My First “Real” Chinatown in Italy
The rain in Rome, which has been drenching the city for 10 days, finally let up yesterday. I have wanted to shop at the Chinatown in Rome for months. We parked in Piazza Vittorio and walked all around this piazza and its surrounding streets. Instead of being just a few shops here and there like in Torino, this area contained blocks and blocks of cultural shops. It was lunchtime; most of the Chinese shopkeepers were huddling in their shops eating noodle bowls. I could smell the aroma of chilies and broth wafting through the streets. The Chinese shops sold clothing, shoes, groceries and household items. I walked into a few shops to see what they had to offer. To my delight I found the same sharpening stone and the same meat cleaver I left in Seattle. Another good find was a Gambero Rosso recommended Chinese restaurant, I sampled a few traditional dishes and left the restaurant thinking “not bad”. We will probably go back again and sample more dishes next time. Check back for a full report with photos.
This area is known as one of the ethnic areas in Rome. In addition to the Chinese shops, I also found some great bead shops more like bead bazaars, which seemed to be operated by Arabic shopkeepers. There were simple beads, semi-precious stones of all types and silver by the gram. I took a mental note and planned to come back when my own supply needed replenishment. My main agenda on this day was to look for a tortilla press. After the bad experience I had at the Mexican place called Malibu in Torino, I thought I would try to make my own corn tortillas. Piazza Vittorio was a bit short on Hispanic shops so I did not accomplish my mission. Still I am not discouraged, the hunt will continue with an order from the U.S. or a more exhaustive search in Rome.
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