Scenes from a Roman Saturday

23 Dec
A view from Piazzale Napoleone. across del Popolo to the Vatican. Bellissima!

A view from Piazzale Napoleone. across del Popolo to the Vatican. Bellissima!

Saturday we headed out into a beautiful crisp clear day. Our routine each Saturday is to go on foot from our home to Piazza del Popolo, then on down via Ripetta, stopping for caffè e cornetti, and on to Campo dei Fiori where we shop for our fresh fruits & vegetables  (also occasionally baked goods, cheese, salumi).  It takes about 75 minutes for the walk, and we often stop at Piazzale Napoleone to take in the view of the Vatican from above Piazza del Popolo.  Yesterday the view was enhanced by a huge Christmas tree towering above the piazza.

We are “regulars” with some vendors at Campo dei Fiori after so many months of shopping there. Emanuele at the dried fruit-and-nut booth always has something extra for us, or a discount. The family that runs the produce stall I favor, constantly calling back-and-forth. “Zio, how much for La Signora?” or “Papa where are the cranberries?” Hard-working people, appreciative of return business.  Last week Ric had to work on Saturday so I went alone. The guys at the salumeria we patronize missed him and asked me to tell Ric hello for them! We seldom experienced this in Portland, even after half-a-dozen years of going to the PSU Farmer’s Market almost every week. Yet here, in a city many times the size of Portland in population, we are warmly and personally greeted at shops and restaurants we frequent. And they put up with my Italian, God bless them! Emanuele even tries to teach me.

Lights run from Piazza Venezia all the way to Piazza del Popolo, this year in white with blue twinkles. Absolutely stunning!

 In the evening we headed for dinner, walking through the serene Villa Borghese all the way to the Spanish Steps and on into the Centro Storico. Much to our surprise, even at the peak dining hours from 21:00-23:00, there weren’t many people out and about. Perhaps private parties and final weekend preparations took precedence over the usual dining frenzy of a Saturday night.  We meandered the back alleys and enjoyed the lights relatively crowd-free.

Almost every street is draped in lights.

Almost every street is draped in lights.


Panettone from Roscioli. None better!

While at Campo dei Fiori Saturday morning we stopped at Roscioli to buy their incredible bread, still warm from the oven, which I will use for the Christmas Day stuffing. The warm, fragrant, pane integrale (whole-wheat bread) enticed us all the way home. As soon as we arrived, I sliced into the middle and we feasted on that good warm bread. We also picked up an artigianale panettone, the traditional Italian Christmas bread. Ours is made with frutti di bosco (berries) and we could not delay our gratification. Had to cut into it for Sunday breakfast.

Completing our Sunday, a trip to see “Big Bambu” at MACRO Testaccio, followed by a Natale organ concert high atop the Gianicolo at San Pietro di Montorio.

11 Responses to “Scenes from a Roman Saturday”

  1. Sharon December 27, 2012 at 21:41 #

    Dear Laurel & Ric,
    What magical experiences you are having! I am so happy for you both to be able to experience and enjoy such a wonderful holiday!
    Love, Sharon


  2. Anita December 24, 2012 at 04:42 #

    Just returned from a day in The Dalles with Scott’s family. It actually snowed while there! Made for some beautiful scenery for us. Have a very Merry Christmas!


    • gooddayrome December 24, 2012 at 05:19 #

      Ciao Bella!! I can just see the drive in the gorge in snow: treacherous and beautiful! Merry Christmas to you and Scott as well!


  3. Catherine December 24, 2012 at 04:10 #

    What wonderful and different ways to spend a day. I spent mine singing christmas carols with a group of volunteers at different retirement homes around Vancouver today. Wow, was this an awesome experience. It is the seemingly small things in life that really matter, as we have each expressed here this day. I love you all!


    • gooddayrome December 24, 2012 at 05:18 #

      And what a lovely way for you to spend your day! We are creating new memories every day. Love you too!


  4. Jonnie Martin December 24, 2012 at 00:37 #

    Ah such a different experience– drove from Austin to The Woodlands via Tomball thanks to my GPS determination to take me to Conroe. Just ate ribs that fell off the bone, working on my second sangria and listening to a soundtrack cycling between C&W and carols. Life is good on both continents.


    • gooddayrome December 24, 2012 at 05:17 #

      My dear Jonnie, you are so right: life is good for us both. Many many good wishes from Ric and I for a beautiful holiday among your family. Kiss that little great-grandchild #3 for me. Love you!

      On Mon, Dec 24, 2012 at 12:37 AM, gooddayrome


  5. Janet December 23, 2012 at 23:25 #

    Looks absolutely enchanting! I miss the decorations over the streets I remember as a kid!
    Glad to see you and Ric enjoying everything! Hope we can join you sometime, we miss you! Merry Christmas with blessings.


    • gooddayrome December 24, 2012 at 05:24 #

      I remember those too… So sweet. I absolutely loved those decorations in St. Paul, my homwtown. Thanks for the reminder, Janet.


  6. Will December 23, 2012 at 22:56 #

    Wonderful post. I am so envious!


    • gooddayrome December 24, 2012 at 05:14 #

      Grazie, Will. Hope you and Gracia have a lovely Christmas!

      On Sun, Dec 23, 2012 at 10:56 PM, gooddayrome


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: