(Aside: Apparently my conceit isn’t working out that well. Imagine that. I’ll try again soon, because I need to work on my writing discipline, in multiple ways.)
Some bits from our vacation in Rome:
- Baby food in the supermarket: coniglio, salmone, trota, cavallo.
- Good wine in the supermarket for 5 euros. (NB: Where we live, you cannot buy wine at all in the supermarket. If you could, it would be antifreeze at 7 dollars.)
- First big meal included tasty giant shrimp (I don’t eat shrimp, so they must have been good), linguine alla vongole, and calamari con fiori di finocchio
- The garden of the family apartment we got to use had 2 lime trees. Except that they were orange trees with unripe fruit.
- I explained to a Korean tourist at Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano that bimbo was equivalent to bambino. Except that I think she took away that you could call an infant bambino bimbo
- A Sicilian pastry shop had the most wonderful little budini di riso — like a little rice pudding pot pie. They also had mammy cookie jars for sale.
- A nice nonna in an elevator at one supermarket asked my son if he wanted to go home with her. He seemed to decline.
- Waiting for a bus, a man made a special detour to see my son and touch his hand. Somehow in Rome it didn’t seem creepy.
- Flattering that people addressed me in Italian. Pleasing that I was able frequently to reply sufficiently in Italian and that I even got compliments. Nobody told me I had a French accent, which is what I expected.
- One day I was wearing my AS Roma tshirt and got heckled by a passing Lazio fan in a car. He used the greeting traditionally exchanged between the two sides.
- Our only pizza was at Baffetto’s, which has, I hear, seen better days. It was a Napoletana, and was undercooked.
- Gelatos eaten: caffe, fragole – cioccolatto, nocciola – mela e mentha – cioccolato a latte, and riso e miele – cubano. The nocciola –caffe was at Miami, the first at the disappointing Giolitti, and the other two at the truly remarkable Gelateria dei Gracchi. My suggestion to our friends that the town needs a gelateria with truly uncommon flavors (cedano, carciofi, lavanda) was met with good humor. Too bad I was serious.
- The closest macelleria to our apartment sold its wares in vacuum packs instead of from a counter. However, it did have the benefit of humorous translations of the products. Apparently, prosciutto di montagna is “tasty mountain ham”.
EDIT 01: Michelangelo’s comment jogged my memory that the gelato al fragole – cioccolato was at Giolitti, near the Pantheon.