Well I’m sitting in seat 1E on an Iberia Air flight Rome from to Madrid. Now those of you who are astute will note that 1E is in the pointy end of the plane. When I checked I last night I had the option of upgrading for ‘only €60’, that’s just under a $100 and less than I can fly to Melbourne for. So why wouldn’t I.
But I am way, way ahead of myself as there are a few days missing. After my trip to Spain last year the opportunity to return to Spain again was too good to resist. Val was coming back (again for the umpteenth time as she rolls her eyes at me every time I even mention Kathmandu) so we started discussing many many months ago me coming to join her in Spain again this year. But hang on a sec you might be thinking, I’m leaving from Rome. Hardly on the way is it? I am here because I followed a link on a photography website that lead me to the website of Valerie Jardin (if I could only write it in a French accent) who is an extraordinary street photographer. I looked at their work, read her blog and saw she runs workshops. Even better they were in Paris and Roma. I saw her images of Roma and I couldn’t let the idea go. The timing was right around the time we were planning to be in Spain. Plans changed. Val decided to come over from Spain. Booked. One excited person who was like a kid waiting for Santa come in the few weeks preceding departure. However a nasty little infestation of green stuff, of which I will spare the details, made me feel really low and keep me from jumping out of my skin. Thankfully that has now gone after hanging around for three weeks; kicked out by some antibiotics that perhaps I could have taken earlier (yes Mum you were right). So I landed in Rome 10 days ago and Val came in 45 minutes after me. Within 10 minutes of arrival I saw my first nun. Yet again, I’m way ahead of myself. You have to wait.
We decided to stay in an Airbnb apartment located in Trastevere which is a great little trendy suburb just over the Ponte Sisto bridge which spans the Tiber River. Great apartment and only 37 steps to climb to get there. Only problem with the stairs is they seemed to get exponentially steeper the longer we stayed. The view was worth it.
The Trastevere area is a referred to as the Roman’s Rome. It is full of narrow lanes and restaurants everywhere. We had two on either side of our front door. That’s our door and the obviously shut restaurants. They go until well after midnight so the start is late. We were on the other side of the building up on the roof.
So down the laneways of the local area it really is very pretty. Virginia creeper (? Mum, help me out here) hangs from buildings, which like everywhere else in Rome, are painted in the shades of the yellow/ochre/clay part of the colour spectrum. Letter boxes can be very decorative. Scooters are everywhere and Romans somehow manage to glamorous even when riding one. Pot plants can grown ginger cats whilst dogs are walked around the street and some cats even have their own chair.
The Ristorantes try to make themselves stand out to attract the Euro of the passers by and many are successful in their endeavours.
One of the more unusual sites for us is the very public display of your laundry. Easy to tell whose whites are whiter than white and who doesn’t do a good job. Some people show some discretion by pegging their ‘delicates’ closest to the house.
One of the beauties of Trastevere is the Ponte Sisto Bridge the crosses the Tiber River. It’s a delightful old bridge built in the mid 14th centurary (apparently) made even better in that it is pedestrian access only. Early dawn down on the Tiber River is just gorgeous. I crossed this bridge every time I came to it.