Tag Archives: Roma

A roam a Roma – il giorno numero tre

4 Oct
2009

Ma che bella e’ stato il mercato! Gosh I’m so glad I skimped on sleep to go. There were so many great things to look at. They had a section for clothes, then part where shoes were sold, house stuff, moroccan things, books, antiques, weeeee! In the end within an hour and a half I’d bought a fabulous pair of Antica Fiorentina black leather boots at a bargain price from the normal retail. Also three wooden small pictures of the alcoholic beverages Campari, Aperol and Cinzano in the poster design I like, and an old Babushka to add to my collection.

After the successful outing at the market we packed our things into the Subaru and said farewell to Zia Chrstina and made our way to the area of Monto Porzio Catone for the wine tsating/show of San Pellegrini’s wines. We arrived and made our way to the table which only had room for one person behind the line so really, Greta and I were not going to required today. On our table was also Mariagrazia of Icardi wines in Piemonte. I’d recognised her face from my Piemonte book I got last year and throughout the day we had a good chat about the Rivetti’s (whom I worked for last year) as she knows them all quite well.
The area here is rather nice and looks over Rome in the distance. Again the weather was immaculate. I also spoke to Silvia from Elio Altare (his daughter) and she had funnily enough worked in Australia once so was happy to chat with me. There was an area outside dedicated to tasting some formaggio, cured meats and beer which were delicious.
For most of the day I think I helped Giorgio out once whilst he went to get a coffee, but instead I went around and tasted the wines that took my fancy and chatted with some people then ultimately crashed under a tree with Greta and Francesca and read and chatted to pass the time. It was a long day! 10am-7pm. At one stage I met the director of the event and he thought I was French so when I passed him he called out, “Escusemoi mademoiselle” haha. He beckoned me over and I played a wine guessing game where it’s in a black glass. You had to guess everything right down to the name of the vineyard. Bit of a joke really, but all you knew was that it was a wine that you could try at any one table today. Big help. I could tell by the nose it was a white wine and thought it was a blend of Chard and Sauv so wrote it was one of Icardi’s. I was wrong. In the end it was a white blend but had Malvasia in it instead. Whoops.
After the event we all headed off to this restaurant ‘Il Monticello’ for a feast of Romany goodness. It’s difficult for me to recall it all as there were a plethora of dishes all in small quantities. So I’ll be really general: there was lamb, tripe in a tomato sauce that I actually liked, pasta with porcini, chickpea nibblies. Mamma mia thank goodness the food was well-portioned! Wines to drink were from the event and we had some delicious ones from Sicily too. I had the ‘tall-version of Richard Gere’ director from before sitting opposite me and around us we had good conversations and I was understanding most of what was going on. It’s when the men start talking dirty that I can’t make out all the slang words, but you get the gist really…men are all the same it seems!
By 11pm the last meal arrived, the dessert, zabaglione with a plum sauce on top…mmmm!
Francesca and I got in the back of the car and slept whilst Greta stayed up with Giorgio to keep him company. What a great weekend though, busy and not much time to relax on Saturday, nevertheless it was time well spent and nice to have a break from work for a bit!

A roam a Roma – il giorno numero due

3 Oct
2009

Saturday:

Allora, where to begin on such a busy day when so much got done!
We slept in a little, I got up and had breaky then when Greta awoke soon after I accompanied her to the nearby bar across the road. The weather was gorgeous, not a cloud in the sky (“got the sun in my eye” I hear mum sing), bright blue and all, so I matched the sentiments of mother nature by wearing my cute Alannah Hill pink dress I’d bought with mum in Melbourne and hadn’t yet worn.
At 9am the others awoke and we girls spread the map out and began planning the day. In the end we decided to spend the morning with Zia Christina and have her take us around, then the afternoon in the centro part of Roma. And so the day began…
We got into Zia Christina’s BMW and headed across and up the Tevere river where we stopped nearby Isola Tiberina. Before we crossed the bridge to the isole Zia Christina explained to us how the bridge was built by her ancestors and her last name is derived from the person whose name is imprinted on that bridge that still stands. He did fine work!
At Isole Tiberina we passed San Bartolomeo chiesa where there was a weddin going on but we were able to go inside and take a look at the stunning paintings on the roof and the spectacular white marble they love to use! Just outside the church was the Israel Ospedale – Isole Tiberina is apparently famous for being a haven for hiding hundreds of Jews back during WWII time.
From here we walked onwards to the area where back in the day all the dirty water from Rome arrived at Cloaca Massima. I had a bit of dejavu and knew I’d walked in this area before near Circo Massimo, turns out it was when I was looking for La Bocca di Verita’ last year. Well I finally saw it, big woop.
Walking towards the end of Circo Massimo where there used to be the chariots and horse racing we came across a cute little Pasticceria where we stopped for a caffe’ and the girls had something sugary sweet to eat.
Us ladies walked up the hill which takes one in the region called Colle Aventino – an area of very large houses, some of the most gorgeous churches (each which had a wedding going on today) and the Ambassador’s house protected by female soldiers with large black guns. Reminded me of playing 007 with Lucas on the Nintendo 64 haha. On arrival into the area we stopped and took photos and admired the view of Rome in the Giardino degli Aranci. Passing some houses Christina showed us a large green door which when one looks through the keyhole can see San Pietro at the end of a tree-lined corridor…amazing. They call it La Porta Della Casa Dei Guerieri Di Malta….long name huh.
We finally met up with Giorgio at a typical Roman Trattoria ‘Il Maschino’ in the Zona Della Citta’ Quartiere Garbatella. It’s a homely place where we each had a plate of pasta, mine with a simple pomodoro sauce…not very Roman…sorry. Then we checked out the homes in the area which were designed in WWI times to be houses clustered together and facing into a courtyard with only one entrance for example. This was a technique used by Mussolini to spy on the people within and keep an eye on who comes and who goes.
Christina left us at this point and we drove off with Giorgio, left the car at the house and took Tram no.8 to Piazza Argentine up from Trastevere, walked past Piazza Venezia and towards the Colosseo. Walking around the Colosseo a guy stopped me to take his photo which I did, then wanted one with me and my arms around him. We laughed afterwards that he got a photo with a ‘typical Italian girl’…not.
A protest was taking place nearby protesting against Berlusconi (Italian PM) and his grasp on Italian newspapers. We headed towards Via Urbane but first by Via Serpenti and as we traversed the streets I came across a vintage store and bought some fabulous red sunnies. Boinggggg, first purchase in Roma…more to come.
Us girls left Giorgio to go lose himself on the Metro (poor country lads) as he was meeting a friend in Piazza di Spagna, whilst we headed up to the Fontana di Trevi and because Greta and I wanted gelato we took the recommendation from Giorgio’s friends from dinner last night that we find San Crispino-the best gelatteria in Italy. We found it alright, had a 10minute line to get served but it was worth it! I ate susine (plum) with chocolate rum…mmmmmm mmmmmm!
By this stage of gluttoning ourselves we decided we should head up towards Piazza di Spagna too so walked up Via Condotti, going past and into Louis Vuitton, Prada and Yves Saint Laurent. Finally we made it to the busy piazza which was crowded with people by the steps…al solito. We found Giorgio who had organised with another friend to meet at a new hip bar up from Piazza Popolo on Via Flavina called Tri Re – about 15min walk away. Our feet were so tired after walking all day so we sat back and enjoyed the cocktails (mine a Bellini – peach juice with prosecco). OK so while the drinks were nice, it wasn’t worth the aching feet. What was worth it was seeing Giorgio climb into the boot of Diego’s car who kindly dropped us off near the heart of Trastevere where we had dinner at Taverna Trilussa. I had the Ossobucco and a spicy rocket salad with pomodorini followed by a mixed strawberry and wild berry plate for dessert. Prices in restaurants are pretty outrageous, charging for meat between 20-30Euro as a standard. Thankfully, the lovely Giorgio paid for it all 🙂
By this stage it was almost midnight so we headed to the tram stop and got home. Tomorrow (or today if we’re being technical), we’re getting up early to go to the Portaportese market across the road from us in Trastevere getting there by 7:30am. Hopefully find some nice leather boots too!

A roam a Roma – il giorno numero uno

2 Oct
2009

Friday:

Today was the final crushing with white Vermentino grapes for Sada so we were busy helping them out, getting on top of all the pumpovers and whatnot and then we got back to Villa Vallone to shower, change and have Giorgio and Francesca pick us up for our journey to none other than Roma! We are spending the weekend there as there’s a degustation on Sunday for Giorgio’s distributor San Pellegrini and he’s been kind enough to bring Greta and I along too to enjoy the ride.
It was a two hour car ride or so and we went straight to a pizzeria in Trastevere called La Gatta Mangiona and met up with two of Giorgio’s friends. I had a lovely zucchini and pomodorini with mozzarella pizza with a perfectly crisp, light base. Sitting opposite us was a giornalisto that Giorgio knew and over the course of the evening he gave us bottles of wine to try from all over Italy. Some were good…an 04 Le Trame Chianti Classico in Castelnuovo, Berardenga with an equally cute label. Others were quite ordinary.
Afterwards we headed off to our sleeping headquarters which was to be a lovely apartment in Trastevere of Giorgio’s Zia Christina. She is a tall, early 60’s lady I’d say who always smiles and is extremely hospitable. Her house is amazing and although it resides on a busy street Via Trastevere, there are silver birches and greenery outside her window and she has a small terrace on one side and a courtyard overlooking the street on the other. Her house is filled with artifacts from her travels and life experiences which make her all the more interesting. Insomma (in short), she’s lovely. Guess it’s the name…
Back at her place we set up camp with Greta and I sharing the pull-out bed. We chatted til midnight or so in the lounge and tried to think about a possible itinerary for our free day tomorrow but weren’t quite sure so have put it off to look at the map til tomorrow morning.
For now, buonanotte e benvenuta a Roma!