Saturday, April 05, 2008

Campo de' Fiori + reggae music + aperitivos + a yummy dinner = a very good Friday night.

As I mentioned before, my Friday night routine was reading scripts for work then watching the American version of "What Not to Wear" on TLC at 9:00. I enjoyed watching Stacy (her shoes are beyond fierce) and Clinton but sometimes I would think perhaps I should not being doing this every freaking Friday.

Well my first Friday in Rome was a little different. I woke up yesterday with no plans at all. My friend Giampiero called around 1:00 asking what I was doing and if I wanted to meet for a aperitivo (drink) later at Campo de' Fiori. We went to Teste Matte (Crazy heads?) . Nice local spot a little off the square. I was thinking how nice to be listening to some great reggae and not the bad street musician around the corner. I spoke too soon. A mime showed up. G. said "Oh no! He is the worst mime in the world and very aggressive when he asks for money". My friend did not lie. This guy was bad and his music was loud. ha. G. introduced to one his friends who was there. She works in film and is a native Roman who's parents are Japanese. She was very nice and we'll bump into each other again since she lives not far from me. After two proseccos and few appetizers, G and I decided to go to dinner.

I don't remember the name of the place but it was small, no signage. G. said his girlfriend (who is a regular) took him there and the owner was like "hmm who is this guy?" It a family operation. His father opened the restaurant in the 30s. G. told the chef, the owner's wife, that I was moving to the area. I caught only a little of the conversation but said grazie when she said something about good luck. When she left G told me she said "Principessa (princess), if you need anything like some bread or pasta, you come over, that is how neighbors are."

The food was outstanding. They gave my friend a bowl of this pasta and chick pea soup. He didn't order it but it was the last of the night, so "here, have some." Ha. I had these meatballs (polette?) type dish for my secondo (second dish, usually meat or fish, comes after your pasta course..they are not served on the same plate. Per favore!) which were sooo good. We had a bottle of wine and G laughed because in L.A. I have a only one glass usually. I told him when I drive I keep the drinking to a minimum. However last night I was walking so bring it. I felt fine this morning. Sometimes in the States I would get a headache from just a glass....maybe the sulfites (I have no idea how to spell that world and have no dictionary here with me at the bar/cafe). I went to put down some money for dinner, esp. since G paid for drinks. He took the bill from my hand and said no. I have tried to argue with him about this in the past and failed so I said fine. Next time I'm going to pull one of his moves and pay on the way to the ladies room or something.

G and I met the first time I came to Rome through a friend of a friend. He was the one telling to move already and stop over thinking it. He used to live in New York then L.A. then moved back to Italy a few years. When he met up in the square he gave me big hug and kiss and said "Welcome home".

After dinner. I had some gelato and walked back to my apartment. I was going to cab it but the streets were full of people even at midnight. As I walked past, Piazza Navona, The Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain on the way home, I felt like I was being Punk'd. This cannot be real.

Okay I think I have been sitting outside at this cafe long enough. It's nice out. I'm going to the park.


Lilacspecs said...

Sounds like a wonderful evening. I'm a recent expat and I'm still getting used to the fact that it can be safe to walk around town at night.

gibber said...

sounds like you had a great nite! much better than my nite! :)

homebody at heart said...

Yep, that is what life should be like. And what I like is that you can walk to all these great places amd be spared the hassle of trying to park as well so it is much easier to meet up with friends.

I think we do have more sulfites in wine here and I always know they are in the wine when my head starts to spin, I get flush and sometimes dizzy and nauseous.

Hope you get into your apartment soon but it seems like you are having time to adjust and enjoy yourself before all your stuff gets there.

P.S. Going to the Porta Portense flea market? I think it is on Sundays.

Anonymous said...

Wow. What a great start in your new home! It's good that you already know someone there. I can't wait to hear your progress!

The wine thing happens to me, too. My local wine expert says it has something to do with my allergies. If one is allergic to local pollen, then she says it's likely you'll get headaches from the local wine. I don't know if that's true but I can only drink non-California wines, which sucks because I live in the SF bay area. ~Rose in Cali

mental mosaic said...

Such happy landings for you! :)

It's inspiring to hear about how you took the plunge.

About the 'wine thing,' there's a 'beer thing,' too in America. I get nauseated after a few sips of any of the American microbrews, but adore the ones they have in Belgium...

Delina said...

How nice. Now that it starts to warm up it'll be even nicer to have an evening out.

Ironically enough, my Friday nights lately sound more like your Friday nights in LA. Hahaha.

glamah16 said...

I find myself looking forward to your posts as you describe the early days in Rome.

Ms. Violetta said...

What a great night! I know what you mean by the lack of hang-over from Italian wine. Seriously, if I drink a glass of red wine from any other region I suffer with a headache. However, the thing I miss about Italian life is having an evening as you had...just good food, conversation, wine and a lovely walk home. So simple, yet so much better than sitting in front of the tube alone.

Tina said...

Ahhhhh you make me want September (my move date) to get here RIGHT NOW!! I'm so glad you are having a good time and that you didn't spend Friday night alone.

Have fun at the park. :-)

wordtryst said...

Wow. Sounds idyllic. And your friend is a darling.

Anonymous said...

I can not head and heart are fully into moving...just getting pieces here squared away...

Claudia said...

sigh...I miss it-it's been years.

Linda said...

What a nice evening. And too bad your friend G already has a girlfriend! Sounds like a sweetie.

Anonymous said...

tracey k/Ohio: it sounds wonderfully relaxing & laid back. You sound as if you left your stress in L.A. How nice to be walking after dark without being afraid or worried. It sounds lovely over there. Continue to enjoy!

Sherry said...

Sounds like a fantastic time! Your entry leaves me wishing I were back in Trastevere right now. And, p.s., I totally agree with you on the difference in Italian wine.

Anonymous said...

I'm with delina... after all my years in Italy, I don't often feel the urge to go out strolling the streets, eating gelato, etc. I guess it's all about being in a NEW place, with NEW people, doing NEW things. Be it LA, Rome, London, it's always exciting at first, then as the years go by the novelty wears off and you're happy to be sitting at home on a Friday night curled up on the couch watching TV!
Enjoy it while it lasts!

Kataroma said...

I guess I'm kind of boring like Delina and anon. We have dinner with friends at the same restaurants all the time (one Italian trattoria, one pizzeria, an Eritrean restaurant and an Indian place) and that's it. And we never go to the historical center as it's kind of pricey.

I had a way more varied social life in NYC- I used to go out late dancing, listening to live music and drinking with friends. I miss that but unfortunately the live music scene here isn't so good and dancing in Rome =s those sceney and expensive clubs in Testaccio full of fashionable 20 somethings and they don't do cocktails. I miss dancing in NYC where no one cared how you dress, how old you are but the music was amazing!

Ah well...I guess being so boring and all this is a good time to be having a baby! :)

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

lilacspecs - yes it's very different than L.A.

gibber - ha.

homebody - sometimes I would get a massive migrane from just one glass...not fun. I have been to that market before. It's huge.

rose in cali - that does suck. there are so many great cali wines.

mental mosaic - grazie.

delina - ha.

glamah16 - hope they are not too boring. What is interesting to me might be very blah to someone else. :)

ms. violetta - it was a simple night. It wasn't like we went to club or something. It was nice just to have a conversation with a friend and not talk only about work.

tina - I cannot throw you a pity party. Aren't you still in B.A. ? :)

wordtryst - yes he is.

lisa - good luck with your move.

claudia - perhaps you need to book a flight? :)

linda - ha. yes he is taken.

tracey k. - thank you. I will do my best.

sherry - it was a nice way to kick off my first weekend hear.

anon - True after a while the novelty will wear off. Although I hope I never get so jaded that I will walk past the Pantheon and think "whatever, it's a building" ha! L.A. is not a strolling city so yes Friday seemed fun. I, unlike Delina and Kataroma, am single so when I stay home on a Friday night I don't have a husband to chat with. I never had the feeling in L.A. as I do now, not even in the very beginning when everything was new.

kataroma - ha, you are not boring! I'm way too old to be hanging out dancing with 20 somethings, so I will probably be spending more evenings at galleries than at clubs.

Claudia said...

I would love to, but years of being a student doesn't give me that financial option. oof!! This better pay off!!!