Its Mothers Day in Rome; more importantly, its Aviva's birthday (her second birthday celebrated overseas I might add). Aviva almost slept through the alarm clock. We're waiting a bit to have breakfast because, well, things just don't run on time in Italy generally. So we went down and ate - one of the proprietors came over and we talked for a while. I also finished Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, which was a much better book than I expected.
We took a cab up to the Capitoline hill, actually not far from the hotel. We grabbed a some water and walked up the steps to the Museo Capitolini. But, we wanted to go first to Santa Maria di Aracoelis; it turned out you could enter the rear without going all the way back down and back up. It rests on the site of an ancient temple which also housed the Roman mint. The columns inside were from ancient Roman ruins.
We walked back over to the Museo Capitolini; admission is free, but the line (well, mob press would be more accurate - without significant ropes, Italians seem to mob press an entrance instead of lining up) was pretty long and there's real security inside (including a metal detector). We ate lunch in the cafe; the food wasn't very much to write about but the view, from the top of the museum overlooking Rome, was wonderful. There's a large sculpture gallery and a picture gallery.
After that we walked back towards the hotel to Piazza di Pietra to try to find a ceramics store from a new guide book - it wasn't there anymore. We were hot and tired, so we sat down outside a cafe, Caffe Fandango at Piazza di Pietra 32/33, on the square - they had three theatre seats outside just sitting on the cobbles. After a rest, we got a couple of Coke Lights and sat some more. listening to street musicians playing a caralon (that's glasses filled with water if you didn't know). It was nice to take some time out and watch people and listen to the same three songs over and over again (here's a short video I took of the guy playing).
The business card for Cafe Fandango
We went looking for yet another ceramics store from one of the guide books, again no longer there. We found yet another church, Chiesa San Silvestro, which is near our hotel. The original church dates from the 700s AD.
We finally strolled back to the hotel, washed up and went to dinner at Osteria del Tempo Perso at Via dell'Oca, 43; this was suggested by the hotel and was very nice. Our waiter was from New Jersey (no kidding) and learning his sixth language, Arabic - he wants to be a translator for the State Department some day. This place still sells food portions like I remember from our first visit, so I had three courses and desert (Aviva just had two courses). We stolled back along the Via Corso, walking in the middle of the street like everyone else.
We got back to the room and died.