Tag: walking

…my favorite Roma cafe

Thinking of espresso again today, I want to note that of course I found my favorite coffee spot only a few days before departing Roma last year!

I was supposed to meet an SGI member at Stazione Termini for a morning coffee that day and she stood me up.  Anyway, instead of walking back along my normal route home from Termini, I decided to walk a few blocks out of my way. I ended up going to a cafe and ordered a macchiato and cornetto, but they didn’t put latte in my cafe so I drank it without. I couldn’t remember if a macchiato had latte or not, and I didn’t feel like asking. Anyway, I left there and continued to walk out of my way and came upon the Piazza di Santa Maggiore. Ah, finalmente! The place on my map!

I saw a stylish looking cafe across the street and decided to try this cafe thing one more time. First off, the gentleman at the front greeted me kindly, and in my broken Italian, I asked for a cappuccino. He was very nice and told the barrista what I wanted.  The workers were young and multicultural — it looked like every nationality worked there. I loved it! And they were all very friendly and accommodating – I guess so, since I was the only person at the bar!

Piazza di Santa Maggiore

I never had a chance to return to the cafe before I returned to the states, however, I will stop by again the next time I’m in Rome.

To the city with the best coffee in the world – Ciao Roma!!

…just walking around

I really enjoy getting lost in this city. I like finding hidden gems off the beaten path.  Sometimes I don’t find spectacular sights, but I always see something special. The steps whisper a story… someone is/was(?) in love. So strange sometimes to see interesting sites like this as I walk.  I was venturing in the Trastevere area, which is a hugely popular area of Rome. This day was especially nice — warm and sunny and no rain!

I love seeing couples relax on random stairs around the city. It makes me feel like ‘love is all around’ — reminding me of the cold open of the film ‘ Love Actually.

This is an archway leading to who knows where. I was passing and snapped a shot as a car drove through it. Either way, it looks pretty old and now its flanked with modern signage. I wonder how many people have passed through this way since its creation?

Oh! This small, unassuming church is one of the most amazing buildings ever! I did not take pictures inside because I always feel weird and disrespectful taking pictures of deities inside a religious setting. Outside the chiesa, yes, but inside, not so much. However, the archways and ceilings within this structure housed some of the most elaborate sculptures I’ve seen thus far.  It is cavernous; and at each point (maybe eight) at least four or five full sized detailed sculptures — just hanging around. I didn’t even walk inside completely, I just stood near the entrance. The sculptures stopped me suddenly — it was so breathtakingly beautiful!

I love doors. Or maybe just doors in Italy. The door above is not so elaborate, but it has presence. A huge doorknob and raised metal at the bottom.   It says “I might let you in, but we’ll see”.  It has weight, it has foundation – this is a real door. I will have a door similar to this when I build my own home.

Hey…I just liked how this looked. I wish all back alleys had this much character.

Someone forgot their ball…

Change one letter and its literally a new language. In this Italian word there are more similar letters to English than not. Maybe we’re not so different?

Ending with a view of the main piazza…to many more eventful walks ahead!

Ciao a tutti!

…Luca is my favorite guide

My school offers passiggiato‘s for its students throughout the week. I was encouraged to sign up for them when I first started, but I delayed, and now I wish I had done this earlier.

Today we visited I Musei Capitolini, or rather the area all around it.  Walking behind the Capitoline Museums we rested for a few to take some pics.

This wall is what is left of the Tabularium. If you look above the archways, you can see that the Romans built on top of the already existing wall in later centuries. Preserving history!

Here is another view from behind the museums – you can see the Colloseo in the background. All passiggiato‘s are in Italian, and I do my best to understand what our guide’s are saying. I think I get about 25% of it, and then I ask my more fluent classmates if they were able to get more.  So far, I’ve had Luca and Franchesca as guide’s. However, Luca is my favorite.  He speaks solidly and moderately fast, and I always think that if I close my eyes I will understand more. Franchesca is great too — I really enjoy that she asks questions and really engages us in the learning process. However, I don’t understand her as well as Luca! I wish I did. She speaks fast, and unfortunately, a bit too softly for my non-Italian ears.

I continue to attend the passiggiato‘s without comprehending the majority of the tour because I am immersed in the language and culture. And that’s all I want. I’ll look it up later on the net to figure out what Luca or Franchesca were actually saying.

Ciao a tutti!

…free (almost) day!

I say almost because it wasn’t supposed to be a free day. I thought I was going to visit Mrs. Gx, but that fell through so I was left to wander Rome alone. Yes, boohoo me – stuck in Rome, ha! So I ditched my laptop and put on my (cute) walking shoes and started wandering in the opposite direction than I would normally go. I usually carry my map with me, although its limited to the tourist areas. I always think that the map will show me where I am, but most times I can never find my current location on it. So I just walk down appealing streets and have faith that eventually I will come across a landmark or street that looks familiar. Most times I don’t care, I figure I can ask someone if I get too lost. I wandered from my sketchy neighborhood to a much better one. That’s how I know it was better – condos! CondominioStill with graffiti all over the place, but I didn’t feel weird either, since there were barely any people out walking in that section. I walked and walked and walked, taking pictures, and avoiding lingering eye contact. I ignore people very well. I’m only doing it at the behest of Mr. Rick Steeves, since I am a single woman walking alone. That, plus my faux wedding ring, I think I’m good. However today, I stopped across the street from the Planetarium, or at least that’s what I think it was, and while standing there I gave the lingering eye contact to a guy walking by on his cellular – but not on purpose, it just happened. So he looked at me, and then he looked at my ‘wedding’ ring, and he said Bella, but then I think he was apologizing or attempting to not be disrespectful of me because of it. Or at least that was what I was inferring from the barrage of Italian he said. Grazie, I said, smiling. Immediately after, another older man walked by and said Bella too, to which I replied similarly. Oooh, is this ring causing men to just stare and not speak? Either way, I feel like I’m treated with more respect, so on it stays. Unless I see Mr. Right, then I’ll slyly remove it as he walks over to me!

Earlier at a local park, I was writing in my journal and I felt someone walk by. For some reason, my intuition kicked in and I felt like the person walking by just wanted to see what I was doing. I know that sounds random, but I really do pay attention to my intuition. And of course, I was right. He walked back by me, about a minute after and walked back over to his friends, who were about 100 ft from me. He never said anything, probably because of my ring. Maybe today I looked more foreign than usual. I even had a car stop, back up, and then the driver and his female companion ask me in English where I was from. They asked in English after I said parlo inglese solo. Probably because I was in the middle of the street along the barrier taking a pic of things along my walk. I guess I should have asked them where they thought I was from, because America was obviously not their guess. I wonder if the African women here get stared at as much as I have being here. From the white people, Italian people, African people, Indian people, not so much the Chinese/Korean/Japanese people. Ok, also, I know that most of these people have seen a Black woman before – there are so MANY Africans here. So who knows, my America must be showing.

Ciao a tutti!

…holiday…woohooo!

Last Wednesday there was an Italian holiday, which one, I don’t know. Someone told me but I forgot. However, it meant that there were no classes – woohoo! On the other hand, none of the museums were open either. And that meant tons of tourists were everywhere, all over, crowding the streets since it was such a gorgeous day. Hey, I’m a tourist too and I was getting tired of seeing myself in passersbys.

I walked a tremendous amount of pavement. For five straight hours I walked around the city. I didn’t have a particular location in my mind, I just wanted to see what was out there and how close I was to many of the tourist locations. Not that far as I could tell. I walked about 15 minutes and found myself at the front of the Colloseo. Well, dang! If the Colloseo is this close, lets see if I can make it to Via Corso – I need some shoes! Made it to Via Corso, walked the entire length of it – no shoes. I didn’t see one pair that were worth the amount of money that the shops were asking. I wouldn’t mind it if the pair was over $100E, but I better like them. Unfortunately, most of the shoes looked like stylish granny shoes.  No thank you, Via Corso.

Somehow I managed to make my way over to the Trastevere area, or at least I think that’s where I was. I was too stubborn to ask. I crossed the Tevere, and I only know that because I stopped a couple on the bridge and asked them. I’m not always so stubborn.  So, lets just say I was in Trastevere. Lots of people, lots of shops, lots of restaurants. I did see some places that looked like they had stylish shoes in my price range, but of course they were closed.

One negative – I had the worst gelato ever near the Colleseo. Yuuuuuuck! The coffee gelato tasted like no coffee I would ever want again. Boo!! I am going to look up the gelato spot someone highly recommended to me, or may be I’ll just ask my teacher.

I was harassed by a street solicitor. He was attempting to get me to sign up for some ‘noble-cause-of-the-week’.  I told him no grazie, but he persisted, insisting that he was harmless. Ok, well stop trying to get me to sign up for some Italian cause when you know I’m not Italian. You have this in America! Ok, well, I’ll sign up for it there.  I was practically running down the street away from him! Maybe he was ok, but I wasn’t sticking around to find out.

Overall, another pretty good day in the ‘hood.  This past Tuesday there was another holiday, so I’ll be posting my adventures for that day off as well!

Ciao a tutti!