Roma, Roma, Roma
Last night, we hit the area by the river with the 8 zillion (OK, sliiiiight exaggeration) vendors to check out the place when it’s hopping (as opposed to during the daytime when no sane person would be out). Lots of fun. Some cool stuff, some weird stuff, some stupid and tacky stuff. Lots of fun.
Checked out other vendors as we wended our way around Trastavere. Ate dinner at a joint on what turned out to be a busy “strolling” path (think crusing on your own two feet). Went back to the vendors and Hubby bought a cool, surfer-dude-type leather, beads, and jute bracelet. Had an interesting time communicating with the two guys when Hubby asked Is this hemp? Of course, it helped that one of the guys was wearing a silly pot t-shirt. He was totally baffled by what we were talking about — fatte maglia con the stalk of marijuana. They said it was cotton, but when I said Cotone? they looked me like I was nuts, so I think it was jute, not cotton. Hubby suggested we cut off a length of hemp yarn and give it to them so they’d know. NoooOOOOOO, I don’t think so!
Looked for The Dancing Nonna, but didn’t see her….Oh, I didn’t tell you about The Dancing Nonna? Sorry. We saw her on Friday night, and she’s so funny that Hubby had to videotape her (but she didn’t give him the evil eye like the lady in…wherever it was…he filmed making the bird dance). Anyhow, it was laaate at night, so, of course, there were a million people out, lots of vendors, etc. Next to a wall, there was this Nonna (uh, that means grandma, not nun). She had a boom box playing I like to move it, move it. I like to move it, move it. She had a basket out for money, and she was dancing. She was so hysterical, barely moving, that people were totally tickled, and she had a bunch of money in her basket. Go, Nonna! When we get back to FL and I can post pictures & video again, I’ll put it up.
Anyhow, back to last night. Bought a little something for the Jenna-sitter. Wanted to get something for a couple of friends whose birthdays I’ve missed this month, but didn’t see anything right. Ended up getting to bed just a hair earlier, about 1:00 or 1:30 in the morning.
Today. Today’s Sunday. Wow, I actually know what day it is! NO, we didn’t go to mass. We went to the flea market! We had a very lazy morning and ended up leaving after 12. As we were heading out to the Trastavere flea market (thanks to Miss Claudia’s book that told us about it), we heard a big BOOM. 5 or 10 minutes later, we came out onto a major street, and the Carabinieri were directing traffic, three or four fire trucks were there, some Carabinieri cars, and a news crew. Apparently, there was a fire or explosion of some kind. No, I don’t think it was splodeys; more likely somebody didn’t turn off their gas or something. We’ll see if it hits the news.
Trastavere flea market was very cool. Almost bought a new bag to take back all the yarn. The cheap ones are too cheaply made and might fall apart in the cargo hold of the plane. The good ones we haven’t been able to talk the guys down on enough. Bought some cool buttons that look like millefiori and one to use with the hemp yarn. Bought a little something for the Things. Bought an outfit for me. I really love the look of the Indian blouses that are so popular, but they’re WAY too sheer for the likes of me. I ain’t walking around with every detail of my bra and my gut showing, thanks anyhow. Found a very light cotton top & pants outfit. Wasn’t the color I liked, but they didn’t have the short sleeved ones in the hot pink, so I settled for a lavender color. You’ll probably eventually see it in the pictures from tomorrow.
Lunch at an osteria that had been there since 1947. Nice to see a family-owned joint doing well.
Leisurely walk over to the Pantheon. Pretty amazing place. FYI for those who haven’t read a bunch of Rome travel books, the dome on there was the inspiration for the dome of the Sistine Chapel and the Duomo in Florence, not to mention a certain big building in Washington, D.C.
Gelato at Giolitti. Lu, I lost the printout of the email where you told me where to have gelato. I’m thinking it was probably this place. It’s been there since 1900. We opted to avoid the insane line and sit and have table service. Hubby had a nocciato (sp?) coffee drink and a “medium” dish of pera (pear) gelato. Me, I had a caffe freddo and a “medium” (large is a better word, really) with raspberry on the bottom and champagne on the top. Oh. My. Gourds. I have no idea how they get the flavors SO intense. I thought I was going to get tipsy from the champagne, that’s how real & intense the flavor was.
Wandered slowly back to the hotel. Relaxed, evening snacks in the sala. They have a bunch of games, so Hubby re-taught me how to play backgammon (waaaaaay back in the 70s, I knew how), and we played a couple of games. Checked email, and here I am.
Tomorrow: Vatican Museum (Pieta) and St. Peter’s Basilica (Sistine Chapel). In the evening, something special — a FREE concert in front of the Colosseum by Bryan Adams and Billy Joel. Yupp. Free. We’ll have to get there hours early, but it should be fabulous.
Very appropriate that we’re seeing the Pieta tomorrow. I’ve been feeling so drawn to that sculpture. Tomorrow is Paul’s Angel Day, so I’m sure I’ll bawl. If you don’t know what sculpture I’m talking about, it’s one of Mary holding Jesus in her lap after he’s been taken down off the cross. Even in pictures, it’s amazing, so I know it will be even better in real life (though it’s behind glass b/c some idiot took a hammer to it in the 70s). I really relate to it b/c I know what it’s like to hold my son, dead too soon, in my arms. Yupp. I was crying this morning, remembering getting the call from the docs to get up to the hospital, all the visitors Paul had, holding him, how he proved them wrong and lived till 1:20 a.m. on the 31st…..Yupp. Tomorrow’s a good day to see that sculpture.
Tuesday, we’ll probably tour the Jewish ghetto area (Did you know that for centuries Jews in Rome were confined to a small neighborhood? Is that insane or what?). Wednesday, the driver will take us back to the airport. Hubby’s already looking forward to that ride in the amazingly comfortable Mercedes.
Speaking of Hubby, gotta go see if he’s asleep or fuming watching CNN about the latest Hezbollah evil stuff. A domani.