Friday, January 28, 2022

A Quick Stop in Rome

We're in Rome overnight, staying at the airport and catching a flight home in the morning.  We hop on the Leonardo Express train from the Leonardo da Vinci-Fumicino Airport into the Roma Termini main train station and walk into the city. 

We wander down the street from the train station to the Fountana della Naiadi (Fountain of the Naiads), erected in 1901, and follow via Nationale, passing a sign of our times, a sidewalk Covid testing station.

Fontana della Naiadi

Sidewalk tests

Soon we spot the Trajan's Column and walk down steps to Fori Imperiali, a square with Roman ruins, and the Victor Emmanuel II Monument, honoring the first king of a unified Italy.

Trajan's Column, Victor Emmanuel II Monument

Across the way, someone is getting married in the Chiesa Santa Maria di Loreta and tourists are circling the Fori Imperiali Roman ruins across from the church.

A new beginning

Across the street (Fori Imperiali)

We stroll from the monument through the narrow streets over to the Fontana di Trevi and then to the Spanish Steps (Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti).

Strolling the streets

Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps

From the Spanish Steps, we follow Via dei Babuino to Piazza del Popolo, where it seems a good idea to stop to refresh ourselves with a negroni.

Piazza del Popolo, cocktails

After our libation, we take Via Ferdinando di Savoia to the River Tiber and turn left along the river as the sun sets, working our way toward Trattoria Lilli, our favorite restaurant in Rome.

Along the Tiber

We sit outside at Trattoria Lilli and start with  a small platter of meats and potatoes, followed by cacio e pepe, bucatini all'amatriciana, and a liter of house wine.

Dining outside at Trattoria Lilli

Starter, wine

Cacio e pepe, bucatini all'amatriciana

As the day winds down, we head back to Roma Termini and catch the next Leonardo Express back to the airport.  What a great ending for this Italian trip with extended stays in Monterosso al Mare (Cinque Terre) and Positano and short stops in Naples and Rome.  

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Dining in Positano

We dine at restaurants along the beach in Positano, focusing on seafood and pasta, and we are treated to incredible locations and meals.  Our first dinner, after arrival, is at Chez Black, where we share appetizers of octopus and mozzarella/prosciutto, followed by pesto with lobster and cuttlefish ink pasta.

Dining by the beach

Chez Black

Octopus, mozzarella/prosciutto

Pasta with lobster, cuttlefish ink pasta

For lunch, we have a simple charcuterie and cheese platter (and negronis and a limoncello spritz).


Our next dinner is right on the beach at L'incanto, while the sun sets, where we start with octopus salad and mussel soup, followed by lemon ravioli filled with ricotta and straccchino cheeses and topped with lemon zest (incredibly delicate flavors) and risotto with zucchini flowers, shrimp, and provolone cheese.  All accompanied by a Costa D'Amalfi wine (bianco).

View from our table

Mussel soup, octopus salad

Lemon raviolli, risotto with zucchini flowers/shrimp/provolone

We return to Chez Black for another great meal, starting with octopus carpaccio and tomato/burrata, followed by spaghetti and seafood and spaghetti with cuttlefish ink (which we also had the previous visit), all of it incredible.

Back at Chez Black

Octopus carpaccio, tomato/burrata

Seafood spaghetti, spaghetti with cuttlefish ink

For our final meal in Positano, we dine at our hotel, Bucca di Baco, recognized for its seafood dishes cooked in the style of the Amalfi Coast.  We start with negronis and a limoncello spritz overlooking the beach.


For appetizers, we choose the grilled octopus on artichoke with burrata cheese and a balsamic reduction, and fried stuffed zucchini flowers.

Octopus on artichoke, zucchini flowers

For our main courses, we have a lemon risotto with shrimp and the calamarata pasta with salted cod, cherry tomatoes, and black olives.

Lemon risotto, calamarata pasta with salted cod

We finish with profiteroles.  The profiterole is connected with France, but was invented by Panterelli, an Italian chef in Catherine de' Medici's party that arrived at the French court in the 1530s.  Working in the royal French kitchen, Panterelli developed the predecessor of the profiterole, which was then transformed to its current form in the 18th century.  It is a great treat in the Mediterranean climate.


We've had an incredible exploring and dining experience in Positano.  What a treat!