I didn’t post yesterday because I was mediating a war between my Macbook laptop and my new Android. I’m a pretty devoted Apple fan with a Mac, an iPod, and a beloved iPhone, but I needed an unlocked cell phone if I wanted it to work inexpensively in both the United States and in Italy. What to do—unlocked iPhone for $800, unlocked Android for $250. But Apple NEVER makes it easy to communicate with non-Apple devices or software. Don’t even talk to me about Quicken, which I’ve been using since 1991. It’s really clunky on the Mac, and with the new Mac operating system that’s coming out this fall, the Mac won’t support Quicken at all! I see a Windows-based laptop in my future, and I that makes me really, really, really sad. Anyway, after five ridiculous and frustrating hours, my Android and Mac are happily syncing.
I had such a wonderful day outside those five hours that I couldn’t stay mad for long. In the morning I walked through Campo de’ Fiori and Piazza Navona and up Via di Ripetta to Piazza del Popolo and came home down Rome’s main shopping corridor, Via del Corso. I love Piazza del Popolo. It’s huge and not the prettiest piazza in Rome, but it’s busy, busy, busy with cars, buses, and people. I sat on the steps of the Santa Maria dei Miracoli church on the south end of the piazza and watched the world go by.
Right after we got to Rome, we went for a walk one night and passed Roscioli, a salumeria just south of Campo de’ Fiori. We tried to eat there that night but needed a reservation. In the middle of the war yesterday, I called the salumeria and made a reservation for last night. We had the best meal so far in Rome!
Salumi is the Italian word for cured meats, so in a salumeria, you can buy meats, cheeses, and other deli kinds of things. The salumeria we ate in last night has a restaurant on the premises and also makes pizza and bread in its forno (bakery) up the street.
We’re obviously Americans, so we usually get stuck in the worst tables in Rome. The locals get the good tables, understandably, and we end up by the kitchen, next to the entrance, or in the basement. Last night we ended up in the basement, and as I walked down the stairs, I was disappointed. But this basement was the wine cellar and it was beautiful, fascinating, and cool. If they hadn’t been playing Tony Bennett on an endless loop, it would have been perfect.
Because the specialty of the house is cured meats, we decided to have a salumi platter and a cheese platter with a glass of dry rosé for our appetizer. The cheese platter had four puzzolenti (stinky) cheeses from Italy and France—all perfectly aged and at a perfect temperature. The salumi platter included capicola, prosciutto, mortadella (I don’t usually like mortadella, but this was wonderful), and, my favorite, testa di maiale. The testa di maiale was amazing—like a large sausage and quite spicy. I looked testa di maiale up on Google today and learned that it’s a sausage made in a pig’s head! Before you say eeeeeuuuuuwwww, remember that all sorts of things are used to make sausage casings, apparently including pigs’ heads. If I ever see testa di maiale again, I’ll order it in a heartbeat! You should, too! I plan to visit the salumeria soon to buy some for my lunch.
For our main course we both had fish and a bottle of Elba Rosso, a gorgeous red wine recommended by our waiter. Michael had sea bass, which he said was good, and I hit the jackpot with anchovies marinated in olive oil with a hint of orange juice and served with hot bread and French butter. I remember when I used to order Caesar salads without anchovies—stupid—but now I love anchovies. If they’re on the menu (or on a pizza or on a salad or in pasta), I have a hard time resisting them. These were excellent, and I’d get them again at Roscioli if the menu didn’t include so many other interesting things to try.
Wonderful night, scrumptious food, delicious wine, great waiter. What’s a little computer squabble compared to that?