SOME ASSORTED EATING COMPANIONS
Adriana is an Italian scientist who worked in the Queen's lab many years ago. She has become a very famous Italian scientist, an Italian romance novelist and a master's fencer. She was coming back from a match in a city near Rome and drove into Rome to see us for dinner. She displayed the medals she won at the competition.
We took her out to Cadorna around the corner from our apartment.
We always try to see Eduardo on our visits. He travels a lot for the company he works for. He was writing his PhD on the relationship between England and the US in the 1970s and lived with us in Kensington for a summer while he went to the National Archives.
He recommended a new restaurant that had just opened called Movelab. It was relatively small and had a few outdoor tables. The weather was nice and we ate outdoors. It was not really an Italian restaurant and it could have been located in downtown DC and advertised as a healthy alternative to fast food. I had a sandwich that had avocado, tomato, ricotta cheese and some other greens. It came on a green roll???
MoveLab Viale Mazzini 94a (06 8976 6863) This new restaurant is located just north of the Prati neighborhood on the Vatican side of the Tiber River. It is small on the inside and has a couple of outdoor tables. It is not really a true Italian restaurant. It would fit nicely in downtown Manhattan or Washington DC as it specializes in fresh organic and healthy options. I had a vegetarian sandwich which had avocado, tomato, ricotta cheese and some other greens. The fires that came with it were excellent. It was made on a green roll??? My wife had a very good salad. A little out the way of the normal tourist location so I would not go out of my way to eat here but if you are in the area this is very good for a light lunch or dinner.
We were on our bicycles heading out to the bike path along the river when we ran into some young men who were very large. We asked them who they were and they said they were the football team of the University of Michigan. Later coming back on the path we saw them practicing on a football field that is normally reserved for soccer. They were going to have a football scrimmage later at the main soccer stadium.
PONTE DEL RISORGIMENTO
We normally ride over this bridge on the north side on our bicycles. When we went to lunch with our friend Eduardo we walked the 4 miles to the restaurant and we got to see the view from the south side of the bridge looking down the river. You can see the bike path on the ride side and the permanent house boats that are anchored there an have had no occupants since we first started coming here 13 years ago.
SPANISH STEPS IN APRIL
At the beginning of April in the middle of the Spanish Steps they place large pots of flowers. These remain for awhile but when we come in October they are all gone.
MUSEO PIETRO CANICA
We have walked, run or biked by this museum located in the Villa Borghese a hundred times. For some reason on this trip we decided to go in. It is a free museum and was the home and workshop of Pietro Canica who lived there until his death in 1959. He was primarily a sculptor and received permission to live and work here from the city of Rome. A great many of the massive marble statues of World War I that you see in various cities are his work. These two bronze statues were done by him and depict an Italian soldier and donkey.
This is a cast of the statute of King Faisal of Iraq which was located in Baghdad but was destroyed. Some of these statues were very large.
Another cast statue located in Moscow.
..a room filled with marble and metal sculptures.
RETURNING THE BIKES TO THE BOX
The Queen is in the lobby of the Hotel Medici where our apartment is located. It is the next to last day in Rome and we are on our way to return the bikes to their home when we are not here. It was raining that day and a little chilly so we dressed warm.
IT'S A SMALL WORLD AFTERALL
When we were leaving Spoleto we met four other bikers at the train station. Two of them were from country-regionBrazil and had biked from Venice and were headed to Rome. The other two were the guides. One guide was from placecountry-regionGermany and spoke German and English. The other guide was from Italy and spoke Italian and English. The husband from Brazil could only speak Portuguese. His wife could speak Portuguese and Italian. It made for an interesting conversation with them. They were taking to train to Narni, one stop away, to avoid biking in the rain. We had biked to the train station in the rain.
Getting on the train was interesting. You cannot tell whether the bike car is in the front or the rear of the train. They did not know this. When the train pulled in I thought it would be in the front so we all headed there but the conductor sent us to the back. It was a long train and we all rushed to the back only to find the bike car locked. Three of us went to the back and the other three went to the middle of the car. In both cases we were not blocking the entrance and exit to the train. I found one of the cleaning people and asked if they could open the bike car which he did so we were in the clear. The conductor came by for our tickets and told us that we would have to move the bikes at the next stop. They were getting off anyhow but the Queen's bike was in the middle. When the train stopped I got her bike off, raced to the last car and got her bike back on and into the bike car. We waived goodbye to them as the train pulled away. This photo was taken from the train as we pulled out of the station. This was the German guide.
The small world part comes two days later when we were on our way home from dinner. In a very packed street near the Trevi Fountain I recognized one of the bikers. They were also just coming from dinner.
Would you trust this woman to be Minister of Education for Italy? Roughly translated we think this poster means that in order to become a professor you have to graduate, qualify and compete. To become the Minister of Education you have to have friends, you have to lie and you need the bad press behind you. I am guessing that the term `third media' in Italian is used like a fifth column in the US. I could be entirely wrong on this. Hope some of my Italian friends read this and correct me.
This may be the last phone booth in Italy??
When we make reservations at certain restaurants I use the name Lorenzo. We worked by a shop that will embroider your name on hats or shirts or aprons, etc. The one model hat they had was for Lorenzo. I almost bought it.
The Queen and I love the little stuffed rice and cheese balls that they make in some restaurants in Rome. The Sicilians make a much larger version called arancini. On one of our walks we saw a Sicilian bakery that had them and we stopped in for a snack. They are larger than suppli but taste very similar. We had one stuffed with spinach and cheese and one stuffed with just cheese.
Two days before we were to leave to go home the Queen stepped into a hole that was forming on one of the streets. She twisted her ankle badly but managed to walk all day. It was black and blue the next day but felt much better.
MIRRAGIO CLUB DA FRANCO E MARISA
I have to end this update with some food. One night we entertained Brenan's friends Sohail and Elissa from DC and took them to a restaurant in Trastevere. We had not been there for a couple of years and I am not sure why not. It is located along the river and is a local place with red and white table cloths and always packed with Italian families.
The group at dinner..
and doing chocolate shots later.