Tuesday morning and a beautiful day is in order. The skies were clear, and the sun soon warmed to the mid-sixties. I started the day with breakfast at the hotel where I enjoyed eggs, bread, broccoli, a banana, a couple of pieces of cheese, and brewed coffee. I polished off a couple of delicious croissants too. I set out on foot to Piazza Republica, and walked down to the open-air market at Campo dei Fiori.
The market is held every weekday and Saturday in the piazza that took its name from long ago when it was a flower market. (Field of Flowers.) There’s a statue of the famous philosopher Giordano Bruno in the center of the piazza. On February 17, 1600, he was burned at the stake on that spot for his religious opinions.
I was certainly having a better day than him. I enjoyed a cappuccino before wandering down a couple of allies and over to have a look at the exterior of the Palazzo Farnese. It was a palazzo owned by one of Rome’s old wealthy and powerful families. It’s now under a 100-year lease as the French Embassy.
It is possible to book a tour through it, but most of the art and sculptures have been moved off to museums. The building is remarkable because the beautiful façade was designed by Michelangelo.
Walking around the back of the Palazzo Farnese, one finds oneself near the banks of the Tiber and the crossing of the pedestrian bridge Ponte Sisto.
Ponte Sisto crosses the Tiber River and leads into the Trastevere neighborhood at Piazza Trilussa. The bridge dates to 1475 when it was built by order of Pope Sixtus IV Della Rovere (1471-1484) from whom it takes its name.
I wandered around the Trastevere neighborhood, which in recent years has become hip and fashionable.
When the restaurants started opening for lunch, I picked a nice shady café where I had a plate of Penne al Arabbiata.
There were three sets of street performers working the crowds in the piazza nearby as I ate. The first two played accordion and clarinet, and sang some parts from operas. The singer had a very good tenor voice. Following them was a less-talented bohemian hippy-type with a tambourine. She didn’t stay long. Then another accordionist with a string bass player dropped in and played Italian folk music. It was great entertainment to watch people passing through, taking a few minutes to check out the performers, and sometimes interacting with them.
I crossed back over the Tiber, and made my way to the hotel room for a short nap. When I awoke, I had a good, though unremarkable meal at a neighborhood restaurant.