Saturday, February 23, 2013

And the Oscar doesn't go to Oscar...

So which International social secretary of the universe scheduled the Oscars and the Italian Election on
the same day of the year? One with a hilarious sense of humour I believe. Voting will begin here in Rome on Sunday using state schools as voting stations. State schools will then be closed for a week for disinfestation while Romans go skiing until next weekend. In the meantime,  the new Prime Minster will move into his new palazzo and the world will congratulate the creators of Lincoln no doubt.  This is how things are done in Rome.  The Italian election has already had its "Oscar" action this week as one of the many many candidates Oscar Giannino, owner of a handsome handlebar moustache was removed from the race for pretending he had 2 degrees when in fact he had zero. I guess he wishes he hadn't exaggerated now..

Friday, January 25, 2013

Berlie and the Chocolate Factory

Living in Rome makes it impossible to ignore a forthcoming election given that this is where it is 
all happening. As the big day gets closer, more posters of politicians are being pasted on every public vertical surface known to man. My particular favourite is over the bus route maps so I can stand at a bus stop and enjoy the surprise of not knowing which bus will arrive or where it will take me for that matter. Every day the posters increase as the politicians fall out with each other and invent yet more parties. I believe there are more political parties competing for the title this year than varieties of short dried  pasta available in my local supermarket. There's even a woman, I hear she's a fascist but from what I have understood that just means she shaves and doesn't wear long hand-knitted scarves unlike her opponents at the other end of the political jousting pole.  My money is on Bersani, the James Taylor lookalike, but I'm likely to be disappointed when he gets into power and we end up hearing the same old tune, "Shower the rich people you love with money!" 

Last Sunday, to escape the endless political TV debates which Gastrognome sits glued to, I suggested
we visited a chocolate factory. After nearly a year of peace from Berlusconi, now he seems to be 
everywhere again like some performing play-dough garden gnome , tacky and inappropriate but
 still as popular as ever. At least we could finally escape him at the chocolate factory. Anyone with a 
chocolate addiction who visits Rome should hop on a 492 bus at Largo Argentina and head to SAID
in San Lorenzo. When you jump off the bus, the surrounding area is pretty dull and you can bet 
everyone walking around is on their way to SAID because when you get there, you will find it packed, especially late on a Sunday afternoon when you may have to queue for a table. The chocolate and cakes are delicious, the presentation is so beautiful, if I bought a box of chocolates, I would probably never eat them. (Likely!) I hear the white hot chocolate is delicious but we went for a traditional hot chocolate, so thick your spoon can stand up in it and you can scrape messages of love into the chocolate residue left on the cup when you have finished. Divine.  I can't wait to go back and taste more chocolates and next time, I'll see if I can find a nice big chocolate toffee to shut Berlie up with for good.   

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Twinkly Matera and Calabrian Chocolate Truffles

  • If you haven't seen the Nativity in St Peter's Square yet, it's still there for a few more weeks
  • with the Christmas Tree too. The queues might be shorter now and if the snow comes like
  • last year it could be a magical sight. The Nativity lighting changes, taking you from dusk
  • till dawn. The village is based on the town of Matera in Basilicata. As the sun goes down,
  • lights start to twinkle in the windows and a star shoots across the sky.

  • Then after I recommend dinner at Falcone, a pizzeria, restaurant two minutes walk from
  • Cipro metro (not to be confused with Antico Falcone). Pizza is delicious, homemade
  • chocolate tartufo from Calabria, quiet and nice waiters. If you are staying near the
  • Vatican, it's close but you'll never find it so either go to Cipro metro and ask someone or get a
  •  taxi to take you there.  Delicious food, normal prices and no arrogant waiters.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The Shaming with the Big Sandwich

A giant sandwich appeared outside the Rome mayor's office in Piazza del Campidoglio on 6 January, designed to reignite the debate around the so-called "anti-panino" law that banned eating on the streets of the city's historic centre.

Police quickly ordered the removal of the enormous rosetta stuffed with mortadella but not before the artwork by Iginio De Luca received applause and was photographed by scores of bemused passersby. It is the latest provocative act by the performance artist who made a name by projecting the film "Ladro lui, ladra lei" (Thief him, thief her) on the fa├žade of the Regione Lazio building in the aftermath of the "Batman affair" involving the misappropriation of funds by regional councillor Franco Fiorito, as well as flying a small plane over the city's ringroad in 2011 with the banner reading "Farsa Italy" (Farce Italy).

The contentious anti-panino legislation was introduced last October, leading to numerous protests including a sandwich-eating flash mob at the Campidoglio which Alemanno dismissed as "hippy". The mayor later clarified that the law was aimed more at people camping out, rather than eating, in areas "of particular historical, artistic, architectural and cultural heritage" within Rome's centro storico.

This is an article printed in Wanted in Rome, not written by Alice