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The Most Roman of Romans


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It has always puzzled me that many people know about Rome and its greatness but so little is known about Romans. Compared to the Londoner or the Parisian, the Roman remains a mystery, probably because like his food, he is hearty but not sophisticated, shrewd but not always insightful.

Romanity, however, captivates those who get to get to know it. If you want to get a glimpse of it without having to stay a couple of years in the Eternal City then you have to read the sonnets of Gioachino Belli, who is in my book the most Roman of Romans.

Belli was born to a weatlhy family and earned a place in the Italian literary cannon with 2200 sonnets through which the low Roman class of the time its shown as it is, “salacious, sometimes cunning and always self-centerd” as the ruthless Italian Wikipedia article about Belli puts it.

The most striking feature of the sonnets is also the reason why they are not as known as they should: they are written in the Romanesco dialect which gives them a poignantly accurate flavor when read in Italian but also eludes translation. An English version of the sonnets its available at the Anglo-American Bookstore, my bookstore of choice in Rome or online, from this website where you will find gems like this:

PIAZZA NAVONA

Piazza Navona easily stands the comparison
With both St.Peter’s and the Spanish Steps.
This is not a square, it’s like the countryside,
It’s a theatre, it’s a fair, it’s gaiety.
.
It runs from Sant’Apollinare 2 to the central pathway,
And from the central pathway to Cuccagna street 3:
Everywhere you see things to eat,
Everywhere you see people who buy them.
.
Here three fountains stand in all their might,
Here is a spire 4, as solemn as a judgement,
Here the place is flooded when summertime comes .
.
Here the whipping-trestle is raised,
Where those who look for trouble get thirty lashes
On their arse, and five more for charity .

Rome Celebrates Chocolate

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Who doesn’t love chocolate? Is one of the few things in life that everybody enjoys. Hey, it produces the same feeling as being in love!

Rome, being a culinary capital, couldn’t forget paying homage to chocolate. Ciok in Roma is a festival to celebrate chocolate, its origin and its relationship with cinema. For 5 days from february 9, 2013 visitors will be able to appreciate the work of artisans and companies dedicated to the production of chocolate and to learn more about its history.

Ciok is a play on the words “Cioccolato” and “Ciak”, Italian for Clapperboard. The exhibition will explore the relationship beetwen chocolate and cinema and will also educate visitors abut the origins of cacao and chocolate, since the festival is sponsored by the Mexican embassy in Rome.

The festival will take place at the Central Montemartini, at Via Ostiense 106 and can be easily reached from Hotel Des Artistes and Yes Hotel with the blue subway line (station Garbatella).

Eataly: The Delicious Side Of Italy Open Its Doors

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One of the main attractions for those who visit Italy is not a place or a monument. People from all around the world visit the country in the hopes to experience themselves the extraordinary Italian cuisine.

You would believe is a tad difficult to turn a culinary tradition into a physical place, but the Eternal City is about to prove you wrong next June 21 when Eataly will open its doors.

What is Eataly? Is a celebration of good taste and great food. The motto of the company (with other “culinary malls” in the United States and Japan) is “Beauty will save Italy”. Inside the spacious premises, located near the train station Ostiense, you will find everything from hand-made pasta to beer brewed right there for you.

An experience not to be missed for those eager to discover the delicious side of Italy.

Eataly will be inaugurated June 21, 2012. You can get to the station Ostiense with the bus 75 from the Station Termini, o taking a train from the station as well.

And don’t hesitate to contact us or check our websites to get the best and most convenient accomodation in Rome!