As this was my first visit to Rome I feel like I accomplished a lot: the first day was taken up mainly by a lengthy tour of the Roman forum. It was impressive, but not as great as it could have been since it was pouring, thundering occasionally, windy and freezing. The day did seem to be getting better as the clouds cleared, revealing a rainbow, perfectly framed by the ruins, and later that day I visited the Villa Borghese, a magnificent art and sculpture gallery, with many exquisite works by Giotto. Other highlights included: St. Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Museum, Trevi Fountain, and of course, the Colosseum. Sadly, we did not have much time to spend at the Vatican, so I don't feel that my experience of the Sistine Chapel was complete; however, it was inspiring just to see even for a short amount of time.
After a jam-packed weekend, it was nice to return to Florence. Rome was an exciting trip, but it made me realise how much I prefer the small-city charm of Florence.
Tonight I ate at "Il Latini," an authentic Tuscan restaurant, whose ambiance was completed by the proscioutto (cured ham) hanging from the ceiling, and group style seating. We shared a table with an Italian couple, as well as some travelers from Germany. I ate a wonderful caprese salad (tomato and fresh mozzarella), tomato soup with basil and thickened with bread, and a rich chocolate cake for desert- The best meal I have had so far!