We descend through Trastevere and cross the Tiber at Isola Tiberina and enter the Jewish Ghetto at Via Portico D'Ottavia. It is 12:30, it is early for lunch but we are Americans and very hungry. We cross to the Mara del Panto and find our favorite lunch (pranzo) restaurant,
La Vecchia Bottega del Vino.
Lunch in the Roman Ghetto
Here we do not need a menu. They will prepare a plate of antipasti with the freshest ingredients available that day. There is a large selection to choose from or allow them to put a plate together......that is what we did.
Zuppa di Piselli
Our first course (primi) is a wonderful hot soup made from fresh peas with a drizzle of olive oil and scented with thyme leaves. Along side is a basket of fresh croccante bread. What could be better? But wait.........
We had 2 plates of antipasti to share, 'soft' and 'hard' as the server told us. This plate is centered on a salad of shaved fennel surrounded by the most glorious meats, vegetables, cheese, fish and herbs. Truly magnificent!
Here we are at La Vecchia Bottega del Vino
Ceiling of the Gesu
And now for a feast for the eyes,we head a few blocks to the church of the Gesu, the ultimate Baroque experience. Words and pictures cannot describe the overall sensation of every inch being covered with glorious exuberance.
The vibrant composition of the Baroque
The sculptures burst out of their space into ours. It is true theater.
Looking to Heaven
Got wings? At this moment we really wish that we could fly.
In two days we have seen two examples of oculus; one Roman(the Pantheon) and one Christian, the Gesu.
Places we recommend in these Rome neighborhoods:
La Vecchia Bottega Del Vino, Via Santa Maria del Piano, 9
owned by Bleve family , see Casa Bleve
da Giggetto, Porta d' Ottavia,
Cafe Sant' Eustachio, piazza Sant' eustachio,
great coffee, hot coffee and cold granita.
Chiesa del Gesu, Piazza del Gesu
Shows the transitional leap from the renaissance to the exuberant Baroque.
Fontana delle Tartarughe, (the turtle fountain, 1585)
Just outside the ghetto is this sweet fountain.
Portico d' Ottavia (27 BC)
Built by Augustus in honor of his sister, Ottavia. this site is a must see. ( still being excavated
Chiesa Sant' Angelo in Pesheria and Teatro di Marcello