As the Romans Do: An American Family's Italian Odyssey

As the Romans Do: An American Family's Italian Odyssey

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 006093395X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A celebration of the character and style of one of the world's most spectacular cities! This vibrant insider's view of the most mature city on earth is the perfect companion for anyone who loves anything Italian. In 1995, after a twenty-year love affair with Italy, Alan Epstein fulfilled his dream to live in Rome. In As the Romans Do, he celebrates the spirit of this stylish, dramatic, ancient city that formed the hub of a far-flung empire and introduced the Mediterranean culture to the rest of the world. He also reveals today's Roman men and women in all their appealing contradictions: their gregarious caffe culture; inborn artistic flair; passionate appreciation of good food; instinctive mistrust of technology; showy sex appeal; ingrained charm and expressiveness; surprisingly unusual attitudes toward marriage and religion; and much, much more.

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contrast of the opposing sides of the color wheel gives the sky a purity and depth that would be difficult to capture on canvas or paper, let alone in reality. The Monte Palatino is the ideal place to start an exploration of the Eternal City. It is the venue that was home to the original Romans, and as such, it is the purest of the seven hills. The others—the Quirinale, Esquilino, Celio, Aventino, Campidoglio, and Viminale—originally housed rival tribes like the Sabines and Etruscans, friendly

The Intimacies of Daily Life 17. Hanging the Wash and Other Joys: Romans Don’t Trust Technology 18. For Men Only: Dinner After Eight (and You Don’t Want to Be Late) 19. Sunday in the City: An Early Morning Run 20. Outsiders: A Jew in Rome Is Not like a Jew in New York 21. Breakfast in a Bar: The Coffee Culture 22. Calcio: The Only Game in Town 23. Retro Romans Still Do It All: Smoking, Drinking, Sex, Fur Coats, and Suntans 24. Breaking Bread in Rome: Hidden

Talk about “family values.” The religious Puritans in the United States would point to the depravity, the immorality, and the hypocrisy of the Romans, but what is really going on here is that marriage and family are not based on absolute notions of right and wrong, but on the fact that the family is sacrosanct, inviolate, unassailable, regardless of the sexual proclivities, arrangements, or partners a husband or wife may have. In fact, the “protection” of the family, the fact that so much of the

counter at the side of the store where there are rows of bottles of acqua minerale in which one can indulge at will. Getting to the counter to place an order is difficult, but the wait is never long. Elliott is a meat eater and has on occasion delighted the servers by ordering a sandwich of both prosciutto and salame with Swiss cheese and various vegetables. Julian eats hardly any meat and asks for a mozzarella, spicy olives, red peppers, rughetta, and yellow corn concoction. When I say to the

but think that the street vendors are here because of the notoriously lax law enforcement of the authorities. I wonder whether the gendarmes of Paris would tolerate such blatant trafficking in the Luxembourg Gardens or the bobbies of London would allow this to go on in Hyde Park. The signs in Rome are pointing in a certain direction, and that does not bode well for la dolce vita, the leisurely way of life that has characterized this city for a long time. I have been observing this place for two

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