Backdoor to San Pietro
I'm always the wanderer - and one day there, I happenned to be walking somewhere around between the middle of the courtyard on the right side and behind the wall of columns - and there was an open door leading down....soooooo....i went in it....
and there inside was a narrow tunnel under the basilica - I walked in it for what seemed like 200m. and made a few turns, and passed what was an arched galley/tunnel of an altarplace, lined with gold and marble.
Praying inside were about 20 nuns and bishops etc, and then then at the front was the Pope himself -
Stroll in the Park of Pincio
It was a warm Sunday afternoon, well for us tourists - many locals were still in their coats and scarves! Many people were enjoying the park and the wide open spaces, great for lazing around or a family picnic.
We flew BA into Fiumicino Airport or Leonardo da Vinci Airport to give it its other name. Its a great modern clean airport - the floor shines with reflections! - one of the best i have been in. Easy connections are available into the centre of Rome by a linked railway.
Good pizza, pretty cool ambiance
That neat little place is tucked away in a vicolo in Trastevere. It wasn't that difficult to find but I'd been wandering around for hours, checking out various places mentioned in my guide-book (Dar Poeta was the last one on my list) and stopping at every corner to take in the life. Trastevere is very charming to explore, perhaps particularly on a Sunday (flea market, musicians, lots of people enjoying their day off, etc.)
I was sort of lost and was almost surprised when I finally got there.
The vicolo was empty and the mini-courtyard in front looked deserted. I'd heard you had to wait in line! Anyway I approached the half-closed door and a waitress saw me, she came outside and told me that of course, they were open!
Inside was not full but very inviting, walls decorated with poetry by GG Belli and maybe other poets who celebrate Rome in Romanesco. The wood oven in the back was beautiful and very fragrant the minute I walked in.
I had come for pizza and that's what I had, with a glass of red wine. I'll have to look at my picture of it to remember the kind, but it was very good. The crust was tops! I often hear that the Roman pizza has to be paper thin and must say I was glad that Dar Poeta's crust was just perfectly thick on the edge, a bit like the puffier Sicilian one.
The service was "bon enfant", no one seemed in a rush but that was fine, I was absorbed in my notes and map, planning my climb to the Gianicolo later. Price was reasonable, as far as I can recall.
I was able to go in the back and take a few pics but snapping people always embarrasses me so the pics are blurry. Pizza.
They have bruschette too, and calzone. Since my return, I've seen some bad reviews (by foreigners) who say the dessert Nutella-ricotta calzone is sickly sweet and the bruschette toppings are horrendous. I can't comment on that.
But when they say that the pizza is mediocre, I wonder if we ate at the same place! I really liked mine. Anyway I never really rate a dish like pizza, or a treat like gelato for that matter, as the one and only, best of all. Too many pizzerie in Italy to stick to the same place all the time.
My pizza was quite filling and the long walk on the Gianicolo was just what I needed afterwards.
Near the Roman Forum there is an area that is the ruins of an old palace. This is a fee area, but if you have already been to the Coliseum your ticket works for this area too. There is an old Roman bath house that is beautiful and a view of Circus Maximus. It was a very interesting walk.