Day 1 – Roma

After a very long flight, we arrived at the airport. There, I learned 5 very important things: (1) The phrase “Gluten Free” is universal, (2) uovo is egg, (3) latteria is dairy, (4) cappuccino de soya gets you a very great cup, and (5) not everyone speaks Spanish or English.

Let me tell you, I needed that cappuccino – I drenched myself in Dream Catcher, and took a Benedryl in order to make sure I rested at least a little on the plane. Yesterday was a long day…15975137_10154099456871283_7453963731543203390_o

We headed out-of-town to our Hotel Capannelle, settled in, and then, started exploring in the rain. We searched for this little hardware store in a neighborhood so that I could get a converter for 5.60 Euros. I seemed to have taken the right converter out of the suitcase, and included all the wrong ones instead. I have never even been to China, but somehow that converter was in my suitcase. I really couldn’t believe it. Ugh. On the way back to the hotel, we found a hidden gem – a restaurant named Hostaria Antico Lotto (Vino e Cucina). It was what I’d except to see in Italy, the decorations, food, etc. IMG_9691.jpgimg_9692 That’s my friend Carmen!

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Our blonde waiter was adorable; he gave us a little Italian lesson (I learned to count to 10), was so patient with our lack of Italian, and asked the chef what he could make me given my allergies. We started with an antipasto (a base of olive oil, prosciutto, olives, and spring mix), and they even surprised me with gluten-free crackers! They didn’t look as fabulous as my friend Carmen’s homemade bread, but I was delighted. The olives were harder than I expected, but no pits in side. img_9695

They had a gluten-free spaghetti, and recommended a spaghetti dish with olive oil, garlic, parsley, a tiny bit of green onion, and clams. I said, thank you! It was so simple, but delicious.img_9699

At this point, we were too stuffed for dessert, but he brought me two dark chocolates (chocolotina) and two homemade biscotti for my friend; the plate was lightly decorated with ground pistachios and peanuts. We made room for a little more, before having to go meet our EF TourΒ group.img_9702 Soon we headed to the Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain. img_9720

img_9746img_9730IMG_9756.jpgimg_9740img_9739I love all the architectural details on the buildings.IMG_9788.jpgimg_9791img_9793-1

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I took pictures of doors, because I LOVE taking pictures of doors. Is that weird?! img_9752img_9768img_9932img_9800

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Since the Pantheon (from 2007 BC) was converted into a church, it was adorned with beautiful art work and statues.

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img_9822-1img_9840We stood for a while and listened to a man sing opera in front of the Pantheon. What a beautiful voice!

For dinner, we headed to the Faciolaro for a dinner included with our EF Tour. IMG_9854.jpg

By then, I discovered that most places have gluten-free pasta. They made me a very simple gluten free pasta, with olive oil, garlic and mushrooms. I didn’t know mushrooms could taste this succulent, and the pasta was the highlight of my dinner. img_9846For the next course, they brought me a chicken breast with olive oil and garlic, olive oil and garlic potatoes, and a simple salad with olive oil and vinegar. Good thing I love olive oil and garlic! img_9849For dessert, they brought me two very sweet slices of melon. I was slightly jealous of everyone’s tiramisu; I wished they had offered a vegan gluten free one!img_9851

We walked under a full moon back to the bus, and I admired the charming displays in front of the restaurants; sweet touches that you don’t see in the United States.img_9859

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