Rome-ing Around

BI’m lucky enough that this was not the first time I’ve visited Rome. But I would say that this visit was a more local more respectful (less vomitting) view of Rome.

Mario & Culinary Delights in Trastevere

I know Anna’s talked lots about Mario in her post but he (and Guapo) deserve another mention just for being such an awesome host.

Old Guappo and (SUPER) Mario!

Last time in Rome I stayed with a group of friends in a hostel near Termini and we struggled to find a decent meal that was of good quality and not too expensive. This time staying with Mario who knew the best places in an area already full of great local food made eating enjoyable, affordable and WAY too easy.

View of Trastevere from our room

Hrmmm. So I’ve gone through my photos and I only just realised that we’ve actually just ate everything before we took any pictures. I guess that’s a good review right? But I’ll go through a few things I learnt:

  1. Locals know their food. Not ONCE were we pointed in the wrong direction. Italians love their food and know where to go to get the best so don’t ignore their advice.
  2. Less is more. Being used to the pizza and pasta in Perth servings and massive, pastas drown in their sauce and pizzas are overloaded with topping. Simple flavours like amatriciana (tomato sauce) sugo di carne (meat tomato sauce) and cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) turn out to be just as tasty and you don’t get the feeling of heaviness after a carb filled meal.
  3. Red wine here doesn’t give me headaches or hang overs. After being coaxed into drinking in every second meal I’ve found out that I don’t get sick. Something is different in the wine here *shrugs*.

As for places to eat we loved Augustos, Da Enzo and Nerones that were described to us as traditional. Da Enzo stands out as they have a philosophy of sourcing all their ingredients locally and prepare all their food the traditional way.

As for pastries we visited Dolci. You can skip their chocolate but the cannolis and cream filled croissants were to die for.

Ancient and Big Things

You can’t miss the ancient wonders in this city. Many of them like the Trevi Fountain and Collesseum are well known. Other’s we just stumble upon while just wandering the city. I was thankful that this time there were less tourists as it was in the colder months but it is still by no means a quiet place. Anyway here are a few obligatory photos of us in front of old things =)

The colesseum! This wasn’t its original name which was… I’ve already forgotten but yay for half listening
They say if you face away from the fountain, throw a coin over your left shoulder and hit a small child then you will return to Rome.
One of many Arches in the Palatine (old Roman city)

The most surprising and awe inspiring place of all I found was the Palatine. It was the heart of an ancient Rome where culture, commerce and, arts came together and rose imposingly in narrow streets. 3000 years later much of the glamour is gone but you get the feeling of being immersed in a city of ruins.

Temple of Saturn. Much of the marble was plundered to rebuild the modern city. And the gold was just plundered by invaders and thieves. This seems to be a common theme about monuments surviving from the ancient world.

In some ways it feels like both Ephesus and Pompeii but for me the Palatine had more grandeur. It also gets bonus points for sounding like Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars.

Getting bored of old things….

There is something strange about the Romans. They have signs everywhere telling people how to walk. So when in Rome…

How to take the stairs in the Vatican
Personally I don’t know why this step in the Vittoriano needed my “ATTENZIONE” but I did as I was told.
These reverent “mystic” men were showing off the way they float. I learnt to float from monkey. Oh and this is the Nouvo Piazza with some fountains from some point in time…*shrugs*

New Big Things

One more thing about Rome. Most people hear about Ancient Rome. But there is a building in Rome from only 150 years ago which I’ve never heard of but I couldn’t believe I didn’t know about it till I got there. The building is the Vittoriano. And its MASSIVE and imposing. The first time I saw it I was shocked and awed and the same for Anna when we “stumbled” upon it this time. It was a palace built by the first King of Italy but is now converted to a museum and observation point.

The Vittoriano!

It was fun because it was different from all the other old stuff. But after a while we just messed around anyway.

Anna getting crowned by an angel
Despite what this looks like its not an attempt to extinguish an eternal flame…no…no it isn’t.
High5 Angel
My pet soldier parrot

Well that’s it for Rome. Hope I’ve inspired some travelling or at least some stupidity.

P.S. Anna is still working on that chin-up.

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