Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Rome Tennis Open May 2011

maria sharapova, top ranked russian who also models

one of the great mussolini era statues

perfect size small court to see very well, soccer stadium in background . not too many tennis stadiums are surrounded by these great 1930's era sport statues and umbrella pines

another fascist era statue

marion bartoli, best woman's player in france

mardy fish, one of the U.S top players

campo centrale, the main tennis stadium in background. This guy is ready to play, racket in right hand, ball in left

weather was stunning

the skier

lest we forget who constructed the "foro Italico"  sports area. Couldn't get it all in but the obelisk reads "Mussolini Dux"

pleasant walk crossing the Tiber to get from tram to stadium
Had a great birthday doing one of the things I love to do - watching tennis, in this case for 7 hours. The Foro Italico sports area in Rome is a wonderful space. It houses great swimming pools, the enormous soccer stadium, two tennis stadiums and for the tournament another 7 outdoor courts. The area has wonderful fascist era statues and mosaics. It is one of my very favorite areas to tour around in. We had a picture perfect day to view the tennis, sun, not hot and cool in the shade. loved it.  Since this was really day one of the tournament the big guns (nadal, federer,djokovic) hadn't arrived yet. Hope to see them later in the week.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Warm Weather means flowers and beach

our neglected rose bush on our terrace that continues to shock us with its abundant red roses

a very blue sky filled with kites

back to the beach

flowering succulents

tons of snails on the aloe plant
a lovely warm, clear blue skies Saturday so we headed to the beach. Great beach lunch of mussels, pasta and calamari. yum and a  good relax.

May 5th, 2011 The Road to Contemporary Art and Settembrini

the guys and luca, the talented sommelier from Settembrini restaurant
Settembrini Restaurant set up outdoors at the Mattatoio (old Roman slaughterhouse) for the weekend.

some of the art

and more "art"

this one I liked, made of dripped wax

performance art. this girl was sitting, laying, doing yoga type positions in the art. provided entertainment, at least

As we all know Rome is know mostly for its past. Huge strides  have been made in bringing modern and contemporary art to this city. This weekend was one of those attempts. The old slaughterhouse area (huge with big warehouse type buildings) is the perfect place for this.  Settembrini restaurant (where Christopher had worked for 4 months) set up a dining area with special menus for each weekend evening, as well as a cafe area with a buffet menu.  The menus were very creative and looked great. We would have gladly stayed and eaten at the dining area but we had another commitment so instead we enjoyed having a drink and eating at the buffet cafe area. The art wasn't exactly to my taste but was fun to see.

Posters for last weekend's (May Day) big events in Rome

one of many John Paul posters that were all over Rome.  They also had quotations from J.P on them, some of them in the local Roman dialect.

hard to see in this photo but the posters line both sides of the Via Fori Imperiale, large street leading to Coliseum.  View I see most days.

another poster from the side
Last weekend Rome was the site of the beatification of Pope John Paul II, one of a few steps on his way to sainthood. Since the town was invaded by a million (literally) pilgrims, mostly of Polish descent, many Romans, including ourselves, left town. Apparently all went well and these many posters remain on the lamp posts as well as on the buses.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Another Umbrian weekend -May Day

table ready for  the birthday dinner

champagne poured

a crystal clear umbrian view

the flowering woods seen during our asparagus hunting

the  Umbrian hilltown of Todi

hard to resist taking more flower photos

In addition to the finding lots of asparagus, I can never resist picking up the porcupine quills

the poppies are starting to fill the fields

a stop at lake bracciano for lunch on way home
We had the pleasure of spending another wonderful weekend in Umbria. Saturday was Domenico's birthday and we celebrated with champagne, great food and wine and a yummy chocolate tart.   Menu included a wonderful lamb tagine made by Elizabeth. Great way to continue to enjoy the Easter lamb. Sunday was spectacular weather-wise so made for great asparagus hunting for the asparagus frittata for 9 for lunch.
Monday the clouds returned but lunch at the lake with friends is always a