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Rome Part III

Posted Sep 10 2012 4:59pm

Hello there! I hope everyone had a great weekend! I know mine was great and included a double-date with Fabio’s coworkers, a bit of time by the pool, and two crazy nights of drinking and dancing in D.C. I also got to watch the Redskins kick the Saints’ butt, which was amazing. Maybe this year they will actually be good?

But anyway, instead of a full weekend recap for you guys I wanted to share my last Rome update. I am determined to finish these recaps today so that I can get back to my regular blogging schedule. We will see how far I make it…

Previous Rome Recaps

Anyway, when I last left off we had just left dinner at a quaint little Italian restaurant down the street from my hotel. It was such a cute place and the food was to die for!

After dinner we started walking back to the hotel, when we heard music blasting. It wasn’t pre-recorded music either, it was someone singing Unchained Melody by the Righteous brothers, well-known for its role in the classic movie, Ghost. Click the video below to hear the song; I didn’t know the name but I instantly recognized the tune.

When we got closer we saw that there was a small crowd gathered beneath a building on the street. They were all looking up at a girl that was in a window. Then it instantly became clear to me that the guy was singing to the girl. How sweet is that? It was just like out of a movie.

Everyone was gathered around, watching this guy sing to, what we presumed, was his girlfriend. My stepdad naturally assumed the guy was proposing, and ran into a liquor store that happened to be right next door and bought some cheap champagne (aka the Italian version of Andre haha). By the time he came back, the song was over and the girl had come down from the window and was happily hugging her fiance and her friends who were gathered. My stepdad gave the champagne to Fabio and told him to go give it to the happy couple.

So, the two of us (dressed in a fancy dress and a tux, mind you) walked through the crowd to hand over the champagne. Everyone parted when they saw us (because we were dressed up so much, obviously) and we gave them the champagne. They popped open the cork, drank right from the bottle, and then passed it to us to share. Everyone was laughing and smiling and they hugged us and asked to take pictures with us.

Luckily, some of the group spoke English and they chatted with us about where we were from, how long we were staying, etc. Then they asked us if we wanted to go to the wedding. Thinking it was going to be in about a year or so, we replied that we were only visiting for a few more days. Then they explained that the couple was getting married the next day and that we should come to the ceremony. WHATTT??

It turns out they had been engaged for a while already, but that it was somewhat of an Italian tradition to do something for your fiance the night before the wedding. We were shocked and thought it was really funny and sweet that they invited us to the wedding, but we didn’t really think we’d be going. They gave us their phone number and we all said goodbye.

The next morning, we had breakfast bright and early to take advantage of the day. We planned to go to the Borghese museum and see all of the fabulous art.

While our tour guide waited in the line to get the tickets, my uncle took a moment to snap a goofy picture.

You will see that this becomes a common theme in this post lol.

Soon we entered the museum and I was truly amazed by the collection of art there. It was such a beautiful place and we saw so many famous pieces. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside, but my favorite piece by far was Bernini’s statue of Persephone being taken by Hades. You should see the way his hand grabs at her skin. It is incredible.

[ Source ]

After the museum, we headed to Dar Poeta , a wonderful pizza place that was recommended to me by Sara . It was delicious, and I would have gone back every day of the trip if I could have! Check out my What I Ate Wednesday post from last week for a full run-down on the amazing pizza I enjoyed at Dar Poeta :)

After lunch we sat at a cafe near the Vatican, and Fabio and I decided we might as well call the number we were given to inquire about the wedding. We had had a good amount of beer & wine by this point, so it seemed like a good idea. The guy answered right away and he instantly knew it was us! He practically begged us to come to the wedding and gave us the time and the location. With the liquid courage of alcohol in our bellies and the realization that we would never be able to go to a wedding in Rome again, we quickly headed back to the hotel, got dressed, and went off to the church to watch the two strangers that we had met the night before get married.

It was a quick cab ride and we soon arrived at the church. The wedding started at 6:00 p.m. and we got there with about 15 minutes to spare. Phew!

We stood in the back until all the guests were seated, and then we sat in two inconspicuous chairs near the door. The church was beautiful and we all waited for the bride to come down the aisle. Soon, she and her father made the long walk down. She looked beautiful.

The service lasted about an hour and a half and the whole thing was in Italian, obviously. It was actually really funny because Fabio and I both recognized parts of the service (for example, when the congregation is supposed to say the Our Father or say, “and also with you”) and we wound up saying those responses in English. It was quite amusing but for most of the ceremony I simply sat and enjoyed the beauty of the old Italian church.

After the ceremony the bride and groom came out and we all threw rice on them! It was so much fun.

Here they come!

Ahh!

Haha. Everyone was incredibly nice and we wound up making a lot of friends. One particular guy (the one who we had called to find out about the wedding) is living in London and he kindly invited us to come visit some time. Similarly, we told him if he is ever in DC or on the east coast of the US he should let us know! We exchanged email addresses/facebook info and vowed to keep in touch (Fabio sent a friend request but I haven’t asked him if he accepted yet).

Then the wonderfully sweet guy invited us to come to the reception dinner! We refused because we felt like he was only inviting us to be polite, and we know wedding receptions are expensive and not exactly great for last-minute guests. However, his hospitality and generosity showed us how amazing the Italian culture is. Can you imagine inviting strangers to your wedding? It was such a thoughtful gesture and we were so touched.

After the wedding we hopped in a cab and headed back over to have dinner with my family. We went to the same small Italian restaurant from the evening before and enjoyed some wonderful homemade pasta. Afterwords we enjoyed drinks at a small cafe near the hotel.

The boys, after even more drinks, were feeling goofy.

Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil! Haha! This is another example of my uncle’s goofy picture antics. They are too funny :)

After drinks we called it a night around midnight and headed back to the hotel.

In the morning, we had some surprise champagne delivered to my stepdad at breakfast (yes- we have champagne with breakfast. oops.) to thank him for bringing us on the trip. My mom helped us plan it and he was blown away. We definitely surprised him!

After breakfast we spent a leisurely day walking around Rome since it was our last day. We did wind up going to a beautiful overlook of the city, which was near the church we had been to the night before.

The view was simply spectacular.

Seriously, look at those mountains!

Anyway, we spent the day walking around a few more churches, exploring the area, and relaxing.

Later in the evening we got ready for dinner and headed over to the same restaurant near the Pantheon where we ate the first night. We made sure to take plenty of pictures since we knew it was our last night.

……and the next one is my favorite!

Haha!

And here’s another funny one of my uncle.

Don’t worry, he wasn’t really arrested ;)

And then later the boys tried this gem, but a cab pulled up just as I took the picture and spoiled the lighting. Man!!

It would have been great. Oh well.

After dinner we headed off to the Trevi Fountain, because we couldn’t leave Rome without seeing it. We all tossed in some coins and hoped that one day we would return to Rome!

Sorry that the lighting is so weird!

You can see no one is dressed like we are lol. This is just how my mom and stepdad are- they like dressing up, and when you are with them you kind of have to dress like they do. It’s not too bad though. Sure, sometimes people stare/gape/ask questions/take pictures with us, but I’m used to it now. It is what it is.

After the fountain we had a little gelato, and headed back to the hotel for some final drinks. Then we went to bed, and got up for the airport super early the next day. Finally we headed back to the states on a super-long and boring flight home. The only highlight was picking up Jack from daycare, which made me one happy momma :)

And so concludes my loooooooong recap of Rome. Thank you all for bearing with me, because I know these posts have all been extremely lengthy. I promise to recommence regular blog posting tomorrow!

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