I am home in Portland, the first few days spent in recuperation mode, drifting in and out of sleep in a dreamy altered state. My thoughts keep drifting back to Italy, as a part of my psyche and heart is always left there, it as if I have left the love of my life, this pazzo paese, Italia. As I am in this altered reality, I think of my Rome adventures, I spent a total of a week there, broken up into 3 bits, once when I first arrived, here, then again with Wendy, here, and lastly a few weeks ago, when I went to Rome for the last time of the summer, with Jesse, to drop him off to his 5 day Bartender School at Planet One, on the outskirts of Rome. Taking the train, once again, Sunday afternoon. Terontola to Rome. I’m getting quite familiar with this station.
After checking in the Navona Palace, the place Wendy and I had discovered the week before in the Governo Vecchio neighborhood, we got ourselves over to an incredible bar/terrace restaurant called Hi Res, recommended by Wendy, who had been to Rome by herself the a few weeks before. Wendy makes friends with everyone, and this was no exception. She made fast friends with Lorenzo, a most amazing bartender, who is passionate about his work, and an expert in his field. She wanted Jesse to meet him, so we went Sunday night, and meet him we did. He saved us two places at the bar, and proceeded to give us exotic cocktails and fruit drinks and drink samples and antipasto tastes and all kinds of amazing things. The level of food, drinks, atmosphere was truly elevated, Lorenzo was charming and we had an amazing time.
Best drink I have ever had, senza alcohol, some mixture of Italian ginger ale, cucumbers, fresh fruit.
View of Rome from Hi Res.
I loved this place. I went back the next night, and had a most magical time. A must visit place next time you are in Rome and in need of a great cocktail , view of Rome from a terrace, wonderful food and an elegant experience.
Next day, next stop, Santa Teresa in Ecstasy – Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini. I have seen this work many times over the years and it never fails to transport me. I found this cool blog where the author discusses HER interpretation of this work, and how it seems that Bernini was much more focused on sensuality and sexuality and not much so much the religious content. I have always felt this way about this piece. Read more about this here.
I spent a few days in Rome, wandering around, not doing much, but photographing and poking my head in alleys, stairwells, windows.
The well worn marble stairs of this building are insanely beautiful, as are all of its arches and windows.
My friend from Portland, Stefania McCormick, at Taste Unique told Jesse and I to go visit her friend, Riccardo Cruciani, at his macelleria, Centro Freschezza Cruciani. located in a very authentic working class part of the city. Not one tourist in sight. Loved it. Riccardo was a gem, so accommodating and lovely. Jesse could not go with me because of class, but he got over there later in the week to tour Ricardo’s place and to discuss the possibility of working for him down the line, doing butchery work. This place was a trip, a supermarket of meat and cheese, wonderful.
Next, a stop to see Museo Ara Pacis, an alter from Rome antiquity, that has had a modern structure built around it to house and preserve. The marriage of the 2 styles, antique and modern were insanely beautiful. The altar to Peace was driven by Augustus, in 9 B.C.
Lastly, what trip to Rome would be complete without a stop at my most favorite lingerie shop in New York, Only Hearts, with a sister store in Rome in “my” neighborhood, Governo Vecchio. In chatting with the lovely owner, Jean, I found out that Jean’s sister started Only Hearts way back in the day, and Jean, who has lived in Rome for 30 years has the Rome store. We had a delightful time hanging out.
Ending the day at Caffe delle Pace, a neighborhood hangout. Found an antique book I could not resist called Santa Settimana, it spoke to me and I will most likely make a book out of this that documents my time in Rome this summer.
As I am parked at the Caffe delle Pace, I notice a woman who is pretty fuori la testa, or nutjob material, making proclamations to herself, ranting, pulling the world out of her purse and arranging the items carefully on a parked car. Not hers. Oh well. Watching the world go by.