Sunday, 6 December 2015

The Christmas Story

 
The Nativity is depicted in so many ways all over the city but one of my favourites can be found in  the Della Rovere chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo and was the work of Pinturicchio.

 
While we are in the church we have to have our Caravaggio fix and even invest €1 for the lighting. We also stop by the Chigi chapel and admire Bernini's angel.


 
We take the metro to Ottaviano and head towards Dolce Maniera for café e cornetti. Needless to say it is looking very Christmassy here and the Nativity is recreated as a cake!


 
On to Trionfale Market , one of our favourite markets in Rome. We enjoy seeing all the seasonal fruit and vegetables, obviously totally different from our usual summer visits.
 
Puntarlle - a favourite vegetable in Rome

Tis the season for porcini

Artichokes were trimmed deftly by hand all over the market 
 
 
A queue is always a good sign

 

Laden down with provisions, including our 'star' buy - Sicilian oranges wrapped in paper, we make our way to La Tradizione for yet more foodie goodies. All this shopping makes us hungry but fortunately Pizzarium is across the road.
My usual choice here is the potato pizza ( heaven in a slice) but today I choose a more festive topping - ricotta, orange, rocket, chilli jam & pine nuts.
 
 
While we were eating Gabriele Bonci, founder of Pizzarium, appears from behind the scenes. I am too star struck to take a photo - this man has been called the 'Michelangelo of pizza dough'!



We have seen panettone every where we have been in the city but I was holding out for Roscioli. However I am won over by the presentation of this one and it is a Bonci panettone so it has to be good  - right?
We decide rather than walk to see the Street Cleaner's Presepe we should take our shopping back to the apartment, especially as we were so close to the Cipro metro stop.
After dropping off our goodies we got our Christmas Crib fix by visiting the 100 Presepe exhibition at Sale del Bramante in Piazza del Popolo.
This was absolutely delightful with cribs from all over the world made out of absolutely anything and everything - wood, fabric, car parts, tennis racquets and, of course, pasta!



 
The largest was made from sand and the smallest was inside a ping pong ball. My favourite was a huge model of a village with scenes from everyday life and in a tiny corner was the stable scene - so moving.
 
 
Hopped on the little 117 electric bus to take us down the Via del Corso from where we walked to our favourite Turtle Fountain & Peperita - the chilli shop. From here the tram took us to Trastevere , followed by a short walk to Biscotti Innocenti.
 



Crossing over Viale Trastevere brings us to Antica Caciara, where we buy a selection of cheeses, and I suppli where we have a suppli snack.
The church of Sant'Agata is open so we pop in to see the Madonna that we last saw in July floating down river in the festival of 'Madonna Fiume'. The gowns she has worn over the years are on display too.
On our stroll down to Ponte Sisto we see yet another crib - this time a chocolate one in the window of Valzani
 
As we approach the bridge we witness a murmuration - a swooping mass of starlings above our head.
 
 
Time for another snack- oven warm pizza Bianca from Forno Campo di Fiori.
 

 
With all these snacks all we need for supper is a deli board .......and entertainment from the piazza below where they are setting up for Tuesday's Festival of the Immaculate Conception.
 

 

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