Leaving Florence after lunch, we had only a short drive to Rome so arrived in the city just on dusk. From here we had guided tour around Rome by our knowledgeable Topdeck Trip Leader, starting at the Piazza del Popolo, and taking us past the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and finished up at the Forum and the Colosseum. For dinner we stopped at the Pantheon where most of us stopped at a little pizzeria for the Rome equivalent of takeaway, pizza al taglio. The pizzeria had wide selection of large rectangular pizzas to choose from which were cut into slices when ordered, paid for by weight and then reheated in small oven.
The next day we were up early to beat the rush into the Vatican for our guided tour. While not religious, I was still in awe of the history of the buildings and galleries particularly the Sistine Chapel. Being a Wednesday we also got to see the Pope as he led a service in St. Peter’s Square (albeit from a long way away). Following this we made our way by train back to the Colosseum. I wasn’t particularly feeling the best so I decided to give waiting in line for entry a miss and set off on a reverse trip of the tour we took the night before to re-see the sights in the daytime. Walking past the Trevi Fountain, I happened upon a little Gelateria/ Pasticceria which had rather delectable looking cannoli, just waiting to be filled and eaten. I had a late lunch of salad at McDonald’s while waiting for a bus back to our accommodation where our dinner of Chicken Cacciatore was prepared by our on-site Topdeck Chefs.
I talked in my last post about how something so simple with the right ingredients, could still be incredibly tasty and the pizza in Rome was no exception. Thin pizza crust, tomato sauce, cheese and small variety of toppings, was all you needed to make delicious pizza. I used this recipe which produced a nice thin crust and then topped it with some traditional pizza toppings, homemade tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, prosciutto and mushrooms.
For my next dish I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it. The cannoli I had in Rome while delightful, was definitely not particularly healthy and as I’ve been consuming a lot of sweet treats over the past week or so, the last thing I wanted to do was eat something deep fried. So in the end I decided to make my own version, inspired by this post where the dough is rolled out into circles and baked in a muffin tray. I did however make the mistake of not researching the recipe properly and neglected to drain my ricotta which made for a rather watery filling. Did my final product look anything like normal cannoli? Not really. On the other hand, was it still tasty with a nice combination of crisp base with a smooth creamy filling that was a little bit fruity? Yes, yes and yes. Nevertheless, real cannoli is now on my list of food to try making sometime in the future.