Rome is glorious. Despite sitting alone at a computer at the moment, there’s an extremely romantic thing happening: a charming rendition of ‘Hava Nagila’ is wafting in through my apartment window. This is mere accompaniment to the street sounds coming through said window (one of the best parts of this apartment), the kind of ‘noise’ John Cage would have recognized as so much more. Speaking of which, burbles of Italian and natural light woke me up this morning. First thing I did was stick my neck out and turn to the left
The only reason there’s not an Italian grandma hanging out of one of those windows, hanging that laundry, is because I couldn’t grab the camera in time to capture her. I told you, this place is glorious.
Today, Saturday, started with flatbread pizza. Yeah, we followed it up with cappuccinos and croissants (Italians call them cornetti), and yeah, they kicked the ass of the croissants I’ve been proud to eat from the Italian bakery by my crib in Queens, but there’s just nothing like pizza for breakfast.
Buzzed on dough and caffeine, we walk to Piazza Navona. Something like if Spain, Egypt and Italy spawned a baby with multiple fountains.
The obelisk (Washington monument-looking thing) in the center was stolen by the Piazza’s architect, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, from the Egyptians. There are several obelisks by Bernini throughout Rome. Take a closer look at the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, forming the base of the obelisk. This photo only captures due of the Quattro Fiumi!
Bernini left that gaping hole beneath the obelisk just to freak people out. Can you see the two keys pointing out in either direction at it’s base? That’s the papal calling card. Popes tagged monuments and buildings all over this city with those keys, just so people know hundreds of years later that men who represent G-d on earth are the true bosses. The sun was beating down on us at this point. We briefly shaded ourselves in the Pantheon, and emerged to find Caffe Tazza D’Oro, where we picked up one of these little babies:
If you’ve ever had a McFlurry, Frappuccino, Parfait, Blizzard, Frosty, etc., I’m with you and I’m so, so, so very sorry. Granita di Caffe con Panna costs about the same, and it’s just so much better. Layers of teeny tiny shaved ice chips soaked in espresso and rich, fluffy cream. It looked prettier when I started, but about halfway through it all melts together and gets really, really good:
There’s just nothing like it. Not only because it was hot out and three caffeine drinks into the day with only minor dough intake leaves me basically juiced, bouncing off the walls with taste-bud happiness, but because you get to look at lovely stuff like this while you eat it:
Briefly got entranced by these street tricksters before our next real stop: dinner.
If you want real Southern Italian food, look no further than Provincial Romana Enoteca. It’s in a pretty great location – check out the window of the joint!
If you’ve never visited before, it’s probably a little difficult to tell from the photo, but this sweet spot is located right next Trajan’s Forum, a near 2000 year old column engraved with scenes of Roman wars, to your left, as well as the breathtaking Altare della Patria, to your right:
Yes, I was starving and tired from being on my feet/jolted with caffeine all day, but that Rolls Royce caught my attention, too. A wedding taking place next door completely stole the show and postponed dinner by at least 15 minutes. That Rolls was the getaway car for the newly-weds. Was I a member of the wedding party? Practically. How did I get the video in the following post? I BLENDED IN. Check it out! (Any video shakiness, I blame on caffeine.)