Yesterday was a very good Friday. I checked out the cool little shops on Via Governo del Vecchio (I think that is the name of the street). It's near Piazza Navona and I first read about the area in the New York Times a couple weeks ago. Some of the clothes are very pricey and are made by local designers. Given my budget I only window shopped at those stores. I did buy some great smelling soap and some cute earrings that weren't expensive.
I had lunch at one of my favorite places in Rome, Maccheroni in Piazza Coppelle. I had the fantastic pasta grigia which is Rigatoni with wine wine, bacon, cracked black pepper and goat cheese.
I worked up quite the appetite because I kept getting lost in the side streets around Piazza Navona and couldn't find the restaurant. After lunch I walked around the Prati area (near the Vatican), then back home.
Okay, so my usual Friday night routine in L.A. is as follows:
All my friends are exhausted from work. They have scripts to read or notes to do. I stay home make some dinner, read a script or two to get a jump on the weekend read, then I watch "What Not to Wear", the local news until maybe 10:30 then I go to bed.
This was my night last night:
Three different friends calling at around 6:00 p.m. asking what I was doing. I already had plans with my friend Giampiero. We met during my first trip to Rome through a friend of a friend back in L.A. He used to live in L.A. and still has an apartment there. We went to dinner aroung 8:30 (very early for him). The restaurant is called Ripa and it is in Trastevere. The food was outstanding! We had clams and mussels to start and the waitress insisted we try (on the house) the sea snails which were incredible. I haven't had snails or conchs in a long time (so I was not really into it) but once I tasted the butter and garlic delights I was very happy.
G. picked the wine,I can't remember the name but it was a white Siclian wine. I had the white fish w/fresh tomatoes and chicory. I was told you can't get chicory every in Italy. I wonder if I could find it in the US? It's a bitter green with spicy kick. Around 11:00 we asked for the check (if you don't ask they might not bring it. It's considered rude to give you the check while you are eating) and G. told me to not to even try and reach for my wallet.
Next stop. One of his agents (he is an actor but not crazy)and his partner had a party and we stopped by for dessert. I walk past this building in Trastevere everyday. Who knew that behind the huge, heavy doors was such a place? Freaking incredible. I also met some of the most attrative men in my life at the party. All were actors....and gay. Lots of couples. Everyone was so friendly and took the time to explain what was going on with the San Remo music festival.
Final stop. G., myself and some of the women from the party (all straight, smart, beautiful...and single) went to a new bar called Etabli. It's near Piazza Navona. I had to get on G.'s scooter with a dress on. Second time this week I have been one (Ettore and I rode to our meeting on Thursday) and I am not comfortable flying through the streets with drivers who talk with their hands all the time.
If you are in Rome check out this place, Etabil. It has only been open for 2 weeks. It's a bar/lounge with plenty comfy chairs, magazines, books, really cool but without the attitude. I had to speak more Italian last night since the women spoke only a little english. One of our waitresses was an American expat who has lived in Rome for 18 months. She was very friendly. We finally ended the night about 3:15. Again G. refused to let anyone pay.
I said to G. I have to remind myself that I'm on vacation and if I lived here I would probably fall back into the same routines. He pointed out that everyone I met worked a full day yesterday and the women we went to the bar with, a busy casting director, a senior agent and a production designer, have very busy careers and yet find the time to see their friends and have a life. Point taken.