Today we took the boat to Salerno and the train to Rome.
This was lovely not only because ferries and trains are probably my two favorite modes of transport and it meant avoiding the busses to Naples, but also because it afforded us some stunning views of Amalfi.
We took the metro to our neighborhood, Testaccio, plunked down our luggage at our Airbnb, and stepped out into the early evening.
I immediately fell in love with Rome – there is something about the way the golden buildings catch the light.
Or maybe it’s the attitude. On the bus to the neighborhood where we had picked out a restaurant, the driver missed a stop and an elderly couple chewed him out, rapping on the window with an umbrella cane.
Once at our restaurant (Cacio e Pepe), the waiters strutted from table to table with an air of palpable conviction. The diners smoked and talked softly, winding pasta against the sides of their plates and cutting hunks of watermelon with fork and knife. The scene practically buzzed.
I ordered the dish after which the restaurant is named (hot pasta served over a shallow pool of oil and water and topped with a thick cloud of pepper and parmesan) and waited impatiently as I watched dish after dish heaped with steaming pasta get carted over to neighboring tables. When the couple sitting to our right received their dinner, the aroma of melting parmesan was almost more than I could bear.
It was worth the wait. This pasta – perfectly cooked – springy and toothsome – was the best I have ever tasted.
On our stroll back to our apartment from the bus, children laughed in a playground despite it being nearly midnight. Teenagers and adults draped over benches, licking the last of their gelato cones.
I am looking forward to exploring the city–in the daylight–more, tomorrow!
P.S. I know I still haven’t finished telling you about Positano! And I have more to share – about learning to make gelato in Sorrento and about visiting Capri! Stay tuned…