When you’ve only got a 4-day break you’ve got to make the most of those days off. We took this to the extreme, setting our alarm for 3:30 on Thursday morning.
With trains only leaving once an hour from Clapham Junction to Gatwick we ended up having to allow a lot more time than necessary for our flight, rather than leaving it all a bit hit and miss if we’d have got the hour-later train. As such, we took our time perusing duty free, trying perfumes and make up, before sitting down for a leisurely breakfast.
In fact it was so leisurely and we were so deeply emerged in our 5:30am deep-and-meaningful that by the time we remembered to check our gate we had only 5 minutes until it closed.
Starting our holiday with a half mile run at 6am was not how we’d planned to begin our relaxing trip.
But we made it. Just.
We landed in Rome at 10am, local time, so no time-pressure to make the trek up north to Bracciano. We jumped on a train from Fiumicino to Trastevere, then another to Bracciano. We’d not been given many instructions so although we had got all the right trains, we didn’t know how long the second train would take, and there were no signs or announcements telling us which stops were coming up. This meant that despite very little sleep we had to stay wide awake, quickly scanning every station for its name. It was an hour of torture for us. We were nearly crying with a strange delirium by the time we got to Bracciano!
(For reference if you make this trip, it’s 20 mins for the first train and approx. an hour for the Trastevere > Bracciano leg)
Our accommodation was to be a B&B (through airbnb), so we had a host to solely look out for us. Our host, Irene, offered to pick us up in a car and after 10 minutes of us getting excited by fancy cars, then dubious about shifty-looking cars this rusty old banger coughed and spluttered in to the carpark. Irene hopped into the back seat to open the broken boot and we squished our suitcases on top of the tyres, ropes and oil cans. Very authentic.
She took us to her B&B, which it turns out is actually her home and she simply stays with friends whenever she gets a booking. The ‘lived in’ feel was perfectly charming and welcoming. Although it was cluttered it was clean and just what we needed
Lunch at first place we found which was a great idea! (Ristorante Del Castillo, voted number 1 by Trip advisor, we later found out). We were desperate for a cold glass of prosecco but she’d run out so offered us an alternative of cold, sparkling red. Just odd. We passed on that and went for a delicious, sweet rose instead.
Once we’d cleared the drinks expectations up everything was just perfect. We began with starters of wild boar carpaccio with rocket and Parmesan plus a selection of cheeses with fig and pear jam. Just divine. Fresh Italian olive oil on an already superb dish is just to die for.
For mains we shared octopus and potato, and a dish of squid and courgette. They was so deliciously fresh and light, it was just what we needed in the heat of the day. Both dishes were bursting with flavour too
Before long we were seriously fighting the urge to sleep after our early start, so we picked up fresh fruit from a market stall, plus some picnic bits and headed back to the house to set up a perfect dinner of fresh burrata, fresh tomatoes and red wine. It was just the ticket. Yum!
More tomorrow…! Xx