Friday, September 19, 2008

My first rainy day in Rome

Everybody says that it hardly ever rains in Rome, especially not in September, which is always the most beautiful month! But today Rome proved "everybody" wrong. It poured all day long, and not just rain, but cold, windy rain that seemed to change the angle at which it fell depending on where you were standing, so that it always blew right into your ears and eyeballs, the most uncomfortable places to be rained on, I think. So, there, "everybody"!

We had planned to go to the ruins in Ostia Antica today, which is supposed to be beautiful and only about a 30 minute ride from Rome. I was looking forward to the train ride to pour over my Gourmet in Paris magazine, so that I could map out mine, Genevieve's and Cooper's restaurant stops this upcoming weekend, but alas, such rain snatched my trainride and thus planning time. Instead, we went to a museum which we had to walk about half a mile to get to. We started out huddled under umbrellas and holding arms to keep warm, but by the time we got to the museum, drenched and teeth chattering, we were walking in a sullen single-file line that would make most kindergarten teachers proud.

The museum is called Centrale Montemartini, and it houses many, many, many, many, many, many, MANY, MANY, MANY marble sculptures. Perhaps I would have better appreciated their individuality had I not been walking soaked to the bone. But the building itself used to be an electrical plant and had a great industrial esthetic, so it was cool to see these ancient statues against metal machinery. Like so:

There was also this GIGANTIC statue that Carolyn took a liking to:

Yesterday (I'm going backwards here, I know...) we went to the Domus Aurea, the house of the Emperor Nero. Now, it's really just a biiiiiiiiig underground cave. But again, I can't help but notice this connection I seem to be having with great Emperors! Standing on the same streets as my buddy Marcus Aurelius, checking out the excavating digs of Nero... who knows what shall come of these three months. I'm not trying to predict anything, I'm just saying that you all better start sucking up now...

Then we went for Brazilian food! Yes, in Rome. But with real Brazilian people, so I trusted their judgement as to the quality of the restaurant. Things started off well with these delectable little buggers, whose name I can neither remember nor pronounce, but they are a sort of fritter filled with cheese:

Following such deliciousness came a strange entree which, although advertised as chicken with fried polenta and "quiaba" (your guess is as good as mine...), consisted of a slice of baguette topped with lentils and chicken. Good, but not was I had hoped for. Before I left for the restaurant, my Brazilian sage and source of knowledge on all things hispanic or ethnic at all, for that matter, Genevieve, advised me to "above all, avoid the fejuada. My friend found a pig's snout in it once...". However, I ordered the black beans. You can guess the rest. I didn't find a pig snout, per se, but there were certainly unidentifiable pig parts brushing up against my beans. I fished around them, though, and was very pleased.

Tonight is looking like a movie night thanks to the crappy weather. Hope tomorrow is a better day for exploring! If not, maybe I'll get my planning time for my restaurant stops in Paris :-)

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

Carolyn looks so tiny in his arms!

Also, I'm glad you took my advice with the Fejoida. Note to all MCMAR readers: Stay. away. from. the. Fejoida.

I'm honored to be your minority reference. Does my Puerto Rican ego good.