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Our second day in Rome. In the morning Amy and I went to Campo de Fiori, which has a nice marketplace where vendors sell cheese, truffles, alcohol, spices, and a whole variety of things really. Amy and I shared a cup of fresh pomegranate juice – we watched the women cut the pomegranate and juice it. SO good!

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I wasn’t planning to buy anything, but the vendors can be pushy/really nice/good salespeople (I sometimes can’t tell the difference…). For example, this one vendor who had a shop of truffle items let me try black truffle, white truffle, and a variety of truffle mixes. He told me that I was under no obligation to buy, and since I’m a sucker for nice people (and I really liked the truffle too), I ended up buying a set for my family. Obviously, pure truffle is expensive (even the salesperson admitted it), so the set consists of three different types of mixed truffle, and a small bottle of truffle oil – I believe it was 20 euros (originally 25 but “for you, 20 euros!”). Later when I got to Florence I realized that they sold the exact same set there, so it might be an item geared towards tourists…. Which I am, so whatever!

I also bought a set of honey for my mom, since I know she uses honey in her tea and water. Better buy something that they will actually use!

Some other notable items available here include limoncello, a local spirit. Some are even in bottles shaped like Italy, which just screams tourist.

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After the square, we visited Torres Argentina, a square with ancient Roman ruins, now a volunteer cat shelter home to over 300 cats. I went down to the room for the disabled cats and played with the SWEETEST blind kitty. He was so lovely – if you stuck out your hand, he would find it and literally pet himself by rubbing his head against you. Once you pet him for a while, he will flip on his back and stretch out, indicating his ease and comfort. So cute! And a big shout out to all the volunteers who spend time and energy into helping the Roman feline population by sheltering, feeding, spaying, and in some cases, treating the disabilities of these cats. Oh yeah, and Caesar was killed here! History and cats, what more could you ask for?

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Amy had the name of a restaurant she wanted to go to for lunch and we followed google maps there, only to find out that it was in fact a cannoli place (she mixed up the names). Finally someone other than me who is doing the derping. We ended up eating lunch at a pretty forgettable “tourist trap” kind of place, of which there are just way too many in Rome 😦

After lunch, we were planning to go on a free walking tour, but we were 10 minutes late and they were long gone. We found another free walking tour with another company that would start an hour later, so we just chilled out at a McDonald’s while we waited.

The tour was lovely – our guide, Andrea, was informative, though he tended to ramble a bit (a very Italian trait), and we were tired from the long day. But we visited a few lesser-known churches, all of this look plain on the outside but is incredibly intricate and full of detail work on the inside. Some things I learned: the Baroque style focuses on optical illusions; if you stand on the “focal point” of the church and look up, that’s where the optical illusion works the best; Pantheon means “all gods”.

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For dinner we went to Pizza Montecarlo – a pretty famous pizza restaurant. It was ok, to tell you the truth.

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Overall today made me happy because I bought stuff hehehe that’s what retail therapy is all about yo

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