Friday, December 26, 2008

Rome

Tiber River

There isn't much green space in the center of Rome, but we were delighted to be able to experience walking around the piazzas and streets without traffic and bustle.

Tourists were out in force, but Romans are still on holiday post-Christmas, with many shops closed, and it seemed, many more streets closed to traffic than usual.


Perhaps motorcycles and scooters, as well as cars, are actually banned now from pedestrian zones? Or maybe this is just the post-Christmas lull.

Our last visit, in 2001, had us escaping the chaos after two days. (We had planned four). Interesting.

But, today, the Piazza Navona was filled with a Christmas market, complete with chestnut roasters (Middle Eastern fellows roasting chestnuts from bags delivered in small trucks). Quite pleasant.

Rambling was wonderful, without pedestrian-threatening scooters and little traffic.

We enjoyed some delicious pizza in Trastevere -- locals were standing in line. There were actually some arugula and eggplant on my piece, yum (I've been vegetable-deprived in winter Italy restaurants).

There are pizza places everywhere, quite evident in a quiet holiday time in Rome. These are the 'bakery' style pizzas by the 'slice' that my gardening companion loves. He wonders why we don't have these at home?

I wish we did -- Il Fornaio and other pizza places have fresh pizzas, nice-looking bread, and delicious pastries here in Rome.


Now, if the vegetable and fruit market in Campe de Fiori is open tomorrow, I'll have had a wonderful visit to Rome. And even if not, it's been a nice ending to our Southern Italy travels.

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