Sunday, June 8, 2014

European Holiday Part 1 - Rome Recap

We started our European adventure in Rome.  My mom studied abroad there 40 years ago and I missed the first three days of my study abroad program that included a full tour of Rome due to visa issues so we were both in need of revisiting the Eternal City.

We rented an apartment through AirBnB near the Campo De' Fiori.  I cannot more highly recommend this apartment as well as the neighborhood.  We were within walking distance of everything yet felt far enough removed from the busy city center to get a sense of local life.  The balcony was the cherry on top.

We started our first day with fresh pizza bianca from the famed Roscioli bakery and fresh fruit from the Campo De' Fiori market.  We later tasted the pizza bianca from Forno Campo De' Fiori but I have to say I preferred Roscioli.  



After breakfast we walked to the Castel Sant'Angelo and climbed to the top for spectacular views of Rome.  I highly recommend starting your trip with a tour here; it gave us a great perspective and another opportunity to get our bearings on the city.  




Throughout our 4 days we hit all the major sites, with tours of the Vatican, St. Peter's, the Colosseum and Roman Forum through Context Tours, which I also highly recommend.  Our walking wine and art tour was also a great "insiders guide" and introduction to the city.  The balance of our time was spent meandering through the streets.  Upon our arrival our host, Tommy, told us to "get lost in Rome" and that we did.  Strolling, shopping, long lunches with cold glasses of Frascati, aperitivos of charcuterie, and lots of gelato; of course taking in all the sights along the way.






The most picture perfect street in Rome - laundry hanging out to dry for authenticity :-)
Would love to take one of these back to Napa for the Ranch!

Rome is covered with public drinking fountains - how very green of them to offer clean public water!

These had to come home with me - vintage Ray Bans that actually fit my face!

No filter sunset over Rome
And now, a few food highlights! 

Had to document my first bite of gluten/pasta in over 10 months!  Our first dinner at Settimio
Mascarpone and liver paste with grilled pizza bianca at Constanza Hosteria what an epic combination - followed but not pictured by amazing veal saltimbocca and truffle rigatoni!
So good we came here twice - fresh cheese ravioli with citrus at Cul De Sac
A perfect outdoor lunch in the Ghetto following our exhausting Colosseum tour!
This might have been my favorite dish of our time in Rome - simple cacio e pepe at Cul De Sac - like the best version of mac n'cheese
The leaning tower of Pecorino - we found this amazing cheese shop in Trastevere and took vacuum packed goodies with us for the next leg of our travel to France - made for the perfect train picnic!

A perfect lunch of prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, and artichokes paired with eggplant parm at Armando Al Pantheon.  
Gelato was obviously an every day experience.  I sought out 3 new-to-me gelato stores and then had to revisit Grom for nostalgia purposes (I used to get at least a cup every other day when I lived in Florence, no matter that there's now a Grom across from my apt in NYC).  While each cup was delicious in it's own right, I have to say my favorite was Gelateria Del Teatro.  The chocolate and wine flavor was so unique and so delicious, a perfect pairing I must say!




Stay tuned for highlights from Burgundy and Paris…….

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