Monthly Archives: May 2012

When in Rome as They Say!

It was a busy weekend full of research, homework and an added cafe break when I came up for air. The highlight of my weekend was on Friday. The temperatures that day had been in the high 20′s (Celsius) on Friday with a feels like factor of 31. I went to an aperitivo in my neighbourhood early that evening.  I grabbed my usual table inside. I started noticing new faces .. there was sort of a Colin Firth “look-a-like” …which I pathetically paraded myself by when helping myself to food.  A man was looking at me from a table outside.  He came up to me and introduced himself. He worked the day shift at this chic little bistro/cafe/bar I was at. In Italian he asked me to join them for dinner. I was completely caught off guard by the invite but then accepted as I thought “When in Rome!”  I had been invited to sit with this group of friends (owner and Colin Firth “look-a-like” included) to have a pasta dinner… 6 handsome men… a Canadian woman’s dream and all complete gentlemen! To top it off Spandau Ballet was playing in the background … my favourite song “True”.

I was  introduced to a Roman pasta dish called “Bucatini All’Amatriciana”… Bucatini pasta, Guanciale, tomato and pecorino ….. it is kind of hard to eat long noodle pasta like this when around so many men but I assure you I did my best. They had all eaten and finished and I sat there still with quite a full plate…”Ahhh the Italian Man and his Noodle… well better safe than sorry”, I thought to myself.  There was no way I was going to have self inflicted  tomato coated noodle lashings on my face…

I popped by the cafe early this evening to finish up my language homework. I saw my Colin Firth “look-alike” again and he was looking good in a suit… mamma mia… he came up and spoke to me in Italian starting with one of the best words ever, “Bella”  (of course “amore” being the best)… I melted into my chair and almost onto the floor… Oh Roman Gods how you taunt me… work your magic as you see fit …

Now as I type this I am wondering how did it get to be 11:30 pm! … its up early tomorrow and time to get some sleep… from Bella Roma – Buona Serata!

Daily Photo – Timeless Venice

Venice You Are My Addiction… A Special Carnival Photoslide

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Mamma Mia Here I Go Again…

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Buona Sera, It’s 6:15 p.m. as I start typing this. I am sitting in my piccolo apartment with Vivaldi playing in the background… I wanted to put on the Mamma Mia soundtrack but I knew that would only lead to large amounts of prosecco and possibly some dancing…  most definitely a sing along… As I am thinking about how to start this I am looking at my Roman Holiday poster…Audrey looks slightly concerned as Gregory looks like he is taunting her with a bit of recklessness on the Vespa. Still can’t believe that I saw the original Vespa at “Audrey A Roma”.

I will just get right to it and recap you all on the last 4-5 days of events.

Friday after school, I took myself to a restaurant I had seen on one of my afternoon walks. I went to have pizza…unfortunately I had waited too long to eat and my stomach was sore… I also blamed it on school stress and also thought that I might have been having food withdrawals…. The pizza was an amazingly paper thin crust topped with a mound of fresh mushrooms yet, it was not soggy. I think there must be an art to that. It did not have much cheese and because my stomach was aching I was only able to eat half of the inside circle which I am sure only amounted to 1 slice. I knowww… poor me. The waiter that was serving me was winking and flirting whilst staring at other ladies bottoms… my meal was discounted. I like discounts and really I did only eat half of the pizza and did not drink all of my wine.

After pranzo, I sauntered over to Piazza Navona to take photos of my Fountain of Neptune.  Pigeons had taken over… a male pigeon was completely harassing a female… the ritual mating dance had begun with his puffed up chest, stomping of feet and spinning in a circle…then, another pigeon had joined in the ceremony… one on either side of this poor female… and just like that… she simply flew away leaving both males standing in their tracks… I swear at that very second I could see the surprise of her departure in their little eyes as the ceremonial dance came to an abrupt halt.

Friday evening I attended an aperitivo in my neighbourhood. It’s amazing the little places you find hidden away in these ancient ankle twisting cobblestone streets of Rome. I say that lovingly of course because what would Rome be with out its cobblestone streets.  I went back to a Café/bar that I had been to before. I liked the ambiance, the clientele, professionals mixed with a few tourists. When I ordered a glass of wine, they told me to help myself to the food that was out. At one point, they brought around 2 types of mini dishes of lasagna.  Yes that’s right… I gladly accepted the offer and took one. It was fabulous. As it turned out this aperitivo was my dinner. After 2 glasses of wine I headed home to relax and watch a new series of Spartacus. I couldn’t resist… I have already seen the “pre-quel” with Gannicus and was ready to now see Spartacus. The attached link shows Gannicus

Saturday I had plans for a long walk… but what can I say… the Spirit of Rome lured me to an outdoor café in Campo de’ Fiori …again! The sun was trying really hard to fight the clouds and I do mean fight… at one point a huge wind blew through the Piazza and an umbrella at one of the stands flew over.  I was the content cat sitting again purring in my chair looking around me… glass of vino bianco… the sun… 22 Celsius that surely felt like 25. Then I noticed pigeons again…the ritual mating dance … it was happening on the buildings and actually right in front of me. I swear the male pigeons are the size of Sumo wrestlers in comparison to the tiny females. My pizza arrived… a simple margherita pizza… oh heaven can wait!  I took my time eating and sipping and enjoying the sun and all around me.  Then I heard a woman say, “Go buy a hat!”…A man replied, “I don’t want to buy a hat!”… “Buy a hat!”…”I don’t want a hat!”It’s going to rain tomorrow you need a hat!”… it was like a comedy skit.

My pizza was unexpectedly followed by desert … someone planted the seed… I’m thinking it was the spirit of Campo de’ Fiori. You will see the ice cream in the photo slide … I had to work my way to the bottom to find the banana flavoured ice-cream… café macchiato ended my feasting.

I had stopped at a few of the market stands on the way back to my flat. The question of the day was “What is a Canadian doing in Italy learning to speak Italian?”

Sunday I was up early, as I had planned to go and see “Lux in Arcana” with a friend.  Vatican Secret Archives Reveal Itself  Before departing we decided to fuel up with a cappuccino… we walked from Longotevere Tor di Nona to the Capitoline Hill… we must have been on our feet for 5 hours. I got to see a letter written and signed by Marie Antoinette, a letter from Gian Lorenzo Bernini requesting pay for the Bernini Angels on the Ponte Sant ‘Angelo… A request from Henry the VIIIth to have one of his marriage’s annulled…to add to that quite of few of the signatures on the special massive document were from people who he later had be-headed. There is writing by Galileo …so amazing. Everything in the exhibit has been locked away in the Vatican and this was and is the first time it has been revealed to the public. The rest of our visit was fantastic as well and then we happened upon the view…, which reminded me of what I love about Rome yet again.

After finishing our visit we started our walk back in the pouring rain. It had been humid and rainy earlier and now it was definitely cooler. After a quick pit stop at the Roman Cat Sanctuary we decided to stop at an Irish Pub for a treat. It was a perfect ending to a perfect day.

And.. here I am … it’s late and time to call it a night … from Bella Roma…Ciao for now

Daily Photo – Beso… a Spanish Kiss on an Italian Door

Mini Post … Weekend Update to Follow…

Buongiorno! I am a bit behind with my daily diary but will hopefully have a post up this afternoon. The past 4 days have been busy with food, wine, a museum, research… and language studies! Now, I have to dash because I do not want to be late for school. A dopo! …. Cinzia

Daily Photo – Dinner at Casa Cinzia

Daily Photo – More from Piazza Navona

Four Letter Words of Frustration

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Yesterday morning, I realized that I had done part of my homework incorrectly. I sat trying to get it done and there was one exercise that I left partially blank because I could not understand it. I was not in a good mood and found myself late for school again.  As I was swearing in my head and telling myself how much I hated this…I then had to tell myself to watch my thoughts. I was on the hamster wheel. I shuffled along to school and 2 times I thought about heading in another direction… to that outdoor cafe… Even when I got to the school I thought about turning back but pushed forth. The class lessons moved really fast and  I am sure a few 4 letter words slipped from my mouth… We have 2 nuns and a priest in my class so I do try to keep it zipped but there are some days when I am truly tested.

At coffee break I took myself to a different café and stood at the bar with cappuccino and fresh baked croissant for $2.00 euro. After class was over, I sat with a salad and glass of wine at a restaurant in my neighbourhood. I then decided to go for a walk to this bookstore to purchase a couple of Italian grammar books… They have exercises with the answers in the back. I am arming myself yet again with knowledge.

It was sunny, hot and my first day in sandals. The afternoon was full of activity which comprised of 2 hours of walking 30 minutes of Yoga and  my usual 280 steps (Atleast!!!) I felt wonderful. I spent most of the evening doing homework …there was no time for play. But… today is Friday and I am thinking…walks, I’m thinking fountains, I’m thinking Brie & Speck pizza, I’m thinking Step aerobics (not… well maybe)… I’m thinking I better get ready for school! From Bella Roma Ciao for now!

Daily Photo – The Remnants of a Story on the Façade of a Building in My Roman Neighbourhood

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