On my wish list for our recent trip to Rome was to go to the Colosseum, have a walk about, go for an apertivo somewhere then walk back to the Colosseum to see it lit up at night! But…sometimes things aren’t meant to be! No lights for us! We were later told it’s not being done right now because of the renovations! Damn…but at least on the way back to our apartment we saw some ruins lit up!
That’s Rome for you…it’s all a bit of a mystery as to what you will or will not find open or operating. Just feel a bit sorry for the people who are on a once in a lifetime trip to Rome and find a lot of stuff under wraps. Winding up the day, we decided on a light dinner. Having seen a recommendation somewhere, we decided to check out Enoteca 313 on via Cavour. Perhaps this is just the place for a few slices of cheese, some ham and a glass of wine? Because we did not enjoy the experience one little bit, except for a great bottle of Vino Nobile from Montelpuciano! The food was OK and we hated the décor! Still scratching our heads about all those wooden beams and posts everywhere (even overhead) and uncomfortable wooden booths.
Early one evening after wandering around Piazza Navona and visiting St. Agnese in Agone church, we thought now was the perfect time to have a drink. Cul de Sac, an enoteca nearby, seemed the ideal place! Shortly after we sat down two women sat at the next table and we met Paola and her friend from the U.S.! After spending a couple of hours chatting and before going our separate ways for dinner, we exchanged email addresses. Paola suggested we meet up the following week so she could show us around her neighbourhood of Monti, located between the Piazza Venezia and the Colesseum.
During early Roman times the area was occupied by the poor and was full of thieves, pimps and brothels. Things started to change in 1871 when Rome became the capitol of Italy. Nowadays it’s become a very cool, village like neighbourhood with a collection of art galleries, artisans, enoteche. Piazza Madonna dei Monte with it’s fountain, just to the east of the Colesseum, being Monti’s gathering place.
We made plans to meet Paola at the fountain one afternoon, but before we met, there was lunch to be had. Where? Well…how about La Carbonara 1906 on via Panisperna? OK, let’s! And this time we’ll be there before they close at 2:30! In 2010 we got lost trying to find them and arrived at 2:40…luckily I begged and they agreed to let us have lunch! Only thing we were allowed to order was spaghetti carbonara, salad and wine! This time we could choose whatever our little hearts desired!
As soon as I saw that Facebook post, of Elizabeth Minchilli’s, a few months ago, I thought “good thing we are going to Rome! She had just picked up her new, awesome Colosseum ring from Arte Orafa Liciardello and then taken a selfie outside, holding up her hand with the Colosseum in the background. WOW…I absolutely “need” to check this ring out!
We met Paola at the Fontana di Piazza della Madonna dei Monti and then walked up to the 4th century Santa Pudenziana, which is below street level. Then we were onto the 5th century Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore with it’s absolutely stunning gold and mosaic interior, with Paola providing commentary all the way. We decided we could live in this neighbourhood and it’s no wonder that Elizabeth Minchelli does! Paola invited us to have apertivi at her place. But before we do that, now that the shops have re-opened…I’ve got to see “that ring” and it’s as fabulous as I thought! It’s ordered and I can expect it to arrive in a few weeks!
Time for apertivo! With the weather being so nice we sat outside on her lovely terrace sipping wine and petting the cat….ahh, life is good!
The ring arrived…it’s amazing…and it makes me smile every time I look at it!