Thursday, December 06, 2007

Across the River to the See

Yesterday was an beautiful day - sunny not too cold but cool enough that a fleece jacket was required. So clad in my Lands End fleece I headed down to Teatro dell' Opera in Centro and then across the Tiber for only the second time in five months. A slight digression - this time of year it is not unusual to see tourists lightly dressed in Centro while the locals are bundled up in ski jackets, scarfs, hats and gloves. I'm somewhere in between but still get looks in my neighbourhood - knowing Nonne at the Seniors Park shake their collective heads fully aware that I am courting my death so lightly dressed.

The trip across the river was that mail run to the Vatican Post Office with the Christmas cards I mentioned. The friendly clerk, he'd have not future with the Italian Postal Service, assured me that there was still sufficient time for cards to get to their various destinations. Service was quick, the stamps colourful and lets admit it some Aunts will be thrilled more with the fact that the envelope bears the Vatican stamp than the card inside.

While I was there I decided to stop off for lunch at an osteria on Borgo Pio a few steps from St Peter's. I can never remember the name of the place but I do remember the location. Laurent and I ended up there for dinner that damp and fog first night we were in Rome back in 1999. And our first meal - the first of many - with our good friend Robert was a lunch there on that same trip. Both times I had the Spaghetti alla Carbonara and it set the standard. Eight years later I still think its up there with the best.

I also took the opportunity to do a mini-Tosca pilgrimage: Castel Sant'Angelo and the Church of Sant'Andrea della valle - Palazzo Farnase is now the French Embassy so that's out of bounds.

St Peter Moto
And why not?

Castel Sant'AngeloCastel Sant'Angelo
Castel San Angelo from the back - after all everyone's seen it from the front.

Searching for greens
This elderly couple were searching in the Castel moat for greens of some sort.

Palazzo di Giustizia
The very elaborate 19th Century facade of Palazzo di Giustizia.

San Andrea delle valle facadeDome of San AndreaDome of San ANdreaAlter San Andrea
The facade and interior of Sant'Andrea della Valle.

Santas climbing out the window?

06 decembre - San Nicola di Bari


Doralong said...

Wow! I never have that much fun going to the post office!

Anonymous said...

You lead a very charmed life my friend. Also, I'm pretty sure that elderly couple is in search of the world famous Castel magic mushrooms. WHEEEEEE!

Willym said...

Doralong: Yes but if I had gone to my local Post Office it would have taken as much time and it would have all been spent at the Post Office. Or actually I could still be there - in the wrong line.

Hat: Every so often I have to remind myself of that fact. Ah those would be the mushrooms that make you think your Maria Callas and can sing Vissi d'arte before throwing yourself off the battlements. Right, I know a few opera queens who've taken those.

evilganome said...

Willym, some of the funniest moments in opera have taken place in the final scene of "Tosca". Everyone has their favorite story of what happened when Tosca took the big dive. My favorite is the Trampolina Tosca in which a rather, uh, ample Tosca went over the battlement to land on a pile of mattresses and bounced back up!

Thank you however for sharing the gorgeous sites. Now if you'll just tell us your favorite Tosca story...

Tater said...

I'm tired of hearing stories, I want to live them. Here's the plan:
1) you fly to Chicago
2) You kidnap me
3) You fly me back to Rome
4) I babysit Reesie, and clean.
5) You instruct me on opera
6) We find a hot young organ grinder to teach us Italian, and point out the best local restaurants, and live happily ever after. This scenario also includes Laurent of course. Thruples are all the rage these days...

I'm waiting.

Elizabeth said...

Your pictures (and the gray clouds, gray slush, gray city here) make me want to run screaming to the airport, hop on a plane, and flee to Italy.

Willym said...

EG: I think the confused firing squad in SFO is my favorite - if it isn't an urban legend. There had been only a verbal run through of the execution scene so when the firing squard marched on stage they were a little vague on who was to be shot. Much confusion reigned apparantly Tosca was shot at and for the first time in history Mario died of a heart attack.

Tater: Hmmmm... you into wearing an apron and nothing else and why on earth would we need an Italian organ grinder (ouch)if we got us a hot American au pair at home? And what about the people in your house - nobody there would pay ransom or would they just come along too? Menage a.......

tater said...

Right now it's all about me, but I am certain I would get weepy and homesick within a few weeks.

Doralong said...

Tate- no way! Tony and I will be doing Joe and Princess Ann all over Roma, so you won't get homesick with sister dear and EG there too. Aw hell, just bring Jim and the dog-

Wills, best see if there's another apartment for rent in your building.. Or better yet start looking for a rather large house.

SubtleKnife said...

Santas seem fitting on Saint Nicholas, since that's who they were based on.

For the longest time I didn't understand why he was called "of Bari" - until I figured out they won the battle over his remains. Which, I understand, still smell like daisies, so lucky them!

SubtleKnife said...

Santas seem fitting on Saint Nicholas, since that's who they were based on.

For the longest time I didn't understand why he was called "of Bari" - until I figured out they won the battle over his remains. Which, I understand, still smell like daisies, so lucky them!

Red7Eric said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, WILLYM!! And my, what pretty pictures!!

more cowbell said...

Tater - back off bitch, I had the housemaid idea months ago! But ... you're a hot guy, and ... Dammit! There's always a fatal flaw in my plans.

Willym, love the window climbing Santas!

Willym said...

Subtle Knife: Don't think I'd want to get close enough to the relics to find out one way or the other.

Red7Eric: Thanks - and re your other comment we actually did a birthday weekend - started Friday ended Sunday. Though I like the liturgical idea of the octave days of a major feast.

Tater/Cowbell: Now stop it - I'm going to have to get that house Dora mention - wonder if Villa Borgese is up for sale. That way Tater can do the West Wing and Cowbell you can do the East. And you can both do all the Italian ... never mind.