Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Did Ya Miss Me?!? (Rome, Part I)

I was in Rome! Yup - Rome!

An old friend (as in for a long time!) called to say he was going to be in Italy and would I please join him. After I hem and haw because I'm pinching centimes in a record-breaking currency crunch, I finally give in (give in and go to Rome...puhleeeze!) but plan to leave one day before him.

Then he cinches the deal with: "When you are lying on your deathbed you are not going to say, 'Whew! I'm sure glad I shaved that one day off of Rome!' " (He knows me so well!) And then he sits me down upon my arrival and tells me that my money's no good in that town...I'll tell you, that kind of thing can make a girl living in euros absolutely swoon!

So, there I was: in Rome.

We really made the most (read: "did only and exactly what we wanted to do") of our few short days together in the generous lap of this city at the knee of Italy's boot.

Take a look...

St. Peter's Basilica became the landmark for us to find our way to and from our Bed and Breakfast not far from there... (Atelier St. Pietro)

...and the piazza at St. Peter's received us daily as we made our treks to other parts of the city...

...once over the River Tiber...

...we would wind our way through narrow cobbled streets touched with a familiar charm...

...past ancient residents like Pasquino. He became the first talking statue of Rome and is still used for posting messages and claims...from political to poetic and things falling in between. (reference from

...then on to the Pantheon, where we were guided through the intricate details of the history of this structure by a friend of Greg's, an art historian who happens to be on sabbatical in Rome from his teaching position at Middlebury College in Vermont to work on his book on the Pantheon. Always good to learn the history of a place from one who offers it up with expertise and passion!

With each turn of a corner, we discovered a new piazza - each with its own character and activity...

After the first night had dawned into a new day, we headed to Campo di Fiori for a look at the marché and breakfast. We planned for rain but never really had to deal with anything more than a dramatic looking sky and a soft mist...

Once in the marché, we spent some time playing in the colors and light...

...until the need for a good Italian coffee got the better of us!

With just enough of a morning break, we headed back into the market.

Who knew that this magical slicer/dicer was also a bubble pipe?!?

When food becomes art...

...and for a few moments in golden light, our lives blended with those of the locals. (It made me think of my own daily market experience as I dodge the cameras of visitors!)

On the second morning we found the famous Italian bakeries that had recently been talked about in Mark Bittman's New York Times blog, Bitten...

They are not to be missed and made me want to eat pizza for breakfast every day!

Rome, Part II to follow...

(Blog biz: this is a transitional post as I change the publishing day from Monday to Thursday...a sign that I do pay attention to feedback from my faithful readers. To follow the weekly updates, please subscribe to La Fourchette using the link under the profile toward the top of the right sidebar or email me to be added to the email list...or simply show up on Thursdays starting next week!)



Anonymous said...

Madame LER, so which is better, and Italian bakery or a French? No PC answers here.


Kitt said...

Jealous. Very jealous. What a lovely trip for you.

la fourchette said...

hmmmm...a bit like comparing croissants and pizza...impossible. Vive la différence!

yes...yes it was...lovely indeed!


Anonymous said...

Your pics are gorgeous! Ahhh, Rome! I remember it well! I am hoping that I am still on the email subscription?!? Because Mon or Thur or whenever, I love reading and following your adventures!! ;o)

la fourchette said...


Thank you! I imagine that you probably know a few interesting corners of this city as well.

Yup! No changes to the email list save for additions of new readers who prefer that to the subscription...if you are on the list, I'll be showing up in your email next Thursday.

Lovely to have you along for the continuing adventures!


Michael said...

Heavens! A jaunt thru Rome and a visit to an Italian bakery without a single reference to my drug of choice --- focaccia? Mama mia!!! Nico (our local focaccia pusher here in Tartu) will not be happy!

la fourchette said...

ah! You may be just the person to ask about this before I hit wikipedia because the lovely stuff that my friends bring back from Genoa, which they call 'focaccia', looks very much like some of the stuff we ordered as 'pizza'...although, to tell you the truth, there was a very thin (and delicious) thing referred to as 'pizza' as'm officially confused. Is it region or what?

I believe another trip for 'research' is in order!

Please give my kindest regards to Nico anyway.


Michael said...

The Challenge is on! I will energize Nico for a focaccia adventure!!! With focaccia in hand, we can conquer the world ... or at least have a nic lunch! More to follow!

Michael said...

Hmmmm. Seems like we need to bring in the experts! But hey, that is no problem. I am going to have a chat with Nico today anyway about food stuff (mainly cooking outdoors), and I am pretty sure that with some prodding (read bribing) he will share more of his facaccia secrets! More to come ...

la fourchette said...


All things Italian are closed today...along with everything else in the 'hood...being monday and all. (One of the more quiet days of the week here.)

I do know that our Provençal fougasse is the sister to focaccia...and then that's it! That's all I know!

I'll await the secrets Nico shares and see if I can do a bit of research locally for some comparisons.


Emma said...

Hello Leslie,

It looks like a wonderful trip! Just out of curiosity, what exactly is the food as art object? Whatever it is, it's truly gorgeous.


Michael said...

well, we have taken this to another level. I have had my session with Nico, and report this

But - does it only raise more questions???

la fourchette said...


It was a lovely trip...and that 'food as art' is raddichio! Beautiful, non?

Okay...that makes sense! It's in the olive oil! voilà! There had to be a difference...but I still say that some of those Romans were calling it pizza and walking off with an oily bag of foccacia!
Thanks for doing the research on that...and to Nico, too!


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