The Scribbler

27 September 2011

Bella Roma day 3 – Gladiators and a feast

Filed under: travel — The Scribbler @ 21:43
Tags: , , , , , ,
View inside the Colosseum

View from inside the Colosseum

It’s back to the Colosseum this morning, arriving early to beat the crowds. We pause in the wide corridors and then enter the arena, beneath the Roman sunshine, imagining the roar of the crowd and the clash of swords and shields.

The shape of the arena is so familiar, it’s easy to make sense of the games, the battles, the shows played out here. The archeology has unearthed behind the scenes too. Rows and channels for ropes and pulleys that housed the special effects and surprises to thrill the audience.

We peer down on the modern day players, dressed as Romans and earning money from tourist pictures, talking on their mobile phones.

As we leave the Colosseum we spot Fabio, our Segway tour guide with a group on their bikes and say hello. We head to the Aventine hill, site of grand homes and palaces of Rome’s ancient senators and rulers. The shady trees and views make this a pleasant spot away from the buzz of the city. We visit an old house where some of the wall painting have been preserved, the rich colours still vibrant after thousands of years.

Through the gardens we emerge into the Forum, finally on ground level with the site we’ve looked over before. We take a walk along the stone paths of the Via Sacre, imagining the long crumbled temples and a street busy with stalls, people, sounds and smells.

By now we’re hot and and ready for a break out of the sun. We follow a recommendation and go in search of a nearby restaurant for lunch. La Taverna dei Fori Imperiale presents one of the warmest greetings and the best meals of our trip. Veal saltimbocca, Roman pork with truffle oil and salad. A great find.

Happy and full, we head back to the hotel for a break before venturing out for our own cooking experience. We meet Natalya originally from the Ukraine, now living in Rome, and begin a walk around the city’s Jewish quarter, home of real food and real people.

We stop at a butcher’s and a cheese shop; snack on home-made pizza and learn some more local history before making our way to the restaurant to meet Chef Fabio and follow him to his home with views high above the city.

Our lesson is more of a prep and ask questions, trying to get a word in edgeways between Rhonda and Julie, two American women who are also taking the class. But we make our first pasta and turn it into ricotta and courgette filled ravioli and pasta twists eaten with a ham and pecorino cheese sauce. We finish with a dish of ripe peaches soaked in white wine.

The evening passes quickly and we walk through darkening streets still full of life, back to our hotel to sleep of a day of magnificent food.


1 Comment »

  1. Colorful post. I felt as if I were there too. Rome is quite beautiful. I’m glad to say I have marked that off of my travel to-do list. Thanks for sharing! Sounds like you had a great time.


    Comment by travelingmad — 27 September 2011 @ 22:02 | Reply

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