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Des Moines, Iowa
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Europe Trip - Day 8

Geoff Wood

We had planned to spend the day on a daytrip to Florence but the late night the night before at the Friends Music Cafe made the six AM bus call a little too early for us. We declined and decided to sleep in a little longer.

When we did eventually get up we took the bus (route 92, this time - thank you concierge) to the Termini to grab some McDonalds (always good after a late night) and check out the train options to Florence. We had trouble translating the train information (even though we chose the "English" option) and were a little scared that we would get burned for a lot of money if we decided to book the trip, so we decided to just hang in Rome for the day.

After a quick nap back at the hotel we decided to explore Castel Sant'Angelo, the papal fortress near Vatican City. The Castle plays a big roll in Dan Brown's Da Vince Code prequel Angels & Demons which Hope had recently finished and I had read several years ago. The Castle was very interesting and full of history. We elected to rent the self guided audio tour which really made it worthwhile. The views from the Castle over the city were also something to see.

We decided to have dinner at a fun pizza place (Uffa Che Pizza) rated as "best cheap pizza" in our Rome travel guide. It was a bit off the beaten path but were able to find it in a nice little residential neighborhood north of Termini. We showed the waiter the write up in the travel book and he asked if he could show it to the owner(1). Hope ordered what amounted to be a puffed up dough ball (filled with air) with ham on top of it - one of the specialities noted in the book.

We had finished dinner but had yet to have our book come back. The waiter told us to hold on a minute and a little while later the owner walked up from down the block with color copies of the review. It was obvious that they didn't know they were recommended in the book and were quite honored by it. It was fun for us to be able to show that to them; I hope by now they've found someone to tell them what it says!

(1)At least that's what we think he asked, he was speaking Italian