Rome: A few hidden delights
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I’ve just got back from three months in Rome, where I spent most of my time exploring cobbled backstreets for second hand books, attempting to educate a couple of temperamental five year olds about the English language, and generally loitering around art galleries, looking for material to write about for the various online magazines that I contribute to. Predictably, I’ve eaten a lot of pasta (although the National Museum of Carb Overindulgence and Waistline Expansion was closed for refurbishment for the entirety of my time in Rome; gutted). I’ve survived lecherous grease-ball Italian men and the crush of the Sunday morning Porta Portese flea market and endless buckets of minestrone at the dinner table of my perma-dieting hosts. For anyone who may be considering a sojourn in the Italian capital, here is what I discovered during my very own Vacance Romane. The Rome Metro is a whole new level of vile. I frequently stepped off it feeling the desperate need for a shower, despite only having had one an hour before. My solution was to walk everywhere, which is easier than it first appears. Ditto Roman buses, although the nonsensical nature of the Italian transport system means that 99% of the time I never needed to pay for my bus journeys anyway. Avoid the metro if you can. It smells like sweat and homelessness. I’ve never before felt such longing for a Northern Line tube train. Arte5. Book/ art shop, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, just up from Largo di Torre Argentina. One of my favourite places. Full of photography books, retro fashion tomes, beautiful notebooks and other such things that I’m generally obsessed with. Sometimes it has exhibitions in the side room, just off the main shop. Don’t miss the room full of canvases upstairs. I love Arte5. If I ever return to Rome, it will probably be because I’m craving a trip to Arte5.
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