Travelogue: Rome, Italy 2016
“I’ll look back on this and smile because it was life and I decided to live it”
TRIP ITINERARY (15 days total)
Prague, Czech Republic – 3 nights
Rome, Italy – 3 nights
Florence, Italy – 3 nights
Cinque Terre, Italy – 2 nights
London, England – 3 nights
Italia! At first sight, it’s even more magical than we imagined. The huge building columns, statues and fountains left us awe-struck. It’s just mind-blowing to imagine the ancient Romans building all of it thousands of years ago. Right away there’s definitely a different vibe than in Prague. A steady hustle and bustle, passionate people, plenty of pasta and wine, and all surrounded by a backdrop of scenes we’d only seen in school books before a few weeks ago!
The streets of Rome are so charming I can’t even stand it! Every corner we turned, cafe we passed and adorable doorway we walked through I was whipping out my phone to snap photo after photo. Outdoor cafes, fresh flowers, cobblestone streets, old rustic doors, pasta, cheese, wine…it’s pretty obvious why I was instantly in love with the city.
A food tour in Rome was a necessity. We definitely did a lot of exploring on our own but the help of an expert was nice, especially when there are so many touristy restaurants to get caught in. This tour was in the neighborhood Trastevere, which literally means “across the river.” It’s much less touristy and full of Trattorias (family-run restaurants). We visited something like 8 different restaurants for a little taste of something in each. From left to right and down:
1. Burrata is a super fresh creamy mozzarella cheese that is usually paired with fresh tomatoes, basil and olive oil on bread. Delightful!
2. Gnocchi with mussels and a Roman classic: carbonara. Some of the best pasta we had.
3 & 4. Porchetta Sandwich. Porchetta is a savory pork roast paired with fresh gorgonzola on bread. This was one of my favorites!
5. It was hard to get a good photo of this dark wine cellar, but definitely one of the coolest things on the tour. This cellar is below a restaurant and was discovered to have been built in 80 AD! We had an appetizer inside with a local red wine.
6. Veal with bacon on top (!) and potatoes in a delicious sauce.
7. Roman style pizza has a very thin crispy crust. This is a Pizza Rosso with sausage and mushrooms.
8. Can’t forget about the gelato! Stracciatella was my go-to flavor. A creamy white with specs of chocolate.
9. The funny (and awesome) thing about Italians, is that they structure everything around eating and figure out how to maximize how much they can eat! Aperitivo is a pre-dinner cocktail the Italians have to “open the stomach” and get the juices flowing so that you can really enjoy the upcoming meal. That cocktail is typically an Aperol Spritz, which is this orange drink pictured. It has prosecco, aperol and a spritz of soda water, although the Italians make it pretty strong!
10. After dinner, the Italians have a cocktail like Limoncello or Grappa in order to help digest the meal you’ve just eaten. It really works!
I’d definitely recommend a food tour while traveling. Finding the non-touristy places off the beaten path is a must for a great food experience. Eating Europe does a great job!
Next stop: Florence!