Thursday, December 31, 2009


Tiber River at Ponte Regina Margherita

The Tiber was once known for its floods—the Campo Marzio, for example, is a flood plain and would regularly overflow to a depth of several yards. The river is now confined between high stone embankments which were begun in 1876. Within the city, the riverbanks are lined by boulevards known as lungoteveri, streets "along the Tiber."
I like to take long walks along the lungoteveri, sheltered by the sycamore trees. Today the sun is shining again.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

mandarini e biciclette

No deliveries today

It keeps raining in the Eternal City. It hasn't stopped for days.
These bicycles used for environment-friendly delivery of ordered goods are momentarily on hold. The man in the store entrance is checking the weather, because... he's the biker.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Fiat 500, the original

This rusty and battered old Fiat 500 has been parked in the same spot for years. I walk by it every day. I have noticed the interior upholstering is well-cared for and frequently dusted. The flyers and ads planted under the windshield wipers get cleared off every so often. It is not an abandoned car. I'm curious of its story.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Apartment building in Parioli

The architect who designed this 1950s building followed the bend in the road and drew a curved facade. I wonder if the interiors reflect this.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

domenica al parco

Cappuccino time

The lovely little 1920's chalet across from the Bilotti Museum in Villa Borghese was recently renovated and turned into a café. After a leisurely stroll, ritual duck-feeding or a bicycle ride, a brief stop here for a mid-morning snack constitutes a typical Roman Sunday must.

For more worldwide images of Sundays visit Unknown Mami

Friday, December 25, 2009



I wouldn't be surprized to find out that the lovely couple that owns this little bonbon shop in my neighborhood, actually works for Santa... I drove by the place on my way home tonight and saw it was open. And serving a customer!
Perhaps the only store in Rome that isn't closed on Christmas day.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

tutti in cucina

Supermercato, 4 pm

Only a few hours left before the traditional Christmas Eve dinner, and grocery shops and supermarkets have been raided. I walked into my local store for a last minute ingredient, and found it virtually empty. Everyone is home already, cooking up their feast and preparing for midnight.

Buon Natale!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

baci al tramonto

Terrazza del Pincio

With a lovely sunset and such a stunning view, it's only natural for lovers to cling to each other in this place. The vast terrace on the Pincio hill is one of Rome's favorite and therefore busiest kissing locations. Second to it are the lush orchards just behind it which are laid out with narrow graveled viali (avenues) carved through densely wooded groves.

Simply called "il Pincio," the Piazza Napoleone is a grand open space that looks out over the overwhelming Piazza del Popolo, and provides views to the west, and of the skyline beyond. Piazza Napoleone and the Piazza del Popolo below are linked with formal staircases broken by generous landings, fountains and a switchback paved road.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

pioggia in piazza

Piazza Navona holiday season market

Every year come December, the city takes out her Christmas decorations and showcases the best ones–along with street artists, jugglers, artisans and candy vendors–in one of Rome's most famous tourist sites, the Piazza Navona.
Wandering about the stalls overflowing with colors, one feels transported back in time, to the small town traditions of county fairs. The period carousel, thousands of flickering lights, cotton candy spinning in a tub, toys hanging on hooks, tree ornaments and nativity scene figurines on sale on the counters of tiny, overcrowded stalls.

Today a warm rain drizzled on Rome, and there were few people around the Piazza. Usually at this time of year, the Christmas market is more crowded than a soccer stadium. Not today.

The market of Piazza Navona is open every day until 9 pm from December 1st to the Epiphany, January 6th. The fair ends with the traditional Roman Befana arriving on her broomstick to hand out coal for the naughty and candy for the nice.

Monday, December 21, 2009

driving back home

Tangenziale Est

The Tangenziale Est expressway is never this empty, usually congested with bottleneck traffic in this particular spot, with recently added contruction work. I had to capture it.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

the trees of Roma

I pini di Roma

Maritime pines are the trees of Rome. They represent the city, for me at least. I associate the smell of my city to that of the bark of pine trees. Dry and powdery in summer; dewy, mossy and porous in the colder months.
In my life, I have been around pine trees a lot. I have gathered and then burned many pine cones in the fireplace, the heat releasing a wonderful resin aroma. I have gotten my hands dirty with black pine dust and used a rock to break open the small wooden shells of the cone's pinoli, to eat the delicious gem within. As a child I have braided pine needles and then used them as jewellery. I have picked loose scales of pine bark and used them as tools, writing tablets and make-believe food, sold along with leaves of grass and pebbles in my little fantasy farmer's market. Later, as a young woman, I have kissed under the pines' sheltering umbrella. I have watered them with my tears, embraced them for an energetic boost, and my laughter has often echoed among their sturdy branches. I have gazed up at their colorful inhabitants–swallows, squirrels and parakeets–with awe. I have planted a single pine nut and wept, seeing it sprout a single tiny shoot.

The pine trees of Rome have always accompanied me in the many stages of my life. They were always in the background somewhere nearby, tall and reassuring.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

il leone e l'obelisco

Obelisco Flaminio (13th century B.C.)

Towering at the center of Piazza del Popolo is the Flaminio obelisk native of Heliopolis–one of the most ancient cities of Egypt–where it originally stood across from the Temple of the Sun. Its hieroglyphics spell the name of Pharaoh Ramses II and his son Mineptah, who dedicated the 34-meter monolith to the Sun God Rhà.

The Flaminio obelisk was the first megalith to be imported by the Roman Empire as a decoration for the Circus Maximus in 10 A.D. by Augustus. As the stadium fell in disuse, the obelisks adorning it collapsed and in time were buried under layers of soil as the street level rose. In 1587 the ruins of the circus and the broken obelisk were found, and in 1589 Pope Sixtus V had the monument fully restored and erected in its current location. The four Egyptian-style lions and underlying fountain basins surrounding it were added in 1818.

Friday, December 18, 2009

il laghetto delle papere

Giardino del Lago in the Villa Borghese gardens

Villa Borghese is one of Rome's prettiest public parks. Scattered among its 80 hectares are a recently remodeled zoo with minimal caging, a small movie theater for children, a merry-go-round, several cafès, a replica of Startaford-upon-Avon's Globe Theater, a train, 5 museums, 2 secret gardens, myriad fountains, an underground parking lot, a playground and an indoor children's activity center, several monuments and statues, a puppet theater, trees and plants of every kind, a dog-adoption center, a water-operated clock, 3 bicycle rentals, and a wonderful little lake where ducks, geese, gulls and swans like to swim. The rowboat rental is just beyond the willow to the left.

My son and I come feed the ducks here every Sunday. Today it was very quiet, only young couples kissing on park benches and teenagers dodging school.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

tutti i giorni

Basolato in Lapis niger, Roman road paving (circa 30 B.C.)

Welcome to the newest Rome daily photo* blog. Tutti i giorni–every day–I will post a new photograph, taken somewhere in or around the Eternal City, the Italian peninsula's capital. Along with the daily photo, I'll share a little bit of history, some culture, perhaps a little entertainment, a taste of local food, and the unique character of the place I call home.
Let's walk down this ancient Roman road and explore...

*Visit other Rome Photo Blogs here and here