My friend Eliza came to visit me in Rome. I had been looking forward to this visit for about 3 months. We did a lot of fun things together, and her visit went by very quickly for me.

Piazza di Spagna

Eliza and her sister Hope and mom Emily arrived on late on Thursday, at about 9:00. When she first came, we were very happy to see each other, so we practically just laughed the whole night.

On Friday we showed Eliza and her family Piazza de Spagna (the Spanish Steps) and the Pantheon. If you haven’t been to Rome, in the Pantheon there is a big hole in the middle of the roof. And what I did to Eliza and Hope is I made them keep their eyes shut until they could see the hole. Then we went to my favorite non-pizza restaurant for lunch, which I’ve probably mentioned a few times: da Gino. I have probably mentioned that my favorite waiter, Mario, works there.

Inside the Pantheon.

After lunch I showed them a museum called Trajan’s Market. It is a place where there used to be a real market in Ancient Rome, and you can see the market stall rooms and sometimes they have glass floors where you can see down where Rome used to be. Me, Eliza, and her sister Hope played tag except you had to wrap a scarf around your eyes so you couldn’t see, and you had to stay in a particular room in the ancient market.

After that, since they wanted to see the statue of Romulus and Remus, we went to the Campodiglio to show it to them. It’s a piazza that Michelangelo designed. Hope really liked the Campodiglio because she’s into horses and there were lots of statues of horses. Then we went home and played… Later, we went to our favorite gelato place which I’ve mentioned a few times: Il Gelato.

Inside the caves, looking toward the town of Sperlonga.

Next, on Saturday, we took a train to Sperlonga, which is a beach town a little south of Rome. First we went to explore caves that were by the ruins of the palace of Emperor Tiberius. The ancient Romans used to throw parties in the caves, and the museum has huge statues that were discovered in the caves.

After the caves we went to the beach. And we (the kids) went deep in the water and jumped over the waves. They were so big that sometimes we fell down. And when there was a ginormous wave coming we all ran back to the beach. We did that all day and when we went back on the train, we were all very worn out.

Relaxing on the beach.

Then for dinner that night, we went to one of me and my brother’s favorite restaurants, dal Pollarolo 1936. We like it because it has everything. They are named for their chicken, because pollo means chicken and they used to be a chicken store (since 1936). They have good salads, great pizzas, and great pasta dishes. When we got home the kids watched a little of the movie Parent Trap (the old version). After that, me and Eliza read for a while. Then our parents let us talk for a while. Then they said to stop talking. But we talked until about 2 in the morning!

At da Cesare.

On Sunday it rained. But before it rained we played on the terrace with this kind of stuffed animals I like to collect. They are called Beanie Boos. Then it started to rain so we went inside. Me and Eliza just wanted to play that day so we played until about 1:00, and then we headed out for lunch at da Cesere, another restaurant with a waiter who is nice to kids. After lunch we just played and had dinner at our house.

With Ambassador Thorne. His office was beautiful!

Monday was one of my favorite days of Eliza’s visit. We went to the American Embassy. And we got to meet the Ambassador – he gave us a tour and we went in his office. Eliza’s grandpa is friends with Ambassador Thorne. We got to hold a real gladiator helmet and real sword and shield. He gave us special coins as a souvenir. Then we went for lunch at another great restaurant, San Marco (which is known for their pizza). After that, while we were walking home, we passed a bakery/gelateria. Eliza got mint chip, I got chocolate orange, and Hope got two meringues. As we were going home, we stopped at our favorite pasta shop which makes pasta fresh (if you have been to Rome before you know what I mean). The lady who works there let us go behind the counter to see the pasta machine. After that we went home and played.

Next morning, Eliza left. I miss her but I’m glad I’ll see her soon. That goes for all of my friends in Madison!