Wednesday in Rome. (Yes, I’m really far behind, but I’m determined to do this thing. The good news is, by the time I’m done it’ll be time to go on my next vacation, at least at the rate I’m going.)
Related: my friend April asked me the other day, how can I remember so much so far afterwards? Well, two things help. One is I did keep a few notes as we went along. The other is that when I look at the photos, which are obviously in chronological order, the trip really starts coming back to me. I’m one of those people who firmly believes that photos help keep memories! Obviously you also want to “enjoy the moment” but I really like having pictures later. Moments are fleeting.
(If you’ve missed a day here are the trip recaps–)
So Wednesday we had some random plans. Louie’s mom and stepdad, and honestly all of us, had been to Rome before. They had been more times than we younger folks, and in fact his mom had spent a year in Rome with her family while she was a teenager. They lived right off of the Spanish Steps!
Wednesday was to be a less touristy day. We’d been surrounded by crowds for the Colosseum and the Vatican Museums, and it was time to sneak into lesser known places. I don’t mean sneak, I just mean, hopefully thousands of people wouldn’t follow us.
We started our day with a visit to the Giorgio De Chirico museum. It was a little house museum located in a house near the Piazza de Spagna. De Chirico was an Italian artist, and saying much more than that would simply tell the world how ignorant I am of art!
I love house tours. I love seeing how people lived. The tour was led by a guide and was very small—just us and a couple from Australia.
So, after the tour we headed along the Tiber River with plans to go to the Villa Farnesina, in the Trastevere neighborhood.
(along the way)
The Villa was built in the early 1500s for the richest man in Renaissance Europe, a Sienese banker named Agostino Chigo. I guess the thing that is most interesting about the Villa is all the frescoes painted by Raphael. During the time that Raphael was painting them, he was also having a (famous) affair with the celebrated Fornarina, that is, the “baker’s daughter” who lived down the street. Chigo thought that Raphael was too distracted so he had the girl kidnapped so Raphael could focus on his work. This plan (obviously) backfired as then Raphael was distraught and upset, so then Chigo brought the girl to move in and keep Raphael company while he worked.
Our visit got interrupted though, because an old friend of Louie’s mom’s called to meet for lunch. Back when her family lived in Rome her younger sister was good friends with a girl named Ruthie. This Ruthie grew up to be the Swedish Ambassador to Rome and that’s who we met for lunch. We met at a nearby cafe in the Trastevere neighborhood and had lunch and espresso. We didn’t get any pictures of the group which was a shame!
The corner where had lunch. So cute! Also across from where supposedly Raphael met the baker’s daughter to begin with.
Ruth had to get back to work after a short lunch, so we headed to wander around the Trastevere neighborhood. It was very hilly (near the Janiculum too—I got a little turned around at one point?) and tiring but led to some nice views.
We wandered around quite a bit, and I took some fun neighborhood photos.
Our next stop was to be the Palazzo Spada. It wasn’t easy to find due to a variety of factors: not terribly accurate maps, impatience, and construction.
Mainly we wanted to see this forced perspective gallery by Borromini that was made “famous” in the film “La Grande Bellezza”.
Also there were cats! CATS.
After that we decided an aperitiv and a snack would be lovely before dinner.
We had some delicious mozzarella for an appetizer, and then headed to a Sicilian place, where we feasted on seafood and pasta. Anchovy pasta! Again, no food pictures (I do regret this but at the time it seemed quite tacky—I never regret the pictures I take, only the ones I don’t?).
It was a random day, but involved loads of walking and seeing random things. We went to bed knowing we had one more day in Rome and thinking about how to make the best of it. Spoiler alert: bones. Bones artfully arranged.