The Habers are, once again, on the move. This time we are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary! We are starting out in Rome where except for one evening on our way home from Sicily and the Amalfi Coast in 1992 we have not been since 1969 (you do the math!).
One of the most interesting places we went to was the Villa Borghese (a lovely park) and its Museum. I’d like to thank Susanne for originally mentioning to me that one needed advance tickets to get into the Galleria and to Ellen for reminding me of this fact a few days before we left for Rome. We called our hotel at that point and had the concierge take care of this detail for us and a good thing it was. When we arrived at the Borghese Museum (reservation number in hand), we discovered that they were sold out for the next 4 days. So what’s there? The villa itself is magnificent, topped only by the incredible sculptures and paintings inside. I especially enjoyed all of the statues by Bernini (a true genius), including ones of David, Apollo and Daphne, and Bacchus. Canova’s sculpture of Venus Victrix was also great; it is actually of Pauline Borghese- wife of the owner of the Borghese Villa and sister of Napoleon. She posed nude for the statue and caused quite a scandal at the time. Reminded me of the scandal caused by Sargent’s painting of Madame X.
Today (on our way from the Forum to Vatican City) we fell into a museum that had a special exhibit entitled “From Corot to Monet”. Clearly I couldn’t pass this up and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Tomorrow is our last day in Rome and I plan to visit a few palaces and assorted other buildings that we haven’t seen before.
And then, of course, there’s the food. Let’s start with the gelato. It’s the best, especially the nocciola; (Joyce: eat your heart out!) The first night we ate at a small restaurant in Trastevere (Rome’s Greenwich Village); the restaurant was built on the site of a 12th century synagogue. It’s owned by a mother and her son; nice home cooking. The next night we ate at La Rosetta–the seafood restaurant of Rome; (thanks, Susanne, for the recommendation). It reminded me of Esca (and was even more expensive!) and was very nice indeed. Tonight we “celebrated” our 40th by eating at La Pergola– Italy’s only 3 star Michelin restaurant. I won’t bore you with what we ate but it was magnificent; clearly one of our best meals ever and you know that’s saying a lot! The location was also magnificent–on top of Monte Mario (one of Rome’s 7 hills) with a fabulous view of all of Rome right from our table.
Our hotel (Excelsior) is great. When we checked in, they upgraded us (as an anniversary present!) to the largest suite we’ve ever had; huge bedroom, separate large sitting room, 2 huge bathrooms and a walk-in closet. (Sam: the switch plates in the bathroom are silver with black inside; they look great!!)
So that’s it for now. We fly to Brussels tomorrow evening to continue this week of fun. I look forward to hearing from each and every one of you!
Your Wandering Correspondent
PS I wasn’t crazy about most of my photos. I’ve attached 2 pictures of the Colosseum (inside and outside). (Sorry, Doug; we’re not in the photos!)