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Report 943: Italy Alone

By DMae from Alaska, Summer 2005

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Page 3 of 9: Learning to be a resident of Monti

photo by DMae

Apartment door

As I was planning in the dark, Alaskan winter, I decided that since I was going to be in Italy I wanted a wine tour. I arranged to take the wine tour with 3 Millennia on one of my first nights in Rome. I had just arrived in Rome shortly before the tour was to begin due to my flight to Europe being delayed. I dashed across the city to Largo Argentina, the meeting point for the tour. There I met with the tour guide who graciously suggested that I go back to my apartment to rest and to join the wine tour next week. No extra charge. Wow! I decided that I must have looked the way I felt, so I hopped on the 117 elettrico bus at Piazza Venezia and headed back to my apartment. There, I made a meal of tomatoes and fresh mozzarella di buffa that I purchased while walking home on Via Serpenti.

After a good night's rest in the tiny apartment, I pulled myself out of the warm, cozy bed and found that someone had left coffee behind. A blessing on whomever you are! I fired up the tiny espresso machine, opened the shutters, and looked out over the rooftops of Monti. I hung my head out and watched Romans walking about, living their Roman lives. I waved at neighbors out walking their dogs. I laughed, as I sipped my espresso, at the Scotty dog who would not listen to her owner. The neighbor looked up and I had my first real conversation in Italian, about stubborn dogs of all things!

I sat at my tiny kitchen table and made plans for my first days. I had already used the buses to get from the center, and felt comfortable among the masses, so my next adventure was to master shopping for food and necessities for the apartment. I found that my neighborhood in Monti was full of useful places. Alimentari, stores for fruits and vegetables, ethnic restaurants and food shops, internet shops, laundromats, a farmacia, bankomats, Poste Italiane and more. Everything was there that I would ever need during my stay. I never did look for the supermarket in the area, but I know it was nearby as I saw people carrying bags from one.

The apartment was small but with all the amenities I needed to be comfortable. I did do simple cooking there and everything I needed to prepare meals was readily available in the apartment. I enjoyed shopping at the local stores and meeting the neighbors. I enjoyed sitting in the piazza at one of the bars, sipping caffè in the mornings, and sipping wine in the evenings.

Monti may look like it is far from the centro storico, but the 117 and 116 buses get you there easily and sometimes even quickly. There are two metro stops nearby: Cavour and Colosseo. On Via Cavour there are buses to the Termini. From there you can access just about any place you would ever want to go to in Rome or take a train to anywhere in Italy.

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