Italy Part 2: Rome

Rome!  I don’t know where to begin.  I spent most of my Italy trip in Rome, and absolutely loved it!  I stayed in Trastevere, a part of the city that I know a lot of people will say is touristy.  Trastevere is touristy – it definitely had its fair share of American and British students studying abroad.  But beyond that, it felt like a community.  Something was always open, there were always places to grab pizza or gelato, and I fell in love with a particular cafe around the corner from my AirBnB.  The water in Rome is all drinkable, and there are natural fountains everywhere.  A big upgrade from schlepping 6L of water home from the grocery store every other day in Mallorca.

Rome is an amazing city, filled with amazing food, and history.  I walked everywhere, even though I bought a week long transit pass, which in retrospect, I’m not sure is really worth it.  Italy is also notorious for not checking that you bought a ticket – you’re supposed to buy one before you get on the bus and validate it, but it’s really on the honor system.  If you get caught, there are hefty fines, but, if an official gets on the bus you could just as easily get off.  I’m not the kind of person that operates under that kind of pressure though, so I wanted to make sure I could get anywhere easily and not worry about having to find a point of purchase.

In Rome I got to meet up with a friend I haven’t seen from high school, and that was the best.  Aside from the comfort of having a little piece of home all the way across the ocean, it was nice to reconnect, and also not wander around the city like a completely blind tourist.

The woman whose apartment I stayed at was delightful.  She introduced me to the Rome free walking tour, which I totally recommend.  It was a lot of walking, but I got to see a lot more, and with better direction than I would have with just my tour guide book.  If you’re interested, here’s a link to their website.  The same day, I also had the most amazing pasta caccio e pepe, at a restaurant I found based on a friend’s recommendation.  Even better than that was the mascarpone and chocolate-laden coffee I had for dessert.  The restaurant is called Il Brillo Parlante.

In Rome I fell in love with pizza  by the slice, where they have pizza waiting, and they chop off as much as  you want, and charge you by weight, with gelato, and with the cafe near my AirBnB.  It’s called Checco er Carretiere.  I just found their website, and I didn’t know they also are an actual restaurant, but the cafe part was amazing.  The men who worked there were the sweetest, and drew flowers on my cappuccinos.

I could go on and on.  Rome was fantastic.  I would return to Rome, and Trastevere, in a heartbeat!  I think anything I write about it at this point is redundant, and I really want to share my photos, so I’m going to post as is.  The moral of the story is I had an amazing time with amazing people and amazing food, and if you get the chance, you should visit.

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My first gelato in Rome.  In Rome they put panna, whipped cream, on top of the gelato.

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At the entrance to Trastevere.

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Most creative garbage can award goes to this gelato place.

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So many flavors, and I didn’t even capture all of them.

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Here the gelato guy was cranky and didn’t offer me panna.

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Piazza Navona

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Breakfast of champions… a chocolate thing, cappuccino, and a side of whipped cream which I did not ask for but happily ate.

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Inside the Pantheon.

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“Tonnarelli Cacio e pepe con fiori di zucca” – Tonnarelli with pecorino cheese, black pepper, and squash flowers – at a restaurant called Il Brillo Parlante. I went at the advice of a friend. So good!

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Cafe Il Brillo Parlante.  Possibly the best thing I’ve eaten ever.  It’s a shot of espresso covered in mascarpone cheese and chocolate chunks, dusted with powdered sugar.  Stay tuned for my recreation of this recipe.

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Outside of the Colosseum. I didn’t make it in, but, there it is.

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An amazing Sicilian bakery.

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A cannolo {singular of cannoli}, pistachio almond cookies, and a chocolate lobster tail. All amazing.

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The best cannolo I’ve ever eaten. Absolutely amazing.

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We talked a lot about the great architecture of the desserts. All of them were easily cut in half, with minimal crumbling, no smushing, and no collapsing. A+ to these guys.

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Pizza by the slice!! At La Renella in Trastevere.

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Some flavors.

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From my friends at Checco er Carettiere.

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Pretty sure this was Easter dessert. “Cookies” flavored gelato with panna.

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Breakfast from my favorite place. A chocolate filled donut, I think called a bomba, with a beautiful cappuccino.

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