Sunday, 19 July 2015

Feels like Home

How lovely to be back in this little apartment in our favourite corner of Rome. We have little time to appreciate the refurbishment that has taken place since our last visit as we are heading straight out to an appointment with a favourite 'Foodie' of  ours in Testaccio. First we walk up to Termini to pick up our weekly transport tickets, passing the statue of John Paul II on the way.

I love the simplicity of this work and the sheltering image that it conjures up.
I also love the fact that there are remnants of an ancient wall in the foyer of the train station......only in Rome.
We take the metro to Piramide and exit to the blinding white sight of a newly restored tomb - the Pyramid of Cestius.

Testaccio is quiet on this sleepy, baking hot, Sunday afternoon. Our destination is quiet too......mainly because the weekly Farmers Market to which we are heading is closed in July & August! Well, as my husband says, a thwarted itinerary is becoming a family tradition - hopefully this is the only hick but time will tell.
Nothing to do but take refuge in a bar with natural air conditioning. Ketumbar is set within Monte Testaccio - a glass wall reveals the broken shards of amphorae that make up this mountain - more of which later.
We settle down to platters of local salami & cheese, washed down with generous glasses of a chilled Sardinian white wine. Our good humour is restored.

We head a little further down the street to our appointment with Katie Parla. I have long followed Katie's blog and the Rome for Foodies app is one of my 'go to' sources for planning a Rome itinerary. When the chance to tour Monte Testaccio with Katie came up we knew we just had to fit it in.
We started with a short tour around Testaccio, including the ancient slaughterhouse......

......and modern street art

Onward and upwards to the man made hill, walking on 4th century pottery shards - amazing.

The shards were from pottery amphorae used to transport olive oil from Spain. The Ancient Romans didn't just toss these away but had a regulated system of layering which can be seen in the bars & restaurants dug in to the hill.
On the top of the hill there are more complete remains.

An added bonus are the spectacular 360 degree views of Rome. From the modern EUR distict & street art to the historic city centre.

Awesome is a very over-used word, but this tour was a truly awesome way to start our trip. Katie is a knowledgeable tour guide but, more importantly, she has an engaging personality. We look forward to taking more tours with her in the future.
Back to the apartment to unpack and then out to Café Bohemian Libreria. We sink into one of their comfy velvet sofas in the shabby chic lounge and order drinks. First Aperol spritz of the trip.


Dinner tonight is at Brocoletti. We love this little restaurant, where the menu is presented on a chalk board that moves from table to table

Buratta and Vongole with local Cesanese wine to drink


Orrechiete ('little ears') pasta with pesto and tomato
Gelato for dessert from Fatamorgana, eaten on the terrace.
 A perfect end to our first day in Rome.

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