Sunday, May 25, 2008

Note from Rome

I viewed flying in a whole new way after the root canal filling ...

Sitting in waiting room of the dental surgery, it occured to me that I would choose flight over dental work. The next day the often anxiety-inducing sensation of the front wheels leaving the runaway felt really good. I was truly glad to be flying for the first time since I was a child.

But to more important things. The room where I'm staying has french doors that open out onto a private garden with a palm tree and outdoor furniture, a huge umbrella and best of all, an incredibly friendly labrador dog known as Cici (sounds like Cheechee).

Rome introduced me to a dish that contained pig jowls on that first night and I learned jowl is better than bacon. Who would have thought ...

The Chianti was lovely and the restuarant a cheeky find after stopping in at Best Western Hotel to see what they would recommend to wanderers. He said to say we were guests and the restaurant would have something a little bit special however his recommendation was enough of a gift and I didn't mention it.

Returning to favourite castels and piazzas has been grand, the weather is perfect and the people so kind, except for the sometimes stern barristas who express their contempt for my early morning milky coffee order with a wince or a sigh ... or is that me and my imagination and knowledge accrued while reading a book about Rome and her chefs. But anyway, I'm realising how much I've missed this warmth and the noise of peoples lives lived large.

Yesterday, awake at 5am, out the door before 6 - the city revealed herself in shades that began with a rose pink and moved through to golden. St Pieter's was exquisite in morning light, although the gates were still closed from the night.

Castel Sant'Angelo is on the still-to-be-explored list but Campo dei Fiori already had its everyday fruit and vegetable market underway at 7am.

One of the more amusing things about the trip so far is the fact that Rome and I have this 'thing' going ... it defies logic and understanding. I never follow a map, mostly because I'm map-illiterate. They don't work for me, I need to turn street plans into sentences and wander that way.

In Rome, traveling with my map-savvy cousin, I'm the one who is navigating this beautiful city. Maps continue to fail for her, filling her with a frustrated disbelief that makes me both laugh and feel sympathy. She has never experienced this loss of orientation and we have no idea why but wandering and weaving Di-style we found ourselves facing the Pantheon as planned that morning and later, just as she was convincing me that I had wandered wrong we found ourselves there ... in Navona's piazza.

Lunch in the Roman equivalent of Montemarte was a little more expensive but well-worth front row seats on the piazza.

Dinner was meant to be food from the supermarket however ... we had the wine and the cheese, the bread and the olives outside the room under the huge canvas umbrella then arrived at Castel Sant'Angelo too early for the fireworks and so we found ourselves sitting down for a nice glass of red that somehow became a bottle of red with a plate of the very best gnocchi.

Fireworks over, we strolled to Campo dei Fiori which becomes a place of magic at night. Jewellery and all kinds of other little stalls are set up, so that wandering there seems somehow other-worldly and magical.

Yesterday there was the riding the city bus for free incident ... a long story but we have discovered the Metro and will switch over that, having used a few too many taxis to get my knee and I back up the hill to the house we call 'home' at the moment.

But there's something about Rome that makes being here simply enough ... I don't so much need to see famous sites as absorb the feeling and the food. It's the most beautiful city I know.

Photos to follow, I just need a usb stick to make the transfer here at the internet cafe one day if there is time. I searched for a wifi hotspot up at the house but Rome laughed at me and this message came back - something like: no wifi connections available.

Anyway, all this to say yes, alles goed in this Roman world.

Take care,


Anonymous said...

I can see what you see, hear what you hear and even smell what you smell ... You know what happened to me? I went to a shop in Sint-Niklaas, and what wine do you think they had? Montepulciano red wine.
I definitely have to go there, I feel Montepulciano is calling me ...
Enjoy everything!

furiousBall said...

ahh rome. enjoy it a little bit for me please

Pam said...

If I did not adore you, I would be so jealous I can hardly speak. If it can't be me, it should be you.

Sigh. Enjoy the vita bella.

awomynda said...

:) what fun, wish i was there!

Peter said...

Great that Rome proved to be anything you wished for - it's a pleasure reading your posts.

I must make sure to find a travel companion to enjoy Europe asap: with the rising oil prices the currently very cheap tickets won't last forever.

Rome is only a childhood memory and some pictures: your post reminded me that I have some catching up to do!

V-Grrrl said...

fond memories of rome. i'd love to wander there with you one day. it is a city made for being lost in--and i say that in the best possible spirit.

trastevere. i bought art there, now on my wall in Virginia

Di Mackey said...

Montepulciano ... let's do it Lut :) I'm completely in love with Rome and I suspect it could easily extend to the rest of Italy.
love, Di

Van, when I was wandering around Castel Sant'Angelo this morning, I thought and this piece is for Van. I'm loving it here, so there's surely enough to share. I'll try and get a postcard off to you before I leave :)

Pam, you made me giggle. Thank you for your delicious comment. Hey, come back, we can do this thing ... I'm happy to keep returning to this superb country.

The photography, Amanda ... I can imagine how beautiful your Roman photography would be!

Well Peter, we could travel together. I could just become this hopeless wanderer and wander with you too, always out the door and flying :)

Trastevere early tomorrow morning, V. I'll get back to you on that one xx

chiefbiscuit said...

You describe it so beautifully. Glad you are having so much fun.