Roma, non basta una vita literally means ‘Rome, one lifetime is not enough.” The phrase was coined by journalist Silvio Negro who wrote a book by that name in the sixties. And that’s enough research for the day. I’ve decided to make Roma, non basta una vita a recurring feature on my blog where I write about random things I see wandering around the city. Let’s see how that goes.
A week ago I decided to take the puppy out for an adventure. His teacher at puppy school encourages exposing young dogs to many different experiences and while I am doing extraordinarily badly in the training department, I can definitely manage exposure. So off we went without a plan.
Since it was lunchtime or thereabouts, we first stopped at my favourite tavola calda, a place to get hot food and takeaway pizza (it literally means ‘hot table.’)
Then we hopped a bus to the centre of town. I had been hearing about a farmers market near the Circus Maximus and I wanted to check it out. It did look pretty good–lots of local cheeses, oil and jam and even some butternut squash, which you rarely see in Rome, but I was politely asked to leave after a few seconds on account of the dog.
Then we headed over to the Circus Maximus, an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and entertainment venue, which still hosts concerts and the like. When we got there we saw something very strange. The City was putting on a so-called ‘Urban Contest’ where graffiti artists (they call them The Writers here) were invited to display their works on canvas. This was supposed to encourage them to go legit and stop defacing every building in Rome, ancient and modern, not to mention the odd sidewalk, with their artwork. The logic of this exercise somehow escapes me as I suspect that the lack of canvas is not the only thing keeping The Writers from the straight and narrow. Some of the paintings were pretty cool, although there was practically no one else in attendance.
Next we went to check out the homage of the City of Rome to the victims of 9/11–two pillars, representing the World Trade Centre I guess, and a plaque.
Finally, we headed home past the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). FAO has a new campaign where they are using a reference to a 34 year old movie and a mild obscenity to solve the crisis of world hunger. Sure hope it works!