Saturday, June 27, 2009

One Night in Rome

On this Saturday, I'm enjoying something I haven't had much of for quite a while - a little old-fashioned chill time. After listening to a live LP recorded in 1981 by a certain five brothers (one of whom may have been off the wall, but had not yet gone over the edge) and reflecting for a few moments on the angel who launched a million posters, I'm now watching the Red Sox take on the Braves (did Tim Wakefield really just slap an outside fastball up the middle for a single??) and figure I can pop out another quick post.

Think of this installment as a trailer for a film.

In a World where beauty and history meet, four friends meet on May Day. Two have lived in the Eternal City their whole lives, two are there for the first time.



and Cory

... in "One Night in Rome". They meet at the Piazza Colonna for an odyssey that will take them to the Pantheon, the Piazza Navona, the Castel Sant Angelo, the Vatican, then off the beaten path to the Aventine (including a secret keyhole on a door to nowhere) and Testacchio before winding up in Trastevere for revels in the center of Roman hipster culture. Four people, four walks of life, "One Night in Rome" they'll never forget.

Ok, so it might not be ready for a theater near you (and apologies to 10cc), but it was a pretty awesome afternoon/evening. We met Claudia and Valter at a reception after a screening of a documentary about Lucinda Childs at the BAC (that event probably deserves an entry of its own, but I can't write about everything.) Valter is an Afro-Cuban percussionist (not a musical style typically identified with Rome, true, but he's been doing it since he inherited a congo from the drummer in his first rock band in high school, and he now performs with a couple of bands and teaches students of all levels. Claudia is a dancer/choreographer, trained at the Academia Nacionale, who has worked in all manner of dance; currently, she's working in television, being the assistant choreographer for Amici, which is a big hit Italian TV show in its 7th season: think mashup of American Idol, So You Think You can Dance, and Real World. It shoots at the legendary Cinecitta Studio, everybody sings and dances, and all the contestants live together in a big dorm, and rather than having the judges be 2 "good cops" and 1 "bad cop" there is a panel of more than 10 judges, who make Simon Cowell look like a source of gentle support. Or so they say. She gets more airtime than most of the choreographic team, because she works with the contestants in the dorm as well as in the studio. We didn't have a chance to watch the show, although I'm sure there must be a way to track it down online.

They took us all over the place and we had a fantastic time with them. For part of the evening, we traveled in their car, which meant we got to parts of the city we probably wouldn't have been able to manage on our own, including a beautiful park/orange grove that overlooked the city, and the aforementioned keyhole, part of an old monastery that is now adjacent to the German (?) Embassy. But most amazing of all was the swing through Testacchio, where we saw not only the Mountain Made of Pottery Shards for which it's most famous, but ate a meal unlike any I've ever had at Il Scopatarro. Valter used to live in Testacchio (they now live in Ostia with their two kids) and they've been going to that place for years. I may have to write a whole other entry about this dinner, but for now suffice it to say: 1) it's better to go there with Romans (or at least Italians - the waiter argued with them/us at every turn; evidently they are not used to serving Americans the authentic Roman feast) 2) the food went on for miles; 3) the artichokes were incredible - huge, delicious, and so tender you could eat every crumb from stem to leaves; and 4) we ate parts of animals that are not always considered food.

To wrap up, here is a photo of all of us that we took at a monument I can't remember the name of. It was kind of a make-out spot for Romans of all ages, but for us it was a photo op, using the camera's self-timer. It's a crazy exposure, and both Claudia's and my head is cut off, but I kind of like it.

1 comment:

Lori said...

sigh. I'm happy now.