When in Rome …

We arrived in Rome late in the afternoon and were welcomed by Hotel Barocco with a cheerful smile – nice – and a room upgrade which was even nicer. The room included a terrazzo which only dog owners will understand is a bonus. We had two tired puppies who immediately took to the bed and settled in for a sleep.

Staying in hotels with the girls has a strict arrival routine:

  1. Paper down in the bathroom for doggie toilet if necessary (not so needed with the terrazzo but a safety measure)
  2.  Towels onto the bed to protect the beautiful white linen
  3.  “Do not disturb” sign on the door so housekeeping doesn’t walk into a cacophony of barking
  4.  Doggie food into the fridge which usually means some drinks coming out – some to drink because we really needed a drink after the drive and some to make space for bags and containers of food
  5.  Dog bowls into the bathroom along with doggie fork and knife ready for dinner
  6.  Time for that drink and to watch some english language TV shows.

After settling in we all went around the corner to La Baita for a drink. The temperature was about 10 degrees but the addition of heaters to the bar meant we were toasty warm. The bar is located at the bottom of Via Veneto and looking up the street you could see the Christmas lights adorning the hotels. There is much time and effort put into decorating the area for Christmas – all very much appreciated by this kiwi contingent.

The next day we went to the Trevi Fountain and, for €2 thrown over our left shoulders, we ensured our return to Rome. Even in winter the fountain attracts visitors but there isn’t the absolute human crush of summer. We could actually sit and enjoy the sights for a few minutes.

That night we dined at the restaurant Trip Advisor rates as the 71st best restaurant in Rome from the 3,400 it rates. It happened to be about 20 metres from our hotel and was called Osteria Barberini. We were greeted like part of the family and the service throughout the meal was a delight.

The food was simple Italian fare but superbly done. We had entrees – one was a mix of bruschetta, the other fresh (really fresh), locally made mozzarella with rucola and pomodoro (rocket and tomatoes) followed by classic prima piatti – Spaghetti Carbonara and home-made Lasagne, all washed down with an Italian Chardonnay. Desserts of Pannacotta and Creme Brulee were followed by complimentary Limoncello and a wee stagger back to the hotel.

All up the meal cost €55 which was unbelievable value. If you go to Rome you have to try this place. If you’re not visiting soon, read the Trip Advisor reviews to get a flavour of the place – ours will be there soon.

The next day we repacked the car to the roof – much to the amusement of the porter at Hotel Barocco  and headed to our next stop. It was Chianti for lunch with our friend Olga and then on to the Portofino Coast for our next overnight stop.