Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Finally, Trenitalia realized that having fabric-covered seats in the trenino (such as the Fiumicino Airport-Tiburtina line) was extremely unhygienic and all-around a bad idea.
Looks like pleather will be taking over. No more soiled, stinky, stained seats. Three cheers for pleather!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

could it be??

The other day I stepped on this flyer in my neighborhood:

A new gym? AND they're offering free classes for 3 days (aka "open days" which sounds dumb as hell). Obviously I went this morning and had a kick-ass class with a kick-ass instructor, Paolo.
This place is located in the same spot where JC Welfare was BUT they've expanded and spruced it up. FYI: from what I was told, JC Welfare pretty much closed down after collecting initiation fees from their members. Wow, glad I never signed up there... that name alone was reason enough not to!

I digress, this place seems promising. Prices are more reasonable: 60initiation fee, one-year membership for 60 a month (sadly, they don't do month-to-month), or 3 months for 255 (yikes!). One annoying, senseless thing: if you need/want to freeze your membership, you have to pay 5 extra a month, so essentially the monthly cost becomes 65 if, like me, you are gone for 3 months every year. I may have to contest this because it makes no sense to me. I'm hoping they'll be reasonable and meet me halfway.

AND they say they will be expanding the place as well to add a pilates room and a spinning room! We'll see... but honestly, it's fine as is! They have lots of equipment, two rooms for classes, nice locker rooms, etc. Could it be? Have I finally found a decent gym in Trastevere? Stay tuned...
If you have free time in the next few days, GO try it out EASYFITCLUB. They're pleasant people too.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Famers' market

In the past few years, I kept noticing posters in Rome advertising "Farmer's Market" (ahem: unless it's just one farmer selling his/her goods, you might want to rethink where you placed that apostrophe!) but I never bothered to follow up... until recently. A dear friend of mine went to the farmers' market in Testaccio and raved about the great prices and excellent quality of the produce. So we went together last week. The market is located indoors and has a decent sized selection of only LOCAL goods.

You can get incredibly delicious in-season fruits and vegetables, cheese, bread, homemade pasta, honey, jam, sweets, etc. and the prices are lower than "mercato" or supermarket prices because there's no middle man, it's just a farmer selling goods directly to the consumer.

I couldn't help but chuckle about the newly adopted "farmers' market" term because traditionally, all mercati used to be like this: they were filled with local farmers selling their goods directly to consumers at reasonable prices. But then things went awry and these stands were selling all produce at any time of the year. At my mercato in Trastevere, for example, I managed to find only one real farmer: he and his daughter have a limited selection and quantity of in-season produce. They don't have cases and cases of apples with "Melinda" stickers on them, they only sell fava beans when they're in season, if you go do your shopping late in the morning you'll often find that all the goods have already been snatched by the neighborhood's old women who flock to that stand as if it were Mecca.
It's amusing but sad that Italians had to borrow our term "famers' market" to make the age-old mercato tradition seem like something new and trendy. Italians need to realize that some things are better left unchanged.