We started the day off a little more slowly today and putted around at home for a bit. After a morning coffee and croissant, the girls hand-washed some laundry in the bathtub (we did not have a washer or dryer at this apartment) and the boys joined in later as well.
There was a clothesline outside of one of the windows, but it was very squeaky and hard to pull and we did not have any clips that we could use to properly attach our clothes so we abandoned that idea. We laid out the laundry out to dry on chairs, doors, and used any spare hangers we could find in the closets around the house. After the chores were done, just like the laundry we hung around the house for a bit before heading out to check out an alleged pizza sensation that Lena’s friend suggested.
The pizza shop was so crowded, it could have easily been mistaken for the ticket booth to the Vatican. It was clear that the little pizza shop had a robust online presence and attracted people from all over. The pizza itself was available in a variety of toppings that came on top of a thick square slice. It was quite tasty, but I don’t think that any of us would say it’s a “must-eat” during your stay in Rome.
Having whetted our whistles with the deep dish slice, our eyes have eagerly scanned the neighborhood for a proper meal. Soon enough, we entered an unassuming but spacious restaurant which offered a large selections of reasonably priced lunch options. The restaurant was surprisingly cool for not having AC and was not busy at all, which suited us very well. The decor was simple with hospital-green seemingly being the overarching color theme. The food itself was very good. The paper-thin pizza, basil pesto gnocchi, and pasta were everything we could ask for.
With our tummies full, we set out to finally see the Pantheon. This time around, we knew our way already and arrived at our destination fairly quickly – but not without meandering through some charming streets and taking a few pictures.
We were pleasantly surprised to see that there was no line this time and the inside of the Pantheon – despite being busy – was not too crowded to walk around a little bit and enjoy the experience. The amazing thing about the Pantheon is perhaps the fact that the enormous structure was erected in only 10 years. The gigantic pillars were brought from Africa on ships especially built for the purpose of transporting them – how all of this was managed 2000 years ago is absolutely mind blowing!
After leaving the Pantheon, we headed to the Piazza di Spagna – the Spanish Square – where a beautiful set of steps is located. Shortly, we used said steps to take in a view of the city scape. Naomi, having spotted clouds on the horizon, research the weather report and found warning of impending rain. Karol and Michał also smelled an European thunderstorm in the air. Not wanting to take any chances, we decided to go home by subway.
Once we came back home, it was only minutes before pouring rain came down and thunder cracked right above our heads! We quickly collected our laundry and closed all the windows. Seagulls were trying to take cover by our windows, and sudden gusts of wind knocked over flower pots (Michał would try to pick them up later only to see one fall all the way to the ground, shattering into pieces and making all of the neighbors peer through their windows, their faces filled with Italian disdain for what they must have presumed was sub-par amateur home-gardening work – scusi!)
At 5:00pm we watched Belgium face off Panama in the World Cup on a TV at home and then headed out for dinner at a restaurant directly next door to us. The restaurant was quite popular – thankfully we stopped by to make a reservation earlier in the day – but we decided the food was not our favorite. It was very good, but perhaps the combination of the items we ordered did not pair that well together – we ended up slightly overwhelmed by truffles and mushrooms while the tomato sauce pizza and pasta seemed a little on the plain side. Wouldn't you love to have our problems!
Back at home, we watched another World Cup game before turning in for the night.