Rome sweet Rome

Ciao a tutti!

I apologise for the late post (yet again). I actually have a legitimate reason this time: I’ve been studying (I know, it was a shock for me too) and writing this article.

Anyway, it’s all happening in England isn’t it, what with the royal baby and the election!? Meanwhile in Rome, apparently the weather has decided to pretty much completely skip spring and suddenly get really warm. I have finally shed my coat and scarf and I feel so liberated!

So, here’s super quick insight into my recent life in Rome…

A couple of weeks ago, the film I co-translated the English subtitles for, Sul Vulcano came out on DVD. It’s a documentary-film about Mount Vesuvius and the people who still live near it and it’s worth a watch, even if only to imagine me struggling with the Neapolitan dialect (it sounds more like Russian to me than Italian). In celebration of its release, Fetrinelli (kind of like Italian Waterstones) held a talk by the director, Gianfranco Pannone. It wasn’t exactly a red carpet event (far from it) but it was interesting and it was wonderful to see the DVD on the shelves and know that it’s partly thanks to me that it can be entered into indie film festivals and be understood by most people.

IMG_1840Guess what my family and friends are getting as birthday presents for the next year…

Last weekend also included my trip to the beach so far! The first of many, I hope.

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After the beach, we went to a party in what used to be the ramp for a car park. It was called la Rampa, literally the Ramp. Rome seems to be very good at turning abandoned buildings into nightclubs. It was a great night out, even if (or maybe because) the whole night felt like a strange trip due to the distinct lack of lighting and the paintings of animals fighting each other on the walls. The music was fantastic, causing me to squeal this is my favourite song! and then no, no, this is my favourite song! every three minutes.

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The first of May or il Primo Maggio is a bank holiday in Italy, giving us all a welcome three-day weekend. Every year on this day there is a huge concert in Rome at San Giovanni which I couldn’t wait to check out. It was packed with people all afternoon and into the night, with street food everywhere and some good music (and some really awful music too).

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UntitledSt Francis of Assisi having a grand old time

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Shauna and I also went found yet another amazing gelateria called G. Fassi which is probably my favourite so far. It’s definitely the biggest.

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In other food news, I went out to a sweet little restaurant called Grandma with Martina and three of her girlfriends this week and ate falafel. It was nice, but I can’t say it lives up to Montpellier’s very own Queen of Falafel…

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We had a really lovely evening, even if I spent most of it in silence trying to follow the stream of very fast Italian, packed with swear words and slang. I spent a lot of time frantically typing Italian words into the notes app on my phone to ask Martina about later.

A sample of words I learn included:

  • Logorroico – a person who speaks too much
  • Prendere la sbornia – to get really drunk
  • Rimmorchiare – to get hit on
  • Acchittarsi – to dress up nicely
  • Una botta e via – a one night stand
  • Paraculo – someone who is a bit of a cheat or who has an ulterior motive
  • Svogliato – really can’t be bothered

I impressed myself with how well I managed to understand and follow the conversations (although it helps that Italians are very expressive – you don’t always need to understand the words to know what they’re on about). I just wish I could speak Italian a bit better… I definitely need more practice.

After our meal in Grandma, we went to a bar called Spirito. As we clambered out of the car and headed into a panini shop, I began to wonder if I hadn’t been following the conversation as well as I’d thought. Why were we in a panini shop? Was someone hungry? Where was the bar?

There was a telephone on the wall. Valeria picked it up and announced that there were six of us, and a few moments later, a waiter appeared out of a secret door in the wall and let us into a secret bar! After having excited related this story to some of my friends, I’m told the idea of a secret bar actually not as crazy and outrageous as I originally thought, but it was still a novelty for me. The other girls chose a cocktail that came in a metal teapot, and I chose one which had the same floral aroma as my grandma’s bathroom and turned out to be a bit too sweet for my liking, but I drank it anyway. At 10€ per cocktail, I was hardly going to leave it!

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In other news, I realised that my year abroad project is due in in just over a month and I haven’t started researching it (classic leaving it until the last minute). I had an interesting experience in the library today, whereby it took me over an hour to work out the Italian system. You have to leave everything in a locker outside the library – no food or drink, not even water, no books from outside the library, not even laptop cases are allowed in. Then you have to go to a computer, search and request the books you want (sounds easy, but took me over half an hour to work this out), then book a place in one of the reading rooms, go to the seat you booked and wait for someone to bring you your books. And, if I’ve understood correctly, you’re not allowed to take them home with you, and you can’t order any books after 2.30pm so I didn’t get anything done today. Well, there goes my technique of going to the right section and picking a random selection of books with relevant-ish titles.

Until next time, un bacione,

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