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Published: July 27th 2011
Frascati main square
nice square, but everything was closed
Today I decided to do a little trip outside Rome to explore the town of Frascati. I found a blog on the internet describing this easy trip out of the city so I decided to give it a go. The fact that the blog mentioned lunch which consisted of roasted pork and local wine, may just have had a hand in persuading me to venture out.
The blog, which I had printed out before leaving home, gave very easy to follow instructions of how to get to Frascati. I walked the 5 minutes from the hostel to Termini train station, this is another reason I like to stay at this hostel it's very close to transport. After purchasing the return ticket for just 3.80 euro I was on the 11.54am train out of Rome. The journey was only about an hour so I arrived just on lunch time. Following the blog I was advised to walk to the main square where I would find various kiosks that would sell me roasted pork as well as other picnic goodies for my lunch. I climbed a huge staircase and manged to find the main square without any trouble, and true
the kiosk I expected to be open was closed
to blog there were several kiosks lining the square. However they were all closed!!! I was devastated!!! My much anticipated picnic lunch plans were dissolving before my eyes and my stomach had just started to rumble with the want of said promised food.
After a lap of the square and peering down a few of the side streets I managed to find a little deli type shop that was well stocked to fulfill my lunch wishes. I purchased an assortment of yummies including the famed roast pork which the owner carved off a carcass that was on display in a glass cabinet at the door. He then added some more cold meats (salami's), some local cheeses, olives and artichoke hearts. By this time my mouth was salivating and I was keen to pay the man (about 12euros) and go find somewhere to eat my treasures.
Referring back to the print out of blog I was advised I could go sit in a little hole in the wall taverna where I would be able to purchase some local wine to accompany my picnic goodies. I managed to find the place suggested and entered looking for the forewarned grumpy woman
lucky for me I found a deli type shop open, here the guy is cutting off some pork
owner. There she was true to form, she grunted at me and looked in the general direction of an empty space on the bench table and chairs provided. This place was very small and was half full of what looked like road workers who were eating similar fare to what I had purchased. Of course Mrs Grumpy woman spoke no English but I presume I was not the first tourist to visit her fine establishment after reading the well know blog. Communicating with more grunts and hand signals she asked if I wanted a glass or carafe of wine. I knew she was offering wine because the blog advised this was all they sold here! So that was easy enough, I signaled BIG with my hands and mentioned the word grande and was soon given a carafe of wine the colour of which promised to be sweet and smooth. I poured myself a glass and was mildly disappointed when I noted the wine was room temp - a ice cold drink would have been welcomed right now, but I was happy to go along with what was offered. After all there was no other choice.
I unwrapped my picnic
plus other yummies
olive, eggplant, artichoke hearts
and displayed in front of me was a variable feast which I was eager to commence eating. Firstly a sip of the wine and I noted Mrs Grumpy and the road workers were all observing me for my impression of the wine perhaps or maybe because I was this lunchtimes entertainment. Well, my first impression of this wine was definitely not sweet or smooth. More like rough and lumpy, but I did my best to disguise my initially impression and took another hearty gulp with which my onlookers nodded and returned to their own lunch and conversation. The first taste of the wine was hideous, but I must admit by the 2nd I was enjoying it and with the food it was getting even more enjoyable. Would have been a little more palatable it if was cooled, but this must be the way the locals like and drink it so when in Rome - or when in Frascati!!!
I had a fabulous lunch and I think the wine was quite strong as I was a little pissy by the end of the carafe. I sat there for about an hour enjoying the atmosphere of this little cave like tavern.
Although my view to outside was very limited due to only a small door to the outside world this was one of my best lunch experiences ever! Only one thing could have made it better and that would maybe be the company of friends to share it with. Next time! I had only eaten half of the food of my picnic and was happy in the thought I would be able to enjoy these treats again for dinner tonight. I paid Mrs Grumpy for the carafe of wine, a whole 2 euro!!! -another plus!
I exited the tavern and stepped out into the brilliant sunshine. Suddenly it was confirmed that the wine must have been strong as I had a nice little buzz going.
I still had some time before my return train so I manged to walk around this little town of Frascati and took some photos. There is really not much to see here, the whole exercise is to come for this lunch - and I say it was more than worth it.
I managed to find an ice cream shop buy a cup of mystery flavour ice cream and miss my train. Lucky for
me there are trains back to Rome every hour.
Back in Rome I took a short walk to the sister hostel of the one I'm staying in with the hope that they may have some books in English that other travelers have left behind. Books in my hostel are in German, Chinese or French. However I did manage to score a map of Turkey which will come in handy later in the year when I visit there. Eureka!! the other hostel had a couple of trashy novels for me to take back to my hostel and have a relaxing evening in, finishing off my picnic lunch with a couple of supermarket beers I purchased yesterday and that have been chilling in the fridge all day.
PS credit where credit is due - blog that I used today belongs to http://missexpatria Please friends don't go to this site unless you are really interested in getting a copy of this blog as she is a much better writer than me (and a professional) and I would hate to lose your attention.
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