Our next day in Rome began with plenty of sunshine. On a day like that, in a city like Rome, one’s spirit is instantly given a lift. All seems well in the world, no matter what you read in the newspapers, or hear on the evening news. There is nothing like walking through the Eternal City, on a beautiful morning. From the feeling of the fresh air blowing down from the surrounding hills, to the sound of the Romans grabbing a quick espresso in nearby cafés, it is all comforting and wonderful!
We crossed the river via Ponte Sisto, and made our way over to the Ghetto. We have discussed the Ghetto in past blogs, but for those who do not know, this was the section of the city where Rome’s Jewish community was confined for many years. It was not until 1848 that Pope Pius IX permitted Jewish Romans to live outside the Ghetto’s gates. Rome has the oldest Jewish community in the world, outside the Middle East, and to this day, many now live by choice, in this part of town known as the Ghetto. Today, the area is full of boutiques selling everything, from clothing to jewelry and art. There are also wonderful restaurants focusing on kosher versions of typical Roman plates.
The Portico di Ottavia was erected by Augustus around 27 BC, in honor of his sister, Ottavia Minore. At that time, the portico would have enclosed ancient temples. Later, during the medieval period, it was home to Rome’s fish market.
The following day, on Wednesday, was our friend Giulia’s day off. Her restaurant was normally closed on Wednesdays, and so, she invited us to join her for lunch at the seashore, in Anzio. The skies were not so agreeable, and before we were even near the restaurant, it began to rain. By the time we arrived there, it was pouring! That did not stop us from having a nice day, though!
The next day, our last in Rome, was a return to good weather. The only cloud hanging over us was the one that always appeared when we had to leave this wonderful city, but it was more a cloud in our heads and hearts, rather than one in the sky.
We noticed another gold paving stone, this one dedicated to Alberto Trionfi. Trionfi was an Italian brigadier general, who was arrested by the Germans upon his return from Rome, after leading the Cagliari Division in Greece. He was sent to Poland, to a concentration camp, where he was murdered during a transfer march, along with other officers. Like all the other paving stones of its kind, his is embedded in the pavement in front of the building where he lived.
A plaque at Via di Monserrato, #54, marks the building where Santa Brigida lived for 19 years. Known now as the Casa di Santa Brigida, it functions as a retreat and rooming house for pilgrims in Rome.
We met up with some friends of ours for aperitifs at their home. After that, we headed back to Trastevere, to have dinner at La Botticella.
There is no better start to a Roman meal than fried artichokes, and fried stuffed zucchini flowers! These were followed by plates of Roman-style tripe, rabbit, escarole and, to end the meal, ricotta cheesecake!
Next up: We catch the train north, and head to the tiny town of Oleggio Castello!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations that may appear. If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Rome, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!