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Sunday was a good day. One of the best, in fact, in recent memory. I usually spend all of Sunday working, but by chance I had the afternoon free and decided to make the most of it. I started with lunch at Settembrini. Sort of. This weekend, chef Luigi Nastri moved his operation to the Macro in Testaccio, a contemporary art space crafted from the renovated slaughterhouse.

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The Macro was hosting The Road to Contemporary Art, an exhibition that saw several restaurants and cafes built amongst the corrals and troughs. I hoped for a quick lunch but service at Settembrini was hopelessly slow instead I spent two hours eating delectable morsels about every thirty minutes.

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Once free, I hopped on my bike and headed southeast to the Caffarella Park. This is one of my all time favorite places on earth. Sandwiched between a residential district and the Appia Antica, the Caffarella seems like it is a million miles from Rome. Rolling hills, tufa quarries, ancient ruins, vast pastures and produce gardens abound.

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The park is Rome’s accessible bucolic wonderland where sheep and goats graze and Romans picnic. I even came across a bottle of wine chilling in a stream. All this country charm is a 10-minute bike ride from the Circus Maximus.

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I exited the park at Via dell’Almone, a few hundred feet from the Egeria spring. The Egeria bottled water company has taps where customers can go and fill up their empty 1.5L bottles with still or sparkling water. People come with dozens of bottles and push them from car to spring and spring to car in wobbly shopping carts. It is all very weird in a cool way.

After that my iPhone 4 died because it is terrible and has 2 hours of battery life. I am unable to illustrate the rest of the trip, but it consisted of a lovely ride through the Aqueduct Park, around Cinecitta’, through Centocelle, and over to Pigneto for a cone at Capriccio di Carla, a gelateria on the Via Prenestina. The grand finale was the Carrobiolo tasting at Domus Birrae. Not only was the summer beer flowing, but I caught up with some friends, one of whom I’ll tell you all about tomorrow. Cliffhanger!!!