As I mentioned in a previous post, on a recent visit to Italy, I decided to spend a few days alone in the city before heading south to Genazzano to spend time with my father. My last day in the city, I wandered from piazza to piazza taking in the sounds, smells, and more than my fair share of gelato. My time alone in Rome was quite a contrast to my time with family in “campagna”… here’s an example.
One of my stops was the market at the Campo di Fiore, one of the most popular sites with tourists that is equally popular with locals. As I marveled at the heaps of exotic (to me) puntarelle and the bushels of purple-tinged artichokes in all sizes, I wished for a kitchen and a large group of friends and family to feed the many dishes my mind was preparing in a fantasy of olive oil and fresh pasta.
I stopped for real Roman pizza at a small bakery at the far corner of the piazza then purchased a bag of olives “nero al forno” (roasted black olives) to bring back to my room. Later that evening, I relaxed with a bottle of Frascati, the local white wine, and my treats from the market sat on my small terrace in the back of the Hotel Artorius. The view was of the rooftops and tiny yards behind ancient buildings – laundry and flowers hung from every available perch. This now trendy neighborhood was an ancient slum even at the time when Julius Caesar purchased an apartment building here for his daughter as a wedding gift! Places like this always “speak” to me on a deep level; some things must be appreciated alone.
Then there are the many experiences that would not exist if it were not for large groups of loved ones! More on that in the next post…