A couple of Phoenicians living temporarily in Roma

Archive for the month “July, 2013”

Case Romane del Celio

cristo_bOne of the amazing things about Rome is that it would take a lifetime or more to see all of her treasures. We had the opportunity a few Friday’s ago to join a tour and appertivo through Internations of the Case Romane del Celio, an amazingly preserved archeological site. Come on along, and I’ll show you what we saw. Although we were not allowed to take photos inside the Case, I have downloaded the pictures available from their website.

Case Romane del Celio is located a short walk from the Colosseo and Circo Massimo, and lies under the Basilica of Saints Giovanni and Paulo (John and Paul). Giovanni and Paulo were both officers at the court of the Emperor Constantine (312-37). They were martyred by execution during the reign of  Julian the Apostate (361-363), and then buried inside the site of their own house.

Basilica di Ss Giovanni e Paulo

Basilica di Ss Giovanni e Paulo

In 1887, a priest of the church was excavating below and discovered a site that comprised 20 rooms, some of which were still decorated with paintings on the walls dating from the 3rd to the 12th centuries. Wrapped around the foundations of the church, the site was once an an insula or apartment building housing artisans with their storefronts, and later in the 3rd century was combined into one large home or domus by a single owner.

We were toured through the remains by a very knowledgeable tour guide who explained the history of the site and the paintings. She shared this fascinating fact: One of the reasons so many sites are so well preserved in Rome is due to the practice that was used of filling a site with gravel when wanting to build on top of it, instead of destroying the site. In modern times one needs mostly to remove the gravel to see what lies around it.

In places the mosaic flooring was still in tact, as were the remains of ancient Roman roads. There was an “Antiquarium” which showcased some of the antiquities that had been recovered from the site. After the tour we were offered a selection of appetizers, using ancient Roman recipes that had been adapted to modern cooking; including a chicken dish sweetened with prunes, a very garlicy cheese spread, a garbanzo bean dish, and honey sweetened wine.

Italian Summer

The Sea

The Sea

Amazing…another summer in Italia! I caught myself the other day saying to someone, “Well last summer, blah, blah, blah…” Time is flying by!

Just a few quick gems…

My birthday celebration

My birthday celebration

I celebrated my birthday last week. I won’t mention which one… it was quiet during the day, and we had a lovely dinner that night with new and old friends at our local favorite restaurant haunt, Leon.

It’s so interesting in Rome in the summer. There is a plethora of outdoor activities…concerts, festivals, plays, you name it. It’s like THE time to be in Rome. Except there isn’t hardly anyone in Rome except tourists, and the few locals who likely can’t afford to leave and therefore likely can’t afford the ticket prices for the numerous concerts, plays and performances happening all over the citta (city). There are a few freebees, like the festival that happens on the banks of the Tiber River, which becomes lined with restaurants, bars and vendors selling a little bit of everything.

We went to the sea the other day, on Sunday. We have been going to a great beach south of Ostia on Saturdays, leaving our flat at 8:30 and arriving at the sea by 9:30; in plenty of time to find decent parking by the side of the road. Now, since the palestra (gym) is not open on Sundays during the summer and Saturday is really the only day Michael can get there, we went to the sea this Sunday. It was a NIGHTMARE. By 9:30 am cars were double parked by the side of the road and there were polizia (police) at every beach entrance. They were guarding vehicle entry and had tied yellow tape from the back windshield wiper of cars to the bushes to block out areas for no parking. People were literally parking in the bushes. We had to park so far away from our beach that it took us 45 minutes to haul ourselves there. I was NOT happy. Luckily, once we finally made it, the sun was shining, our beach wasn’t packed with millions of bambini (children), the sea was warm enough to swim in and there was a great breeze. The walk back to the car seemed shorter, as is the case after having wine with lunch, and when you know where you are going.

I started to follow a fellow blogger, Un’americana a Roma and she reposted this gem. It’s too good not to share and really just says it all…hand written note and “not quite” duck tape…about the Roman/Italian summer.

[“Found this gem on Diexx88′s Blog, charming, filed under “cazzate” (random BS) and “estate” (summer).]

“Closed for Vacation, for condoms and Viagra go to the bicycle repairman on Via dei Macci, thanks”


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