Tag Archives: panettone

Scenes from a Roman Saturday

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

A view from Piazzale Napoleone. across P.za 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.

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