There are times when you really need a Gelato and this was one of them. After our hot and crowded visit to the Colisseum and Forum we headed towards the river. On the map I spotted the Island in the Tiber and I remembered from Shelley’s Gelato Tour that there was a Gelateria to be found here.
Spirits lifted as we rewarded ourselves for all the sightseeing with double scoops – Strawberry and Pistachio for me, and Nutella and Hazelnut for my son.
What a lovely place it was to stop a while and savour each lick while contemplating the view of the Tiber. If you have time, you could go down to the promenade beside the river and sit with a picnic or soak up the sunshine. In the distance you could just see the arches of the Ponte Rotto, an old Roman bridge, now cut off and marrooned mid-stream with nowhere to go.
Apparently the island in the Tiber is one of the settings in Angels and Demons, the best-selling novel involving Papal Intrigue by Dan Brown who also wrote the Da Vinci Code. In the novel the hero escapes, James Bond style, from an exploding heicopter using only a window cover as a parachute, to land on the island.
In Roman times the island was the site of the temple to the God of medicine and healing, which was shaped like the prow of a ship and the hospital which was built here in the 16th century is still operational.
All in all it was a peaceful spot to recover from all the sightseeing before moving on to the narrow cobbled streets of Trastavere on the other side of the river.