My train to Roma does not depart until around noon, but I wake up early enough with plenty of time to spare. One never knows what challenges might be placed in front of you.
I start with my last tazza di caffe (I bought this cute little tazza at that Tiger shop. I hope it makes it home in one piece), publish my 60th post to you, take my chiavi off my Florentine chiavi chain, and load up. The Zara bag has my goodies from the pasticceria…and anyway…EVERYONE carries a Zara bag around here.
When I say arrivederci to my appartamento (It has been great! The best location ever!) Guess what…it is raining once again. I feared this, but what’s a girl to do? Adding one more object (umbrella) to my balancing act, I begin my walk to the stazione.
Being quite early for my treno, I find a place to stand to people watch. The people coming into Firenze come in all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, ages and capacities for fashion sense. Ma, we are in luck. It is Fashion Week. If you like to people watch and major in fashionable people watching, may I suggest you schedule your travel around Santa Maria Novella Stazione during this annual event.
My photos DO NOT show what I saw justice. I have not mastered the true art of the discreet photo. I did learn to position yourself near the center of an exit. NONE of the cool people are coming in leaving Florence, I assure you.Here are some fashion tips I gleaned for you: Although girls/women wear every short of Converse with every sort of outfit…not when attending Fashion Week. The Louboutins were out in full force, cobbled stone streets or not. Come to think of it, most of these people probably had cars waiting for them outside the stazione….darn, I didn’t think to look.
Men ALWAYS wear or carry a blazer…a well fitting blazer, and I love this. For men, socks are optional and pants are slim and short. Most men carried a small portfolio…kinda like a clutch. Sunglasses madatory, and either walk with purpose or consult your phone to see where the heck your photographers and models are.
Speaking of photographers and models. The photographers were easy to spot, sensible shoes, scruffy (but well chosen) look and a large bag. The models…they came through with nothing but their tall selves.
I hated to put my camera away. I just knew when I did someone fabulous would rush by. But it was time for me to go to platform 5 and uscita this citta.I entered the train careful of the Italians exiting, cigarette poised in mouth, ready to light when their second foot touches terra.Arrivederci Firenze, a dopo. Ciao Roma!
Roma Termini is 2 miles from Trestevere, so I get a taxi. Passing through the city, it feels oddly familiar.. I know where I am and what is around me as we drive. In front, is the monument to Victor Emmanuel II and behind, the street where my room 2 years ago was.We arrive in the neighborhood of Trastevere and to my strada.. Trastevere is where I took my cooking class with Chef Andrea 1. Staying here is one of the main reasons I am revisiting Roma. To see if can get a more local feel.
I find the building in my small piazza, buzz, enter, walk up the 50+ steps and am greeted by Gabriella.When I enter Trastevere Luxury Guest House, I am very happy. The outside of most of the buildings are ugly, grimy and covered with graffiti. Mine is no exception. But inside, clean, modern and refreshing.
Gabby shows me to my room and shares a few quick things I need to know. For example, you must put your key card in this little slot in order to get power (electric, air, etc.) to your room. It takes me a moment then I realize I cannot charge my electronics when out and about…this is going to take some planning. But the room is fabulous….and they leave me treats in my piccolo fridge.
After I get all situated, Gabby is kind enough to spend time with me acquainting me with the area. She would tell me something, like a trattoria and then bring it up on google maps so I could get a better idea. Although she and Alesseo are not here much of the time, when they are they are very helpful and molto gentile.
As I am hungry, I take Gabby’s advice and not go to the busy trattoria across the street, but instead to the small one to the left. I have my choice of tables so I try out a few to get the best view before I order. I begin with bicchiere di vino bianco locale. The bring it in this piccolo ppitcher. Is that so cute….II think I will ask to buy one before I leave on Sunday.I then order, what I later find out is a local specialty, Cacio e Pepe. I can see why it is a favorite. I will definitely be making this at home. It is simply pasta fatta in casa, pecorino cheese with a bit of pasta water and black pepper.
The sky chooses to open up again and I am seated inside for my fiori di zucca fritti.After a lunch like that, it is time for molto pedi. I head through Trastevere to Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere. Before I enter the piazza, the unmistakable sound of a trumpet greets me. I stand for a while, enjoying the moment and his talent. He plays the theme from Rocky. Daddy would LOVE this
I decide to buy the cd to relive and share this moment later. When he gives me change, it burns my hand it is so hot from sitting in the sun. Later I pass the guitarist and he asks me how my day has been.I head towards the Vatican passing by familiar monuments as I roam. I turn a corner and there it is!This year I have no intentions of a visit inside. Which seems to be a good thing. After the rain, the air is hot and humid and the lines are very long. I just reflect of the memories made here with Mom and Jim, Mom and the kids, Papa Francesco and myself, and that is enough.
As I turn to leave, the sky is once again threatening. I am struck by the formation of the clouds. They are perfect for this moment and this place. In The Agony and the Ecstasy (the movie depicting Michelangelo’s experiences while painting the Sistine Chapel) there is a scene where Michelangelo is up in the mountains and receives Divine inspiration for the Creation of Adam among the clouds. The clouds in front of me now, so close to the Sistine Chapel and it’s focal point, resemble Irving Stone’s portrayal. This calendar always makes me laugh. To think, a handsome priest of the month…BTW, this is the same coverguy from 2013.On the walk home, there is no rain (probably because I have carried along a loan umbrella from the Guest House), but there is plenty of wind! The leaves and dirt swirl.
As I walk along the Tiber, I get the feeling I am very near where we (mom, Avery, Dalton and me) stayed in 2007. I cross and find Via Giulia. It is a posh address, but like most of Rome, gritty and dirty.I take a quick right, and my instincts were correct. I find the appartamento were we stayed, complete with Avery’s favorite- graffiti and trash.There are prettier things on Via Giulia, like this bridge designed by Michaelangelo,And one of my favorite fontanas built in 1626.
Heading back to the Guest House, I am not hungry enough for an Italian dinner, so I grab a birra, watch a puppet show in the piazza (the puppet is actually painting!)