On most days, our "sources" yield a couple of things to do. But once in a while we get lucky, as we did last weekend. Here's our "24 Hours in Rome," from Saturday night through Sunday night:
|One of these is carved from Carrara marble and is now in a niche at St.|
Peter's. The other consists of a shell of chicken wire,
covered with clay and plaster of Paris--and came first.
|Swing dancing at La Moderna|
11 p.m. Up the hill and "home."
|50s-era building housing coffee bar, needs TLC|
|Guide at left, friend at right|
|Courtyard of 1950s housing project|
|One of half a dozen animal-themed|
murals by the artist Hitnes, in
When the tour ends we nose around, looking at San Basilio's impressive wall art. The tour is part of Open House Roma 2015 - an event with almost 200 locales - ancient to contemporary - open over the weekend.
|Dianne relaxing in Mezzo Litro, Monte Sacro|
4:30 p.m. Our respite at home doesn't last long. Shortly after Dianne discovers a library we want to see is open without reservations as part of Open House Roma, we are back on the scooter to Piazza San Giovanni in Laterano. The Biblioteca
|Roselli and King's library|
|Hip mom and son, treats still wrapped|
6:30 p.m. Scooter over to Testaccio, where, according to La Repubblica, a rehabilitated Porta di Roma (Port of Rome) is being opened. Will the mayor be there? As it happens, no one's there--no one's where we expect them to be--but on a chance we walk a few blocks to some of the old Roman storage areas we know about. And there's the crowd. We're too early for the festivities and the food, so we head for one of our favorite Testaccio bars.
|No cat fell on our awning this time|
7:00 p.m. Aperitivo. Pretty much all the food you'd want and a glass of wine for 6 Euro per person. This cafe is the place where years ago a cat fell from an upper story and landed (unhurt but screeching in terror) on a large awning right above us as we were having a coffee outside. This time we're safely inside, though right next to an open door and in the evening breeze.
7:30 p.m. Back to the Porta Roma (Porticus Aemelia) opening. The ruins are spectacular: the remains of a 2nd century B.C. storage and trans-shipment facility that would have rivaled the Port of Los Angeles in drama and size. Now part of a public park space. Yes, you can touch the arches. Music by a community band of limited ability, a scramble among the Italians (we're full) for the free food. We manage a couple of glasses of complimentary prosecco. Some well-done outdoor, permanent watercolors, part of a public art campaign in Rome, have been unveiled. A ceremony, but no mayor.
|People watching at Studio Spazzi Multipli|
8:00 p.m. Walking to our scooter, which we've left at Porta Portese, we come upon another event that's part of Open House Roma. An open architectural studio, Studio Spazzi Multipli; contemporary design in the basement of an early 1900s Testaccio public housing building. A glass of bubbly on the house, watching the 20-somethings.
And home. A nightcap on the balcony, celebrating our "24 Hours in Rome" and thinking, ala Buffalo Bills ex-coach Marv Levy, "There's no place we'd rather be, than right here, right now."