Today an interview with Mariaceleste de Martino. Spotter for our Rome cityblog!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I am a broadcast journalist on staff at RAI TV, a book writer and a book reader.
I am a visual creative, I do video installations and provocative subversive art exhibits.
I was born in New York City, but I feel a citizen of the world.
I like seeing myself as an intellectual comedian, witty, ironic, funny as hell. And, an extremely sexy lover.
How do yo like being a Spotter?
Being a spotter helps me see Rome from the eyes of a visitor, and everything looks much better than it actually appears after living here for many years :))
Rome is the eternal city meaning that it will stay as it is in eternity, in the good and the bad, in happiness or sorrow, in poverty or wealth.
It’s a must to visit Rome, as long as you go away and don’t decide to live here because we are already too many.
You must visit my home, why not, it could become a cult spot one day. And, you can say “I was there”.
If I were you, the first three things I would visit are: the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Pincio. In this order.
Rome is a must for the food. There’s nothing like “gnocchi alla romana”, “carciofi alla giudea”, “gelato”….
Last but not least, if you want your visit to be a total blast, you must absolutely go shopping in the streets near piazza di Spagna, via dei Condotti, and then get yourself a Roman boyfriend for the holiday.
Which prejudices about Rome are true? Which ones are not?
Honestly, I’m not sure what the prejudices about Rome are. This is what I see:
Romans drive like nuts: TRUE
Romans are thieves: FALSE. The best ones are in Naples (lol)
Romans don’t know how to line-up: TRUE
Romans park their cars in the middle of the street: TRUE
Romans ride chariots and wear togas: FALSE
What do you know about Rome what no tourist will know?
Whatever I know about Rome a tourist should never find out!! lol
I know my way around on a motorbike.
I understand and speak Roman dialect which can be useful to use in traffic or to respond to vulgar comments.
I know a lot of Romans who earn money “under the table”, that drive SUVs and have three mobile phones and then complain about the crisis.
I know many things you don’t want to know.
And, I know that dog shit on sidewalks are a sign of good luck if you accidentally step on it.
What is the most popular neighborhood to live in Rome at this moment?
A popular neighborhood is where I live, but I don’t think I want to share it, otherwise everyone will be coming here.
Second popular neighborhood: Trastevere. It has lots of backstreets, artisan shops, boutiques, bars, cafés, stalls in the street selling all sorts of things, bookstores, restaurants, VIPs and intellectuals live here, young and old, Italians and non-Italians. It looks like a small town, with its ancient buildings, cobblestone roads and beautiful squares where to hang out.
Can you describe a perfect day in your city?
A perfect day in Rome is “Dolce far niente”, doing nothing. Relax is the word.
I would go on a shopping tour and get myself some good “Made in Italy” products to bring back with me.
I would have an ice-cream at the cremeria at the Pantheon.
I would go for lunch at my High School friend’s restaurant, Rokko, a Japanese restaurant in a beautiful part of town, the Spanish Steps and Pincio area.
I would get an aperitif at “Il Piccolo” and walk around the Navona area.
I would end my day at Cotto restaurant, next to the Opera House and go watch a show.
Is there something else you want to share?
I want to share the newly restored villa Balestra, my favorite park in town, in the northern part of Rome, not far from the stadium, in a chic elegant relaxing neighborhood called “Parioli”.
Check out all Mariaceleste de Martino’s articles and the other interviews with our Spotters.