There is no comparison to walking the back streets of Roma or greater view than from Genicola Hill. My first couple of days I explored the Capitoline Museums, the Forum, and the Colosseum. I’ve shared a bottle of wine (or two) and a platter of assorted cheeses with friends on a roadside cafe while an accordion played in the background – I wish I wasn’t so cliché! I had dinner tonight on a rooftop terrace in Trastevere, Rome. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life.
We ate our meal overlooking Rome and just as we opened our second bottle of Prosecco the sun set right behind the city, creating a surreal view. We ate cheese (mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, etc..), various types of sausages (some from boar, some with liver in it) the freshest fruit I’ve ever tasted (cherries, apricots, strawberries, oranges, etc.), the Italian equivalent to pasta salad – made only with the freshest ingredients (pasta, mozzarella, basil, tomato, capers, and olive oil), and piles of fresh baguette. Then I was introduced to one of my favorite dishes in Italy thus far; Fiori di zucca – the flower of an eggplant stuffed with ricotta and alici (anchovy).
After a few bottles of white and red we brought out a couple of cakes from the local bakery. The first was a rich, flourless chocolate almond cake and the second was a marmalade cake that would resemble a thin pie or tart in America. They were equally unbelievable… It wouldn’t be an Italian dessert if we didn’t also have gelato. Needless to say, we did not leave hungry!
Thus far my favorite monument would either be the Dying Gaul or the Victor Emmanuel Monument (Altare della Patria), both equally took my breath away, but the Victor Emmanuel in all of its grander probably takes the cake (no pun intended).
Part 2: Rome
I wanted to combine these two smaller posts!
I started my day at the Piazza del Popolo, which was completely unbelievable purely because of how old the roads (aka trident of streets) and ancient Egyptian obelisk at the center of the square. We made our way to the Aracpicus Augustue after that, which was also incredible. I realized that I’m a huge fan of most of the grand monuments made out of marble, and this one was no different.
We took a coffee break at one of the best cafes in Roma called “Sant Eustachio il caffe”. If you have a chance to go, I highly recommend grabbing a Moretta. It tasted like a warm shot of espresso with sugar, foam, and cocoa sprinkled on top. The Pantheon is a must-see even though it’s swarming with tourists, for the simple fact that it was built in 129 A.D and has undergone very few restorations, which is absolutely mindboggling.
I also had my first experience at the market today! Many farmers come to the spot right outside of where I’m staying in Trastevere during the early morning to sell their produce from the day before, but because they are not from the city there was a bigger language barrier than I had experience this far. I only know very basic phrases and numbers in Italian, but I was still able to buy some apricots, cherries, and strawberries. I also went to the ‘super market’ on my way home from class.