14/9/08 – 11.30am
Am sitting on the plane waiting to take off. Feeling really sad to leave Italy, but at the same time I’m so happy to have had such a wonderful couple of weeks!
The journey here was very straightforward – the taxi arrived early to take Hugh and me to the airport, and it was only about half an hour to get to Fiumicino. We dropped our bags and cleared security and then went to a crappy self-service restaurant for a bite to eat. Was charged a whopping €5 just for a bottle of water and a small yoghurt – *rolls eyes*. We went round the duty free shops but could afford nothing, quelle surprise.
Anyway last night was lots of fun, and a great way to end such an incredible trip. We met at the BSR foyer at 7pm and made our way down to Flaminio metro station. We got off at Piramide having changed at Termini, and it was fitting that our last evening out took us past the impressive funerary pyramid of Gaius Cestius, which we’d thus far only seen from a distance.
We ended up at this quite random restaurant near the Monte Testaccio, which was in the guidebook and was meant to have goats’ cheese and sundried tomato pizza. Actually it turned out to have no such thing, and the antipasti were literally twice the size of the pizzas! I couldn’t understand the menu and ended up with a revolting pizza which had spinach and pecorino cheese but no tomato sauce!! Gutted. Ended up giving the pizza away to various scavenging boys, who will eat anything, and eating just the antipasti and Caitlin’s unwanted aubergine slices from her pizza, followed by a massive portion of tiramisu.
Felt quite ill afterwards, but the effects were beginning to wear off by the time we headed down the Tiber to Trastevere to find a bar. We met up with some of the others by a fountain in a Trastevere piazza, and spent the rest of the evening in a bar near there. I think I got back to the BSR at about 2.30am, by which point my head was too full to get any sleep.
It has been the best two weeks of my life. Feeling sad about imminent departure and not looking forward to watching the Italian coastline retreat from the horizon – but I’m certain that I’ll be back. Anyway, I threw the coin in the Trevi Fountain, so it’s sure to happen!