On Wednesday night Ray and Jamie and I walked over to Piazza Navona for dinner. I was searching for this lasagna al pesto that I loved but it wasn’t to be found. Still had some good dinner - and laughed that the main fountain in Piazza Navona was under construction. So much of Rome is under construction - poor Jamie is seeing too much scafolding! After dinner we wandered over to Campo dei Fiori - the old haunt. We tried to take Jamie to the Drunken Ship, a initiation required for all Americans in Rome - but it was shut for renovations. Everything is under construction! But we did go into another bar nearby where I introduced Jamie and Ray to “Dracula” - this weird red drink that made my friends Dave and Melanie and I very loopy back when I loved in Rome.
Ever since New Year’s Eve I’ve been saying that I wanted to spend my birthday this year in Rome - and today it happened! I love this city so much! As I have always said, if I could live here forever, I would. Just love it - everything about it!
Today was not about touring at all. Today was about seeing all my friends and having a fun day. In the end, it worked out. Everyone I really wanted to see on my birthday - at least of the people who are in Rome - came out!
Anthony arrived at around noon.. Ray came over by 10:30am. I had room service - of course - just like everyone else. Melanie came by at 1 and we were out to lunch at a restaurant off of Via Veneto that a friend/student of hers owns. We drank three bottles of wine between us, ate a lot of yummy cheese and appetizers and pasta - and then walked back drunk to the hotel. Apparently Ray and Anthony had a little comical run-in with the Polizia too while the girls were in the store buying Mel some smokes.. Something that would naturally come from the imaginations of two Italian policemen when they see three blonde girls gaggling down the road mid-afternoon.
From there we all went to the pool on the roof of my hotel. Yes, the pool! In Rome! This is almost unheard of - which is why it was essential to the day. Everyone but Ray jumped in - a bit chilly - We have a great picture of us all lined up like sea lions against the edge too. Will post when Anthony sends it along.
Lying in the sun was amazing and relaxing - and sobering. By six I had to shower to meet Antonio for drinks at seven while everyone else took a much needed nap.
After a few drinks with my favorite Italian (sorry Dario, you’re a close second though!) we all went over to Trastevere to find the restaurant there that serves the black truffle pizza that I’ve been dreaming of for years - ever since leaving Rome two and a half years ago! For a minute I was afraid it was shut, but we found it. And just in time! Everyone was very moody and very much in need of food.
At the end of dinner they had a sort of Italian birthday cake and song-singing for me… Half in English, half in Italian. Combined with the candle numbered “3″ on top, it was a very silly but fun moment. I blew out the candle and wished for more Rome in my life - of course. How happy I was to be in Rome with my favorite people!
After dinner we met up with Dario and went to Arthur’s, the pub down the road in Trastevere that we used to spend many a night at when I lived here. Had a few more drinks, met some of Melanie’s Italian guy friends (including one of her exes who I’d only spoken by phone with until then). More drinks ensued until it was officlally closing time - 2 am. Jamie and Ray and Anthony and I walked back to the hotel - a bit of a hike - but it was such a nice night in Rome that I didn’t even notice. The air was perfect, the friends were perfect, the pizza was very good. Everything I had hoped for on my 32nd birthday!