We arrived to Rome on Saturday, June 25–Michael for three works to work and Sue for two weeks to find an apartment. We found an apartment the following Monday, so I had two weeks to play. That was fun! We arrived here permanently on August 11. So far, I don’t want to leave!
The apartment is on Via Lungotevere dei Tebaldi, directly across the street from the fiume Tevere (Tiber River), about a 20-minute walk across the river from St. Peter’s, three blocks from the Campo dei Fiori, and five blocks from the Piazza Navona in the historic district. Large sycamores line the boulevards along the Tevere, so our street is about 5 degrees cooler than the rest of the city.
Our apartment (really a condo) occupies the first floor of a small palace built around 1600. It has two bedrooms, both with bathrooms, a TINY kitchen, a dining room, and a living room. I’m not sure where we’ll put our “essential” kitchen things when the boat hauling our 31 boxes lands in September, but I can’t wait for our knives and pots and pans to get here! When we arrived, we were dumbfounded to learn that we didn’t have a microwave, but we bought one Saturday, so now I can have my lattes without scorching pans of milk every morning.
The apartment is below the street and looks out into a beautiful garden. We have huge windows and hope to fill window boxes with some of our favorite herbs: sage, rosemary, basil, tarragon, and oregano. Of course, we don’t know where to buy planter boxes OR herbs yet, so that may take a while.
Behind our apartment is a charming old (1508) street, Via Giulia, which some Romans claim is the most beautiful street in Rome. I’ll let you know. For a Roman cobblestone street, it’s amazingly wide and airy, and it truly is beautiful.
As you can imagine, we’re surrounded by hundreds of restaurants in the historic district–some are tourist traps and others are wonderful neighborhood restaurants as yet undiscovered by tourists (and I’ll never tell!). Just across the river is Trastevere, an enchanting and lively old Roman neighborhood with lots of relatively inexpensive restaurants and a maze of ancient winding streets. We’ve been there several times for dinner, and I never can figure out how to get home. I usually have an excellent sense of direction, but not in Trastevere!
Several buses stop right in front of our apartment, so bus commuting’s a breeze–metro, not so much, since Rome can never build a subway system under the historic district because of all the antiquity that excavators would undoubtedly unearth. It takes us only 15 to 20 minutes to get to the metro on the bus, so we’ll manage just fine.
We have three grocery stores within a 10-minute walk of our apartment, and a farmer’s market on Campo de Fiori each morning offers fruits, vegetables, spices, flowers, and clothes (?). Campo de Fiori also has a wee dairy outlet and a fabulous sandwich, pizza, and pastry shop. Tis the season for caprese salad (tomato, basil, and mozzarella) though, and I eat one for lunch every day. Buffala mozzarella is so fantastic in Italy–makes my mouth water to think about it. Too bad I already had mine for the day.
So that’s where we live. Next: food and restaurants (my favorite subjects!).