Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rome and a Room with a View

My flight to Rome arrived late and I was tired. The ride to and from the hotel can be filled with one great view after another. Often, I nod off and wake to find another piece of history outside the van window. There are columns and ruins and statues, one right after another along the ride that can be an hour long.  

It was 1:30 in the afternoon by the time we arrived at our hotel in the center of the city.  I was already dreaming of the crisply made bed in my charming, but small room.

A delicate chandelier hung over the bed and the tall shuttered window was ajar. Checking the window, I heard voices singing and an organ playing from the courtyard below. This was Rome and it is not unusual to hear a choir practicing through open church doors, but I'd never heard it drifting into my hotel room. Opening the shutters I couldn't see anyone in this tiny enclosed area that could have been in any Italian city. No, it wasn't a view of the Vatican or one of the many ruins or statues. It was an enclosed respite from the crowded narrow city streets; a place where lives come together. 
The view was an unexpected and beautiful mosaic of colors, life and music...a magic place, to me, where real lives echoed in every crooked corner. I left my window open and sleep came easy as the singing lulled me on this early afternoon. After the short peaceful nap, the rest of the afternoon was filled wandering the busy cobblestone streets of Rome with friends from my crew.

Loved this mime...

Through all of the wandering there is always the required stop at the grocery store to take back a wedge of Parmesan cheese, fresh mozzarella, spicy peppers and other sweet and savory treasures.  The setting sun came too soon, but that meant it was time for dinner and that is a good thing! We decided to go to Ristorante La Tavernetta. I hadn't had much to eat since the flight over and was really looking forward to a big bowl of pasta. One of my favorites is spaghetti with mushrooms and clams, and that is what I got.

It was perfect with a side of sauteed chicory and garlic. I was eying the stacked Caprese Salad that 2 of my friends shared. It was stacked up straight and tall, unlike a well known Italian tower. The tomatoes were red and ripe and the mozzarella was fresh and delicate. Snipped basil was scattered on the plate amid a good splash of olive oil.  
I knew I had to make it once I got home and the good news was that I had just bought the mozzarella a few hours ago! We finished our meal and wandered back to our hotel, stopping along the way for the prerequisite gelato. I had my favorite.

Back at my room, I slept with the windows open once again. There was no choir to nudge me into sleep, but soon I was dreaming of that Caprese Salad, and knew I'd make it when I returned home.

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Deana Sidney said...

That looks so perfect... Rome just as I remember it... not flashy, but all the old worn colors that make it feel real and yet beautiful. I love pasta with the little clams. Had it once there with clams the size of my thumbnail... so sweet. Lovely post!

La Table De Nana said...

I love traveling with you..We enjoyed Rome also..we were at the Holiday Inn match to your accomodations.

C'est beau beau beau!

Nancy said...

What a beautiful post. The colors
are amazing, not to mention the food.
Makes me wish I'd been able to fly
that route! n.

Unknown said...

What a wonderful post! I will be in Rome in October and cannot wait! Your photos are amazing!

Unknown said...

What a wonderful post! I will be in Rome in October and cannot wait! Your photos are amazing!

Anonymous said...

I'll be heading off to Italy for my honeymoon in October! Do you have any other restaurants you would recommend? Did you travel to Florence or Venice?