Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Palazzo, Propaganda and Pepper

Today starts with yet another 'Rome Ritual' - making ricotta pancakes for breakfast.


 
We have to have them for breakfast at least once in our trip.
Our walk this morning takes us through the market on Via Cesare Balbo. The fruit and vegetables on Mrs Anna's vegetable stall look very inviting but as we are going to be out until this afternoon we resist the temptation to buy.



 
The same applies to Romina's deli stall which is laden with all sorts of Umbrian delights.
 
 

 
More food awaits at the newly opened branch of Eataly, situated in the gorgeous Esedra on Piazza Repubblica.
 
 
We explore both floors that are laden with food from all over Italy and make a list for when we return tomorrow to shop.
We can't resist a coffee stop with a view of another favourite fountain, Fontana delle Naiadi
 
 
 
 
 
Our walk continues on to the American Embassy - in front of which is this cute fountain.
 
 

 
Until recently you wouldn't have given this fountain a second glance but a restoration programme has revealed wonderful details of the cherubs, and fish & shells caught in a net.
 
 
I must say that the American Embassy is housed in a much more attractive building than our British Embassy, a 1960's monstrosity.
 
 
We are having an early lunch today as we have a tour booked for 1.15
We had attempted to eat at Pinsere last year but it was closed.  We are here at last and it was so worth the wait - their flat bread pizzas are delicious.
 

 
Our gelato stop today is Gelateria Romano where zabaglione & chocolate are our flavours of choice.
 
 We make our way to the Palazzo Quirinale  for our afternoon tour. President Mattarella made a promise to grant greater public access to the palace and, true to his word, it is now possible to visit during the week rather than just Sunday mornings and many more rooms are available to see. As you can imagine, security is tight and no photographs are allowed inside. The tour is in Italian but we have an audio guide in English for the short video presentation explaining the history of the palace, once home to popes and kings. Each of the sumptuous rooms contain an information sheet in English. Maria, a lovely young lady also on the tour, offers to act as our translator.
The tour also includes the huge collection of porcelain items. Amongst the French, German and Florentine sets we are happy to see the UK represented by a Royal Worcester table service.
The carriages are on view too.
 
 
The artwork on this particular coupe is so pretty.
 
 
There is even an antique 'Bugaboo'!
 

 


In previous years it has only been possible to visit the gardens on June 2nd, Republicca Day, which we did on our last visit. It was a fun atmosphere with a brass band playing & people enjoying themselves. However it is nice to get a more peaceful view today.......and this is the greenest grass we have seen in Rome so far.
 
 

Our evening passeggiata takes in the Colosseum - awe inspiring from every angle.
 


Propaganda is our venue for drinkies tonight. This bar has a more Parisian Bistro than Roman feel to it but the barman can certainly mix a mean spritz.
 

 
We pick up the bus across the road to take us to Pepper Restaurant. As we leave the bus we walk under an ancient aqueduct - how often can you do that on your way to dinner?
 
 
The warmest of welcomes from Angelo, the Owner/Chef sets the tone for the evening. We are the first to arrive but pretty soon the restaurant is full. Again, the food and wine is sourced from the Lazio area.


 
 
Cacio e peppe crisps (to die for!)
 
 
Pomodori al riso

 
Pasta with broccoli cream, mint and zucchini flowers

 Straccetti
 Porchetta
Tiramisu
Towards the end of the evening Angelo's English wife came in to the restaurant and spent time at every table, including ours. What a thoroughly nice couple - they deserve every success with this restaurant.
Another amazing meal, another fabulous evening.





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