Our last full day in Rome was slow-paced, as Melody and I were both nursing colds that just wouldn’t seem to go away. After an unsuccessful search for a reputedly chic shopping neighborhood in the Marconi district that dropped us off in an area that screamed stoic relics of the Mussolini era rather than boutiques, we left and headed to familiar ground: Campo de’ Fiori. There, we had lunch at Hostaria Romanesca, a busy restaurant that seemed promising.
The tourist overflow should have been the first warning sign. They were out of my first and second pasta choice but undeterred, I asked for the pasta alla norcina, which was so overly rich and cream-laden that the sausage and mushrooms were more like an afterthought than the primary flavors.
We knew what we had to do. We couldn’t finish our pastas, but before we left Campo de’ Fiori, Melody and I walked over to Forno Campo de’ Fiori and bought a couple slices of pizza. Much better.
We had initially planned on spending our last day in Italy by making a day trip to Pompeii, but because we were both feeling so under the weather, we headed towards the Tiber River after lunch, strolling through the outdoor markets and picking up a snack or two along the way.
Gummies are one of my favorite candies, so we stopped at what may be the best display of gummies I’ve ever seen and bought a mixed bag. As luck would have it, we lost the bag ten minutes later. I blame the distraction of the not-so-tasty pistachio gelato that I picked up along the way right after. In any case, we continued our stroll until we stumbled upon St. Peter’s Square, just as the neighborhood was getting ready for the New Year’s Eve festivities.
We wanted to stay for the countdown, but our stuffy noses weren’t getting any better and we had to get some rest before we got up in the middle of the night to head back to the airport. Bag of cold-fighting tangerines in tow, we returned to our hotel. Just a few hours later, we were back at Fiumicino Airport, waiting for our flight to take us back to San Francisco. Not a bad way to ring in the new year, if you ask me.