Guest Post: Rome Through the Senses by Jen Collins Moore

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Guest Post

Rome Through The Senses:

My first draft of this article’s headline was “The Scents of Rome,” but I didn’t think anyone would read on. After all, Rome is the city with the trash fiasco last year. But I’m not talking about garbage. (I do plenty of that in my blog post, Living Like a Tourist )

I’m talking about the scents that carry you through a typical day in Rome. For me, it starts with a morning walk in search of breakfast. I like to stay in Trastevere, the “village” side of Rome across the Tiber from most of the big sites. And every morning I know I’m going to pass at least one elderly woman with a bucket of soapy water industriously mopping the stone step in front of her home.

I don’t know why she’s doing it (I Googled it and didn’t come up with anything satisfactory) but the scent of suds in the early morning is a distinctive part of my memories of mornings in Rome.

Those are quickly followed by the rich, yeasty scents of delicious things cooking up in the bakeries on nearly every corner in the city. Maggie White, my detective, eats a chocolate cornetto nearly every morning. It’s like a chocolate croissant, only smaller and less buttery. They are delicious, and I’ll admit I share her passion. (Or is her passion mine? It’s hard to tell when writing fiction.)

But while we’re talking breakfast, I’ll make a pitch for the yogurt in Italy. It’s creamy in a way American yogurt never is, and buying some gives you an excuse to explore an Italian grocery store. I love seeing all the flavors: pear, plum, pineapple, lemon, hazelnut, and pistachio, along with our traditional strawberry. Add some fruit from an outdoor market, and it’s a great way to start your day.

Lunchtime has its own scent. Cheese with a hint of tomato. It’s the pizza, of course. And in Rome there are two kinds: the round, Naples-style you’re likely to get at a sit-down restaurant, and the rectangular pizza rustica sold by the gram from a take-out place. That’s the kind I’m thinking about at lunchtime. It’s the perfect on-the-go food. You walk up to a counter filled with more flavors of pizza than I can count and choose a few that sound delicious then gesture with your hands how large of a piece you’d like. They cut it, heat it in an oven for a few minutes, and you find a bench with a great view to eat it. Easy. Simple. Delicious. That’s the joy of Rome.

Afternoons smell floral. I don’t know if it’s the time of the day I’m most likely to wander in one of the city’s parks or if it’s all the window boxes and planters that line the streets there. Whatever it is, it’s lovely.

Evening is garlicky. Even if you’re not cooking, you can’t miss the scent of neighbors preparing their meals or restaurants getting ready for service. The garlic is cooked in just the right amount of oil, so it’s mellow, not bitter.

Bedtime comes full circle, and the air is sweet again. This time it’s from the pizzelle—waffle cookies rolled into a cone—ready for gelato. There are other desserts in Italy, of course, but when the gelato is so good, why look elsewhere?

Writing Murder in the Piazza was a wonderful opportunity to revisit the delicious smells of the city when I’m so far away from the city I love. I hope reading the book provides you with some of the same delights.


American in Rome, Maggie White, is finding the dolce vita isn’t all it’s cracked up to be in Murder in the Piazza by Jen Collins Moore

About The Book

About The Book:

Maggie White, a downsized American executive stuck in Rome on her husband’s expat assignment, is finding the dolce vita isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. She’s taken a job offering painting instruction to well-heeled travelers and her boss-a rather unpleasant English lord-has turned up dead in his penthouse. Maggie’s left with a palazzo full of suspicious guests, a valuable painting her boss might have stolen, and a policeman who’s decided she’s the prime suspect. Now Maggie must keep the tour up and running while she tracks the killer and works to clear her name.

Book Links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / Bookshop 


About The Author

About The Author:

Jen Collins Moore is the author of the Maggie White Mysteries. Her short fiction has appeared in Mystery Weekly, and she is the editor of the Mystery Writers of America Midwest newsletter. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America, as well an established marketer and entrepreneur. A transplanted New Englander, she lives in Chicago with her husband and two boys.

Author Link:

https://www.jennifercollinsmoore.com/


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