Saturday, February 27, 2010

rome, 2010 (shopping pictures)

retail therapy break! here's a look at shopping in the eternal city. after a couple of fruitless days, i accepted that the italians, for the most part, do not make clothes that fit my body and i would have to be content with acquiring things in another manner: by photographing them. actually, i could find some clothes and shoes and, obviously, purses were not problem...i was just too frugal to spend high triple- or quadruple-digit euros on anything fashionable. there, i said it--i was cheap.

rich has no idea how lucky he is... this is where much of our cash would have gone were i smaller (or angrier)

or here--beautiful leather/skin purses and shoes! i could totally see that one on my arm...

...for a mere 9,800 euros. right now that's roughly 14,000 US dollars. i'm guessing they skinned the last crocodile on earth for that price and we just haven't heard about it yet.

for the fashionable priest in your parish. i know it's tacky to mock this--it is rome after all--but there is something quite distasteful about priestly fashions...

...and nunly ones, too. sadly, i realized about halfway through my trip that i probably looked like a nun in my black skirts/dresses covered with a black sweater coat and, once it started raining, my navy blue windbreaker. i caught my reflection and realized all i was lacking was a habit and a big ass cross swinging around my neck.

a good ciborium is rather hard to come by, though

tomatoes that look like they burned in hell (like that segue?)

spices at campo de' fiori market--and unfortunately the airlines consider this a liquid (nothing over 3 oz. allowed in a carry-on, damnit)

fractal veggies. i would love to be able to pop down to the local market every morning and decide what we were going to have to eat that day according to what was available. yum.

limoncello da sophia! see...i did remember my kids existed. i just had to recall that information through a filter of alcohol.

crazy asparagina

beautiful little cart o' squash and potted herbs

roasted chestnuts are everywhere in rome when it is cold--i'm not terribly fond of the taste, but the smell is heavenly

every meal should end with a trip to della palma

meals on wheels, italian style

even the pigeon approves

i ADORE the widow--if you haven't read the biography of veuve clicquot, do yourself a favor and pick it up now. this was the most painful window display to see--the widow in rosé! a leather travelling case for the widow! a cooling jacket for those picnics on the go! and i passed on all of them. i'm totally kicking myself now. i did, however, find a veuve clicquot orange nail polish by OPI after i got back.

the coffee mecca that is sant' eustachio. absolutely the best--totally kicks tazza d'oro's ass for sublimity.

you have to love a country who intentionally makes lactating-boobie-shaped cheeses

candy fiori

pretty, pretty fiori

confetteria moriondo e gariglio, near the pantheon. perfection in chocolate. how lucky was i to see this shop decked out for valentine's day! the smell in there is so intense that just walking through the door sates a craving.

volpetti had their own take on valentine's day, too--i'm pretty sure that's paté.

interior, ditta g. poggi art supplies...more fun than anyone should have.

just to put things in proper perspective: here we see the creation of want. and that 15-year old was totally bored during her shoot for maserati.

oooh, i just realized i didn't take a picture of momento, this wonderful clothing store near campo de' fiori (it was on the west side of via dei giubbonari, just off of via arenula). crap. let me try and describe it instead: momento is like the tj maxx of trendy/up-and-coming french and italian fashion; it isn't prada, gucci or missoni but rather independent designers you've probably never heard of trying to clear out last year's stock. in the picture below, i'm wearing an awesome skirt i found for 50 euros (original price: 300 euros). and i'm totally regretting not buying more from there. the saleswomen are quite possibly the rudest you'd ever encounter in rome--there was one who actually tried to help (who won't last long there) and five who would rather scowl and pose and bitch--but the finds were totally worth the attitude. as an aside, in my experience at least, the rudeness thing at momento is kind of an anomaly--i've had much worse treatment in the states in stores on the whole than i've had in rome. just a thought.

Friday, February 26, 2010

rome, 2010 (pictures part two)

villa borghese fountain and dog park--how fabulous would it be to take paco to play here every afternoon?

more pictures! these are days three and four in rome--they were rainy, but that only made for better pictures (photo tip: cloudy, wet days bring out details that bright, sunny ones tend to blast out/obscure in inanimate subjects). it was a fountain-y kinda time in rome, which is exactly what i wanted. there is something so alluring about the color of the water there.

santa costanza, a lovely little jewel next to sant' agnese fuori le mure

this is the architectural plan for santa costanza--it's round, which is unusual for a church (but not for a mausoleum, its original function)

side view of santa costanza

interior, santa costanza

interior ceiling mosaic, santa costanza

interior ceiling mosaic, santa costanza

exterior wall detail, sant' agnese fuori le mure

fontana degli api (fountain of the bees), at piazza barberini and via veneto. i had to shoot this in honor of my name (melissa), which means 'honeybee' in greek

gorgeous brick ruins at villa borghese

fountain near galleria borghese, where i may or may not have gazed upon canova's "paulina borghese as venus" with someone who may or may not have been the male star of "titanic," and i may (definitely not "or may not") have been the only one of the two of us who actually looked at the glorious work of art in front of us and didn't spend all my attention texting on my smartphone...

fontana dei cavalli marini (fountain of the sea horses), villa borghese--love the color of the water here

piccolo lago with temple of aesculpius (god of medicine), villa borghese

piazza del popolo and twin churches santa maria di montesanto and santa maria dei miracoli--via del corso runs straight up the middle (and will take you to piazza vittorio emmanuelle due); via del babuino runs to the left (and will take you to the spanish steps); via di ripetta runs to the right (and will take you to the tiber)

after a rich afternoon of shopping and eating and drinking and looking (all the wonders of rome right there), i attempted culture, again, at the crypto balbi--detail of 1st century drill work above--then went and passed out at my hotel.

elefante! i love this little elephant holding an obelisk in front of santa maria sopra minerva--this is an excellent statue to show kids visiting rome, as they can usually remember it (it was gus and our meeting point if we were to get separated in 2003).

roman bikeshare--this was the only time i regretted wearing a skirt/dress everyday, as i really wanted to rent one of these

piazza di san pietro, now quite different from bernini's original intention for the space

the colonnade still looks lovely, however

fontana delle chiave (fountain of the keys), vatican city--this is my favorite fountain in rome, especially after i shot a series of gus holding a sycamore leaf in it in 2003 (see here)

detail, fontana delle chiave

detail, fontana delle chiave

detail, fontana delle chiave (again, look at the color of that water!)

one of a pair of giant fountains outside of st. peter's, which, alas, just don't do it for me

why does the space around st. peter's irritate the shit out of me? because we were never meant to experience it in a hyper-controlled manner, as we do now. it is definitely controlling, to be sure, but we aren't supposed to be conscious of it. the crowd-control gates, the conspicuous security, the utterly obnoxious jumbotrons and the fucking disgusting billboards right up next to the basillica are just painful. the difference between piazza san pietro in 1982 (when i first saw it) and piazza san pietro in 2010 is marked, to say the least--and that is only a span of 28 years. i can only imagine bernini is rolling over in his grave for what it was intended to be (and remain) 400 years ago.

coppede! i've decided that when i hit the lottery if i can't get my villa on the aventino i am definitely moving into quartiere coppede.

every inch of this late art nouveau structure is absolutely covered with decoration, most of which has no relation to anything or each other. it is all total whimsy on the artist/architect's part and follows no convention that i can identify. love it.

of course coppede has a fabulous fontana of its own (fontana delle rane; fountain of the frogs)...

...which made me realize i needed to see the grande dame of roman fountains, la fontana di trevi

it was a rainy day, indeed, and kept most tourists (save a few hardy souls) away

lovely little ivy carving on the trevi fountain

from the trevi to fontana della barcaccia (fountain of the old boat), piazza di spagna. love. that. blue.

detail, fontana della barcaccia

le swoooooon...that's not technically italian, but you get the drift. i so want one of these--with a matching sidecar for gus and sophie

(speaking of want, the next post will be a break from culture and a look at rome, 2010 (shopping).)