Italian Minstrel

Italian Minstrel

Friday, 1 October 2010

La Dolce Vita

An Italian Village By Lake Bracciano
I now know what they mean by La Dolce Vita. The picture above is of the promontory of rock upon which a pretty little fishing village called Anguillara is built. Lake Bracciano is the large volcanic lake you can see in the photograph, and it is located about 20 miles north of Rome in the region of Lazio.

We have just been to Rome to spend a long weekend with very dear friends and I feel like I must have been there for ages, and I can only think it is the place that makes you feel that way. And what a place!
Roman history is so tangible, everywhere in and around Rome has a column, a temple, maybe a viaduct or perhaps a triumphal arch - it is unbelievable, overwhelming and incredibly mind-boggling.
Rome is so full of architecture and works of art, you would need a very many weeks to even start on seeing the highlights, without the discovery of all the delights hidden down little streets off the beaten track.

So we decided to have a day visiting Lake Bracciano to clear our heads and see the landscape and I am so glad we did, it was peaceful, beautiful and full of charm. We found a fantastic Gelateria and had the best ice cream - pistachio and custard for me! And I have to say I thought it an inspired selection! The next day in the centre of Rome we went to the famous Giolitti's where I had the classic Limone and my other scoop (you get 2) was Champagne, which was so refreshing and completely delicious - and what a shop - the choices were just amazing and imaginative, who would have thought of pine nut gelato?

La Fontana di Trevi - The Trevi Fountain - of course!
We walked around a corner from Giolitti's and I could hear a roaring noise like a waterfall and something that looked like a lump of coarse white rock. Puzzled, I followed everyone round the edge of the rock to be faced with the most fantastical man-made creation, gushing clear blue water over bright white marble, with wonderful statues and such detailed carved flora and fauna. It literally took my breath away.

I had already been saying 'Wow!! I mean really wow!' having just walked into the Pantheon, easily the most perfect Roman building and utterly incomparable, so to see the Trevi fountain just half an hour later, well. it was a memorable day. And yes, I know that there is so much more. That will be for another visit.
View from the Palatine to the Forum

Oh, and I forgot to mention the total experience that is the Forum and Palatine, practically a small city by itself spanning something like 1400 years of Roman civilisation, a representative portion of which is still standing. After a day of bombarding my brain and all my senses, I certainly needed a sit down, a delicious cappucino and a Pizza Napoli! There you are, that is La Dolce Vita.

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