Another museum Sunday was not the plan, but when we woke up this morning to gray skies and wet roads, our original plan to take the train with our road bikes to Lago Bracciano to ride around the lake and enjoy a leisurely Sunday pranzo were scrapped. While the forecast for the rest of the day wasn't dismal, we were not real keen on riding fenderless road bikes on wet roads, even if the sun would come out and dry them eventually.
"Plan B" quickly formed: why not walk over to the Baths of Caracalla? A museum of sorts, but one outside rather than inside, meaning we could enjoy those sunny skies if they appeared while getting some reasonable exercise. As you can see above, they eventually did. The ride around the lake could wait for another sunny Sunday (we hope).
This must have been an amazing complex. The black and white mosaics covered the second floor, which has fallen down but with pieces displayed propped up against the still-standing walls.
Our full-on Sunday pranzo was still in the plans however. We wandered over to the now trendy Testaccio district (think Trastevere a few decades ago) hoping to score a table for two at Flavio Velavevodetta which we found via Osteria d'Italia, the Slowfood "bible".
No tables were open right away, so we put our name in and wandered around this now trendy district. full of run down buildings housing nightclubs and what look like squatter's camps. The whole thing seems just edgy enough to attract hipsters without scaring away anyone with any real danger, at least during the day.
After a lap around Testaccio and a visit to a bike shop specializing in bici d'epoca called Ciclo, we headed back to Flavio and had a table pretty quickly, settling in for a nice Roman pranzo. A vegetable antipasto plate with a very nice caponata flanked by a pair of excellent suppli started us off, followed (again the portions are insanely large) by a shared plate of rigatoni in a sauce made from oxtails. This was good, not great. Second plates were an excellent hunter's style rabbit with lots of tasty olives and a peppery bite and a so-so involtino in tomato sauce. A very fresh mixed salad and some roasted potatoes completed our meal, washed down with Tufaliccio, a red blend from Lazio. Again like last week, we had no room for dessert and wanted to try another gelato place on the way home anyway.
Fior di Luna was suggested by someone here at the Academy as their favorite and after our sad experience last week, we were ready to be happy. We were! THIS was gelato like we remembered, creamy, rich and full of flavor.
Needless to say, another great Sunday in Rome, despite not riding our bicycles.