Sunday, 21 March 2010


Well let's see, this weekend we had a lot of fun. First was the Scotch tasting evening paired with Indian food. I am not a Scotch drinker and until very recently knew little or nothing about Scotch. However through a friend who has a wonderful website, see, I have learned quite a lot about Scotland and Scotch. We only drink single malt and she likes to introduce you to music and poetry to accompany the tastings, food is also a big part of it. Who knew that India is the biggest market in the world for Scotch and that Indian food is a natural to drink with a fine Scotch either neat or with a bit of water, beer is definitely not recommended with Indian cuisine despite North American popular belief.

The event was held in E.U.R. a neighborhood of Rome built from 1935 for the World Expos Rome 1942 which never took place due to the Second World War. The buildings are modern, stark and monumental surrounded by vast parks and lakes, to showcase the achievements of the Fascist Regime. Today it is a neighborhood of multinational companies and immigrants, the completion of the construction on the different buildings took place between 1955 and 1962. You past by the area on your way in from the airport.

Sunday, we went to the Rome Marathon, which covered much of central Rome, with over 15000 participants. This year is the 50th Anniversary of the Rome Summer Olympics 1960 and at those games, an Ethiopian ran barefoot and won, wearing jersey no. 11. Well this year an Ethiopian won again the Rome Marathon and he too ran barefoot. Ethiopia and Italy have a very old history in common, well over 2000 years and there is a large Ethiopian community in Rome and Italy.

We went to support our friend Vincenzo, who had prepared for months for this marathon of 42.1 Km. The route was spectacular, starting at the Colosseum crossing the Roman Forum, Piazza Venezia, along the Tiber River all the way down to the Basilica of Saint Paul outside the Walls then back along the Tiber crossing over to the Vatican and again along the Tiber and re-crossing at the Milvio Bridge along the Flaminian road passing by the Mausoleum of Emperor Augustus and the Ara Pacis (Altar of Augustean Peace) down the Corso through the Borghese gardens, Piazza Spagna and back to the Colosseum for the finish. We were tired after walking much of it and went for lunch at Valentino on Via Cavour, a family run restaurant, very good value for money. An exciting day and so much fun.

This coming week 2 days off for my birthday, I decided to have a catered dinner at home for 8. Then we have Easter which will be in Rome, our friend Jack is visiting and then off to Palermo, Sicily for a few days vacation. So much excitement!


  1. I always reckon EUR is worth a special visit, combined with a stroll around the cloisters of, is it, San Paolo fuori le mura (excuse Italian). The fascist modernist architecture is brilliantly used in Julie Taymor's superb film of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus (plain Titus) with Anthony Hopkins at his considerable best.

  2. David I find EUR architecture brutal, he did not age well and has too many association to the bad times in the XX th century. But it is nonetheless fascinating.