Saturday, 20 May 2017

Coins in the Fountain

The downside to having this lovely flower strewn terrace at our disposal is that we have been very reluctant to leave it and go into the city. However as this is our last full day we decide we will get up early and visit some of our favourite spots. First though we make a trip to Passi to pick up pizza bianca filled with mortadella for breakfast.

We start at Piazza del Popolo where the newly renovated sphinx fountain is sparkling in the sunlight.

Via Margutta is one of our favourite streets to stroll along, not least of all as it is home to another Lombardi fountain, the Fountain of the Artists

 The smell of jasmine is intoxicating.


We walk towards Piazza Spagna and the Boat Fountain.

So pleased that we passed by the Spanish Steps earlier in the week as the azaleas have now gone.
To ensure that we return to Rome we are heading to the Trevi Fountain to throw in our coins. On the way we spy the Acqua Vergine that still feeds the fountain with water as it has done since its construction in 19BC by Marcus Agrippa. It also supplies the two other fountains we have seen this morning.

The advantage noof setting out so early is that the Trevi is relatively quiet and we are able to sit and appreciate the details of this magnificent structure.

 It is full of carvings of plants such as this bunch of capers.

Time for a coffee which we take in the art nouveau surroundings of the Galleria Alberto Sordi which contains lovely mosaic floors and a stained glass ceiling.

Until 2003 this was known as Galleria Colonna but was renamed in that year after the death of the popular Roman actor who began his career in the theatre that was once part of this building.
Leaving this arcade we walk past the column of Marcus Aurelius 
to the enormous sundial in Piazza Montecitorio.

We need to top up our supplies of San Eustachio coffee but on the way we stop to admire the newly renovated spire of San Ivo 

The queue at the famous caffe is much more managable today. Last weekend it had snaked around the small piazza.

We take a last look at the Pantheon before our final destination of the morning. Bartolucci, renamed by us as Evie's Toy Store, is where we like to pick up gifts for our little grandaughter.

We are catching the bus back to Testaccio at Piazza Venezia. Every bus stop should have a view like this.

Back at the apartment we have a simple lunch of bruschetta and tomatoes dressed with olive oil.
The afternoon is spent packing before a last aperitivo at Tram Depot.

Dinner tonight is at Piatto Romano which was a favourite of our trip last September. It doesn't disappoint.

The contorni were especially good and the meal ended with a complimentary digestif. A lovely way to bring to a close one of our happiest stays in the Eternal City.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

What a Day This has Been

Our day starts with a walk across the piazza to the butcher to pick up ready prepared kebabs for supper tonight.

Back on the terrace we are faced with 2kg of cherries to pit. This daunting task is made much more pleasant with the sun shining, music drifting up from an apartment below and the smell of baking bread in the air.

Mission accomplished we meet Rachel at the Mercato to pick up the ingredients for lunch.

The fresh fava, peas and artichokes are for vignarola, the dish I have wanted to make and eat for a very long time. The window of opportunity for this recipe is a very short one, hence our visit at this time of year.

We set up a preparation table outside & begin to trim the artichokes, a task that wasn't as difficult as I had thought.

Rachel prepared the saltimbocca whilst the men were on anchovy gutting.

 Then the serious business of cooking began.

Gina arrived and set to work on cooking the shrimp and anchovies. I was on tart duty so didn't really see what was going on here but I think they were pan fried with chilli then served with lemon juice & fresh parsley.

However they were cooked they were simply delicious and even converted a non-fishy person like me to anchovies.

These, along with the fried shrimp, courgettes and sage leaves were enjoyed 'on the go' as we finished off the rest of the meal.

The results of all of our efforts looked amazing as well as tasting delicious.

This lovely lunch, which I didn't want to end, lingered on well into the afternoon.
When everyone had left we prepared our BYO aperitivo to take to the garden on the Campidoglio.

Of course we have to have our glance at the Forum before we leave this spot.

Much later, back at the apartment, we enjoy another Negroni with fava & pecorino.

 Dinner is BBQ kebabs with a simple salad.

More than enough after all the delicious food we have eaten today. 

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Unexpected Treats

We start our day in the Mercato by meeting up with Rachel and, with coffee in hand, discuss what we are going to cook together for lunch tomorrow.

We decide we will walk over to Les Vignerons to pick up the wine today. On our way I spot one of the nine Lombardi fountains that can be found around the city.

Each fountain represents the rione or district in which it is situated. Fontana del Timone (helm) can be found on the banks of the Tiber, once the site of the ancient river port of Rome, Ripa Grande. The Amphorae Fountain in Piazza Testaccio is another example of Lombardi's work. Unexpected treat number one.

We are a little early for Les Vignerons so we walk across Piazza San Cosimato to Bar Calisto.

Thanks to Rachel we enjoy unexpected treat number two. We love this bar for coffee and drinks but had never thought of getting a refreshing lemon sorbet here.

Whilst paying for the wine we spot a business card for Taverna Cestia which strangely enough I had seen mentioned on Instagram earlier this morning. We decide we will all go for lunch there later, and as it allows BYO wine, pick up a couple more bottles to go.

This, of course, is unexpected treat number three. Though we had passed this spot many times on the bus and tram we had never spotted Taverna Cestia, tucked under the trees.
The menu consists of good Roman classics. Mixed Salami & fritti to start.

Pasta and polpette with salsa verde to follow.

The men decided they would have dessert while Rachel & I just ordered coffee. We couldn't resist trying a little when they arrived, particularly the rum baba which were seriously alcoholic!

The wines, chosen by Rachel, complemented the meal perfectly, especially the Ortigara which was slightly sparkling & was lovely with the fritti.

Rachel & Vincenzo were super company and this unexpected lunch became one of the highlights of the week.
We chilled out on the terrace before heading back into the city to shop for our daughter in law who is expecting a baby in October. 

We discovered May Dodo a couple of years ago when our daughter was pregnant. They sell Italian made maternity wear & the cutest baby bootees. 

Purchases in hand we head back to the apartment to prepare the piennolo tomatoes we bought yesterday in Naples.

After cooking them 'low and slow' in olive oil for around 30 minutes we use them on bruschetta.

This is followed by 'Rachel's lentils' topped with a fried egg.

Our chosen wine from Les Vignerons was pizzacante by Le Coste. Bought as much for the label as anything but actually a final treat to end our day.