Friday, October 29, 2010

a fun day with Pat and Meghan

Pat, Meghan and I went on a walking tour of santa maria sopra minerva, one of the only neo-gothic churches in Rome. It is filled with treasures by michaelangelo, bernini, fra fillipo lippi, has fra angelico and st catherine of siena's tombs and much more.  Following our lengthly tour of the church we went to the piazza di pietra to see the roman temple of hadrian. After a roman lunch, we passed by a local shop to take in the wonderful smell of chocolates which are made on site. A quick cappuccino break which fortified us to tour the wonderful museum of palazzo massimo, which is filled with roman mosaics, frescoes, statues and more. One of my favorites!  Was so nice to be able to share the city and enjoy the day with Pat and Meghan.  Hope they come back soon.
sunny day with great view of dome of pantheon

facade of church of santa maria sopra minerva with the  bernini designed elephant/obelisque statue

one of many church treasures, the tomb of the 14th century painter Fra Angelico

fra filippo lippi chapel

we had special permission to visit the room where St. Catherine of Siena died. The room was transported to the church in the 16th century.
Roman temple of hadrian

my favorite greek bronze statue exhibited in Rome, the boxer

full seated pose

a well deserved cappuccino and halloween cupcakes

 great to be able to share the day with Pat and Meghan, 

Czech Repubblic reception oct 27

a four piece band playing czech music

great zither

zither, flute and violin

lovely frescoed ceiling at the very pretty embassy, probably late 1800's or early 1900's building

Reception featured typical  products from the region of Zlin.  A tent was set up outside where the band was as well as some of the food.  Featured was a rather bitter but good beer called Janacek to go along with the gulash, pork, two types of dumplings (not light!), cheese and desserts which were mostly fried types of dough.   There were also czech wines offered. we tried one of the whites which was light but i enjoyed it.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Charity Event - Women for Women International Oct 26, 2010

The venue,  the lovely "Rokko" japanese restaurant in Rome

Two congolese women and the organizer of the event (in white)

The congolese woman who sang for us. Being Christians their songs are songs to God asking for help.

 The very gracious and generous Hiroko, owner of restaurant, and Susan

It was nice to attend this charity event. Women for Women International started by Zainab Salbi, an Iraqi-American, helps women survivors from war, rape and other atrocities committed  in the Congo. Funds raised help toward trauma counseling, job training, education, small business assistance, as well as helping these women to emerge as leaders.  A group of about 60 people supported this organization at a cocktail reception at Rokko Restaurant.  On Nov 7th there will be a "Run for Congo Women", another fundraiser for this very important and  

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oct 25th, 2010 A Visit from Pat!

we look a bit different than when we met as roommates 40 years ago!

Was great to have a visit from Pat, her daughter Meghan and son-in-law Rob. Cocktails at home followed by a dinner out

A Saturday Trip to the Terme dei Papi (The Thermal Baths of the Pope's)

first a stop in vetralla to buy olive oil

was great to have your neck massaged when sitting under the fungo (mushroom object toward back of photo)
the baths are huge, very warm and wonderfully relaxing
medievil town of Viterbo
fountain in the piazza della morte

lunch at 'L Richiastro with our first course of a taste of 4 soups, 
dining area or 'L Richiastro

 a great selection of squash resembling birds

the papal palace (1266) in viterbo with its elegant gothic loggia. 4 popes were elected here in the 1200's, including Gregory X whose rules are still followed in the vatican conclaves today
our post bath, relaxed lunch group

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Austrian and Viennese Gastronomic Festival Oct 19, 2010

The St Regis Grand hotel, in partnership with the Austrian Embassy and two hotels in Vienna, are offering a gastronomic week with afternoon tea and at dinner a special Austrian menu with Austrian wines.  A friend of mine and I treated ourselves to afternoon tea and a sampling of 3 viennese cakes.  We enjoyed- the imperiale torte, (said to have been invented in honor of the emperor Franz Josef I and its recipe is still secret), the apple strudel and the linzertorte. 

The setting - St. Regis Grand Hotel Rome which opened in 1894.

chandelier at the St Regis  and the lovely art nouveau ceiling
Viennese Patisserie Afternoon Tea

strawberry creme and plum cake, two we did not try

Yogurt cake, linzertorte and sacher torte

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

French Embassy reception and Corsican concert Oct 18, 2010

Concert was in the Salon D'Hercule, as you can see why
The beautiful Renaissance palace,  Palazzo Farnese, home of the French embassy. Michelangelo finished the upper stories of building in 1546.

Beautiful stuccoed ceiling as you enter into the palazzo
Salon d'hercule, front of room with fireplace and busts of Roman emperors in the back-lite niches.
Confraternity of San Martinu di Patrimonio from Corsica coming in. They were there on the occasion of the visit of a visiting dignitary from Corsica to Rome.
There were 12 confraternity brothers performing the "Chants des Confreries de Corse.
12  confraternity brothers who performed the chants, only one piece was accompanied by a flute. Every other piece was voices only. Was very nice and relaxing. a different type of reception for sure. Lights were out for the concert, thus not so great photos. We were given of CD of their chants.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

another Saturday beach day on the coast Oct 16,2010

a very rough sea with crashing waves, fun to watch

our house wine being drawn for lunch from the wooden keg, a very light white 
fabulous mussels first course
wonderful mixed fish grill, sea bass, prawns and calamari as a second course