Saturday Sightseeing

9 Sep

Buon sabato! A couple of photos to give you an idea of where I’m coming from, and the colorful characters you’ll find here in my neighborhood, Trastevere.

This here is Giancarlo, waiter extrordinaire at the restaurant next to my front door. He speaks a little of just about every language imaginable, and has been a waiter the world over, from Los Angeles to Belgium. Sometimes he takes to wearing a name tag that says “Chef” (don’t ask).

Did you think I was kidding when I said “restaurant next to my front door”? I was not. We don’t ever really eat at this restaurant, even though it was once owned by Alessandro’s grandfather (and still bears his name, Vincenzo). It’s not that the food isn’t edible, but it is a bit of a tourist trap. Let me tell you though, when that rare McDonald’s craving hits (yes, I am guilty, please don’t hate me), I take great pains to hide the massive shopping bag they give you when reentering my apartment. I always wonder if the diners think I’m crazy: you live in Rome, yet you go to McDonald’s? Only once in a blue moon, promise.

Now, if you were to turn around, you would see this, the “Antica Frutteria.” It is run by Piero (man in the green shirt helping the ladies pick their fruit and veggies), his son Andrea, and their little dog Nano (unfortunately not pictured here!). We sometimes call it the fruit boutique because it is a bit pricey, but Piero is an interesting character and a valuable source of neighborhood info. He is the eyes and ears of my street and pretty much knows everything about everyone. They are from Sardegna and just opened back up recently after the summer holidays, but this photo was taken before summer.

Last but not least. Now, of course you are wondering, what in the world does shortbread and whiskey have anything to with Rome? Well, it doesn’t, really. Except that every once in a while I get really lucky and my guests spoil me by bringing me a little present. Such luck occurred last night when some lovely guests from Perthshire in Scotland brought me these goodies. (I’m half tempted to visit after seeing where they come from!) No, this is not simply shameless showing off. I am going to use this gift to demonstrate something useful about Rome, just watch!

So, let’s say you get to Rome and can’t stand the food (highly unlikely, but we are theorizing here). Where do you go to get something from home (ie, shortbread should you be Scottish? See the connection?) Why, Castroni of course! World food market haven for expats.

Buon weekend!


7 Responses to “Saturday Sightseeing”

  1. Tracie B. September 9, 2006 at 8:48 am #

    i love that neighbrhood! do you speak italian now? oooohh tell me everything 🙂

  2. american girl in italy September 9, 2006 at 9:50 am #

    thanks for visiting my site. I love your new blog! Great header! I will add you to my blog! :OD

  3. Shelley - At Home in Rome September 9, 2006 at 10:33 am #

    Tracie: I know, Trastevere is like a little village in the big city–so charming! I came by myself so it was “sink or swim” with learning Italian, but, after 5 years I can proudly say that Italians have said I almost *almost* sound Roman now when I speak Italian…getting back at my fianceè for teasing me in the beginning about my “American accent”!American Girl: Grazie! Excited to be a part of the “American Girls in Italy” club.

  4. FinnyKnits September 10, 2006 at 2:53 am #

    I, for one, can say that when I am in Rome (only a few short weeks away!) I want to eat nothing but Italian food, thankyouverymuch! Although, I think its dandy that such a place exists. Seeing the photos of your neighborhood brings me back – I can’t wait to be going through that little door in no time. Loving the blog – it eases my Romesickness 😉

  5. *s* September 10, 2006 at 6:24 pm #

    wow. I love your blog so far! welcome to blogging by the way. 😀 We’re hoping to go to Rome sometime soon, we’d definately look into your apartments there. Sounds wonderful! What is the best time to visit in your opinion?-Sheena

  6. Shelley - At Home in Rome September 10, 2006 at 9:36 pm #

    Finny: Ooooh, me so excited!*S*: Thanks! I’m a Navy brat myself (small world) and I would love to have you as a guest! I really think October and April are my favorite months…Jan/Feb is pretty cold and Jul/Aug unbearably hot, but otherwise anytime is good. A presto!

  7. African Kelli September 12, 2006 at 1:33 am #

    Okay, i want to eat at the first restaurant, get Big Macs with you and then get some lovely oranges from the fruit boutique for dessert. Your life is idyllic!

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