2017 – Rome – Basilica of San Clement & The Colosseum

 This is the way to start the day! Antimo knew about this special coffee drink by the name of Cafe Leccese. It is made with espresso, bitter almond syrup (it tasted like amaretto) and rind of a lemon. Oh yummy. He ordered it for me at the airport and that made my morning!

We arrived in Roma about noonish. Get this, all you travelers – our luggage was out and collected before I could get out of the women’s bathroom! Well, I was a little delayed because of my “Lucy” moment. You see, they have these toilet seats that kind of tilt up with a spring action. They go down when you sit on them but…. 

So here’s what I was trying to do – put one of my toilet seat covers on the toilet seat without it falling off because the toilet seat was in the upright position. How do you hold the toilet seat down and the paper seat cover and then lean back into it to sit before it springs back up? In the meantime, I don’t know what the automatic eye of the toilet was thinking but it kept flushing…  I was glad that the stalls were completely separate so people could not observe this “dance” I was performing for the automatic flushing eye. 

I finally got into a rhythm and made a stab at sitting down. All went well until I got up. The seat flipped up, the toilet seat cover went someplace other than down the toilet, and I gave up and just left.  

Roma apartment – score! Antimo made the arrangements for this apartment and he gets bonus points. It’s a 2-bedroom, 2-bath with a lovely kitchen, dining, and living room. 

Our bedroom. Living room.

Kitchen. I even like the red cabinets.  Master bath. We have sinks and a shower for two. 

And check out this artwork. It’s made of computer chips – the person who made this piece of art is a creative genius. 

After eating our homemade sandwiches we hit the Roman roads.  (For the trip, Antimo made sandwiches with Italian meats, his mother’s tomatoes, and the Altamura bread we made.)

Horny Italians –  Well, it’s not what you think. We were on our way to see the Basilica of San Clement church when we noticed a couple of cars stopped right in the middle of the street and a long line of cars behind them. Then the horns started honking, and honking, and honking. It went on for a good amount of time, so the two cars started to move, and then stopped again. Both drivers got out of their cars and we thought there would be a knock down drag out fight, but they were just yelling at this point. We decided to move on.

Basilica of San Clement church – What an unusual church or churches actually. There are three churches built on top of one another. The oldest church (the one on the very bottom) dates back to the first century, the second church about 392 AD. The whole time we were in these churches, Ricardo is checking out the columns and doorways and dissecting how they built these churches back in the day. He was curious about the composition of the ground, was it sand or clay? How did they make supports to the first church so that the second and third church didn’t cave in on top of it (of course not knowing at the time they were building it what would happen in the future)? We received a brochure when we entered the churches, but were not allowed to take pictures, so click on the two links of the church name to check out more details with pictures. My back surgeon recommended we visit this place and we’re glad we did.

Colosseum in the background.  It just seems bigger than life! Well, it is.
New old ruins being excavated.We wandered on the outskirts of the Colosseum and a new dig where they are uncovering more history below the streets.

Antimo took some fabulous pictures of the city. Check them out by clicking here.

Along the way a few interesting sights:

Yes, it seems like parking is the same in Rome as it is in about any Italian city. 

These two guys are trying to figure out how they are going to get this piano up to the top floor apartment. Good luck!

Next on the agenda for us was to find a grocery store and buy ingredients for dinner. We were tired and getting hungry. Antimo whirled through the aisles and grabbed veggies, and pasta and voila! We had the makings of dinner. 

This was supposed to be Colosseum Chicken or something like that, but when we got home from the market, we realized we bought turkey fillets by mistake. Oh well. Antimo is calling this recipe “Turkey of the Colosseum” (the title sounds more romantic in Italian) because it was inspired by picking the arugula in a field right across the street from the Colosseum. We are sure that dogs have not peed on it, not sure about humans (joking). The ingredients in this recipe are approximate as Antimo just made it up as he went along.

Serves 4

Turkey of the Colosseum

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  • 4-6 thinly sliced Turkey fillets
  • 4 cloves of garlic (could double if you like garlic)
  • 3 carrots cleaned and chopped into coins
  • 1/2 yellow and 1/2 red bell pepper sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 to 1 cup cream
  • Arugula
  • Olive oil
  • Oregano
  • Mint
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • OPTIONAL1 pound fettuccine


  1. Sauté carrots, peppers and garlic until softened.
  2. Add turkey fillets and cook to desired doneness.
  3. Add cream and seasoning.
  4. Garnish with arugula serve with a side of fettuccine.


Calories: 1033 cal
Carbohydrates: 95 g
Fat: 29 g
Sodium: 277 g
Cholesterol: 247 g
Protein: 93 g
Fiber: 6 g
Ricardo’s contribution to dinner? Drink the wine – well, he did help clean up.


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