Halfway through August, it is really a lull and mostly routine. Last week had a few out of the usual moments, the outing last Sunday to L’Aquila and the opera we saw. This week went by quickly, so really all quiet from the Roman front from a lifestyle perspective, where Rosa and I are doing our things that we need to do in living together and taking care of our respective things business and personal wise. Of course, from a business standpoint, she is my guide of choice here in Rome, when possible, and several clients will be coming to town next month and the following, so we will be busy, but not just those clients, but other clients traveling to other parts of the world, so getting ready for the push.
Another thing on the horizon is a trade show in Arezzo, a place I have not been to yet, which will take place in September, followed by some time up in Modena and Parma following with Rosa, and a quick trip back to London, for a quick trip of 3 nights. All this for the future and whatever may happen the rest of the month where we are talking about a beach holiday on or near the Adriatic. In any case, that is to be shared later and I am sure some pictures of those experiences as they happen. Right now, the focus is on getting the tickets for the Colosseum, the Vatican and dealing with all that bureaucracy, but that is part of the program.
Really what I want to talk about living here in Rome is what I love most, and it happens pretty much every day I meet the people. We live in an area called San Saba and this is very close to the Circus Maximus and the other direction, Pyramid. Both good metro stops for the record. When I go out shopping or to get a bite to eat and this week Rosa and I checked out a local establishment, not an Italian restaurant, but a steakhouse, and not any steakhouse, this one called Bull and it is according to the description, the oldest steakhouse in Rome and it has been around some 50 years I believe. Now, I do not eat a lot of beef these days, mostly poultry and seafood, but I had this desire to have a steak, so we went there, and it is only a 5-minute walk from the apartment. Check it out, not inexpensive, so more a special occasion.
We arrived, they had the reservation, and we were seated, and the experience was wonderful. The place is a mix of old west and Italian twist, if you can imagine, but the ambiance is wonderful and once your drink and antipasti or prima order is taken, you go up to the counter and choose your steak from different places in Europe, be it Poland, Denmark and yes, here in Italy and so I did. Rosa ordered items off the menu as a mix and shared, as we do, the steak. Now, you must know that when you come to a restaurant, a pizzeria where you can get “slices” or a sandwich or some sort of dish, the Italians make it simple. Everything is priced by weight, so in this case, a steak, a T-bone, with a little of the tenderloin attached, was put on the scale and bone and all came in just under a kilo, or 2.2 pounds pre-cooked weight.
I did not come to Rome to eat sour cream and most Italians have no clue, but they know what Philadelphia is, or what their version of Philadelphia brand cream cheese is, and I explained that it is cream cheese in America and Philadelphia is the brand. In any case, really what makes Rome and Italy in general are the people and they are the most generous, warm people you can meet. I am not saying other places don’t have genuinely friendly people, but Italians are for sure, and this was also said by the gentleman, by the way Roman who checked us in at the Bull at the end and he says Rome has lots of problems, but he loves his city. Risa does also, and it is the people that make this city, and I could not agree more.
I know that when I go to a market or other store, and more than once, they remember you, language barrier or not and mostly not and you are a friend, not just a customer. Also, family is huge here and for me, sometimes that is a hard concept, but I accept. Rosa’s sister, the other day, called Rosa to ask if we needed anything at the store. Of course, I like going to the market and exploring and buying things to try, but one of my favorite things is Porchetta, something that is a must to try. So, she brought that, mozzarella buffala and “pizza”. Well to me it is bread with a smearing of olive oil and herbs, but to the Italians, it is one type of pizza of many which leads me to the last thing for this week. Rosa, when she and I went to L’Aquila in Abruzzo last Sunday, and we stopped to get a “slice”, she did not want any.
Why, you ask? Because she is a Roman and to her, only Rome knows how to make pizza, and I interjected and said, what about Napoli and their pizza and she agreed, va bene, and then I said, remember when you came to New York City and you gobbled down several slices and again, she agreed, so to her pizza is a thin and other places make the “bread” to thick. I agree that the one slice I had in L’Aquila was mostly bread and then the toppings, which were mushrooms and prosciutto, was much less weight than the bread, so that is what I really paid for, the bread and not the toppings. Sorry, Chicago, but I don’t think she would like deep dish or the Sicilian slice in New York City.
I want to thank you as always for your support of my crazy little world and my small business. As always, I look forward to your comments, questions, concerns and continuing the discourse through whichever means you read my posts!!!
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Weathering the Storm with the Wandering Puffin