Roaming Rome

We’re in Rome now because of this field trip Owen has, and because of Fred’s desire to sketch the Colosseum. Owen took the train with the group from Viterbo. Twenty-three stops, about two hours. Fred and I drove the half hour to Orte and took the express train to Rome and got there in 35 minutes. 

The B&B is on the fifth floor overlooking Piazza Cavour just across the river from TONS of oppressive tourist action. I like it here. Our innkeeper in an Italian American with dual citizenship. She grew up on Long Island and moved here 16 years ago. Two years later she met her husband, an Italian American from NY who moved here 14 years ago. He went to RISD (!) and is a graphic designer with a firm in NY. But he lives here in Rome.

This is one of the best places we’ve stayed. The windows open onto Piazza Cavour, a huge one with a big green with palm trees in the center, and the back of the court house flanking one side. Guards with machine guns protect the court house 24/7. They're friendly, but it's still nervous making to talk to someone holding such a weapon.

Finally, a room with a view for the Lynches.

Piazza Cavour at dusk.

A bird just sat on my cafe table and took a potato chip 
and flew away too fast for me to grab a shot. 
A man just walked by holding a potted basil plant. 
Fred's former RISD student and our friend Karen Sung 
saw my post about this and immediately drew it!

After Owen’s time at the museum we decided to meet halfway, which was conveniently the Pantheon. We got there at exactly the same time. Funny to see your boy walking toward you in the middle of Rome.

The rest of my time was spent doing what I like to do best—not seeing the traditional sights, since this is our eighth trip to Rome and we've covered quite a few—but people watching, and walking up and down side streets, far from the madding crowd.

Here are some Roman men:

And here are some awesome bookstore displays.

Gotta have the 3D glasses!

And more Rome shots.

The Tevere is olive drab, naturally.

Fred & I in Piazza Navona

Free limoncello tasting!

And a human glass of limoncello selling it!

The boy we brought with us, being coaxed by his father to
step into an Irish pub and hear the brogues. So fun.

Omg, selfie self control, people!

We ate in a perfect spot Fred found on Trip Advisor, a few blocks away—L'Arcangelo. Very Roman clientele, except for a silently arguing young American couple next to us. They were STEAMING mad at each other which distracted and depressed me. The waiter brought us an amuse bouche, which was delightful. It was a tomato and bread purée. When we explained the French term to Owen, it got us wondering if the Italians have a different term. They don't. Here's what I found on Wikipedia:

The term is French, literally translated as "mouth amuser." The plural form is amuse-bouche or amuse-bouches. In France, amuse-gueule is the proper term normally employed in conversation and literary writing, while amuse-bouche is a euphemistic hypercorrection that appeared in the 1980s on restaurant menus and is used almost only there. In French, bouche refers to the human mouth, while gueule refers to the mouth or snout of an animal, and is used as a derogatory term for mouth or face.

The aforementioned treat. 

On every table were placed a corresponding number of matchbox cars
to the number of seats at the table. They belong to the owner's son.

My entrée. Baccalà (a fish) topped with grilled red peppers,
atop a purée of some sort. Foggy now on the details, but it was great.
The cheese course was for later but
somehow came at the same time (in the background).
Our 24 hours in Rome was short, but sweet. Owen will return next week with his visiting friend. They hope to rent segways, but Owen will be one day short of his 18th birthday and might not be allowed to rent, not to mention be the guardian for his 17 1/2-year-old friend!  We trained back to Orte, and drove home from there. Dinner in our little Viterbo.