Writing this from the New Orleans airport and I swear this is my last Italy post! We left the villa in Tuscany and had one more night in Rome before flying back to New York the following morning. We stayed in this really cool-looking boutique hotel called Residenza Ruspoli Bonaparte, located right at the intersection of Via Del Corso and Via Condotti (awesome location – basically right across the street from the building in the middle of the picture above). It was the one-time time home of the Bonaparte family (not Napoleon but apparently a Dutch queen who was his stepdaughter and her son Napoleon III). The hotel had only three rooms, but they were each like little 2BR apartments. However, I found that 1) this description on Tablet.com really oversold how nice it was (it was nice, but also a bit tired and the AC was barely functional – not cool on a 90+F day in the city – both literally and figuratively.) 2) The building it is housed in is beautiful, but it is also old, and there are a bunch of other things happening there too (ie. a wedding in their big event space the night we were there.) There was only one TINY elevator, and the poor porter had to do several trips to get us and all our stuff up to where the “hotel” was located. The staff was really nice though, and the original and restored details in the space were really beautiful. We kind of felt like we were living in a palace for the night, which was fun. If we were traveling there just the 2 of us without a ton of luggage and young kids it could be a very cool experience to stay there (the Queen Hortense Suite was by far the nicest, which we were not in). But we really could have used a place with more amenities to help with our logistics, so it wasn’t the best call for us (and truthfully I didn’t think it justified the high price tag).
Above left – the bedroom in the Queen Hortense Suite. Above right the hallway right outside the hotel entrance.
Above – the sitting room in our suite (that looked cool but was about 100F with no AC). Below – a gallery room that led to our room. Declan and Arabella thought the bust statues were funny – Declan would ask “Who’s THAT guy?” which would always make me laugh, and Bella would point to the bust in the pic below every time we passed it and say “Dada” which made me laugh even harder. 🙂
Anyway, we were happy to have one more beautiful afternoon and evening to spend in Rome just the 4 of us, so loaded up in the tiny elevator and headed out to get a late lunch and wander the city a bit.
And, of course, get some more gelato. 🙂
We went back to the hotel to clean up and relax a bit before heading out to our last dinner of this incredible trip. We decided to go back to this one restaurant that was near Piazza Navona (and the apartment we stayed at earlier in the trip) that was Declan’s favorite. It was also a nice walk from our hotel and it turned out to be such a beautiful warm summer night.
Everywhere you look in this city there is something incredible.
We popped into the pantheon on the walk to dinner. Everytime I go there I notice something else amazing – this time it was the massive bronze (I think?) doors.
Bella passed out in the stroller on the walk to dinner and stayed asleep even when Chris picked her up and we sat at the table! Sleeping baby faces are just the cutest thing ever.
After dinner we walked back to Piazza Navona to our favorite gelato store for one last round (diet starts Monday!).
When we walked into the piazza the light was so amazing that I wanted to take a couple quick pics. The kids loved these toys that guys were always selling in the square – I don’t know what they’re called but you pull a string and they fly up into the air and then fall back down. Not that awesome but they lit up and flew and the kids loved them (see Bella’s face below).
But that only lasted a few minutes because they saw the gelato shop, locked in and dragged me over.
Declan shocked us all and went with chocolate hazelnut (basically nutella) gelato. Maybe travel was helping to expand his palette and willingness to try new things after all! (baby steps)
Bella was super happy with her fragola (strawberry) gelato. 🙂
Declan REALLY wanted one of the (totally crappy and annoying) toys that were being sold in the piazza, and had a bit of a pout when we told him he couldn’t have one. He kept trying to talk us into it and getting really frustrated when it wasn’t working. I found his exasperated expressions so funny and love this pic below – especially the one with Bella in the background happily eating her gelato. 🙂
Final gelatos finished, we started to make our way back to our hotel to get ready for bed and packed for the next day’s travel. Knowing it was our last walk through the city (for a while at least), we took our time and I snapped a few final pics. Farewell Rome (and Italy) – thank you for the most wonderful family memories and I hope we see each other again very soon!