Day 197: Last Day In Italy

Leaving Venice this morning was hard. I mean, have you seen the amazing views?

From Venice, we made a stop at Montepulciano before heading back to Rome for our flight the next morning. What is this seemingly unknown middle-of-nowhere Italian town, you ask? Apparently, the Twilight saga filmed New Moon in the main square. #SORRYNOTSORRY to those who hate Twilight but you can’t deny how that’s at least SLIGHTLY cool.

The square in Montepulciano where Twilight filmed
I was basically in New Moon.
Cat sitting in a window sill. #ART

Our tour guide mentioned trying the beef steak here. As much as I love her food recommendations, I also hate how I use them as excuses to pig out and try everything.

Montepulciano steak
Trying what the town is known for—STEAK.

Luckily, this town is very hilly so the other half of the limited time we had in Montepulciano was spent climbing up and down steep streets. All was worth it, as I got to fit in another “signature” pose of mine—a flying/on-top-of-the-world photo. (My other signature pose is the #ledgepic.)

Montepulciano, Italy
My other signature travel pose.

Being the adventurous tourists that we were, my friend and I got lost wandering the streets. Let’s just say getting lost in Montepulciano with about 15 minutes left to meet the tour group back at the correct gate to the town is NOT a good idea. I mean, unless you’re looking for a serious workout, then by all means, get lost in this town and you’ll find beautiful panoramic views such as these:

Montepulciano, Italy
Snapped this as we were speeding up a steep hill, attempting to find our way back to the gates where our tour group was supposed to meet.
Montepulciano, Italy
Ah, Italia.

I suppose in the end (yes, we made it on time—sweaty but on time), it was worth the adrenaline and adventure.

Once on the bus, the driver Domenico blasted Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as we drove down the extremely windy roads with more panoramic views of the countryside. I freakin’ LOVED it. I even recorded the experience, which I will upload later on Instagram, so I can relive it.

Montepulciano, Italy
Now THAT’S a panorama.

By early evening, we were back in Rome and exploring the streets again.

Rome, Italy
Back in Rome!
Italian pun
Hah. Good one.

After dinner at a highly rated Taverna Romana restaurant near the Colosseum, my friend and I decided to visit the Spanish Steps. I couldn’t tell if my memory was correct, but I couldn’t help but think that The Amazing Race filmed there recently. As soon as we got there though and saw the steps, I knew they did—and of course, I was in awe. Again, my memory failed me as to how many steps there were (135), so I was so tempted to recreate the challenge of counting the number of steps (the step for the drain doesn’t count!) but my friend would’ve hated me.

Spanish Steps
Sunset approaching the top of the Spanish Steps.
Spanish Steps
Can’t get over the fact that The Amazing Race filmed here.

I loved the environment. People just sat on the steps and chilled—many with a bottle of wine, cans of beer, or even cones of gelato. Several others walked up and down the steps all night selling cold water and beer. My friend and I found a spot on the steps and sat for more than an hour—maybe two?—but we could have stayed for hours. It was just that relaxingly enjoyable. And to think it was on a Wednesday night! Can’t imagine what the atmosphere would be like on a weekend. Maybe it was good that we went on a weekday. But then again, kids (and I mean children under 10) are out till midnight even on weekdays in Italy.

View from Spanish Steps
View from Spanish Steps. Just beautiful.

When we finally thought to make our way back to the terrible Torino Hotel (seriously, it sucks. Look out for angry reviews on Foursquare and elsewhere), we had to stop and get some gelato. Our last in Italy!!

Gelato in Rome near Spanish Steps
I actually stood in the middle of this tunnel to try to take an artsy photo—until my friend kept telling me I was an idiot and should not try it again. I didn't...but trust me, I wanted to so badly.
I actually stood in the middle of this tunnel to try to take an artsy photo—until my friend kept telling me I was an idiot and should not try it again. I didn’t…but trust me, I wanted to so badly.