Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Museum Sunday

We've enjoyed a fair amount of cycling in the past week so Sunday was museum day. After sleeping in a bit (hey, it WAS Sunday morning after all!) and a stop at Bar Gianicolo (like last Sunday) we wandered down the hill and across Rome, our destination the National Museum of the Baths of Diocletian. Since we'd skipped cycling after riding up Monte Mario (a story for another time) on Saturday morning, we enjoyed the extended walk. The museum was not very crowded and we bought tix to let us into a few more over the next few days.

After this it was on to the museum called Palazzo Massimo, one of our favorites. They have the famous bronze "boxer" sculpture here, one we chased all over Rome years ago, only to find it being restored or on tour. At one time it was housed elsewhere and we finally tracked it down but now it seems to have a permanent home here. Larry likes that one just fine, but his favorite piece in this museum is pictured above. How can you beat a combination of a fantastically carved marble that happens to be of a beautiful young woman, naked and asleep? Does are get any better than this?

But then there's the flip side, as shown above. Not exactly a young woman I guess? Somehow I bet the sculptor had a mischievous grin on his face while carving this. Last time Larry was here, hoping to enjoy seeing this one again, IT was on tour! But she/he/it was here this time and looking as beautiful as always.

The collections of beautiful sculptures can be overwhelming, so two museums this morning was enough, especially as they ran into the afternoon as well. Between them we snacked on suppli and split a birra, hoping to enjoy a full-on Sunday pranzo afterwards.

It started to rain pretty hard once we exited Massimo so we beat a quick path, hoping to find one of our favorite eateries open and with a table for us. But Asino d'Oro is closed on Sundays so we were out of luck. As we walked down the rainy street dodging puddles, we'd spied another place and thought it might be OK as a backup plan. 

Osteria 16 turned out to be much better than we hoped. It was pouring rain as we stumbled into a packed dining room around 2:30 PM. They told us they could happily feed us but we'd need to wait a bit. We sat down, as where else were we going in this downpour? The wait was not long and soon we were enjoying hand-sliced prosciutto from Amatrice and fried zucchini flowers along with a bottle of Cesanese wine from Lazio.

We wisely split a plate (portions were insanely large) of gnocchi with gorgonzola and radicchio, saving room for coda al vaccinara (oxtail stew) for Heather and roasted maialino (suckling pig) for Larry, along with some artichokes and roasted potatoes. We skipped dessert as we were just too full and thought gelato might be a better option during our walk home.

San Crispino's gelato turned out to be a let-down compared to our fond memories, but overall it was a wonderful Sunday in Rome.

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