Unbeknownst to many across the pond, Rome is not just a metropolis-sized tourist city. There are many more things to do here than visit the Colosseum, Vatican museums, Galleria Borghese and Roman Forum but when you have only two or three days allotted to the Eternal City, your trip becomes like the Sicilian timpano, a hodge podge of ingredients– site visits, restaurants, enoteche and gelaterie– baked together over two days.

From the perspective of a Roman resident, life here can sometimes feel on repeat with the unending list of friends and family who come visit and want to go knee deep in history, especially if your husband is the Professor. Playing ad hoc tour guide is a natural part of Roman life that I accept and a fundamental element to every movie taking place in Rome which always features a “Ciao Bella” cab driver and his a tour de force of the major monuments. But here’s a secret– we actually live here too.

May, though as rainy as it is, may just be the best month to show off how well we live in Rome. The skies are finally beginning to part which means tennis skirts, and shakerati, spremute di sanguinella (freshly squeezed blood orange juice) and tè freddo fatto in casa (home made iced tea) are back on the bar menus, and the feste have begun– city and state-sponsored organized thematic cultural events like last Saturday’s Notte di Musei, European Culture Day. And in a mad dash for contemporary, Rome’s galleries are lining up with their final spring shows.

I dig art from its beginning to the overly contemporary, overly conceived and overly conceptual, and even though I had been there twice in 3 weeks, on Saturday evening, I dragged Professor and mini-e to the Galleria Nazionale di Arte Moderna for a quick review of macchiaoli, futurism and arte povera under the tutelage of moi. Quick breakdown of the Galleria: a gorgeous neo-classical building choc-a-bloc with art from 1800s through today, set on the outskirts of Villa Borghese, and big sister to the soon-to-arrive MAXXI(May 29th!) Rome’s newest museum all about 21st century art.

*mini e’s portrait of moi

The Professor was wowed by the Canova Hercules and Lica— so predictable. (Click the link, Studio Argento has made an incredible virtual tour of GNAM’s first floor). mini-e was more impressed with the dinosaur by Pino Pascali. While I like it all– from Boldini to Manzoni, I particularly loved watching mini-e arm chair quarterback fashion Hail Marys like red pants and white cowboy boots.

Galleria Nazionale di Arte Moderna
Viale delle Belle Arti, 131
06 322981
To continue in my quest for contemporary, this week, I’ll head over to Lorcan O’Neill for some Anselm Kiefer to go with a small slice of Shahzia Sikander at Valentina Bonomo Gallery— the very same painter whose work I fell head over heels for in 2006.