An interesting day trip from Rome is a visit to Hadrian's Villa. We took the train to the town of Tivoli, and then the No. 4 bus a short 4 miles to the site.* Evidently, the town of Tivoli itself has a lot to offer tourists, but just touring Hadrian's Villa took us an entire day.
Emperor Hadrian liked to get away from it all at his summer villa located within the Tiburtini Hills. His private retreat was built between AD 118 and 134 or as Zoolander would say, "a really, really, really long time ago."
Once we bought our tickets to enter the grounds, I noticed what looked like a restaurant on the opposite side of the parking lot.
Looks like a nice place, doesn't it?
The name sounded familiar. Ooooooh! Wait! I checked my list of restaurants with gluten-free food from The Gluten-Free Guide To Italy and sure enough listed under Tivoli was Albergo Ristorante Adriano!!! (phone:0774535028) And the note says: "Will make homemade gluten-free pasta and desserts with notice. Gluten-free breakfast." Oh my!!!! I made a beeline to the office and showed them my Italian dining card. They were a little disorganized finding out the answers, but evidently several hours notice wasn't enough for the gluten-free pasta or dessert, but they could still feed me some sort of gluten-free food later after our tour of the grounds. I was so excited!
So, another reason for you to visit Hadrian's Villa!
I couldn't believe how immense the villa grounds were. And so much still intact! I think my favorite thing was learning how they made cold and hot baths. So sophisticated!
The people in the photo here give you an idea of the scale of the buildings.
He even had a little apartment area on an mini island surrounded by a moat for a little privacy. (not pictured)
Do you see a mushroom in this picture? "Mangia di funghi!!!!"
After a hot day it was so refreshing to dine under the cool trees.
I also filled up on steak and potatoes. I knew it would be a long journey home the next day.
So, there you have it! The Agony and the Ecstasy of my trip to Italy. I debated a long time on whether to share this with you. I didn't want to sound negative. I thought about it and figured that some of you might appreciate hearing that despite my trouble finding gluten-free, dairy-free and corn-free food, I still managed to have a good time. In fact, I would do it all over again. Yes, the Ecstasy from all of the beauty seen in this land far outweighed the Agony.
Oh, and the life lessons I learned along the way are to never forget to drink more vino and "Mangia di funghi!!!" [wink]
*Across from the bus stop there was a really cute cafe that made its own gelato and sorbet from scratch! I had problems in Rome finding any sorbet that was corn-free. They all were labeled with "destrosio" and no on knew what that originated from. It was too close to the english word "dextrose", which is from corn, for me to take a chance. So, as you can imagine, I was thrilled to find some cool fruity homemade sorbet here! Unfortunately, I almost missed the
bus buying some, so I didn't get the name of the shop. It can be your little treasure hunt!
Anyone know what destrosio is derived from in Europe?