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Jonathan's Angels is one of the most bizarre bars I have ever been to. And even stranger is the toilet.
There is a fountain and a crocodile and other odd features - it is hard to describe - you will need to check it out yourself!
The bar is owned by an ex-circus acrobat, Jonathan, who is also a bit if an artist......the bar is decorated in paintings of the man himself, impersonating famous people - eg. Jonathan as the Pope, Jonathan as Napoleon etc
Any wall space not covered with paintings of Jonathan is covered with other quirky paraphernalia.
Via della Fossa 16, Piazza Navona, Rome.
Close to Piazza Navona, on small street near Piazza del Fico
Written Nov 7, 2004
Phone: 00 39 6689 3426
The cemetery is usually called Cimitero degli Inglesi, but its proper name is Cimitero Acattolico (non-Catholic), because in addition to Protestants it serves as burial ground for Greek Orthodox, Jews, Zoroastrians and atheists.
Photo 1 - Keats tomb - here John Keats lies in an unnamed monument: Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water is the epitaph he dictated to his friend Joseph Severn, a painter who wanted to be buried next to him. A relief portraying Keats is accompanied by verses, the acronym of which reads K-E-A-T-S.
K-eats! if thy cherished name be "writ in water"
E-ach drop has fallen from some mourner's cheek;
A-sacred tribute; such as heroes seek,
T-hough oft in vain - for dazzling deeds of slaughter
S-leep on! Not honoured less for Epitaph so meek!
Photos and reference text by permission of Roberto Piperno for non-commercial purposes only.
Photo 2 - Monuments to Rosa Bathurst, Goethe's son and Antonio Gramsci
Photo 3 - Although most graves are very simple, a few are rather monumental and especially those of the early XIXth century have fine Neoclassic reliefs: the image above shows on the left a relief portraying the Angel of Death bringing away a woman (Elisa, wife of George Watson, a lady from Massachusetts, or to be consistent with the Latin epitaph "Massachusettensis") mourned by her husband and children: all dressed as ancient Romans; the sculpture on the right portrays Psyche.
Updated Jun 28, 2006
Palazzo del Freddo Giovanni Fassi started in 1880. Founder Giacomo was the first of 4 generations of ice-cream makers.
I found this huge ice-cream parlor by chance when we were exploring the neighbourhood nearest our hotel. It's not near any major Roman attraction, more in a local neighbourhood.
So on a late Saturday afternoon you see the local families of all ages gather to eat ice-cream or semifreddo. I saw icecream sandwiches, and all sorts of cold delights.
I'm not waging my head on saying where the best icecream is to be had in Rome. There are too many and I know too little of those parlors that make their own or buy it from a manufacturer. But I can say I enjoyed this ice-cream in this ambiance a lot!
Address: Via Principe Eugenio 65-67/A
Directions: Take the metro to Vittorio Emanuel, turn into the Via Pr. Eugenio, 2 blocks. 5 minute walk total.
Updated Oct 29, 2007
Phone: +39 064464740
It was December 31st in the morning and the square St. Peter was occupied by the huge crowd who came to Rome from all over the world. Besides Europeans I could have noticed catholics, and not only catholics, from Both Americas, Africa, Asia and of course many Europeans too. I am agnostic but was glad to see people from different religions and races joined together and waiting for Pope to show up on his window and expressing good wishes to all people of good will. I guess we all, gathered on the suqare, were excited and full of joy feeling ourselves as a part of the world united.
Updated Nov 26, 2011
Because this experience was so familiar to us - almost exactly the same - just re tuned to Italian - we noticed the small differences.
My husband kept picking people. "He's a strapper. He's a colourful racing identity. He's a punter."
My daughter commented she was surprised at the standard. It was like a country race track. Not a big classy metropolitan track.
And she noticed the different whip technique the jockeys used. She said something like -"They must be only allowed to use their stick every three strides."
They didn't seem to be - 'riding the horse out.'
I noticed - no women jockeys or trainers or strappers. None. But then Italy, as my local friend has commented, is the land feminism forgot.
And I noticed - and it was like seeing an immutable law not working - no clerk of the course in a pink (red) coat on a grey horse leading the runners out onto the course.
Jocks with bolshie horses got no help. They just had to help themselves.
We wanted to have a flutter but there didn't seem to be bookies (another difference) and the betting all seemed to be computerised - so we let it go.
A great day out. Though the weather wasn't great.
I think the Ippodromo must be near the Ciampino aerodromo because Ryanjets kept lobbing in low over the field.
We went for a wander and found the old derelict grandstand covered with wisteria. Slowly becoming an ancient monument. And the stables where the Italian racehorses are kept.
Updated Jun 23, 2007
This is a pleasant and very cheap thing to do. It's not for tourists and the info booths know nothing about it - but you do see a few tourists on it.
It goes from the river side just under Ponte Garibaldi which is on Viale di Trastevere. Opposite Isola Tiburtina. You can see the jetty and there is a notice board with sailing times. There are not a lot of sailings! Costs about 3 euros one way. When you get an hour or so up river to .... hmmm .... wish I could remember where it stops. It was a sports stadium. When you get there just pay the guard again and chuff slowly back to Ponte Garibaldi.
Great photos ops as you pass Castel St Angelo.
The company is called Battelli di Roma but if they have a web site I couldn't find it.
Written Mar 17, 2008
Because my daughter is a jockey, when she came to visit she really wanted to go to the races.
I cannot begin to tell you how hard it was to find out where the races are held. Or how to get there.
Because it is not something that tourists seem to do.
I found a tourist info booth with a really helpful girl who gave me a phone number to ring. Many had fobbed me off, scornfully.
It was a nightmare finding out what day the races were on, and how to get there.
In the end we found out that many many trains go to Capannelle, it is the first stop out of Termini. It would help when you get there that there was a station name up on both sides of the platform, but there you go. It's not for tourists.
Once there we looked for a cab rank to get to the races. No luck. No public phone to ring for a cab and none of us had cellulari.
But Alex squizzed into the distance and saw white rails and a grandstand so we walked.
No entrance fee to the course.
Bars, fast food of very poor quality, teeming crowds of locals.
What I liked most was listening to the race announcer. He said something like "Volta." Which I took to mean - "They're off."
Updated Jun 23, 2007
If you wake - like I did - bright as a button at 5am (jet lag thingo) dying for a cup of tea - and of course your hotel doesn't have tea and coffee making facilities (never found one that did in Italy) just set off on the dawn streets and find a neighbourhood bar.
After 5am the streets are full of early workers heading to work - and anywhere that sells newspapers, smokes, bus tickets and coffee and brioche will be starting to open.
I had to go quite far afield to find one that opened at 5 - down by San Giovanni Metro station -but they will all be open by 6.
Approach the patron at the till - pay for what you want. He will give you a ticket. (Which you keep.) Then he will make it for you. (If you want a brioche take a napkin from the dispenser on the counter, open the display case, grasp your brioche firmly and show it to him.) If you want cold milk in your tea - say "Latte freddo." Otherwise you will probably get limone.
Try to indicate if you want to sit down outside (so you can smoke) because that usually costs a bit more. Maybe 20 cents.
If you are lucky he will chat to you a bit - curious. Then the regulars will greet you. What an adventure.
The bars won't probably have a name. They are all called - it seems - SNACK - BAR - CAFE - GELATERIA.
I went back in daylight to take a photo and no name posted that I could see.
When I say - don't be afraid - I don't mean throw caution to the winds. This is Rome after all.
Updated Dec 12, 2007
After your filmic pilgrimage to Cinecitta walk on the same side of the road for maybe 10 minutes and you will find the first mall built in Roma. It's kind of hard to know it is a mall. In Australia it would have huge signs and arrows saying - This is a mall. Here is the mall. Shop here. THIS IS A MALL.
But that is not the Italian way.
(The toilettes are also modestly signposted inside the mall.)
It was exactly like any mall anywhere but with very subtle differences. We loved it. We had got up early, taken a stroll through the forum, done the film studios and moved right along to where the Romans hung out, ate fast food, bought their TVs and proudly displayed their grandchildren.
The subtle differences? Well, that depends on where you come from.
Written Dec 4, 2007
This is a wonderful liitle bookshop at 329 Via G. Giolotti (runs down beside Termini) which often has events like plays or readings. I have been to a play here, a New Zealand play which made me a bit homesick.
Anyway I popped in to see if they had English books - I was beginning to worry I might run out of reading material. And no, they don't have English books but they do have a Bookcrossing bookcase. This is a website where you register a book and release it into the wild. There were two English books and one was Pride and Prejudice - which I adore - so I seized upon it with glad cries and then logged onto the site to let Francesina know that I had her book. It had been there for 7 months and she was very happy and asked me to take it back to Australia with me. But I gave it to a friend from Puerto Rica who loves classic english texts and she will leave it either in Cyprus or Vienna.
Written Dec 4, 2007
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