Monday, June 20, 2005

Italia Part III -The Longest Day Continues

KM takes us to this restaurant in an area of Rome, Trastevere, which has become his stompin' grounds and will likewise become our stomps as well. It's charming, not toooo touristy, artsy, with lots of yummy places to hang out, drink, eat, chillax - sort of like the east village.

Outside the restaurant are these gigantic candles burning on the ground near a menu. An accordian player and his violinist sidekick play outside and will soon go around the diners both outside and in for money. These street performers are ubiquitous, especially around dining and drinking establishments. They play music from old, romantic movies and times, with operatic melodies and oom-pah-pah accompaniments. Sometimes people drop some coins in collecting cups to pay for this sort of evening soundtrack or sometimes for skill, or for lack of knowing what else to do with an outstretched hand.

The servers seem slow, but this is just the Italian way. Our waiter looks vaguely punk, with one of those big black circle earrings and spikey pitch black hair. Nevertheless, he is very nice, forgiving of my bad pronunciations, and he shows some magical waiter-instincts when he brings us a second basket of bread and a new fork before we get around to asking him.

The cosy, duskily-lit restaurant has a hodgepodge of photos and wine bottles lining the wall. The other tables are laughing it up and the mood is friendly and relaxed. Dinners in Italy tend to be rather late-ish, so despite our wolfish hungers, we're in prime dinner-time.

With a bottle of red standing sentry, we eat our pasta and meat courses. My pasta - primo course - is orrechiete with sausage and broccoli rabe and for my secondo, I dig into saltimbocca, veal goodness wrapped in prosciutto goodness. A Roman specialty, saltimbocca means hop or jump in the mouth. It jumped. It jumped from its pool of light butter sauce into my tummy. And all was good with the world. Sorry I don't have any pics of the food!


After dinner, with energy roaring from our bellies, we get a night walking tour of Rome. The stops: the Spanish steps, where there is a group of people with guitars singing Beatles songs not very well. And the Pantheon. And Trevi Fountain. Needless to say, I get kind of overwhelmed and kinda tired. Too many sites. Too much history! I valiantly fight off some guys trying to sell roses -- they're fierce -- and because I don't throw a coin behind my shoulder into the fountain, I doom myself never to return to Rome. We shall see. I think I'll return any place where they wrap things in prosciutto and cook them in butter.

My photos, so bland, like my personality. Here are some nicer shots.

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