Th folks from our hotels from ten months ago have been emailing me incessantly about new room deals. Yes, I miss them too. And I can’t believe it’s been nearly a year since our whirlwind Euro trip. Some of it is a blur, but many things remain particularly clear. Actually, unforgettable.

After Paris and Geneva we took those crazy-fast Trenitalia trains to Italy. The moment we arrived in Florence I knew I had made the mistake of not booking more days. This small, magical city, bursting with art, where every local we met loved to say, “No problem!” And then glorious Rome with its contagious energy. I still smell the cigar smoke wafting in the cold air, I remember the sounds from the abbey outside our hotel, and the feeling of being staggered by the Vatican.

Some photos…

There is no suspense at the Academia. The David comes into view the very minute you enter. I think the message was, You came all this way to see the David? No problem!

We had lunch at the nearby Nerbone, a small deli at the old market of the Mercato Centrale. The new floor of the market is upstairs, and is the best place to eat there, with its great array of artisanal shops set in a comfortable and modern dining space. But we opted to brave the long line at Nerbone for the pasta with boar sauce and the tripe.

These photos are messy I apologize. But it was hard to take snaps while squeezed into a small table with eight or so hungry strangers. Did not take a photo of their famed lampredotto, a pork sandwich that tasted like juicy lechon between slices of crusty bread, smothered in salsa verde. Meanwhile! Back at the Uffizi Gallery…

We stopped at Grom, a geltato chain that might turn off the purists who tend to favor the old, traditional gelaterias. But I thought it was delicious. I had the chocolate (intense) and the rich crema di grom. We also had their pear sorbet which was sublime.

After so little time in Florence, we found ourselves in Rome, in our small but dramatic room at the Hotel San Anselmo.

Loved this little garden at the back.

Outside our hotel: we saw a lot of these tiny cars on our trip.

Dinner on Day 1 in Rome was somewhere near our hotel, where nothing was open until about 8pm.

One of many restaurants in Trastevere—which is perhaps Rome’s most charming neighborhood. With its narrow alleys, cobbled streets and ancient houses, it’s easy to get lost here. But that’s a good thing.

The Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere.

People watching at the Piazza di Santa Maria, the beautiful square at the heart of Trastevere.

A chef prepares mushrooms for a ragu.

The burger with Brie at the Friends Art Cafe. Note to self: photo first, eat later.

Our guide to the Vatican, Dario Andreucci. Engaging and witty, and also tall—which is brilliant when you’re struggling to find your guide in a room full of tourists.

In and around St. Peter’s Basilica.

A post-tour snack of Riso Freddo—a salad of rice, peas, peppers and olives.

And a last snap of Rome, outside St. Peter’s Square.

Hope this gives you some travel inspiration. And thanks for reading.
P.S. The Paris Series.

*All photos by Ina Amor Mejia