Feral parakeets

Rome residents include not one but two species of tropical parakeet: the monk parakeet from South America, and the rose-ringed parakeet from Asia Minor. The birds abound in green areas, such as Il Parco della Caffarella and the Villas Pamphili (across the street from me), Borghese and Torlonia.

One version of the parakeets’ origin story has them escaping from private owners starting in the 1970s. Or more than likely being liberated by said owners and aviaries. Italians have a very bad habit of abandoning their pets when they become inconvenient, like when the owners are about to go on vacation and don’t want to fork over dog-sitting money.  That’s why my dog park friends always come back from their holidays with newly adopted abandoned pups. It’s also why Italy is (officially) so dog-friendly You can your canine pretty much anywhere: on public transportation, into shops, hotels, and many bars and restaurants (restaurants and shops that sell food have the option to say no but that hardly ever happens). The thought is that if it is easy to take your pet with you everywhere, you will be less likely to dump it by the side of the road like a gigantic evil asshole. Miss Phryne Fisher, girl dog-tective, was abandoned — tied up outside of a pound with her little house next to her. Isn’t that sad? It’s been nearly a year and she still freaks out when I leave her alone.

Phryne the flapper

Another theory dates the parakeet liberating to ancient Rome. Those ancient Romans did get around and makes sense that they might want to bring back a few ornithoid specimens from their exotic animal and slave acquisition campaigns in Africa and whatnot, only to offload them when they got too chatty (and parakeets are VERY chatty, more on that later).  Also, there apparently was once a shop near the Caffarella Park that had a huge display case filled with parakeets. When the shop closed down, the owners let the birds out and they just skeedaddled over to the park. So there are probably a bunch of reasons we’ve got parakeets here is what I’m saying. By the way, it’s not just Italians that ‘forget’ to close the windows when their parakeets are loose in the house. Feral parakeets are everywhere. Fearing they were bad for agriculture, the Brits spent £259,000 eradicating 62 wild monk parakeets and removing 212 eggs from their nests over a period of five years. I’ll just let that sink it. Urban legend has it that the London parakeets were liberated from the set of the African Queen once shooting ended up in 1951.

Around here, we have the monk parakeet, which has a grey vest and head and blue wings. The grey head suggests a monk’s hood, from whence comes the name. They are also called quaker parakeets. I was interested as to why, being a Philly girl, but apparently the name has nothing to do with the founders of my city of origin. The internet seems to think that it comes from the fact that baby parakeets tremble and quake when they eat and the grownups tremble and quake while courting or when they are ill. Oh, nature. Monk parakeets build huge communal nests out of sticks. The nests, which may accommodate 200 or more birds, can reach the size of a small car. They are like apartment complexes with many apartments. Monk parakeets can attain the intelligence level of a 3-5 year old child. They live for 20 years and can learn dozens of words and phrases.

The monk parakeet. Cute, eh? ©gailhampshire

Here’s the craziest things that monk parakeets do. They sit in a tree chattering at about a million decibels — seriously, they are REALLY loud. For the record, I’ve not yet observed them speaking either words or phrases or acting like smart 3-year-olds. They stay in the tree about 5 minutes. Then the head bird gives a signal and they all swoop as one, only to be replaced immediately by another swooping bevy of monk birds. This goes on for a while. I especially notice it happening in the winter months and usually around dusk. Does anybody know why this happens? Are the nests in Rome smaller than cars so that the birds have to take turns hanging out in them?

I took a little video of the swooping situation but I have just spent the past two hours watching one million You Tube videos on how to embed videos on Word Press and I couldn’t get it to work. I’m so lame. Here’s a dog instead.

Phryne of the jungle. Watch out for that tree!


Il Giardino dei Tarocchi/La Selva (Capalbio)

In 1978, Niki de Saint Phalle, a French sculptor and filmmaker, began work on 22 giant sculptures of figures depicted on Tarot cards. The sculptures were constructed on top of some Etruscan ruins near Capalbio, about an hour and a half from Rome. They are made of concrete and completely covered in mirrors and ceramic mosaic, making them appear somewhat Gaudi-esque. One of the figures — the Empress — is so big that the artist lived inside of it for months (her bedroom was inside one breast, her kitchen in the other).

This place is nuts, y’all. As was Niki. A former model and offspring of the 13th oldest family in France, she abandoned her children and spent time in a mental asylum before deciding to construct a monumental garden that would use art to heal others the way she believed it had healed her. Prior to this she had spent a number of years being bohemian all over Europe with her first husband, following poets and musicians around and having loads of affairs. She was committed to the mental clinic after a suicide attempt and underwent 10 electroshock treatments. While in the clinic, she collected twigs and leaves and started making collages. After her marriage ended, she took up with sculptor Jean Tinguely and they travelled around Europe doing art and hosting orgies. Niki did this thing where she shot a gun at a pile of knives, scissors, eggbeaters, and baby-doll arms, which she embedded in plaster along with bags of paint. When the bullets hit the paint, the ‘art’ started to bleed.

Niki convinced the brothers of Marella Agnelli (wife of the Fiat president and an old modelling buddy) to give her 14 acres of their land in Tuscany and that’s when she started building the park. Apparently she’d seen it in a dream while she was in the mental hospital. Niki was obsessed with proving that women as well as men could produce art on a monumental scale. She employed dozens of nearby villagers to help, which helped to mitigate local carping about the crazy woman and her monster garden. Her artist friends pitched in as well. The park opened in 1998, after nearly 20 years of work. Today, the Tarot Garden, or Giardino dei Tarocchi, welcomes about 75 000 visitors a year. It is open daily — 2:30-7:30 – from April to October and the first Saturday of each month from November to March. ilgiardinodeitarocchi.it

Here’s just a hint of the crazy. I know nothing about Tarot cards so I can’t really help with interpretation.

This is the Devil. Note the three gold penises.

Apparently the abundant snake imagery in the park stems from the sexual abuse thrust upon Niki at a young age by her father. That could explain some things. Her siblings were troubled also. Both committed suicide.

While you’re in the neighbourhood, you could do worse than to grab a bite at La Selva. Located just off the main road to Capalbio, this seafood restaurant features a lovely veranda and creative twists on Tuscan standards. I had a gazpacho made with beets, buratta and a couple of big fat shrimp. I’ve been trying to replicate it ever since. 

There was a panzanella with tuna. 

Paccheri with swordfish ragu. 

And a herb-encrusted sole that tasted a whole lot better than it looks. 

All very delicious and satisfying. Plus, look at this great veranda! 

La Selva: 58011 Capalbio località Selva Nera 9 (GR)
Telephone: 0564890381

A sad summer

I’ve not written in ages. I’m sorry about that. It’s been a very rough couple of months and for a while all I wanted to do was sleep.

In June I went to the States to help my siblings move my mother out of her apartment and into assisted living. While I was there, my dog Morgan suddenly fell prey to a neurological disease. He was dead within 24 hours. Four days later, Mom passed away. Although she had been ill for some time, her death was sudden and shocking. Because she died during 4th of July weekend, various of the nephews and nieces were home and we were all with her at the end — my brother via an open phone line from California.

My mother was an amazing and wonderful person and I thought maybe you’d like  to know a little something about her.  This is what I shared at her funeral.

My mother was a knockout.

About eight years ago, Mom asked me to write her obituary. I don’t think she was being morbid or particularly planning ahead. I think she was just interested in what I might have to say. I carried around her CV for years, asked her probing questions about her childhood and thought a lot about how to capture her life in 500 words. But I couldn’t do it. Until this week when I did do it.

I think the reason it was so difficult – besides the obvious reluctance anyone might have envisioning the passing of a beloved parent – was that I couldn’t really believe that Mom would ever stop being. When she was 13 years old, my mother went swimming in Lake Nemabhin in Wisconsin with two friends. It was an overcast day but not raining. Out of nowhere came a lightning bolt, which hit the three girls, killing one of them – Lois – and knocking the other two – my mom and her friend Fern – unconscious. Fortunately, my grandfather and another man were nearby and were able to carry them to safety before they drowned. We heard this story many times when we were small (it’s the reason no Raymond will go in swimming if there is rain in the forecast) and it always seemed quite amazing to us that our mother had been saved when her friend had not. It made her seem almost magical. Another reason that I delayed writing the obituary was my fervent belief that there was still plenty of time. After all, Mom came from a very durable family: my grandmother died at 102; my great-grandmother at 103.

We’ve received many wonderful messages in the week since Mom died. People remember her as kind, loving and loyal. We certainly remember her that way. Lisa once said that she had never once heard Mom say anything negative about anyone. That was Mom. Never critical, never sarcastic. How many people can you say that about? And people were drawn to her generous, non-judgmental nature. When I was growing up, the kitchen at 605 Winsford Road was the place where all of our friends gathered to recap the evening’s activities, make endless grilled cheese sandwiches, play cards and generally just hang out. Mom had a special way of making everybody feel welcome without being intrusive, especially important when we reached our teenage years.

Happy Mummy.

Mom did all the things that great mothers and grandmothers do. Endless readings of ‘Are You My Mother?’ and ‘Goodnight Moon.’ Marathon Christmas cookie baking sessions. Countless arts and crafts projects. When David was 11, he was confined to bed for several months with what the doctors at the time thought was rheumatic fever. For some reason, he became obsessed with roller derby. Mom patiently watched game after game with him and, when he was up to it, took him to see the Roller Derby Gals when they came to Philly. Mom helped Doug and Lisa set up every place they ever lived in. This included painting their first apartment on Pine Street and landscaping their first house in Berwyn, which entailed planting eight large azalea bushes in the pouring rain. When Lisa caught chicken pox from Peter, who was a toddler, she moved into my parents’ house with him and baby Alex and Mom nursed all three of them back to health. She slept over and did the night feedings when Elizabeth was overwhelmed by newborn twin babies. Of a somewhat less serious nature – although it did feel like life and death to me at the time – I was invited to the senior prom during my freshman year in college and it was a pretty big deal. Mom and I discussed my prom dress options at length and I concluded that I had nothing to wear and that it was going to be a disaster.  The next day, Mom showed up at my dorm room unannounced, with an armful of dresses for me to try on. I was to choose my favourite and she would return the rest to the store.

Mom’s gentleness and generosity belied her determination and persistence, traits that were very evident in her approach to her many community activities. Trained as a nurse, when her old boss at Presbyterian Hospital called her up, she was happy to volunteer at the Free Clinic run by the Young Great Society in Mantua, at the time one of the most crime-ridden areas in Philadelphia. Dave and Elizabeth were still quite small and remember spending time in the waiting room on days when they didn’t have school. Not everyone thought that this was how a Main Line housewife and her small children should be spending their time and there was some critical talk but that did not even slow her down. We all remember proudly going to peace rallies and Earth Day marches with our mother as little kids. Later, Mom was determined to pursue her BA, which she did, first at Villanova, later transferring to Rosemont College. She had four kids at home when she started school and we could get pretty whiny about the time she was spending with her study group – Dad too – but she persevered. We were all immensely proud when she graduated magna cum laude in 1979, the same year I graduated from Princeton.

As Chair of the Ludington Library Board of Trustees, she led a campaign to raise about US$ 2 million for a new 9 000-square foot library addition. I was living at home at the time and worked with her on the campaign. I remember her making call after call, and taking meeting after meeting, bound and determined to reach the fundraising goal, which she in fact surpassed. A Shipley Board Member for many years, Mom chaired the committee that oversaw the construction of the West Middle School, which opened in 1993. Fascinated by genealogy, Mom was a long-time member and an officer of the Colonial Dames of America. She received the Colonial Dames’ National Roll of Honour Award in recognition of her services. Mom served as a Trustee of the McLean Contributionship for decades, attending her last Board meeting just ten days before her death, when she could barely walk. She was very involved in the community life at Dunwoody, even after the death of our father in 2014.

Mom in Rome.

My mother was heartbroken when Dad died. They were married for 61 years and shared an incredible bond. We all spent months begging her to visit me in Rome, thinking the distraction would do her good. I wanted her to come for at least three months; she finally agreed to three weeks. It was a challenging trip. Mom was already having problems with her breathing and had to travel with oxygen. The first week she sat on my couch reading ‘On Being Mortal,’ Atul Gawande’s book about living with serious illness and approaching death. It’s a wonderful and important book but not really the thing for a recent widow to be reading. I tried to tempt Mom with all kinds of beautiful food and museum visits and trips to hill towns but she really wasn’t interested. She missed her husband and her cat Phebe. Finally, I introduced her to the mother of a close friend, a long-time widow. They sat on the terrace and talked for hours at a time. That seems to have helped a lot and we went on to have a lovely visit, exploring Italian gardens and villages with a couple of dogs and her new friend Cristina in tow.

Mom was profoundly dedicated to her family and to her community and I like to think that, despite her sadness, she could have found new projects and causes to adopt if it had not been for the litany of terrible illnesses that interrupted her life. But it was a long life and a good life. She will be profoundly missed.

Mom and me

My little Morgster (thanks Sherri)

As far as Morgan is concerned, anyone who has ever read this blog knows how totally devoted I was to that little rascal. He was the love of my life. But don’t tell that to Phryne, the puppy I picked up at the pound in mid-August, unable to be without a dog for more than six weeks. Phryne is lovely: obedient and sweet, calm and loving — the opposite of Morgan actually. He was a challenge. But I miss him every day.

Morgan’s favourite spot was atop a picnic table surveying his realm.

Introducing Phryne, the Portuguese Podengo.


Tutto Qua!

I’ve been meaning to write about this place for a while. I first stumbled on it when I went to pick up my Italian identity card at the police station. I often time such errands to take place during the luncheon hour and if there happens to be an interesting restaurant nearby and I happen to pop inside, what’s the harm in that? Tutto qua (That’s all) is a small place with a bistro-ey vibe and a frequently changing menu full of wonderful, creative stuff, most but not all of it fishy in nature. It calls itself an EnOsteria, which I suppose is a mashup between an enoteca, which principally serves wine, and an osteria, which principally serves simple food. Here are some things that I’ve eaten on various visits there.

This here’s a pullet stuffed with foie gras and arrayed with roasted baby vegetables. It was amazing. Pullet is one of those things that I always sort of knew what it was but not really. It’s a baby hen in case you are equally ignorant. As the U.V.’s sister once asked me, “Who knew eating babies could be so delicious?” For the record, she was referring to baby sheep, not baby humans

Baby hen is joined by her baby veggie friends: beet, peppers, carrots and cauliflower.

Here are a couple of artichokes atop a puddle of melted pecorino cheese and lots of black pepper. My number one recommendation to all aspiring cooks is this: if you want to make a dish that’s amazing and that all the people will love, EITHER fry it, melt chocolate on it or melt cheese on it (the ‘it’ being pretty much anything). This is foolproof!

Below is a velvety shrimp tartare accompanied by smoked burrata. Yum. Buratta is the best cheese in the world and the smokiness of this one set off the fresh, pelagic taste of the little crustaceans to a fare-thee-well. You always hear about how mixing seafood and cheese is a big Italian non-non. But I’ve started seeing it on menus a lot. Mamma mia. The next thing you know, Italian mothers will let their kids go swimming less than four hours after they’ve eaten!

Roast pork with roasted cabbage slaw. The ultimate comfort food.

And spinach sautéed with raisins and pine nuts.  

The sign says ‘Don’t trust anyone who doesn’t care about food.’ A truer word was never spoken. 

Another highly recommended restaurant find in Monteverde. Plus they do a bunch of different kinds of burgers, which I plan on trying out soon. Yay, my ‘hood rules!

Tutto Qua, Via Anton Giulio Barrili 66. Tel: 06 580 3649. Open everyday for lunch and dinner except Sunday night.

Brazilian sushi?!

Manioka, Viale Aventino

Romans are major bandwagon jumpers. Meaning that if somebody stumbles on a good thing, before long everyone is doing it, at which point it is arguably no longer such a good thing. Here are some examples: Back in the 1990s, someone thought it would be a good idea to open an Irish pub in Rome (actually there were a couple around prior to that). Before long there was an Irish pub on every street corner. Now most of them are closed. Electronic gambling parlours, smokeless cigarette stores, hamburger joints, Dutch-type french fry joints, dollar stores (mostly run by Chinese people), late night convenience stores (mostly run by Pakistani people) followed suit. I have no idea whether bandwagon jumping is a strictly Roman proclivity (the last two examples would argue that it is not. Or perhaps it’s something in the water?) but it is definitely a thing here. So I wasn’t particularly surprised to find that Rome currently hosts no fewer than five Brazilian sushi restaurants. What surprised me was the Brazilian sushi part. 

Japanese immigrants working on coffee plantation, Brazil

It shouldn’t have. The phenomenon is akin to the myriad Cuban-Chinese restaurants that dotted Manhattan’s Upper West Side when I was in grad school. That weird combo was due to the fact that Cuba imported hundreds of male contract workers (‘coolies’) from China in the 1850s to work in the sugar fields. Likewise Brazil, which today has the largest Japanese population outside of Japan. Japanese immigrants began arriving in the early 20th Century, enticed by a labour shortage on the coffee plantations. Interestingly, the shortage occurred when Italy passed a law in 1902 forbidding subsidised immigration to Brazil. When the slave trade was outlawed in 1850, the Brazilian elite decided to offer virtually free passage to European immigrants, both as a source of cheap labour but also to ‘whiten’ up the population, which included large groups of African ex-slaves and native American. Millions of Europeans — mostly Italians — migrated to Brazil in search of a better life but once there they were abused and cheated and paid practically nothing by the Brazilians who hadn’t quite lost that slave-owning mentality. Hence the Italian law. Meanwhile, the end of feudalism in Japan caused enormous poverty in the rural areas, which led many people to emigrate. The Japanese weren’t allowed in the US thanks to a nifty little law banning non-white immigration from certain parts of the world (Yes, it is true. We have always sucked).  But Brazil welcomed them with open arms, except for the massive racism and forced assimilation part. But that’s another story.

Edamame with fresh ginger, rice vinegar and soy sauce.

Salmon and avocado with sweet and sour sauce and cassava mayonnaise.

So, Brazilian sushi. The notion confused me at first since I have always associated Brazil with feijoada and big chunks of meat from the churrascaria. But, as it turns out Brazilians eat a lot of fish– especially in the north and coastal areas — and they eat a lot of sushi. Brazilian sushi is a fusion thing, which brings together the raw fresh fish we all love with typical Brazilian tastes. Think salmon with mango, yuzu and a spicy passion fruit sauce. Or tuna with coriander, cucumber and a spicy gazpacho sauce. Or tempura shrimp with guacamole, cashews and teriyaki sauce. And samba. And caipirinhas. Trust me, it’s pretty great. And available at a rapidly growing number of restaurants throughout Rome.  The one on Viale Aventino is highly recommended.

Salmon and tempura shrimp with spicy mayonnaise.

Manioka, Viale Aventino 123. Tel: 06 5742149. Open 7 days a week, 12:00-2:30 & 7:00-11:30.


This is Angelo. thumb_img_2793_1024I don’t know if that is his real name or if he ever really had a name at all. Not that it matters.

Angelo was a stray dog who lived in Sangineto, a town in Calabria. Sangineto doesn’t seem to have much going for it. If you Google the town, all that comes up is a one-sentence Wikipedia entry and 3 000 news stories about Angelo. Last June, four teenage boys tortured Angelo with hammers, hanged him from a tree and beat him to death with clubs and shovels. They filmed it all and posted the film on Facebook.

It has been my experience that Italians tend to see things as either black or white, bypassing entirely the shades of grey. For example, Italians are never neutral about dogs. They either love them or they hate (more correctly, fear) them. Around here, the predominant feeling is love. That’s because I live across the street from Villa Pamphili, Rome’s largest public park and exactly where you would want to live if you owned a dog. The off-leash dog area is just up the hill and Morgan likes to sit on the windowsill watching his little dog friends run around and whining at me to take him out to play already. So pretty much everyone you meet in the park or on the street is a big fan of the canine persuasion (the exception being the teenage girls who think it’s cute and sexy to squeal about their fear of dogs when there are boys around, which is super pathetic, especially since my dog is approximately the size of a toaster).

Angelo’s torture and death sparked enormous outrage among dog lovers throughout Italy. There were demonstrations all over the country (including, to its credit, in Sangineto). This breathed new life into the national campaign against animal abuse of which Angelo became the symbol. The campaign’s major issue has been the relatively moderate penalty (as compared to other European countries) for animal abuse: 3-18 months imprisonment or a 5 000 – 30 000 Euro fine. The campaigners are trying to get that changed before Angelo’s lowlife scumbag murderers face their day in court on 27 April. thumb_img_2794_1024

Donors and sponsors. The Gandhi quote reads 'The civilization of a people can be measured by the way they treat their animals.'

Donors and sponsors. The Gandhi quote reads ‘The civilization of a people can be measured by the way they treat their animals.’

Morgan at Largo Ravizza doing what he do. I tried to get him to pose next to Angelo but that was a non-starter.

Morgan at Largo Ravizza doing what he do. I tried to get him to pose next to Angelo but that was a non-starter.

In Rome, the cultural association La Vela d’Oro raised the money for a bronze statue in Angelo’s memory. The artist is Alessandro Di Cola. Someone had an old photo of Angelo and he worked from that. Isn’t it lovely? They erected the statue in the mini dog park in Largo Ravizza down the street (the statue occupies about 25% of the park!) complete with a little ceremony (and the municipality’s blessing) in late January. Those papers you see by the statue tell Angelo’s story from various angles (in some cases from his own perspective, which is weird: “Oh! Here come some boys. Maybe they want to play with me!”). There are also messages and photos directed to other dear, departed pups. It’s very sweet and touching and heartbreaking. I must say that the Italian tendency to be operatic and over the top can be trying at times (e.g. during disputes over who is next in line at the post office) but, when applied to their animals, it is super endearing.

Angelo and the cherry blossoms.

Angelo and the cherry blossoms.


Rome Central Market

Anyone who has ever been to Rome has probably passed through Termini Station. Until recently it’s not been a place you would want to linger.  There were a couple of coffee bars, newspaper kiosks and a McDonalds or two. The station was rife with pickpockets and drunk homeless folk. Those guys are still around, truth be told, but there has been a big effort to jazz the place up over the past several years. Now there’s a nice department store, Sephora, a Moleskine store where I get my notebooks (used by Hemingway, Picasso and van Gogh among others, doncha know), a two-story bookshop (Borri Books) with an excellent English language section, a huge Benetton, a bagel store (I haven’t tried this yet — has anyone? The bagels look authentic enough but Italian bagels are usually just round bread rolls with some seeds strewn on top. Like brunch, of which bagels are a critical part, Italians just don’t get it), a whole load of decent burger, sandwich and juice bars, a fancy chocolate store and much else besides. I have to say this about Italy: it eventually catches up with America’s great innovations (e.g. microwaveable popcorn, train station malls), it just takes about 20 years to get there. In fairness, Italy was several decades ahead of America in the racist/misogynist/sexual assaulting/fascist/orange/criminal/money and fame whore head of state sweepstakes.

Just over a month ago, restaurateur Umberto Montano opened Il Mercato Centrale in a former piano store at the Via Giolitti entrance of Termini. Isn’t that a weird store to be in a train station? I can imagine purchasing many items as I’m waiting for the 6:52 to Torino — coffee, magazines, maybe some fancy chocolate or stockings (which kind of makes it sound like I’m an American GI going to Torino in 1943), but a piano is definitely not one of them. The Rome market is a follow-up to Montono’s hugely successful Florence Central Market, which gets three million visitors a year.

The Rome Central Market is like a foodie’s food court on steroids. About 15 artisanal stalls are arranged around a square on the ground floor. The market floor is dominated by the ‘cappa mazzoniana’, a gigantic marble hood designed by architect Angiolo Mazzoni in the 1930s. Many of Rome’s foodie superstars are here: famed pizza/breadmaker Gabriele Bonci, Beppe the Cheese King of the Ghetto, the Galuzzi family, which has been selling fish in Rome since 1894, the so-called ‘Guru of Meat’, Roberto Liberati and Stefano Callegari, the inventor of the much ballyhooed trappizino. This is a triangular pieces of dough, which is baked and stuffed with fillings like chicken cacciatore, meatballs, braised oxtail, cuttlefish or tripe. There are places to get pasta, super fresh local vegetable dishes, ice cream, chocolates, truffled everything. You can take out or eat at the market: communal tables in the middle of the hall seat 500 people. The first floor of the market is occupied by a restaurant overseen by multi-Michelin star-winning German celebrity chef, Oliver Glowig. The second floor is for conferences, events, etc.

Whether or not you need to pass through Termini Station next time you are in Rome, check out the Mercato Centrale. It’s worth the trip.


Bonci’s pizza is a must when in Rome.


His bread is pretty great too.


All these dishes are full of truffles.


Rome’s Central Market


This is the stall of famed butcher Roberto Liberati.


Lunch was a succulent sliced steak and potatoes.


Morgan waits patiently for a handout.


Chefs have to eat too!


Have you ever seen such beautiful cheeses?


And fish?


This whole bucket is filled with discarded artichoke leaves.

Via Giolitti 36, Rome. mercatocentrale.it