Friday, October 5, 2012

Stand Up! Comedy in Rome

An Englishman, a Canadian and an Italian walk into a bar......sounds like the beginning of a joke right? In fact it's the beginning of many. In a small street just behind Campo de Fiori on the last Friday of every month 'Rome's Comedy Club' springs into life as amateur Rome based stand-up comedians from all over the world perform in English to a mixture of locals, expats and tourists alike. The brainchild of Ohio born Marsha De Salvatore, Rome's Comedy Club has been running since 2008 and from it's humble beginnings in the attic of a local pub where a handful of audience members were treated to a mixture of comedy sketches and stand up, it has now established itself as a regular and not to be missed part of Rome's nightlife. Of course, comedy has always been a part of Roman life, Plautus and Ennius were writing comic plays in the 3rd century BC, years before the first 'knock knock' joke was told and in 2009 an ancient Roman joke book was unearthed dating from around the 3rd century containing over 260 jokes. 

Thanks to a little more modern day comic actors such as Alberto Sordi, Totò and Roberto Benigni, Italian cinema has never been short of comic genius. There are a few TV shows dedicated to Italian stand up comedians, but there is nothing like getting up close and personal in a proper comedy club and thanks to those few funny, dedicated and downright ballsy amateurs at Rome's Comedy Club you too can enjoy a night out unlike any other Rome event. 

If you're visiting Rome and fancy an alternative night out in the centro storico after a day or two of sightseeing and perhaps a Vatican tour too, check out Rome Comedy Club! 

It would be rude not to finish with a joke taken straight from that Roman joke book (rotten tomatoes at the ready)........a patient tells a doctor “whenever I get up after a sleep, I feel dizzy for half an hour, then I’m all right.” The doctor replies” ‘Then wait half an hour before getting up.”

To Anzio from Rome

The pretty coastal town of Anzio is just 50km south of Rome, making it an ideal day trip destination for those who want to get out of Rome's bustling city centre. During August it's idyllic beachside bars and restaurants play host to many of Rome's residents as they escape the scorching city heat to find solace in the waves and cooling sea breeze. 

It hasn't always been like that though. In the winter of 1944 Anzio was the landing site for tens of thousands of Allied troops as they disembarked on the surrounding beaches to begin their long and deadly march to Rome in what was to be one of the most important and crucial battles of World War Two. The Anzio museum, which is housed in the 16th century Villa Adele, has a section dedicated to the beachhead landings and the two war cemeteries within the town are well worth a visit. The museum also displays relics from the nearby Roman theatre and many treasures found in and around local lad Nero's Palace (Nero was born in Anzio, then called 'Antium' in the year 37). Spanning the whole of the west side of the main beach you can explore the remains of this huge villa, with it's intricate tunnels and tiled floors and ceilings. A guided tour will give you access to the modern day lighthouse that sits atop the villa.

Eating in Anzio is an absolute treat as you are spoiled for choice when it comes to small, local, family owned restaurants that offer fresh seafood caught that very morning for extremely reasonable prices. The pretty town centre with it's tree-lined piazza is an ideal place to grab an afternoon coffee and watch the world go by. At 4 o'clock in the afternoon make your way to the port as the local fishermen sell their mornings catch straight from the back of their boats, for just 5 euros you can easily pick up an array of fresh fish and shellfish ready for the pot. The return journey from Anzio to Rome passes through the beautiful Lazio countryside via the 'Castelli Romani', and the ancient 'Appian Way' flanked by it's historical aqueducts and towers. So, with sea, sand, culture and delicious seafood, Anzio tours and day trips from Rome offer a great way to escape the city and to discover everything this beautiful seaside town has to offer.
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