Il rientro

8 Sep
Il rientro is the period when the Italians come back from their August vacations. Back from the beach, from the mountains, or from wherever they have traveled. During il reintro people talk about where they’ve been, when they got back, what a state of stress they are in! Yesterday at the grocery store the woman in front of me queried: “O cielo! Di chi e’ questo carrello?”  (Heavens! Whose cart is this?) She had grabbed the wrong grocery cart and was unloading someone else’s merchandise. “Ehi! Il stress dopo vacanza!” she exclaimed. (Ah! The stress after vacation!) Yup, life is rough for an Italian mamma who spent the month of August at the beach.
Stores and restaurants that were closed for August are reopening, new merchandise for fall is arriving, and the streets are full again with no place to park except in pedestrian crossings and in doppia fila. It is SRO again on the buses.
Only in Roma would this be news. A car belonging to teh Ministry of the Interior was parked illegally and held up a bus for half-an-hour.
Only in Roma would this be news. Yesterday a car belonging to the Internal Ministry — which includes the State Police — was parked illegally and held up a bus for half-an-hour.
We are in our own re-entry, just back from the U.S. on August 28. We were fortunate to enjoy a few days of quietude in Roma before the hoards returned. Each day last week, piano piano it got busier in the streets. 
We had huge thunderstorms last Friday and Saturday, clearing the air and lowering the temperatures. We have not had to turn the apartment into a cave during the day, nor use any fans, for three days now. It is heavenly to sleep in the cool with the windows open and no fan. Unfortunately, the motorini still buzz by at all hours. The skies have some clouds most days, a pleasant change after the heat. We’ll still get many warm days (today is about 80 degrees Fahrenheit/27 Celsius), but the long stretches of hot hot hot days with nights barely dipping to 75F/24C should be over.
Roma is in the process of trying to clean up for the Jubilee Year that starts December 8. Proclaimed by Papa Francesco, the Jubilee is expected to draw huge crowds to Roma and the rest of Italy. Roma needs to look good for this. While there is an official effort with increased street cleaners having been hired, there is also a grass-roots movement, “I am Rome.” I do think the city seems a little cleaner than it was 6 weeks ago, although apparently people still do not know how to pick up dog poop.
Just today the mayor announced fine or 150-200 Euro for throwing cigarette butts on the ground. A bold move and welcome! No longer can smokers do the famous lancia where they pinch the butt between thumb and forefinger and hurl it at the street. I am not sure who will have time for writing tickets for butts, but today I saw a policewoman with Polizia Roma Capitale actually writing parking tickets. Miracles happen!
It’s good to be back home in the land of fabulous food and coffee. We had a lot of good meals in the U.S., but the food is fresher here and requires less seasoning. Pizza in Italy is simply THE BEST, and it doesn’t cost as much to eat out at a pizzeria in Roma as it did a couple of places we ate in the U.S. Wine in Italy is far cheaper too.
Now that's a pizza! Ric Barton displays a work-of-art in Roma.
Now that’s a pizza! Ric Barton displays a work-of-art in Roma.
Regarding wine, my brother had an excellent observation for those pursuing the best selection of wine in the world. In France, one finds French wines; in Italy, Italian. Where can you find wines from everywhere? Yup, Stati Uniti. The selection wines available in the U.S. outnumbers the variety of pasta in Italy, but oh, Lord, the wine is inexpensive in Italy!
For most Italian kids, school starts Thursday. In Italy, they get the whole summer off, from early June to early September, like we used to. Why do so many American schools start in August? That’s when families should be getting in a final camping trip, swimming at the shore, having picnics. I think they do that right in Italy. Il rientro in September is for everyone.
We plan to enjoy more local outings in the area now that temperatures are moderate. There is much to Roma that we have not seen. After all, una vita non basta! (One lifetime is not enough!)
Enjoy your own rientro, wherever you may be!

6 Responses to “Il rientro”

  1. Chloe September 9, 2015 at 08:35 #

    I enjoyed reading ‘I Am Rome.’ Of course, in order to clean up, one needs trash cans that are emptied each day. We were in Rome a few years ago staying in an apartment in the Prati area and were pleasantly surprised at how clean it was. I love and miss the storms that you get in Italy. I have never been any other place where it can rain so hard that the rain can bounce off the pavement as high as your knees. Next time you are in the U.S., go to Sacramento for good produce in the farmers markets. Better than anything that I can get in France. Try Trader Joes for wine. We pick up Nero Davolo there and it is very drinkable and not expensive. If you are a wine connoisseur, forget that recommendation. It’s just a table wine.


    • gooddayrome September 9, 2015 at 10:09 #

      Thanks for your note, Chloe.

      Actually Roma needs MORE trash cans in convenient locations. We walk across Ponte Milvio frequently, which is a hot spot for late night drinking. Many bottles and cups are left on the bridge, but I shudder to think of the number that go into the river.There’s not a trash can in sight, so AMA shows up to sweep almost every morning.

      Portland has a good farmer’s market too, 9 months of the year. I am hoping it will live up to my expectations when I need it again!

      We are all too familiar with TJs! Good place, but on my, the wine possibilities in Italy are unending.


  2. Marcia Kakiuchi September 8, 2015 at 17:21 #

    Just reading about the wines and the pastas (not to mention the coffee!) makes my mouth water!

    Liked by 1 person

    • gooddayrome September 9, 2015 at 05:13 #

      You realy do need to take a trip over here, Marcia!


  3. Barbie September 8, 2015 at 16:36 #

    I love Rome in September – the same time of busy energy as NYC. Good to know you are home and your travels were such a delight. Sorry I was no longer in Oregon to connect but we will cross paths again. Life is very good in Florida – everything I hoped it would be and more. I will be heading to ATL in Sept, Oct and Dec to spend time with my family. Love to you two and the rest of the pet family.


    • gooddayrome September 8, 2015 at 17:03 #

      Grazie Barbie! Enjoy the autumn! Such a wonderful time! Glad you are thriving in FL.


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