Spring has sprung in Rome and I couldn’t be happier. Here are a few pictures from the first few weekends in April that I stayed in Rome. The first weekend, we ate out at Eataly for a night. Eataly is a restaurant\grocery store – the SUPEREST of the super groceries and bulk stores like Sams and Costco. It is a transformed train station with four levels and moving walkways between each level, and there are a zillion types of Italian food everywhere. Not as many samples as Sams, unfortunately, but if you walk up when particularly small restaurants are making Italian-style quesadillas and smile sweetly, you may find yourself with a slice of the crispiest, freshest, melt-y tomato-arugula-cheese morsel you’ve ever tasted. When I ate that simple 3-ingredient quesadilla, all that characterizes Italian cooking made sense in my mouth. Carefully made, exactly proportioned, perfectly textured, simple and FRESH. I asked our professor Giovanna whether Eataly was expensive, and she replied that it is less expensive than anywhere else for such high quality ingredients, but more expensive than your average grocery store. The fish were fresh – can you tell? My friend Momo and I split a platter of lightly fried seafood (white fish, shrimp, and calamari). Oh yeah, and the Tuesday before that I went there for a beer tasting. My favorite was the bread. I can be patient for about 33 seconds of swirling and wafting and bubble-watching before the food hunt begins. The monk beer was alright too (third bottle from the left).
Then we went to a park that was having a chocolate festival (the third I’ve visited. Keep em comin, Europe) with a group on Saturday, April 13, and I snapped some pictures of a game that we have decided to popularize in the US – canoe polo, or kayak polo. The rest of the pictures try to depict the atmosphere of these Italian parks. Everyone is more laid-back in general than the US; people seem to move more slowly, but more deliberately, and I’ve heard that Italian children are cherished to the point of big-time spoiling. Also, I bought a small Roman pineapple-custard cake to celebrate spring with my roommates from my fave pastry shop.
Mom, look – it’s SO European
Hellooooooo spring 🙂
A bambino with his nonna and nonno
My favorite dog of the day.
Picnicking teens and families
Sara ran over to the duckies, cooing, “Oh, carino!” as she usually does whenever we see small animals
Maxx, Momo, and Gina watching canoe polo.
Whoops, some picture of a garden in the Vatican slipped in there from our field study where we went on the Scavi tour (catacombs and pope’s tombs beneath the Vatican. SUPER COOL. I got as close to the body of St. Peter as you can, which is a walkway that allows you to see a candle marking his tomb)
The third set of pictures is from my exploration day on Friday, April 19, when it was about 70 degrees F with sunshine, puffy white clouds, and the slightest of breezes. I set out at 11 to FINALLY explore Castel Sant’Angelo (directly across from my school), and then I wandered through places that I always walk past but had never entered. The Castel was first (you can see my school and part of my route home in the pictures!), and in one picture I zoomed on the Altare della Patria\Vittoriano (a.k.a. The National Monument of VIttorio Emmanuele II) in the distance with its chariot-topped roof. I eventually make my way over there in flat-footed, blistering gladiator sandals which forced me to walk as slow as leisurely Romans. On the way, I ate the best cannolo from the popular “hanging meat” bar by my school and also bought an American-style chocolate chip cookie from the Jewish ghetto area where we go for field studies in my Jews of Rome course (sadly it was not chewy, gooey, or chocolate-y – in fact, it was biscotti). Then I meandered past some ancient monuments, into some churches, ended up at some piazza a long stretch behind Piazza Venezia. It was almost 5 pm and my adventurous attitude was being worn away by the leather straps on my feet. I wanted to check out the street art in Piazza Navona, but some over-eager guy, unfortunately for him, wanted to walk with me on my wonderful day of wandering solo. When he dragged me over to some street performer, he made the mistake of standing in front of me, so I slipped away while he was watching and walked home in the sunshine. Ahh…
restaurant atop Castel Sant’Angelo
The Vittoriano monument in the distance on the left
Part of my commute to school, seen from atop Castel
Basilica near Vittoriano…not sure of name, but I like the chandeliers
The fourth statue made of St. Michael that is atop Vittoriano (others kept getting struck by lightning)
Ceiling of a room in the castel
Bridge of the Angels (more like bridge of the street performers). One street performer came over to me while I was searching through my purse and put a teeny colorful bird on my shoulder. Had to pay 10 cents. WORTH IT.
Do we know this guy, Pete?