After such a busy few days and very little sleep, it was nice to finally have a morning when I let myself sleep in, until around 11am. My parents were really sweet and brought some breakfast vittles to my room since I missed the last chance to get breakfast from the hotels continental breakfast. After breakfast we took a slow afternoon and just lounged in our hotel rooms until around 2:30pm.
We went to a late lunch in the neighborhood nearby al fresco under a canopy surrounded by bushes. Where we sat by the corners of two streets there was a nice breeze. We started lunch with a little prosecco. After lunch we walked a bit around the nearby streets, gradually making our way to the Trevi Fountain, where we took a few photos and sat on one of the benches to take a break and watch some people.
After the Trevi Fountain we got some gelato, and then we went at a strolling pace to head towards Cafe Eustachio and the Pantheon. My dad purchased some of the same St. Eustachio coffee beans that I had gifted him from my last Italy trip. I ordered a hot chocolate that the three of us sipped just for the taste.
We snapped a few photos of the Pantheon and watched people go by, including a bunch of tour groups. We were pretty tired after walking around most of the afternoon, so then we caught a taxi back to our hotels, where we rested for a bit and changed up before heading to our dinner reservation at Ristorante Zodiaco, a hilltop restaurant with a reputation for gorgeous views of Rome at sunset and to see the twinkling of the lights at nighttime.
We took a taxi up the hill in time for our reservation. Just arriving, we could see that the views were indeed beautiful, with a 180 view overlooking all of Rome. Of course we snapped some photos before going in and being assigned a table. The interior of the restaurant actually has a whole wall of clear Windows and the tables are arranged in tiered floors so that no matter where a table is located it has an unobstructed view of the city.
Our appetizer of meats and cheeses arrived, followed by a long gap during which the sommelier decanted the wine over a single flame before very carefully lining the glass and then pouring the Chianti. The first course was various pasta, and the main course was variations on a beef theme. After dinner they brought dessert, which we all shared so we could each try a little bit of different ones for different favors. It was wonderful to be able to watch the sky out the window make the long and beautiful transition from afternoon to sunset to nighttime.
After we finished dinner we returned via taxi to the Piazza Spagna. We walked a little around the plaza, then we were convinced to take the horse ride, yet another series of wonderful moments of an otherwise very magical evening. The horse’s name is Roxy,the. Took went right through most of the main historical and architectural monuments, and it was much more pleasant to see everything via horse carriage in the evening when it was cooler and at less risk of burning (knowing me, I’d probably still get sunburn from the stars and moon even at night). Then we returned to the hotel and turned in for the night.