I adore a nice hotel. But, because my trip to Rome was impromptu...I assumed all the cute, moderately priced hotels would be snatched up. My penchant for boutique hotels was laid aside, along with any fancy illusions about what my $140/night budget could buy in the Eternal City.
I was wrong. After a few hours of online digging...I found the Holy Hotel Grail: Casa Montani.
As the taxi pulled up to the building just outside the Piazza del Popolo and I rode up the charming, teeny gated elevator to the 4th floor property, I kept suppressing my hopes...thinking there must be something wrong with this adorable 5 guestroom hotel. Afterall, the price was just too cheap.
Wrong again. My room was the perfect size...and everything was simply beyond expectation. From the most gorgeous carved headboard, the sweet street view, the coziest bed I've experienced in years, and luxurious rainforest shower head. It was right up there with the 5 star hotels I've stayed at in the US + Europe.
Each morning began with a rolling, silver breakfast tray delivered to my door...stocked with fresh fruit, croissants + nutella and fresh, steaming coffee. Yeah. I miss that part.
I also miss waking up and leaning out my window to take in this sweet street view.
So, the hotel was my first love in Rome. But throughout the week, I found three other loves.
Their names are Bruschetta, Wine and Gelato.
Bruschetta: Both Gabe and I agree that produce just isn't the same in Kuwait...we made the mistake of buying a Kuwaiti tomato and, well, it was rough and ruined tomatoes for the past few months. But, Italy really redeemed the tomato for me, and I ate bruschetta an average of twice a day. There is nothing, nothing in the world quite like the bruschetta I ate while sitting in street cafes. Add a little olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar and just watch the world go by.
Dang it, now I'm jonesing for bruschetta. On to my next love.
Wine: All alcohol is illegal in Kuwait (buuzzzkillll), but I regained my Booze Legs over the course of a few days in Italy. Drinking wine by 11am will do that to you, right? On my second-to-last day in Rome, I strolled down to Fountain di Trevi to enjoy an early lunch. Sitting on the cobbled street, watching the crowds pass, I ordered bruschetta and a glass of white wine...but the waiter brought me a 1/4 litre. Obviously this girl isn't going to waste wine, and it really didn't look like THAT much. So, I slowly drank the glass. Then poured more....polishing off the wine, growing warmer...and a little dizzier as the time passed.
And then, when I tried to stand up to leave, it all hit me: the combination of too much wine, hot + humid weather and uncomfortable shoes on cobbled streets.
I was pretty tipsy. Accidentally. Me + walking home wasn't going to work.
So, what's a girl to do...when she's accidentally drunk at noon, wandering alone in Italy with a 1 mile walk home...in uncomfortable shoes? She sobers up in a piazza with some gelato.
Gelato: Pistachio, specifically, in a cup. Lemoncello will do in a pinch. Although, a gentleman coerced me into trying Nutella gelato on my last night in Rome. Wise man. Wise, wise man. If you've never had it, get on that pronto. Don't let anyone tell you "It's like ice cream." It is not. It's just not. It's better.
To say I loved Rome would be the understatement of the century...and I've got more to share over the next few days. But, I adored every minute of it. Oh, except for that minute where I didn't check my translator app while reading a menu...which resulted in accidental anchovy pizza order.
Gross. But, I'd do Rome all over again in a heartbeat.
Well, I'd do it again...but maybe less wine if I'm walking home alone. ;)