Monday, 27 July 2015

Madonna Fiumarola

Anglo-Italian breakfast of bacon (pancetta) and eggs with succo aranci rossi (blood orange juice) makes for a fine last meal on the terrace.

We trundle our cases literally a few yards down the street to our new apartment. We had been very disappointed when were realised we couldn't stay in our little 'home in Rome' for the whole two weeks but such feelings were instantly dispelled once we walked through the door and spotted the  Murano chandelier.

Mmmm, yes, this will do nicely.
It got even better when we opened the fridge to discover a gift of home grown vegetables. Instantly the itinerary went out of the window - no Sunday Angelus for us today. Sorry Papa Francesco but there is no contest when Delia's ratatouille is beckoning.

To keep in the Papal theme however, we visit the 'Pope's Caffé for our cappuccinos. Antico Caffe del Brasile used to be frequented by John Paul II when he was a student studying nearby, hence the nickname.
Then back to the balcony for our al fresco lunch.
Our main reason for coming to Rome at this time of year was the Festa di Noantri. All sorts of parades and events take place in Trastevere during this festival, which lasts for a week each July. We are planning to see  'Madonna Fiumerole' where a statue of the Madonna is transported down river by boat to Ponte Garibaldi.
We stake out our spot  on the bridge and prepare to wait, refreshed by lemon grattachecca from Fonte D'Oro, a Liberty era kiosk on the riverside.
Church bells  ring  and shouts of ' Viva Madonna' fill the air as the little boat sails in to view with the golden Madonna at the helm.
An emotional moment? What do you think?!
The story surrounding Madonna Fiumerole is that a statue of the Virgin, carved in cedar wood, was found in the nets of local fishermen. The statue was donated to the church of Sant'Agata in Trastevere where it became an object of veneration.
Dinner tonight is at Da Cesare in Casaletto. No buses are getting through the throng of people in Viale Trastevere so we hop in a taxi.
We had visited this trattoria a couple of years ago so we know the food will be good. What we hadn't anticipated was the brilliant atmosphere created by Romans enjoying a summer Sunday evening. There were loved up young couples, parents with small babies and children, groups of friends. Best of all doggies were not only welcome but given their own brightly coloured plastic bowl of water. When the children got bored with their parents lingering over dinner, they were put to work handing out menus and baskets of bread. It was a completely joyful evening.

Oh yes, and the food was fabulous too.
Deep fried gnocchi in a pecorino sauce

Wine on the balcony, watching the moon over Monti, ends another wonderful day.


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