Friday, October 17, 2008

FLASHBACKS FROM ROME

Photo- Josh Harwell
This photo of this vintage Fiat was taken by my brother Josh, who is an amazing photographer and graphics/web designer who just launched his own blog. While clicking through his photos, I found myself remembering some funny things about our family trip to Rome in 2000. It's amazing how photos have the ability to transport you back to the sites, smells, sounds and great memories.

Photo - Josh Harwell
Ok, this is one of those quirky things you never forget. Across from the apartment we stayed in, there was this tiny little fountain with this statue we dubbed "mossy guy" that was adjacent to the sidewalk and apparently quite a famous landmark in the neighborhood. I found a reference to him on the web, so you can see him in context. Hope you have better luck reading Italian than I did!

This is me all poofy-headed on the balcony of our apartment on Via Babuino before the advent of the flattening iron. There was a Greek Orthodox Monastery and Church across the street (note beautiful church in background). My dad had secured a place online in a great neighborhood and close to everything. Small problem when we arrived - the surly agent who rented us the apartment had lied a little in his description of the place. You should've seen us trying to get our luggage up to the place in the elevator, one bag at a time! I wish I had my mom on video trying to ask the non English-speaking landlady for a washcloth. Hilarious. Well, we certainly learned the name for it-"asciugamani" I think it was. I am probably spelling it incorrectly, but Italians don't use them. Well, we survived with insufficent toweling and our hair was dry after using our blowdryer for about an hour on half-power. Word to the wise - never bring US appliances and try to use them with adaptors. If you don't blow a fuse (like I did) you will only get a dribble of electricity. Why am I telling you this? My readers are all savvy people who are smart enough to stay in hotels and not try to live an authentic experience in a flat.
The bones of the apartment were gorgeous, but the furniture looked like something that had been hastily snatched from the Goodwill for the American chumps. My sister and I slept on this sleeper sofa that wreaked of vomit and had very hard buttons sewn onto the mattress. I tried to sleep between them, but inevitably ended up with one boring a hole into my hip bone. The linens were like 20 thread count and the blanket was one of those woolen numbers people spread out for a tailgate party. Prickly. My sister spiked my water bottle with Italian beer from the fridge (thanks, Sis) and by the end of the week, I had almost figured out how to do a load of laundry in the womb-sized washer. I had at least learned not to hang my underwear on the outside line too near the eaves. Pigeons like to leave surprises on clean laundry. They think it's funny. My jeans took about 3 days to dry, but had soaked up so much pollution by then that it smelled like I had never washed them! LOL. We had a terrific time and I came home thanking God for a full size washer and dryer. Yes, we Americans are spoiled. But it's always a good thing to go outside our own world and experience the good and the bad about the way other people live. Just don't forget your camera!

17 comments:

MaryBeth said...

What a fabulously funny story. Looking back it was probably one of your fondest memories but during it you were probably miserable and cursing. It seems like the worst of times are really the best. It makes me want to get on a plane today, but I need to find a Four Season or Ritz, I do not think I would last with the vomit smelling sofa bed. xoxo MB

annechovie said...

Mary Beth~ Glad you enjoyed it- thank you! You are a wise woman - yes, try a hotel. LOL Have a terrific weekend!

beachbungalow8 said...

Anne, I was here last march on my honeymoon, the street 'babuino' means baboon, and it was named after that funny looking statue.

we stayed, same side of the street, but down, almost to the end by the popola (sp?) in a beautiful, hotel that jennifer (peak of chic) told me about. such a perfect neighborhood to be in.... when in rome.

thank god for flat irons, eh? (this is where we do the little fist to fist punch and wink)

Eloise said...

Loved your pictures and stories of Rome, Anne. I hope that you still enjoyed your time there in spite of your less than stellar living quarters. I think Rome is absolutely magical. I think I could go there 100 times and never run out of great places to eat or interesting things to see. We went to Italy last month and did not make it to Rome, but I wish we had.

annechovie said...

Megan,
Thanks for the info! I did not know that. Yes, you were smart to stay there - didn't you tell me it was Hotel de la Russe? That is supposed to be the best! It most definitely is a great neighborhood and close to everything. Amen on the hair irons, too! Have a great wknd!

Eloise,
I am so glad you visited and thanks for your comment! I did very much enjoy my stay there and totally agree with you about the magic of the place. It's amazing and there's nowhere like it. What it lacks in order, it makes up for in charm! Have a great wknd!

TheDecoDetective said...

I was in Rome this summer - it's a mad city, trying to combine modern living with 2500 years old architecture and masses of tourists. And the Italian way of giving directions is hilarious: "Down the street and to the right" (in bad English or body language). It was always to the right. My boyfriend and I figured that maybe there isn't anything to the left in Italy??
Have a great weekend!
Trudi

annechovie said...

Hi Trudi,
So glad you stopped by and commented - thank you!Yes, Rome is crazy and the Italians are very amusing. I only wish the sidewalks were a little wider to accomodate the throngs of people.

Pigtown-Design said...

WE were there a couple of years ago, but in Feb. it was perfect, no tourists, good, but cool weather and a terrific little hotel about a block from the Spanish steps.

The funniest thing was that the Scottish rugby team was playing a huge match in Rome, so everywhere we looked, there were men in kilts (not a bad thing!).

annechovie said...

Pigtown~ February would be a nice month to visit. I have been in April, Septmeber and October, but I love it most when it's kind of cool at night and time for "passagiata" (sp?). Yes, near the Spanish Steps is wonderful - so funny about the Scottish!

beachbungalow8 said...

you're right hotel de russe! i couldn't remember the name when i wrote that.

i think it's a word of warning, i know a lot of stories similar to yours. You need to make sure you know exactly what the digs are like, before your arrival.

annechovie said...

Amen to that, Megan! Never again will I book with an independent property manager! Have a great week!

Topsy Turvy said...

Anne - times like those make great memories! You were just too, too cute! (and still are!)

-Lana

annechovie said...

Oh, Lana, you are sweet - thank you! (blush)

www.potsandpins.com said...

Oh how I would love to go to Italy! I always take an imaginary trip every year but it would be nice to really go! Your blog is great fun - I loved reading through it and I've bookmarked you so I'll be back!

annechovie said...

Thanks Pots and Pins! I am so glad you dropped by! Welcome and come back often.

Jenny said...

haha I have a picture of me standing next to the mossy old statue man, isn't there a restaurant next to it?

annechovie said...

Hi Jenny! Thanks for your comment - that's cool that you have a photo with him, too! I don't remember about the restaurant, but you are probably right. There are a lot of businesses right there, including Dolce and Gabbana - I saw Dolce out in the street on his cellphone in a full length fur coat! LOL

 
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