Friday, September 17, 2010

MY kind of sight-seeing

On Wednesday, I decided to simply go out for a walk.  I did have a store that I was heading to, but it was about 2 miles away so I didn’t know if I would get that far or not.  SO…..I left the apartment and headed for one of the main streets that went North…..

Actually, I almost got run over  by a motorcycle as I exited from the apartment….they go SO fast down this very narrow street!!!!  

I walked a slightly different direction than before and immediately came across a fabric store.  However, this was one where the fabrics were all on shelves behind counters and you were not encouraged to have a feel.  Also, they were all clothing fabrics and I dont think that would have been happy if I had asked for a 1/2 meter of some brocade.  So I just looked!!!

As I was window shopping along Barberini Street, I came across a Bentley Dealership and found my new car.  It can go from 0 to 100 kilometers (0 to 60 mph) in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 329 kilometers per hour (about 210 mph).  The cost is only 250,000 Euros (about 325,ooo dollars)!!!   They were beautiful cars!!!

I came to a small church and went in for  a look.  It had a beautiful interior with sculptures of Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and Jeremiah. 

_9158712 There was also a door marked “Sacristy – Cistercian Nuns”.  I watched as a man approached the door and pressed the buzzer.  A few minutes later a Nun came to the door and talked with him.  When I got out of the church, I realized that it was Santa Susanna which is the home of the American Catholic Church in Rome and that they do all of their Masses in English. 

As I continued down the street, I saw a large truck (almost 18 wheeler size) driving out of a small side street and turning onto a wider (but not that wide) main street.  I stood fascinated as he did a 4 point turn and magically turned the truck.  At one point he scrapped the side of the building, but his partner in the street yelled for him to back up and he was able to move a few inches over and start again. 

_9158715 The most interesting part of the endeavor was watching the motorcycles that were waiting impatiently for the street to clear.  Every time the truck would stop to reverse directions, they would zip in front or behind, even going up onto the sidewalk to do it.  The frenzy level increased as time went on……

_9158717 ….and then they all sped off, ending my vignette of Italian life …..

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I continued walking, enjoying seeing groups of older men sitting in parks and a dog park whose fence was plastered with posters about various lost dogs.

I saw an interesting bell tower on the other side of the street and a very plain church, which I originally decided to pass by.  I am glad that I changed my mind because it was a wonderful church.  The decorations were simple, including this wonderful piece……

_9158725 and there was a fresco done with modern designs.

BUT, the best part was a woman sitting on a scaffold working to reveal another fresco that had been plastered over.  She told me (in broken English) that she had been working on this project for about 2 weeks, starting with the borders before revealing the central picture.  I bet that it is exciting to work on it, not knowing what might be revealed!!!   She was using small brushes and a tool that looked like a potato peeler to carefully remove the plaster.  When she saw that I was taking photos, she offered to get off of the scaffold so that I could see better, but I told her that I wanted her in the picture too.  She said…..”grazie”!!!_9158727 I need to try to go back before we leave and see her progress.

As I moved into a residential area, I saw a jeep with an armed guard (machine gun) standing at the corner.  I walked warily past him and on down the street, wondering exactly why a guard was needed.  Then I came to a sign stating that this was the Afghanistan Consul….ok that explains the guard!!!

I walked past a “Care-four” store which is the first big supermarket that I have seen in Italy.  I enjoyed walking thu and looking at the different products.  The pasta aisle was HUGE and I was interested to note that the past has different sizes shown on the packaging.  A regular spaghetti was a size 5 while Penne Regate was size 73.  I guess when you have so many different types of pasta you need some form of sizing them.

I was also interested in the chocolate bars here.  The only “American” candy that I have seen are Kit-Kat bars….guess that Romans like to have a “break” too.

Also, I have noticed that they dont have much frozen food.  Most things are either fresh or canned.

It was interesting that the store had minimal parking and there was an attendant who would let the next car in when a spot opened up.

I made it to my store, made a very small purchase and started walking back home.  This time I ran into huge groups of teenagers apparently leaving school for lunch.  The local cafes were crammed with kids buying sandwiches and drinks.  I stopped to take a photo of a small cigarette machine that was stuck in a door, but was swamped with kids before I could get the photo….

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Even though I was walking on mostly main streets, I found it easy to get lost but am not surprised when I look at this street sign……

_9158731 It reminded me of home where you can come to the corner of Barnet Shoals, Barnet Shoals and Barnet Shoals!!!

I saw a bunch of cars with fliers on them advertising  “L'inglese rapido” (fast English lessons) for only 8 Euros per hour!

I found this cute car…….

 _9158735 ….and this tiny gas station……

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Michael called me about 2:00 and said that he was heading home.  As we talked, I realized that I was only a few blocks from his train station, so we met there and rode the train home together……it sure beat walking back!!!!

The evening ended with a dinner at our local restaurant to celebrate David and Lyn’s last night in Rome.  The owner sent a gift to us….a liqueur that his wife made…although the waitress could not tell us exactly WHAT it was.  It had a vanilla flavor with possibly a bit of mint and was fairly strong, but overall it was a nice flavor.

2 comments:

Anita said...

We continue to read your wonderful journal of Italy. As I saw the street sign I thought, "Ah, Barnett Shoals in Italy!" and then read what you wrote under the photo. hahahahaha

maggi said...

I really enjoyed taking this stroll with you. Good to see that the Roman driving has not changed. Lovely to see the scooters again.

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