I am not being deprived on the food front.  I’m worried that this adventure will spoil me for all time- how can I go back to ordinary food again??