ITALY: The Feast of Us Others

Trastevere is a boisterous, reeking, junglelike quarter that lies across a turbulent stretch of the Tiber river quite apart from most of Rome. The Trasteverini think the separation is fine. They like their dizzy labyrinth of alleyways, the Queen of Heaven jail and the little shop where the baker's daughter and the artist Raphael lived and lusted 400 years ago. They also delight in the dark, heavy-bosomed beauty of their women, the deftly handled stiletto and heroic quantities of dry, amber Frascati.

Trastevere has been the tenderloin of Rome ever since the Romans...

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