One of the most popular tourist spots in Rome, Piazza Navona is an elliptical square that is home to street artists, painters, a breakdance crew (is that the right word? posse??), and Gianlorenzo Bernini’s towering homage to four rivers that gave rise to widespread civilizations. The Fountain of the Four Rivers (Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi) was designed in 1651, and represents the Nile, the Danube, the Ganges and the Plate. A little wikipedia-ing will tell you that these four rivers were chosen because they represented the four continents through which the papacy had spread at that time (Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas). The fountain is pretty magnificent itself, but the Italians do nothing subtly, and thus the whole thing is topped off with huge Egyptian obelisk.
All along the perimeter of the piazza are a variety of restaurants and gelaterias, with plenty of outdoor seating so that no one need choose between feasting their eyes or their stomach. We sat down at a place called Tucci, and spent our meal watching the people passing by, a little girl chasing a pidgeon, and listening to a woman singing a barely audible succession of popular American songs.
I’m a little bit behind in posting about this restaurant, and unfortunately I don’t remember exactly what kind of fish my mom ordered, only that it came with potatoes, artichokes and cherry tomatoes, and that it was so very delicious. Our waiter brought the entire fish to our table and proceeded to remove the head and scales, and then (using only a spoon and a fork) delicately pulled out the skeleton and presented the dish with a little extra drizzle of olive oil.
And as far as seasonings go, this fish had some salt, some olive oil, and that was it. Completely simple, but so fresh and so yummy – perfect with all the trimmings on the side.
This is not a good picture of my shrimp risotto. I was way too hungry to take a decent picture. I committed it to film, and at the time that was good enough. I really love risotto, and this one was full of shrimpy goodness, and creamy without being too rich. The rice was also perfectly cooked – overcooked risotto is always a disappointing, mushy situation. There isn’t a whole lot else to say about this dish, except that I would definitely order it again.
As I said earlier, Piazza Navona is a popular tourist spot, and as a result, police cars frequently patrol the area. Since I was already in tourist-mode, taking a thousand pictures of my mom’s fish dinner, I decided to snap some shots of the police cars as they drove by. This is how I wound up with these two pictures: