Friday, 24 July 2015

'Friends, Romans, Countrymen'

Fortified with strong espresso we experience sunrise on the Gianicolo Hill under the watchful eye of Garibaldi.

As usual we spend a long time identifying the different monuments and church domes from this fantastic vantage point, which, if pushed, I would have to say is my favourite spot in Rome.
No mistaking this dome, seen from the other side of the hill.

We wander down in to Trastevere and across Ponte Sisto, passing the newly restored Trilussa fountain on the way.


Breakfast this morning is at Roscioli. We eat pizza bianca filled with mortadella, a traditional Roman snack.

Our daily fruit quota comes in the form of pomegranates, freshly squeezed before our very eyes.

Next stop is Norcineria Viola where we buy local salami & thinly sliced pancetta. I love the lilac bags that our purchases are wrapped in.
For a long time I have wanted to buy one of these pretty posies from the flower stall in Campo di Fiori but have never had reason to do so until today.

We are meeting up with Raffaella who organises our apartment bookings. We first met when the Roman Reference offices were in Monti. They have moved and, luckily for us, are  now located in  historical Palazzo Taverna. 
We catch up on news and exchange baby photos. Raffaella has an 8 month old daughter, Lisa and 6 year old son, Marco. We are extremely proud 'nonni' and show photos of our beautiful granddaughter at every opportunity!
Afterwards we wander around the courtyards of the palazzo which belonged to the powerful Orsini family and is where Felice della Rovere was married in unparalleled splendour.

Thinking of our granddaughter, we pay a visit to what we call 'Evie's toyshop'. The Bartolucci family have been working wood for generations and more recently started creating toys and puppets .

On to Via Margutta, one of our favourite streets.
At 53B is Bottega del Marmoraro, a small shop filled to overflowing with marble signs. You can have whatever you wish engraved on a plaque. We choose one already made -  'In Vino Veritas'

A couple of doors further on is number 51, famously remembered as the location of Joe Bradley's apartment in 'Roman Holiday'. Unusually the gates are open so we sneak in for a quick look.
Back to the apartment for lunch. At 41 degrees it is too hot for the roof terrace so we eat in our air conditioned sanctuary.
Tonight's passeggiata takes in Galleria Sciara, a wonderful hidden gem close to Via del Corso. Built in 1885 and decorated in Art Nouveau style, the Galleria celebrates women as brides, mothers and representing various virtues.

Continuing on we catch a glimpse of what the best dressed clergy are wearing this season.
On past Area Sacra where  cats laze amongst ruins close to the site of Caesar's murder.
Another favourite corner of Rome is the Turtle Fountain.
At this point it starts to rain so we duck in to Le Tartarughe, a newly opened bar which replaced an older bar with a similar name. A cute detail are the turtles  made out of sparkling wine tops that line the walls.
My husband has commented that we haven't visited any churches yet (do I detect a note of sarcasm?) so here comes our first. Sant'Agostino holds a special place in our hearts. Not only does it have works by Caravaggio & Raphael but also the Madonna del Parto. We came here last year when we received the first baby scan pictures and have come here today with a photo of Evie to add to those surrounding the Madonna. A special place indeed.
NoAu is our aperitivo spot this evening. Only 3 or 4 choices on offer but they are all delicious & fresh. My husband is in beer heaven & I enjoy the organic wine.
There has been quite a storm while we have been inside which has resulted in
an interesting sky - there appears to be a beam of light over St Peters
Terre e Domus is our dinner spot. As it is Thursday we share gnocchi.


All the ingredients used here are from the local Lazio area.
It is but a hop, skip and jump to Trajans Column where we meet for Foro di Cesare, a journey through Ancient Rome. We saw 'Augustus' last year, the difference with this show is that you actually walk through Caesar's Forum rather than watching from a seat. It is absolutely brilliantly executed and really brings the Forum to life.

With our heads full of Ancient Romans we retire to our roof terrace for one last glass of wine.

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