Having a forno (bakery, literally “oven”) just down the street has its advantages and disadvantages. The most obvious advantage is having fresh, hot crusty, wheels and loaves of delicious bread available at all times, not to mention the pans of pizza prepared with fried eggplant, real mozzarella and rughetta, or with boiled spinach and parmigiano, or tiny cherry tomatoes smothered in fresh oregano, etc. etc.
This all leads to the greatest disadvantage; it is impossible to get anything accomplished with the perfume of baking bread wafting non-stop through the air, especially if meal time is approaching.
A serious treatise on the saints of the Middle Ages doesn’t stand a chance against the call of the forno. Would the saints themselves have resisted, or would their temporal selves have hollered “Uncle!”, put down their plumes, resigning themselves to the temptation like this modern day mortal?
On top of it all, this particular forno (Forno Renella, Via del Moro, 15) has an unusual advantage/disadvantage to it. Via the back door, it is the locals’ in-the-know shortcut to the other side of a long block, essentially connecting one street to another. Therefore it is on the daily route to and from Trastevere to the rest of the world. Who can resist?!
– Thanks to the anonymous, mystery writer (Medieval scholar?) who submitted this fun note!