At 6:40 am on June 5, 2013, there was a loud knock on the door. We assumed it was room service. Another knock was heard, louder this time.
It turned out to be two Security guards and Terry Gattis. They informed Ivan that he had to leave the Norwegian Epic cruise ship by 7:30 am by order of the Capitan. Ivan asked why… but was just told to pack his stuff and get out by 7:30am. Nothing in writing..nothing from the captain..nothing official whatsoever.
We had to leave early anyway as we had a food tour book in Rome, so were planning to be off the boat by 7.30am anyway regardless of the fact that we were being kicked off the boat.
We were actually ready to leave by 7:15 pm, but then they started saying that we COUDLN’T leave as officials had to come. They blocked us in the room and kept Ivan prisoner there.
I went to tell Denise and Ken that we would meet them at the train station and there was trouble, but I didn’t go into detail.
Finally, left at 7:45 am. We didn’t get anything in writing. I bet they’ll claim that we voluntarily left the boat and there’s no record of it. They also didn’t help us with flights which they said they would.
We got a shuttle to Civitavecchia and walked to the train station. We missed our food tour because of the stupid commotion and ended taking the later train.
We got a hotel room near the train station at Hotel Hollywood. They were very friendly to us.
Thankfully, Ivan rescheduled our food tour for later today. We went to the Vatican to meet up with Ivan’s family and D.
We walked around the Vatican in St. Peter’s Square. I sent a postcard from the Vatican to my sister-in-law.
I took pictures while Ivan tried looking for Denise, Ken, Neal and D. He called them and they were waiting across the street.
Everybody popped into a souvenir shop that has a toilet and lots of Catholic related souvenirs. I bought a few things for my family.
We said good-bye since they walked around Rome for hours and wanted to get back to the cruise ship.
Ivan thought it was a good idea to stop for an espresso since we were going on a food tour later. The café we stopped in had cool décor.
It also sold lots of books and old pictures.
Ivan and I stopped at a bar to have a glass of limonchello. It’s fun to walk around the streets of Rome and find a nice place to have a drink or something to eat.
We walked to Piazza Farnese to meet up with our guide for the Rome Food Walking Tour which took us through Trastevere, Campo di Fiori and the Jewish Ghetto Her name was Francesca. The group consisted of just me and Ivan.
One of our first stops was at Ruggeri Delicatessen which is an old grocery store in Campo di Fiori.
I got to try the salami and we both tasted the bufala mozzarella and pecorino romano. The mozzarella is so fresh. It’s not refrigerated and should be use within two days.
Our next stop was at a Forno which is a bakery.
We tried the pizza bianca which is really popular.. which we’re not really sure why since it’s only bread with olive oil on it. We found it really boring. Ivan and I also tried bread with tomato on it. I tried bread with mortadella which is ham that’s flavored with spices. The mortadella was mild and tasted good.
Walked through the Jewish Ghetto which is now a luxurious place to live.
It’s always sad to hear the stories about the Jews that were taken away because of the Nazis during World War II. There are plaques in the road in front of the houses that states what happened to the people who lived there.
We stopped at a little unassuming restaurant for supplì and fried cod.
Supplì sounds like it would be soup but it’s actually a fried rice ball with tomato sauce. Both tasted great.
Francesca was full of knowledge about food and the history of Rome.
Our last neighborhood was Trastevere. I love this part of Rome since it’s a beautiful area with lots of greenery.
Our second to last stop was Sette Oche in Altalena Reclamavano la Cena – whew! that’s a mouthful. Ivan and I each got a bowl of Cacio e Pepe pasta. It’s a dish with lots of Pecorino and pepper.
It’s one of my favorite pastas in Italy. Ivan and I enjoyed our pasta with a lovely glass of red.
It was off to a gelato shop called Fior di Luna. Our guide told us that we could pick 2 or 3 flavors. Ivan tried strawberry and chocolate while I got banana and dark chocolate.
The banana was so good – it tasted like I was eating a banana. Yummy! It was a sweet way to end this great tour. I recommend this tour if you want to try lots of great Italian food.
We were so tired and stuffed, so we headed back to the hotel.