The Westin Excelsior: Home Sweet Rome
There are some things in life that I can’t help but indulge in. Carbs, dessert, and beautiful men are at the very top of that list and Rome just happens to have an abundance of all of these. It’s not hard to see why it’s one of my all-time favorite cities. If I were ever to live abroad, this would be amongst my top picks, along with Cape Town and Cannes.
Our flight yesterday was a breeze. I think the more you travel internationally, the easier it becomes to spend extended periods of time in a small metal box crammed into a tiny seat eating the worst possible food (has anyone in the history of time ever said, “Yum! Airplane food!”?). Maybe this theory is just an excuse for me to travel internationally on a regular basis…not that I need an excuse, clearly that’s another indulgence to add to my list.
We drove into the city early in the morning, right in the middle of rush hour traffic. This reminded me how perfect this city is for me. Hoards of tall, olive skinned, dark haired, light eyed men dressed in well-tailored suits flooded the cities like some sort of enjoyable plague. Maybe the 50 Shades author should consider a change of scenery for her next novels (no, I have not read those). Either way, I definitely have a type, and there must be something in the water in Rome that makes every man here not age past 35 and fall into my category of perfect. As a single girl, I definitely wouldn’t mind living here.
We checked in at the Westin Excelsior, who were generous enough to have our rooms ready well before checkin. Our spacious, gold-flanked rooms have two giant chandeliers hanging from the ornate ceilings. This hotel is one of my favorites not only for the room size, but for the fantastic breakfast that my clients receive complimentary when staying here (small world: I actually have honeymooners here right now, but I haven’t seen them in the lobby. They happen to be on a perfect Italian honeymoon: the Hotel Caruso in Ravello plus a couple of days at the Excelsior before heading back).
Having never been abroad with my grandparents before, it’s a hilarious experience to watch their Southern world collide with the Italian culture. Mainly, I mean, they keep confusing the poor Italians with their phrases. “Wherabouts is that?” my grandfather asked a confused concierge last night. At breakfast this morning, Nan announced, “Bless you! Belissimo!” to the waiter who brought our coffee. He smiled and nodded, no response necessary.
She turns to me and says, “Usually, I tell people that I would give my firstborn for a cup of coffee…but, since that’s your mother, I figured it would be a little sacrilegious to say here.”
Since I promised Charlotte that I would take photos of my food, and since Italy is full of my favorite things to eat (pasta, pizza, chocolate, gelato, tiramisu, European coffee, pastries…am I missing anything?), the rest of this post will be dedicated to just that.
I also promised Erika that I would take photos of the men, but I haven’t been stealthy (or creepy) enough to do that yet.
After a quick nap, we walked to the Trevi Fountain, one of the sights that I missed the first time we visited Rome, and grabbed fresh pizza. It was my first real meal in 24 hours, so I ate it too quickly and forgot to take a picture. My grandfather, always the Southerner stuck in his ways, announced, “I don’t know. I think I like that thick crust at Marco’s better.”
On our way back, I had to stop in a gelateria for chocolate and tiramisu gelato. The rest of the afternoon was spent, essentially, killing time before we ate again. Once that time came, we returned to a favorite little restaurant across the street from the Excelsior, where we indulged in every kind of pasta imaginable. My fettucini was unbelievable, and I might have gotten a tiramisu to take back to the room.
This morning, I had a lovely breakfast with my grandparents in the hotel’s restaurant. One sip of the strong Italian coffee took me back to my mornings in Cannes, where I loved the European coffee so much that I drank it like water. The same happened here, and our adorable waiters threw in some little confections from the kitchen (I, of course, also ordered a Nutella-filled croissant).
The food has been, as always, a highlight of our stay in Rome. We’ll have another night here after the cruise, which I’m looking forward to, if for no other reason than eating, eating, eating…and maybe a little people watching.
But for now, our transfer from Pallenberg Brothers is here to take us to the cruise port. More posts to come!