Marina Roberto 1929 – 2014

Marina

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Back Home and Happy!

Don’t ask me why Dennis thought it was important to have another full Irish breakfast before we left Dublin, but he did, so I dragged my arteries along to a restaurant at Dublin’s airport and loaded up for the ride home.
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As soon as I felt the wheels of the plane pull up, I started thinking of next year’s vacation. Maybe Amsterdam, maybe Madrid… or maybe I’ll just do Italy again. Yeah… I think I’ll do Italy again. Still a lot I want to see, and now that I have more friends there, well it would just be impolite not to stop by and say hi. Don’t you agree?

Anyway, this year’s blog is coming to an end, unless I decide to do one more post about the food. But that might take some time to do (there was so much of it). It sure was a fun trip, and a big thank you to all my friends in Italy who made it so special. I hope to see you again l’anno prossimo.

As for now, I’m going to practice up on my jet lag and laundry skills.

Arrivederci a tutti!

Ciao

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Dinner in Dublin

I can’t be in Dublin without having one meal at Trocadero, a rather plush restaurant catering to the “theater type” crowd.  With pictures of Ireland’s glitterati covering the walls, The Troc (as we locals call it) offers good food, good service and good atmosphere. Since we went rather early (7:15 p.m.) we hadn’t bothered to make a reservation.  Mistake.  The hostess informed us that they were full, but hesitated and said to wait just a moment as she would check to see whether or not she could fit two more.  Returning with a smile, she told us we MUST be done by 9:00 p.m., as the table was reserved.  Not a problem for two hungry Americans. As she brought us to the table, she leaned over to me and whispered, “Best table in the house.”  A very lucky break. We had no delay in ordering, because I knew exactly what I wanted… rack of lamb.  I wasn’t disappointed.  A great way to finish a great vacation.  Tomorrow, off to Boston.
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Dublin and Drizzle

No surprise to have a bit of drizzle in Ireland, but we packed for Italy, so we are not quite prepared for the change in temperature. Rome was quite warm and sunny.  Dublin, on the other hand, is not.  Nevertheless, we headed out for some fun.  First stop was at Bewley’s Cafe on Grafton Street for a full Irish breakfast.  You must have at least one of those while you’re here.
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Then off we went to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells and the Long Room, which is the old library. It is SO impressive. Just like something out of a Harry Potter movie. Afterwards, we strolled Grafton Street and stopped in some of the shops. I saw one Rolex that would come close to surpassing my credit card limit. And I have a pretty high limit. Needless to say, that’s not a trinket I’ll be bringing home.

Note: No pictures allowed of the Book of Kells, but I posted another manuscript that was in the library.

Dinner later at Trocadero. Looking forward to rack of lamb, an Irish specialty.
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Arrivederci, Italia. Hello, Dublin

Making our way home, we decided to extend our layover for two days in Dublin, a great and colorful city. The Westbury is a great hotel in the center of everything and right next door to McDaid’s pub, which is a must stop for the first Guinness. Met a couple of nice people and chatted it up with the fellow sitting next to me, Jude, a cinematographer. Then off to another pub for fish and chips. Tomorrow we explore Dublin (maybe in the rain). Oh well, it’s Ireland.
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Seeing the Sights

Thursday we spent sightseeing in Rome. Dennis hadn’t seen a lot on his last visit, so we added a few places to his list, i.e. St. Peter’s Square, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, Campo dei Fiori, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain… Campo dei Fiori is great fun in the morning; like a farmers’ market. We had a late, big lunch at a little cafe and (believe it or not) skipped dinner and opted for a gelato. How much food can you consume in a week?
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If it’s Wednesday, it must be Rome

The drive from Gubbio to Rome went off without a hitch. (Surprising for us.) Dropped off the car and took a taxi to the hotel in the heart of Rome.; a small place, but well situated. I had made plans to meet up with my friend Cristina and her husband, David, for dinner. I saw them pull up on their scooter, and of course hugs and kisses followed. We went to a trattoria a few doors down from the hotel called Trattoria Der Pallaro. It’s all home cooking and a set menu. You go in… you sit down… you eat. Paula, the owner,does all the cooking and is quite proud of her food. As a matter of fact, she’s in Rick Steves’ tour book. But beware, you’d better eat or she can turn on you and instruct the wait staff to ignore you. Needless to say, that was not an issue for us. Afterwards, Cristina’s friends, Anna and Settimio, who are accomplished underwater photographers (as is David) joined us. We ate, we drank and then we strolled in Campo dei Fiori. It was a grand evening and certainly one of the highlights of this wonderful trip.
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