Il Pentagrappolo Wine bar. Caelian Hill, Rome

Sitting with Giulia and Wolfgang at the wine bar Il Pentagrappolo (see image above) in via Celimontana, on the Caelian Hill, we were drinking some chilled Riesling from the Rhine German region (to honour our guest) and listening to this Parisian black woman singing beautiful jazz songs. She was accompanied by a pianist who by the way is the owner of Il Pentagrappolo itself.

The pianist did his good job, but the voice of the black woman singer (and the woman herself), oh my, they were so exquisite they contributed in no small measure to an uncommon musical experience made even richer in its resonances by a tiny bit of refined (and innocent) eroticism.

Wolfgang, who was delighted by the whole thing – Rome, the wine bar, the music and the singer – turned to us and said: “Oh you don’t see these things in Paris. No, no, you surely don’t.”

Mavvai, are you sure? She is from Paris after all – I objected. Wolfgang shook his head, unconvinced. His life-long relationship with France seems going through a difficult moment for no apparent reason.


All of a sudden this Sehnsucht hit me. I mean, this languor or nostalgia with a tinge of suffering. What these two musicians were living, the pleasure intense and palpable of making music together in total satisfaction – the moment they had finished I felt this impelling need to stand up, go to the piano and sketch some simple melodies on the keyboard.

I felt the urge, but couldn’t do it.

While we were walking out of the wine bar into the fresh brezza of the night Wolfgang said he was about to restore his old Bösendorfer. He felt like starting to play again.

To readers. I am leaving tomorrow for the USA where I’ll stay a couple of weeks. I’ll keep on posting but I might be slow in replying to comments. Ciao everybody.

4 thoughts on “Wine and Music on the Caelian Hill

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