Monday, 2 June 2014

The bells, the bells

We awoke to the sound of church bells greeting this sunny Sunday morning. A perfect day for a picnic.
To begin though we take advantage of the fact that it is the first of the month which means that the Casina dell'Aurora in Palazzo Rospiglioso will be open. This was a favourite of 19th century travellers on the grand tour who came to see the ceiling painting by Guido Reni. Sadly no photographs are allowed.
From here we head towards the metro at Barberini, pausing to visit the gardens of the Barberini Palace........

 ...... and to admire the newly cleaned Neptune fountain.

The metro takes us to Flaminia  from where we cross Piazza del Popolo and walk down Via Margutta - a favourite street of ours.
Our picnic is ready to pick up from GiNa on Via San Sebastionello from where it is a short hike up to Villa Borghese. We choose a shady vantage point from which to watch the world go by & begin to unpack our goodies.

 Lunch is enjoyed to the sound of  trumpet melodies.

After lunch we stroll through the park observing many forms of transport as we walk along.

After returning our picnic hamper we get the metro back to the apartment to enjoy time on the roof terrace.
Late afternoon seems a good time to visit St Peters so back on the metro we go, this time to Ottaviano. The sight of Bernini's columns never fails to please. On entering the square we are amazed at the length of the queue waiting to go through the security machines - we have never seen it so busy. However it moves very quickly and we are soon inside the basilica paying homage to Michelangelo's Pieta (a 'must' on every trip).
Another 'must do' is aperitivo on Janiculum Hill. Usually we walk up but today we take the easy option and catch the 115 bus from Lungotevere Sassia.
Piazza Garibaldi too is very busy but we find a spot and unpack our drinks to enjoy whilst taking in the panorama before us. Visibility is very good, especially of the distant hills that surround the city like a necklace.
We walk down past the Paolo fountain & take a peek in at the Tempietto through the closed gates. We skirt around the centre of Trastevere to Viale Trastevere where we pick up the number 8 tram to the San Camillo stop. A short walk from here brings us to Osteria di Monteverdi.
All we can say is that all Sunday nights should be spent like this. Rustic surroundings, fantastic happy atmosphere and sublime food. Not a word of English to be heard from the surrounding tables.

Sadly I fear that no other pasta dish will ever match up to the cacao e pepe that we shared as a starter. It was gone before we realised we hadn't taken the obligatory photo! The steak that followed was equally delicious and cooked perfectly.

 This was followed by dessert heaven - tiramisu like no other. We have a friend who makes a wonderful version of this dish. Normally no restaurant version comes close but  this is THE tiramisu to end all tiramisu's.

Back on the tram to Piazza Venezia from where we end this lovely day with grappa in our neighbourhood bar.

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