In the past, I never met clients. I didn’t have time to! Now that Vacanza Bella is more at the hobby level, I’ve had occasion to meet some of you whenever it’s happened that your visit to Rome coincided with my being there. And it’s been fun, really fun.
Usually, I suggest we take a walk. Often, it’s this one:
We meet at the Pyramid subway or bus stop, and, after looking at the newly restored Pyramid itself and viewing its resident cat colony from above, we meander through the adjacent Protestant Cemetery, truly one of the most evocative eternal resting places in the world. Among many others, we pass the tombs of Keats, Shelley, Gramsci, blonde bombshell Belinda Lee, Richard Henry Dana (“Two Years Before the Mast”), Goethe junior, and the American beat poet Gregory Corso, who asked to be buried as close to Shelley as possible.
Then, we walk past the MACRO Testaccio contemporary art space and through the new covered market of Testaccio, the old working-class neighborhood of central Rome, now somewhat gentrified. We might stop briefly at Volpetti, one of Rome’s most famous “delicatessens”.
Up the Aventine hill past the lovely faux-Romanesque church of San Anselmo to the Square of the Knights of Malta, one of the very few of Piranesi’s architectural designs actually to be executed. It’s famous for THE keyhole, through which you can see three countries. Guess which.
Moving along past the wedding church of Sant’Alessio, we arrive at one of Rome’s most beautiful churches, Santa Sabina, and if we’re lucky, we might get to see its truly delightful cloister.
Immediately adjacent is the Park of the Orange Trees, with a stunning view over the Eternal City.
If it’s spring, we end our walk by meandering through Rome’s municipal rose garden, overlooking the Circus Maximus out to the Palatine Hill.
At this point, serious refreshment is in order, and so we wend our way over to what I consider to be Rome’s absolute best ice cream shop, the Gelato di Claudio Torcè, at Viale Aventino 59. Just fantastic. Mmmm.
That’s not the only walk I take with my clients, but it’s one of my favorites. I’ll share another in a few weeks.