Back in Rome now with the dark-haired Romeo. We met at the Testaccio Market at sunrise as vendors set up their tables, opened cartons of produce, and laid ornately-pattern tablecloths over plastic tables.

“__Today, you choose”, he said and gave me four options for the day: a cycling-picnic combo in Villa Borghese, lunch in the piazza at Pierluigi, a swim-dance-drink trifecta at Fregene, or a pool party with some stylish Mediterranean babes in the Hills. Naturally, guided always by my taste buds and ever growling tum, I chose lunch.

 

Though the grilled umbrima with roasted tomatoes was quite possibly the embodiment of fresh n’fabulous and the man across the table was equally (and undeniably) delicious, I found myself mesmerized more by the piazza itself. The most marvelous, colourful, joyful mosaics – on the floors, fences, gates, walls, and ceilings. All older than time yet vibrantly alive! Colours I don’t even have the vocabulary to describe. It was like dining in an Alessandro Pautasso piece.

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