Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Our Other Bar in Rome

Sometimes John and I set off for the patio of Il Piccolo and found it full. Then we slipped up one of the side streets off Via Governo Vecchio to our other favourite bar -- Caffè Parione
on Via della Pace (Street of Peace)
In contrast to the busy restaurant next door,
Caffè Parione has a wonderful feeling of privacy
and a charming street shrine above a Roman drinking fountain 
where Via della Pace enters Piazza del Fico. 
 The piazza is full of customers from Bar del Fico across the street
 that seemed to attract a young, local crowd of professionals and their pets.
 A moving theatre for we who were watching from Caffè Parione.
The Parione fills both sides of its place on Via della Pace.
The staff were friendly and very attentive
 and wonderful apertivi came with every round of drinks.
We loved this pup
who drank from the water fountain right beside our table one night
 and we loved the flow of visitors ordering Negroni cocktails before moving on to dine.
Inside, the bar is colourful and cozy.
 Soon it was dark and we would bid the waiting staff goodnight
 and slip into Via della Pace
to head home.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Our Bar in Rome

Bill and I often passed along the south end of the Piazza Navona to the Via del Governo Vecchio -- a 15th century street with vintage shops, bars and restaurants and two bookstores.
Bill and I returned many times to a bar called Il Piccolo (The Little One).
Here is the son of the owner keeping an eye on things. He works in a leather shop across the street.
One of his Dad's tables of regulars.
We found the pedestrian and motor traffic lively but never too much.
The people watching is excellent.
We chatted with this nice local and his girlfriend below. 
They had come in from the suburbs for some quality time in the Historic Centre of Rome.
 The staff at Il Piccolo treat you like a regular even on your first visit. We saw a lot of Adriano (right). 
Be warned that one drink will soon become another. 
 Bill's favourite red.
Craft beer is popular in Italy.
Another mellow evening in the Historic Centre.
 Twice we arrived on soccer nights when the patio doubled in size with passionate fans to watch the game on an outside large screen. 
May we recommend this bar on the Via del Governo Vecchio, 74-75.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

A Week in Muskoka

Last week John and I had five days with our friend, Omid, on Walker Lake in Muskoka, Ontario, near Huntsville.
The Norseman is a cottage-rental resort and restaurant off the beaten path
When you pull in off the highway you find the restaurant and main building.
Most of the cottages for rent surround a communal dock. There is an inflated swimming raft and there are canoes, kayaks and a pedal boat for visitor use.
We rented the most remote cottage with its own floating dock.
We've visited four times with Omid before but it had been 8 years since our last visit. The place was much like we remembered it.
We love the screened-in Muskoka Room.
We put out peaches and tomatoes to ripen, just out of reach of local creatures.
It is a also good work space.
I was working on a study from a dream I'd had in Rome based on Baroque ceiling art and something that I'd wanted to explore for Arabian Nights watercolour drawings.
We spent leisurely hours reading alone or chatting on the deck.
The little deck is a great vantage point for observing the cottage above,
the lovely moss-covered rock face and foliage,
morning mists
and the fascinating changes of skies over the water.
Omid liked the kayaks and would sometimes appear at the dock on his explorations.
I personally loved the water reflections when all was calm
and slipping into the lovely warm waters
with John.
I was reading Elena Ferrante but John was gobbling Jeff Vandermeer and Luigi Ghirri.
Muskoka is pure delight.