It’s been a long time since my last blog post, but as we are about to move apartments (staying in Rome), it feels like the end of one chapter and the start of a new one, so I felt inspired to write.
We have now lived in Rome, Italy, in our beautiful apartment in the amazing neighborhood of Monti, for just shy of four years. We love Monti, we love our apartment, and we are so sad to leave! Neither of has lived anywhere, not in a single apartment or a single city, for this long since we left our parents’ homes for college at the ripe old age of 17. The bulk of our relationship has been here. We have hosted SO MANY people for dinners and parties and multi-night stays. We have made such great memories. It is very bittersweet.
When we first moved here, we knew nothing about Rome, and we had no idea that the neighborhood we chose to live in was so special. Monti is a beautiful neighborhood in the historic center of Rome, with narrow cobblestone streets, tons of bars and restaurants, and we are so lucky we got to spend four years here. As we have lived here, the tourists and Airbnb’s have increased, but we became a part of the local community. They know us at the local coffee bars and restaurants. I have made friends with all the old men of the neighborhood, in particular my 88 year old friend Pasquale from across the street. We know our neighbors, and stop to chat with them when we run into them in the neighborhood or grab a coffee before work downstairs.
One of the things we will miss most is Barzilai, the restaurant we live on top of. It’s a very sweet family-run restaurant and bar, that has become an important part of our life here. Gabriella (next to me in the pic below) still does all the lunch cooking, bakes all the desserts, and pinches our cheeks as if we were five years old, working alongside her husband Oliviero, their son Massimiliano, and a few others we have gotten to know. We love it there. We will be back.
Our apartment is awesome and huge, with a real feeling of Roman grandeur. People have been living in this building since the year TWO HUNDRED! It’s so old! Certainly it has been razed and rebuilt since then. The current structure is also old, from around the 1500s (estimated by our landlord, no idea if this is correct). We have high ceilings with chandeliers, detailed extravagant crown molding, and antique tiled floors. The highlight of the apartment is the large terrace, where we have spent many nights with friends, eating and drinking until the neighbors (kindly) ask us to shut up and go inside. We look out over charming Via Panisperna, where vines hang over the street, so beautiful that no tourist can pass without stopping for a picture. Below, some pics of our apartment, a bit messy as we already started packing, and the building from the outside:
The main reason for moving is Adam is changing jobs (he is moving to another UN agency that is also headquartered in Rome) and the commute from our current location would be long. My bike commute will be about the same distance, but I will no longer have to pass through the colosseum every day, where maneuvering around the hordes of tourists has become the bane of my existence!
In addition, although we are so sad to leave Monti, we are also ready. The apartment is old and things are constantly breaking. We are tired of living in a limited traffic zone, where you can only drive into the neighborhood at certain times of day. And although we love the vibrancy of the neighborhood, it’s annoying to walk the dog at 11 pm when there are 50 people outside, dressed up, drinking and smoking on our doorstep.
This week we have been going for gelato in the piazza almost every night, appreciating our Monti experience for the last few nights we have it. The Christmas lights are out, making the neighborhood especially beautiful and even harder to leave.
The other night I came back from our gelato feeling very nostalgic about moving…but then the shower hose broke in the middle of my shower for the umpteenth time, the next day the restaurant we live on top of told us our apartment is again leaking on them, and the next day the toilet broke (unlike a normal toilet where the water tank is right on top of the toilet, our water tank requires climbing a ladder and hoisting yourself into a crawl space to access). We love this place but it is time to move!
Where are we going? Only two miles away, to a very residential neighborhood called San Saba. The new apartment has central air conditioning, a parking spot, and a dryer! What more could we ask for?!?!?!
To those who visited us here, we are so happy to have had you and to share this amazing place with you. And to those who never visited, you missed out! Our new place has less character, and is in a less charming neighborhood. But we still have a second bedroom for you!