Yesterday was Rome’s 2,765th Birthday. In fact celebrations will continue throughout today also.
So yesterday I woke up and thought how do I want to spend Rome’s birthday?
Well it started with a trip to my hairdressers (in Trastevere) and a walk around the neighborhood visiting old friends and neighbors.
Then I headed to Monti. This characteristic rione (this means district, of which there are 12 in the city) of Rome sits in the shadow of the grand Colosseum and right near metro stop Cavour (Metro B, Blue Line).
The name Monti translates to hilltop and is derived from the fact that parts of the Esquiline, Viminal, Quirinal and Caelian Hills belonged historically to this area.
Because of its location it boasts probably the most poplar of Roman archeological sights – that little thing called the Colosseum! And of course the church of Santa Maria ai Monti, Trajan Markets, Baths of Trajan and part of the Roman Forum.
Now it is full if awesome boutiques stocking items made by local artists, food and wine stores and restaurants. It’s just a beautiful part of the city to stroll around.
Monti has this ultra-cool and Boheme like feel to the area and I always find shopkeepers and proprietors in the area to be so friendly. And yesterday, Monti took ‘friendly’ to a new level when I had my groceries packed for me by staff at a supermarket – if you live outside Italy or some parts of Europe you will glaze over this comment and perhaps not understand… Roman friends – you will appreciate that this is unprecedented in this city and I had to blink and pinch myself to ensure I wasn’t dreaming!
But my favorite place to sit and chill in Monti is near the fountain in Piazza Madonna dei Monti just on Via dei Serpenti (oh and at one of my favourite wine bars, Ai Tre Scalini, Via Panisperna 251, www.aitrescalini.org).
And so I headed to Monti on this spectacular sunny Saturday afternoon for a visit to Mercato Monti – an indoor vintage and arts and craft market promoting young and local artists and designers.
My name is Maria and I am a market junkie.
I had to force myself to leave after 45 minutes or I would have done some serious damage. The excitement builds and this adrenalin comes out of nowhere as soon as a market stand comes into view!
Very disciplined, I left with locally made earrings and a ceramic ring and a dress by a Swedish-Italian designer.
It’s on again today until 20:00 and for dates and other details visit: www.mercatomonti.com.
Getting to Monti: Take Metro Line B (Blue Line) to Cavour. It is 1 stop from Termini or you can get off at Colosseo (next stop) and walk. Given it’s location in the historical centre, it is walking distance from most other points, like the Trevi Fountain.
If you’re visiting any time soon, you must take a walk around Monti, take in its beauty and charm, admire the artisan produce and sample some local fare!
Signing off from Rome