Saturday, August 28, 2010
Yesterday is the reason why I love living here, let me share it with you:)
In the morning I went in the center of Rome to draw and sketch a little. For pranzo I met up with my friend Giulia and I spent my afternoon at her house. I was quite tired and ready to go home until I received a call from an unfamiliar number. It was Lina! (I met her last year at summer week, in Sardinia, and we clicked right away.) Although she visits Rome quite often (she actually lives in Cairo) we still haven't managed to meet up. That is until yesterday - an hour later from the call I was at the Spanish Steps meeting Lina who I haven't seen for a year, incredible! So we took a walk and did all the catch up and she later invited me with her family and friends on a drink. I was intentioned to go home in the beginning but as it was too late to catch the "last" train (remember I live outside Rome so I actually travel for an hour and a half, if I go by the public transport. I prefer not to do it alone late in the evening) I decided to stay at my grandparents house (they live in Garbatella, a nice zone just near the center). At 8.30 we went to meet her parents at de Russie hotel's cocktail lounge (it's just in the beginning of Via Babuino, near Piazza del Popolo) and soon her brother and other friends came a long.
The lounge, called "Le Jardin de Russie", is situated in the hotel's courtyard. It was originally designed by Giuseppe Valadier (1762-1839), the man who projected the whole area as we see it today - from the Coffee House on Pincio hill, also known as Casina Valadier, to la Piazza del Popolo one of the biggest and nicest squares in Rome. This lovely cortile is organized in different levels: on the ground level there is the cocktail bar where we stayed and on the upper level, where the actual Secret Garden is, is the restaurant. For me, who I usually am ready to critique the interior design of the places I go (because unfortunately modern, clever and functional design is not their best here), this place was a real surprise! As we are talking about Rome, a city of a very strong architectural image, you can't totally forget about it's roots when creating a new space or re-organizing one which already excisted. That's why I loved it there: no ultra-modern design inventions but just sticking to the original romantical atmosphere and bringing the maximum out of it by a wise use of drammatical illumination and green plants.
After a few drinks and some great laughs it was getting late for me as I still had to take the metro to get to Garbatella (using taxi is out of the question in Rome- they cost more than a decent meal in a good restaurant in the center) and so there I was, ready to say good-bye and thank everyone for a very pleasant stay. The moment I stood up protesting started and soon enough I was convinced to stay. My worries of how to get back home were wiped away as a friend of Lina's promised to take me home. That was one of those moments I deeply hated the fact of living far away from the city. Anyways, we continued our evening in a restaurant called Il Bolognese (it's just on the Piazza del Popolo), the food was good and the wine also.. We stayed out until 1 o'clock, Lina's friends went on clubbing and invited us too, but unfortunatelly I had promised my grandparents to be home early! This was the second time that evening I hated to not live in the centre of Rome, this time all by myself. It was a lovely evening, very spontaneous and unexpected and due to the fact I live in a city where people from all around the world (read my friends around the world) keep coming back, once they've fallen with it, I manage to see my friends more often, without having to travel myself (and unfortunately I can't do it so often because of my studies). Besides this big advantage Rome is a city full of surprises and it's really lovely to discover them with your friends !