Jul 15, 2002

room with a view
For the past 10 days Pierluigi has been recovered at the Ospedale Fatebenefratelli located on the Tibertina, the Tiber Island. And, if everything goes well, he will FINALLY be coming home tomorrow!
I would like to thank those who sent me emails of support. The positive energy really helped me and I will soon be getting in contact with these special friends. Grazie ancora!

Well the first few days Pierluigi was in the hospital, he was feeling fairly humble and Happy To Be Alive. Plus he had so many tubes stuck into his body that he looked like some kind of Madly Mutated Porcupine that moved with difficulty. But now he's tubeless and restless and itching from his stitches. Obviously our vacation plans have been obliterated (we were to go to Corsica and to Crete) making Pierluigi even more irritated. So I've suggested that we pretend to be Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in A ROMAN HOLIDAY and act like tourists in the city we live in. I mean, we're talking about Rome and not Poteet, Texas!

Thus our tour begins with Pierluigi's hospital, Ospedale Fatebenefratelli. The hospital includes the annexed monastery of Benedictian monks who's members were nick-named "Fatebenefratelli", because, when they used to beg for alms, they’d say fate bene, fratelli which means "do good, brothers".
Pierluigi's room has a little balcony that overlooks the Tiber and the Cestio Bridge. From the balcony you can also see the church of St. Bartholomew of the Island. This church was built on the remains of the famous temple of Esculapius, the Greek god of medicine.

The hospital is on the Tiberina, a tiny island that sits in the middle of the Tiber River. Originally this part of Italy belonged to the Etruscans but, when the Romans overthrew their king, Tarquinio il Superbo, they threw his surplus of grain into the river thus creating the island.

The island, less than 400 yards in length and no wider than 100 yards, was arranged as a ship: a travertine facing resembling a vessel's prow and stern was added by the banks, and an obelisk stood in the center of the isle, as a mast. Much of this Ship Look has been lost today because of added constructions (even tho' some idea of it can be seen from Lungotevere) but an 18th cen drawing by Giovanni Battista Piranesi clearly indicates original intentions.

Every summer, the Tiberina hosts an international film festival, l'Isola del Cinema.

In the evenings, when I leave the hospital, I cross the island's other bridge, Ponte Fabricio (62 B.C.), which leads directly to the Synagogue and the Ghetto where the Jewish community has been living since the first Century B.C. It was exactly in this area that the Germans, in 1943, arrested over 2000 Jews and sent them to concentration camps. Today, however, there's always a group of armed carbinieri near the Synagogue and some adjacent streets have been blocked off because of terrorism. The Ghetto has many tavernas specializing in Roman-Jewish food such as artichokes "alla giudia". There's also the Fornetto that serves kosher pastries.

Here there is also the impressive Portico di Ottavia (undergoing massive restoration), my favorite visual on my walk home. The Portico was reconstructed by Augustus in honor of his sister (the abandoned wife of Mark Antony) Octavia on the site of the ancient Portico di Metello (27-23 BC). Ottavia was so "good" that she raised not only her son, Marcus Claudius Marcellus, but the children that her ex-husband had with Cleopatra as well. She deserved a monument!

Without even trying, my return home from the hospital is a Walking Tour of Rome straight out of a guidebook.

L'Isola tiberina -- L'Associazione Museo Storico dell'Isola Tiberina -- The 1781 Map Isola Tiberina -- l'Isola Tiberina-- L'Isola Tiberina sorge nel mezzo del fiume Tevere a Roma:-- Isola Tiberina-- ISOLA TIBERINA-- Isola Tiberina drawing-- Another drawing-- project_01-- Isola Tiberina-- Lungo il Tevere: ghetto, Isola Tiberina, Trastevere-- Isola Tiberina-- Isola Tiberina verso Occidente-- Lungotevere Cenci leads to the Isola Tiberina-- Isola Tiberina. Detail of the tower-- Isola Tiberina J9--air photo of isola tiberina-- Isola Tiberina-- Chiesa di S.Bartolomeo-- ROMA MEDIEVALE:l'Isola Tiberina e Trastevere-- L'Isola Tiberina-- Insula Tiberina-- /a>Isola Tiberina e Ponte Fabricio -- LUNGO IL TEVERE-- Isola tiberina map-- A PAINTER IN LOVE-- L'isola Tiberina costituì fin dall'antichità-- This island in the middle of the Tiber has a legend recounting its creation.-- The Tiber River, Tiber Bridges, and Tiber Island in Rome-- S. Bartolomeo all'Isola-- Still Pagan After All These Years-- S. Bartolomeo all'Isola-- Sulle rive del Tevere -- Walking tours of Rome-- FOGGY-GREEN, FORGOTTEN WATERS--Tiber Island (Isola Tiberina) is situated across from the Synagogue in the middle of the river.--
Nascita e vicende dell'Ordine Ospedaliero dei Fatebenefratelli--it re di roma--Tarquinia--THE CURIOSITY OF ROME--walking tour--walking tour--walking tour--walking tour--walking tour--walking tour--walking tour--walking tour


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