Our first full day in Rome and a long long walk. I wanted Broni to see how well we were located, so off we went to the west, towards the river. We walked along the Tevere (Tiber) to Castel Sant’Angelo and crossed the river to St. Peter’s. A beautiful morning and such beautiful things to see not ten minutes from our hotel. Castel Sant’Angelo and its reflections on the river a such a beautiful sight.
I had hoped that we could go inside St Peters, as we were doing the Vatican Museum the following day and I thought it might be enough on its own. But our plans were foiled by none other than His Holiness, who was holding a papal mass in the piazza. No chance of getting anywhere near, though we could hear the broadcast and see him in the distance on a large screen. Back in the day, I went to a papal audience inside St Peters itself, with a reserved seat on a little stand by Santa Helena. You can see on this page that it was a very privileged seat close to the high altar with Bernini’s bronze canopy. Throughout the mass, an usher in a plum coloured medieval costume kept muttering to me ”Psssst, pssst, signorina, signorina!”. Well, that was a long time ago.
So we went away again and along Corso Vittorio Emmanuele where we found a place to sit down and have a cool beer. It was very hot. We crossed the road and ventured off into the small streets finding our way to Campo dei Fiori. From there to Via Arenuela and another bar (Mad Jack’s in Via Santa Maria del Pianto) where we had a very long lunch break while I sketched, we cooled down and rested our feet.
Then off to Largo Torre Argentina and a short chat with the cats there. Back to the ice cream shop with 150 flavours, and at last I had a granita di caffe. Though it was authentic in most ways, it was served with a lot of cream, which seems to me an add-on for the tourists.
Back for a siesta, glueing and writing, then out to find a place for dinner. In our wandering I came across the little market where I used to go to the butcher when I lived in Rome. This kind man helped me learn Italian. I knew him when I didn’t speak a word and Gabriella used to send me off with a note for him. I went back when I returned four years later, but it seemed to be……gone? Closed down? I don’t remember. But this time I found the market again. Closed of course, being night time