Saturday, July 17, 2010
Italy Trip Day 16 - Rome
We began our only full day in Rome with breakfast at the Hassler, which is included with the room when you stay at Il Palazzetto. The Hassler is pretty fancy, and the service inattentive, bordering on snobbish, a big change after all the enthusiastic service throughout Umbria and Tuscany, but breakfast itself was fine. The idea was to not walk very much because of Steve's leg injury. We found though, that it was just easier to walk around than to worry about cabs, so we visited the Trevi fountain and the Colosseum on foot. For lunch we went to Enoteca Antica, near our hotel, a small casual place with outdoor seating. We shared a simple lunch of gnocchi with tomato sauce, pizza with prociutto, egg and olives, and a couple of glasses of Vino Nobile.
Then we made the mistake of trying to print out our boarding passes!
We had asked the front desk at the Palazzetto how to get our boarding passes printed, and she said to go to the Hassler's concierge, and he would print them for us. Not so, as all he could do, apparently, was point us to the main desk to ask for a key to the business center. The "business center" turned out to be a closet with two computers and a printer, which, we discovered upon trying to print, was out of black ink! After first calling back down to the front desk, then Steve actually GOING back to the front desk, they told us in their perfect English that a technician would be coming by to resolve the issue. The man they sent, though, spoke no English, and was NOT a technician of any sort we could determine. He spent some considerable time randomly clicking around in Windows, as if to discover the root of our problem, while the print queue (and the printer itself) flashed the answer at him in his own language! Sadly, we didn't know how to say "black ink cartridge" in any way that made sense to him, so we went BACK to the front desk, where THEY were unable to print out our boarding passes, because, on the airline's website, it thought they'd already been printed!!! We walked away with no boarding passes. It was very frustrating, and between the indifferent attitude and the incompetence, we will not stay there again.
(As far as we know, the legendary Hassler Hotel, favored stay for world leaders and movie stars, at the top of the Spanish Stairs since the 1800s, still has no black ink in their printer. Good luck.)
We hung out in the room for the later part of the afternoon before heading out to find La Tavernetta, a restaurant I had read about on Chowhound. It was in a little alley off a piazza not far from the Pantheon, and was very pretty. We sat at one of the outdoor tables and feasted on a starter of different crostini, radicchio risotto, then whole branzino with potatoes for me (picture below), and gnocchi with gorgonzola sauce (pictured above left) and then steak for Steve, our last bottle of Vino Nobile of the trip, and then tiramisu. This was an amazing meal from start to finish, and a great way to end our culinary adventure through Italy.