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We like to think of Peterman’s Eye as an old fashioned interactive community newspaper (if there is such a thing) focused on travel and curiosities. Talk with us about today’s post. Tell us about the places you’ve been. Or take a trip using J. Peterman’s exclusive travel services (coming soon). Read more...

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While it’s true that there is a singular quality of light in Tuscany which bathes everything in a warmth that at once softens and refines, the Tuscan campagna has nothing on the Roman countryside.

To wake up here and throw open the shutters of our friends’ country house and gaze out at the gently undulating fields of grape and olive makes me feel like I have lived here my whole life.

Like every household in the region, it produces its own excellent fruity and vibrant olive oil and sturdy but eminently quaffable red wine, which we drink by the tumbler.

The pleasures of the Roman table are many, but we have been lured here by our friends’ promise of one in particular, a Pecorino Romano that rivals in savor and complexity that king of Italian cheeses, Parmigiano Reggiano.

The man who makes this exquisite cheese just happens to be our friends’ cousin.  He is a bearded, barrel-chested fellow traveler who holds forth with equal gusto on the salutary properties of his pecorino (including a formulation I’ve heard most often in South East Asia where it is invariably accompanied by a conspiratorial wink: it “makes you strong”) and the evils of unrestricted capitalism.

For him it is a point of pride that one cannot find his products in New York or London.  His jaw drops in genuine amazement, however, when I tell him the per etto price his cheese would fetch at any delicatessen worth its salt.

Whatever his economic philosophy, one has to admire the works of his hands, from the cozy farm house that he designed and constructed to the range of formaggi and salumi that he produces and brings to market locally and in Rome.  

He has definitely mastered the Roman art of arrangiarsi.

As we survey the pasturage outside the farmhouse windows, the late afternoon sun illuminating the fields of grain and the contented herds of sheep, I can’t help but think: Tuscany, eat your heart out.

Where do you find your favorite quality of light?


J. Peterman


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2 Members’ Opinions
March 17, 2009 2:49 AM
737 10photoviewsFirst-comFirst-photoHr-1Hr-5 the Cosmic Jester said...

My favorite light is around my hometown: A jaw-dropping gorgeous Arizona sunset that turns the entire surroundings a rich shade of gold, with the mountains turning oranges, reds, and purples. Also wonderful is the clear pale gold light after an afternoon rain, with the retreating indigo clouds giving incredible contrast. I'd just about kill to get a photograph of the moment, but getting the light just right still evades me.

March 17, 2009 6:16 AM
2330 10photoviewsFirst-comFirst-photo MissExpatria said...

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for extolling the virtues of the Roman countryside as well as my favorite cheese of all time, Pecorino Romano.  I cerainly hope you had some cacio e pepe, the best pasta dish in the whole world, stunning in its simplicity and the chicken soup for the Roman soul. I am so sad when people ignore poor Lazio in favor of blathering on about Tuscany, so it does my heart good to see someone else besides me gets it.

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still thinking about today...

Yesterday's Discussion

Next I hop in a cab and head to Kensington to admire Holland Park, a tranquil delight and a convenient introduction to the work of England's greatest gardener, Lancelot "Capability" Brown.


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