Disclaimer: I didn’t sleep at all on the way over, and I walked about 7 miles today, so I don’t have much of a mind to write. But there’s so much to be excited about. And I did forget my camera in the supermarket, but that’s just as well, because I would have wanted to post about twenty pictures: of the twenty-two varieties of ham at the deli counter, of the low, low cheese prices, of the interesting juice selection (I bought a lemon-orange-carrot blend), and of the cute little carts that you tow behind you, rather than the “buggies” of the U.S. that, according to a John Cheever character, “unsex” you when you push one.
My new friend Antonia also took me to the market stalls this morning, where I practiced my Italian phrases associated with purchasing, etiquette, and numbers, and bought beautiful greens, figs (figi), eggplant, peppers, a microfiber sweeper, and a citronella fumigator.
I’ll bring my camera next time.
Later in the day, after a lunch of arugula, wheaty bread spread with tapenade, prosciutto, and fresh asiago (not hard due to age, and lighter and sweeter in flavor), we took the stairs down to the hipster neighborhood of Trastevere with our new friends. I spotted the sticker of a like-minded person, on the window of a hand-crafted wooden instrument store (mandolins, tambourines):
We bought “pizza” for the kids along the way–and it isn’t quite what you think. Some of it looked like its American progeny, but “pizza” also refers to thin bubbly bread sandwiching sliced cheese or prosciutto and mozzarella. (Actually, Jack had this variety of pizza for breakfast, while Peter and I had nutella-spread cornetti (croissants) and cappuccino at “Cafe G.”)
We bought umbrellas for the boys, Nicholas and Jack, and they tried them out at a fountain, out of which flows rock-cold, clean, fresh water, with which we also filled our bottles:
We crossed the Tiber, and saw the remnants of an ancient Roman bridge:
We saw a fountain, with fish, turtles, and men involved in a choreographed effort of ease:
And, finally, we came back to the apartment to cook dinner. In the fridge was a two-liter plastic bottle filled with Sardinian wine. Really. Our new friend Cory gave it to us last night. He’d bought it—and had the emptied water bottle filled—at a local wine store that offers two whites and two reds—out of casks with taps. Can’t wait to find that place.
I made a bowl of pasta with all of the local veggies I’d picked up: round, bacci ball sized eggplant, fresh onions, zucchini, red pepper, Roma tomatoes. Nothing unusual, really, but everything was fresh and local.
At the table, we added freshly grated parmigiana reggiano and anchovies, both of which were shockingly cheap at “the GS”!
I like it here.