Monday, 29 March 2010

Radio silence

The past few days have been dedicated to research - save a few trips to the museums, and some to local eateries.

This time we tried a place across the street from Giggetto called Ba''Ghetto. Compared to the former, the place was sleek and much more polished, in a sort of Scandinavian way. Different atmosphere altogether, but, yet again, mostly frequented what looked like well-to-do locals (Jews, judging by the kippah-ratio among the males). The carciofi was excellent. In fact, everything was so good we ended up staying for the whole shebang. While this not exactly cheap, we felt it was well worth it :)

This (Israeli) Pinotage was especially good.

I'd say, at this point, it's a tie between the more traditional and rustic Giggetto and this place. Depends on the kind of setting you prefer ;)

A glimpse of Marcellus's theatre on the way home from the Ghetto.

In fact, why not compile a photo series of my usual walk home:

(A "bar" in Italy means a lot more than a mere venue for alcohol consumption :D It's aplace to get your coffee in the morning and crab lunch in the afternoon, too.)

Tomorrow we take off for a field trip to the northern provinces. Ravenna and Aquileia, to be exact. The weather report says it will rain again... typical.

Back on Friday! :)

Friday, 19 March 2010

This week in images

Inspired by the example set by my health-conscious colleagues, I decided to go running on Saturday - and am now feeling the consequences. Mainly in my thighs and derriere. Moving is pain...

So, I have some time to post a few photos online.

Via Appia:


You've guessed it: yet another photo from our terrace... (and there will be plenty more)

The Swiss institute.

A magnolia tree :)

A field trip to Hadrian's villa in Tivoli:

This is the so-called Maritime Theatre. In reality we have no idea what this was... perhaps some kind of luxurious private quarters?

A cryptoporticus, i.e. how the slaves got round to serve their masters...

These first pics were actually taken a couple of years ago... Here's how it looked like yesterday:

A temple ("of Vesta") a few kilometres away in Tivoli (ancient Tibur).

The town itself is also quite picturesque.

Some more archaeological tourism:

The funerary monument of Gaius Cestius Epulo, i.e. the pyramid. Egyptian stuff was very fashionable in Rome toward the end of the first century BCE...

A funerary monument from a couple hundred years later: the mausoleum of Constanti(n)a (since converted into a church called Santa Constanza), the daughter of Constantine the Great.

An unrelated photo from Pompeii. I like the red umbrella :)

Tuesday, 16 March 2010


There have been demontsrations against Berlusconi here lately... Today the Carabinieri were shutting streets in full riot-gear... All very peaceful so far, or so it seems.

(This is not one of the demonstrations... just a regular Saturday at Piazza del Popolo.)

Discovered a great market somewhere behind the Vatican yesterday. Bought fresh pasta (not in the picture - this is just the dry stuff ;) and lots of fruit and bufala mozzarella. All fresh and cheap - and often local. Here, it seems like buying produce from the markets is not just a nostalgia thing. Isn't it funny how in Finland, it actually costs more to get your veggies from the market place?

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Le weekend

Survived a ridiculously cold and rainy trip to Campania. Add sleet and the occasional hail into the mix and you've got a very wet and miserable Hampster. You'd think a trip south would mean sunshine and loveliness... The very last thing you'd think of doing in this weather is walking all day long on archaeological sites. Of course, that's exactly what we did. I really hope I'd have brought my Wellingtons (=Nokian kumpparit). Well, it wasn't all bad of course - the archaeological gems around the bay of Naples really are definitely worth the trip. It was just a bit of a shame we couldn't enjoy the experience as much we could have.

Some random highlights:

Pompeii digs have their own train station :) Didn't make it to the Mystery Villa this time, though. Instead, we had a look at a rather uninspiring "Virtual Museum" in Herculaneum. 3D-reconstructions, holograms and dry ice. Much of it without any mentionable added value. However, I think there's a lot of potential here - just add content and voilá!

This nice little cupid is in situ in what has been identified as the "children's room" in the villa of Marcus Lucretius Fronto:

The inside of a Roman bath - with a nicely preserved stucco ceiling.


Some Greek architecture for a change (i.e. Paestum):

A certain Walker from Texas must have visited at some point :D



This is said to be the best preserved facade of a Roman domus in the world. Not unlike many in modern Rome, right?

Sorrento sunset.

Some monestary in Sorrento. The rest of the town is hugely touristy. Nothing like visiting a holiday resort off-season...

On Thursday, we did a field trip to Amalfi. The rain stopped on the way for about an hour, and then picked up again when we stepped out of the bus. The views were great.

Again, very worthy advice :)


Friday, the Napoli museum:

Looks like this bearded fella ("Greek poet") has his eye on the veiled lady...

Afterward we walked around a bit in the centro storico:

No pickpockets, or any threatening situations, but Napoli definitely feels rougher than Rome.

Had a very nice lunch at a little place around the corner from the museum (Osteria da Carmela):

A fishy risotto. Yum.

Have a great weekend!