Did you think that Rome had enough of the Brubaker girls?
Well, we didn’t. Welcome to Rome day 3.
And yes, our child-like behavior just got worse. Which means that it just was much more fun.
Our day started on the subway (This was after I was judged for wearing pajamas to breakfast). Eros mentioned that if we had an ardent desire to see the Pope live in person (not just on a gigantic screen), then we would have to be at the Vatican Square at 12:00pm. There, we were instructed to look to the second window in from the right of a building where the Pope lived. At 12 on the dot, he would utter a short blessing and disappear from sight.
So, we had to plan this right. We hopped on a subway and decided that rather than taking the Vatican Square stop, we would beat the crowds and take the next Subway stop where we got off several days before at the Vatican Museum with Eros.
Once the entire population got of the cram-packed metro, we realized that we were probably wrong.
And we were. Which is more believable that us BEING right.
But then a group of young teenagers started playing instruments in the middle of the subway.
So Jayme and I started dancing…also in the middle of the subway.
And then we waved to all of our audience as we got off.
And ran…because we were really far away.
And we kept running, uprooting small children and old ladies as we grew closer and closer to our point of interest.
And this was all that we saw. A building with lots of people standing around.
And in the tiniest part of my little eye, I spotted the POPE!
And along with 75,000 other tourists doing the same thing, we were able to witness the leader of the Catholic nation give his blessing.
In like 24 different languages.
And then, we got bored.
So I bought a handbag off the street and got chased by cops.
And it was real fun.
After our unlawful entertainment and my aunts dire concern for my safety, Eros met us for lunch and then took us to the famous Borghese Gallery.
Lunch consisted of one of the best calzones I have ever had in my life. I was so overtaken with joy, that I was unable to capture it via photograph.
So I didn’t even try.
Rather, I tried to contain myself and made the intelligent decision to return there for dinner. Luckily, everyone else agreed.
At this point, our mental capacity for art, history, and legends had dwindled and we felt as if an explosion of sculpture pieces and stray paint might be in our near future. But after clucking at a strange man on the side of the street and hearing him cluck back, we knew that we were ready to weather any art-filled storm.
The Borghese gallery, which houses much of the Borghese collection commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, is a beautiful Villa that is strewn with luxurious artwork, famous sculptures, and really XX rated entry tickets.
Scipione was an avid collector of Carvaggio and was one of the first patrons of Bernini. Many of the sculptures that are in the space today were actually created specifically by the artists for the rooms they are housed in. The villa was used as a party house and a place to opulently display the vast art collection.
A party house.
These two sculptures, by Bernini, left me in awe. Everything about the artwork is magnificent down to the detail of the sculpture’s finger indentations in the marble that looked so perfectly real.
These sculptures were incredible and I was able to sense emotion, passion, and pain.
I’ve never had a heart for art, but Eros was able to help me experience in a brand new way…
And I actually loved it.
One painting that I found particularly interesting was the Lady with a Unicorn, painted by Raphael in 1505. This was supposedly sent to the future husband of this woman and although was sent with no words, said everything it needed to.
The eyes meant that “I will marry you, but you better not cheat on me or you will pay.”
The gems around her neck meant that she was very wealthy.
And the unicorn meant that she liked funfetti cupcakes and rainbows.
Ok, the unicorn actually meant that she was a virgin.
The dramatic symbolism would have gone unnoticed without a guide to help us understand.
After a visit to the gift store and Eros’ ardent prodding for us to purchase a magnet (which we had no interest in), we knew we were ready for a cocktail.
And after gazing through the menu, I thought it would be only proper to order a bottle of Cristal champagne (in honor of the party house we just went too).
But rather than spending a month’s paycheck on alcohol, we decided to get cheap drinks and just eat our way into ecstasy.
So, due to our desperation for food and our continued theme of chaos and childlike behaviors we posed and played and ran forwards on a backwards moving escalator…several times.
And we gave kisses.
And we struck poses.
And we chased each other.
And Jayme, knowing a bit of German and being desperate to use it, overheard a couple speaking German in the subway. She turned over to them and told them “Ich habe einen Schnurrbart.”
Jayme was able to use her knowledge to communicate with another group of people. It was beautiful.
And she was able to tell them, “I have a mustache.”
This girl IS my cousin.
We ran off the subway before they could give us strange looks.
And then we smiled like normal human beings.
But this would last only for a moment, because we were about to arrive here.
San Marco restaurant on Via Sardegna, Roma.
Having been here for lunch already, we were quite familiar with the rustic decor and vintage chic vibe that the place gave off.
Even the olive oil looked fancy.
And so, we began our streak of delicious Italian food with a traditional Sicilian fried rice ball, called arancini.
It. Was. Amazing.
The specific variety that we chose was stuffed with rice, spinach, and mozzerella.
I loved it so much that I almost ordered another one.
But my mommy told me that I already had ordered enough food.
Fun spoiler right there.
Next came a pleasing plate of bruschetta.
And a perfectly cooked rigatoni pasta with pecorino, sausage, and sage.
My aunt ordered the eggplant parmesan and RAVED over it.
But the crowning jewel to this madness (and the reason we came back) was this calzone. The dough was chewy, yet crispy and soft, and the filling oozed with deliciousness.
Coming in many varieties, my personal favorites were the spinach ricotta (pictured about) and the mushroom mozzarella.
Seriously. These Italians.
Because we thought that it was only proper if we also ordered dessert, we selected an Apple strudel with mascarpone cream.
and a dish of mixed gelato.
And then we laughed the night away, drank too much wine, and lathered on the self-entertainment.
Cheers to excellence! Cheers to Eros! Cheers to Rome!
And to celebrate meeting us (or rather our departure..hehe), Eros presented Jayme and I with beautiful bracelets.
We loved him.
We really did.
And…the madness continued.
And Jayme’s madness continued.
And the wine went away.
It went away really quickly.
And after we had devastated the bread and the wine, we were left with nothing else but the olive oil and salt.
So naturally, we moisturized our lips.
But, I ask, what is olive oil without salt?
Yeah, we did that.
And it was awesome.
But I felt something was missing from my life.
Something creamy, delicious, and universally consistent.
I needed my McDonald’s soft-serve.
And I got it.
But not before I looked at the menu and realized that in an Italian McDonald’s, you can actually order a block of Parmesan Cheese.
I love these people.
The night was now complete. The trip was now complete.
In the morning, I brushed the tears away from my eyes while I watched my family drive away to the airport.
It was just me again.
And being just me…was absolutely ok.
Ciao for now!
*All of the pictures that appear to present our drunkenness are quite misleading. Rather than being under the influence of alcohol, we were under the influence of immaturity. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe and we remember everything.
**Because pictures are forbidden inside the gallery, The pictures from the Borghese gallery (and the picture of the gallery itself) were borrowed from wikipedia.com.