Had a most illuminating chat with Stefano on our way to choose some zanzariere – aka screens to keep mosquitos out (more on bugs below) yesterday. He says that, as Russ suspected, the car park is not on the site of the original Paraterra. He explained that the Rocca has two sides, the Cesata and Paraterra. The Cesata, the area where you enter under the arch on the left and where people sometimes eat out in summer, used to be bordered on both sides by houses (the outlines of the houses that originally stood on the left side have been left as reminders in the new paving). This created the effect of a narrow cut, hence the name Cesata, derived from the Latin caesum. Paraterra described the flatter area on the other side of the Rocca, where the path runs down under the arch from Via Galilei.
On our way to look at the zanzariere, we drove through Mentana, where, Stefano informed me, Garibaldi was defeated by the French troops of Emperor Napoleon III.
That’s quite enough about history so now to more on bugs …
Every spring for the past twp years, the houses on the valley side of the Rocca have been invaded by a swarm of harmless but annoying little flying beetles that seemingly have no other aim in life than to fly in through open windows and promptly expire in drifts on the floor. Screens cannot keep them out, because they simply squeeze through cracks in the window frames and then launch themselves to their deaths on the floor inside. I have found that a liberal application of Baygon around the window frame put a stop to all that and apologize to more environmentally minded guests in advance.
Last but not least, my friend Lena (an aspiring translator who is just finishing an external MA from Bristol University) and I drove into Rome last night to meet Adele, another translator I met at an EU Commission conference in Brussels in March to have a great pizza on Via del Corsa. It’s so easy and quick to drive to and park in central Rome at night, especially if you have a trusty sat nav.