“Arrivederci Roma!” – A Photo-essay.

Well, I’ve returned from Rome having eaten my body weight in pasta and prosecco flowing through my veins! It was a well needed and if I say so myself, a very well deserved break too. :) For a while now, I’ve been looking into how people lived during the 30’s and 40’s ,  the war and post-war times when they had little to go by and while researching about places to stay at in Rome, we came across this old pre-war apartment that promised no bells and whistles but had managed to retain a lot of it’s antiquated glory. Slatted windows, high ceilings, ornate ghouls sculpted on the ceiling – the allure was endless! It fit in beautifully with the image I had built up in my head about what it might’ve felt like to live in Italy during Mussolini’s time. Since I wanted a complete break with life here in the UK, I wasn’t troubled by the lack of wi-fi or any other technolgical amenity, though the younger amongst us felt decidedly bereft of oxygen! The place was spartan, run by an 80-year-old who understood very little English so though it worked for us, I won’t recommend it.. It’s not what most would look forward to on holiday. :) If you’re a first timer in Rome, then you will probably want to click away at every building you see..I did – until I realised ‘I’m in Rome, and everything’s beautiful!':)

The song that stayed with me all through the holiday was El Pasador’s Amada Mia, Amore Mio- Have a listen while you scroll through the pics! :)

Apartment, Rome, architecture
Where we stayed on Via Ottaviano
Apartment, Rome, architecture
On the other side, a beautiful breakfast room!

My daughter enjoying the first day of sunshine …we’d had two very rainy days before this which was just tragic :)

apartment, rome, architecture
Rayna at the window…enjoying the sun in Rome. This pic was taken by Daniel Simm

We braved the weather and went into Vatican City on day 1 given that we were staying a ten minute walk away from it. Thankfully, the queue lasted about 20 minutes and we were in, macs, brollies and all!

St. Peter's Square, Vatican City, Rome
Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City, Rome

Nothing prepares you for the scale of opulence that awaits you. The medieval art and architecture are breathtaking and it all starts becoming real – the art of the most grandest artists in history right before you in unimaginable grandeur just leaves you spellbound. My daughters on the other hand were left a tad underwhelmed that all that talk about Raphael and Michaelangelo wasn’t really about the Ninja Turtles after all! 😛 Here are a few pictures from inside the Basilica, I’ve limited it to the well lit places where I could focus on the details of Michaelangelo and Bernini’s art!

St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
Piazza San Pietro Vatican City, Rome
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
The ornate domes at St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
Michaelangelo’s paintings on the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
The gilted plasterwork inside St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
Gilted plaster engraving on the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
Bernini’s masterpieces at St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
One of the showstoppers at St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
Michaelangelo’s renowned Pietà at St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome

 

Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museum
The opulent hallway leading to the Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museum. Sadly we couldn’t take photographs in the chapel!
Sistine Chapel, Vatican Museum
The gilted spiral stairway at the Vatican Museum

The best advice I ever got was to take my walking shoes… We walked pretty much everywhere and by the end of our stay, we realised we’d walked almost all around Rome. The magnificent ruins, the gorgeous Piazzas never seemed to run out of things you could see…Most of the newer buildings in Rome are built in the style of the old, blending seamlessly into the renaissance landscape of the city. Here are some pics of the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, The Forum and The Pantheon.

The Colosseum, Rome
The Colosseum, Rome
The Colosseum, Rome
The Colosseum, Rome
Palatine Hill, The Forum, Rome
Palatine Hill, The Forum, Rome
Palatine Hill, The Forum, Rome
Palatine Hill, The Forum, Rome
The Pantheon, Rome
The Pantheon, Rome

I was personally bowled over by the Fontana Di Trevi! There was something so large and overwhelming about it that held you captive for the longest time – that for me was the highlight of Rome! The buskers that played nearby, amplified by the natural accoustics that the ancient world knew so well left an indelible impression of the place. For a while, with one particular Spanish guitarist playing Ottmar Liebert, Paco De Lucia and other Bossa Nova artists, I almost believed my Spotify playlist had been hacked ! :)

Trevi Fountain, Rome
Trevi Fountain, Rome
Trevi Fountain, Rome
The Majestic Trevi Fountain, Rome. This pic was taken by Daniel Simm who’s great at long exposures! :)

There was a small carnival on at the Piazza Venezia during our stay and the local children were out, dressed up in costumes, throwing rice and confetti at the performers! There was an air of celebration as vibrant tunes of Electonica and Italian Pop filled the air.

Carnival at Piazza Venezia
Carnival at Piazza Venezia
Carnival at Piazza Venezia
Every woman’s beautiful 😉 -Carnival at Piazza Venezia
Carnival at Piazza Venezia
Carnival at Piazza Venezia
Carnival at Piazza Venezia
Carnival at Piazza Venezia
Venetian Masks at the Carnival at Piazza Venezia
Venetian Masks at the Carnival at Piazza Venezia
New Sheriff in town - Venetian Masks  and more at the Carnival at Piazza Venezia
New Sheriff in town – Venetian Masks and more at the Carnival at Piazza Venezia
 Carnival at Piazza Venezia
Carnival at Piazza Venezia

 

 Carnival at Piazza Venezia
Levitating Yogi at the Carnival at Piazza Venezia

We wandered into a lovely restaurant right near the Trevi Fountain called Sacro & Profano, which boasted the best Calabrese food in Rome. We weren’t disappointed and I highly recommend anyone visiting to snag a seat here in this deconsecrated church dating back to 1199! The price tag is modest for what it offers and we had a meal with drinks and coffee for 3 adults and 2 children for around €125 . The owner was very accomodating and welcoming, inviting me to take pictures anywhere I chose to and use it as I saw fit. The more than affable staff made our meal very comfortable, conversing amiably about restaurant favourites and the history of the place! The interiors date back 100’s of years and the improvisation is achingly cool. It’s a pity that I got there after dark and couldn’t get good pics as I’m dead opposed to artificial lighting :) but here’s a taster, you’ll pretty much get the picture of what awaits you when you visit.

 

Ristorante Sacro&Profano
Ristorante Sacro&Profano
Fresco inside Ristorante Sacro&Profano
Fresco inside Ristorante Sacro&Profano
Fresco inside Ristorante Sacro&Profano
Fresco inside Ristorante Sacro&Profano

The menu was extensive and I ordered me a linguine with squid ink and calamari, the photograph was lost to the low lighting and the jet-blackness of the dish, but it was lush and I won’t hesitate to have it again! This is what the rest of the family ordered :)

Pizza Rustica Calabresa

Pizza Rustica Calabresa, italian food
Pizza Rustica Calabresa

Gorgeous lasagne with parmigiano and meat sauce which was a massive hit with my daughter who’s not keen on food! It doesn’t taste like British Lasagne in the least, I wish I knew why :)

Lasagne Rustica Calabresa
Lasagne Rustica Calabresa
Fettucine with pancetta and fennel!
Fettucine with Pancetta and Fennel!

 

Spaghetti alle Vongole
Spaghetti alle Vongole

Spaghetti alle Vongole

I manged to bag the recipe for the Spaghetti alle vongole, a classic central and southern Italian dish –  here it is :

500g (or 300g, if dried) Spaghetti, fresh
50g Shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
50ml Extra virgin olive oil
500g Clams with their shells
100ml White wine
20g Parsley, flat leaf, roughly chopped
½ Lemon, juiced
Get cooking…
  1. In a large saucepan of boiling, salted water, cook your spaghetti following the cooking Instructions on the packet, and keep aside covered with a damp, warm towel
  2. In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, soften the shallots and garlic in the olive oil for Three minutes with no colour. Add the clams & white wine, cover with a lid and cook on full Heat for 2 minutes until the shells just open. Add lemon juice, parsley, the cooked spaghetti and mix. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  3. Serve in a large bowl immediately with fresh garlic bread and a glass of white wine. Birra Moretti or Birra Peroni goes well too!

No day ends well if you haven’t had Gelato-the classic organic, fresh, natural ice-cream that’s synonymous with fun, not just for kids! How can anyone resist the lure of flavours like hazelnut and butterscotch praline, sour cherry, nougat, coconut & lime and cinnamon strudel? That apart from the regular strawberry, chocolate and crema; albeit they’re all amped up a few notches from our best supermarket buys…Ben& Jerry’s and Häagen-Dazs paled in comparison to even the more casual gelatos we had at L’Arena del Gelato , a delightful Gelato house right outside Vatican City! Again, a fine little place for little ones to be themselves, you’re not rushed, in fact you can stay as long as you like and taste as many flavours before you make up your mind. Giuseppe Longobardi, the owner,  is friendly and warm and is keen on making his business a place you associate good times with!  At a gentle 21, he’s keenly focussed on getting L’Arena Del Gelato a big spot on the culinary map of the city. All the gelato is handmade by his family and is totally free from any nasties!

Giuseppe Longobardi, owner of L'Arena del Gelato
Giuseppe Longobardi, owner of L’Arena del Gelato. In many ways, the man makes the place; check out his fab Tripadvisor reviews and make sure you visit!
Butterscotch and Hazelnut Gelato
Butterscotch and Hazelnut Gelato
Fresh organic gelato, homemade
Fresh organic gelato, homemade
Heaven in a cone! Gelato
Heaven in a cone!

Ever since I’ve been back, I’ve had to remind myself that No, it’s not Ok to want to have a Prosecco with your lunch in England, especially if that lunch is had at home, by yourself! 😛

Prosecco, bubbly, wine, spumante
Everything’s better with Prosecco!

I didn’t throw a coin in at the Trevi Fountain, I’m far too much of a realist for that ; but there’s something magical enough about the place that draws you to it long after you’ve left and I don’t doubt that I’ll return someday!  For now, I’ll have to be content with my Duty Free pleasures of Rome and with every biscotti and every sip of Limoncello, it’s Arrivederci Roma! :) x

My daughter's goodbye note to Italy! :) Postcard, Rome, arrivederci roma
My daughter’s love note to Italy! :)

end-symbol

You might also like to read :

These Are a Few of My Favourite Things…

Woody Allen, ‘Fell-apples’, Borscht and Lurve!

 

Comments

  1. says

    Wow, what stunning photos. I loved visiting Rome many years ago but it was only for a day. I would love to go back and look round properly. It looks and sounds like you had a wonderful time. Thank you so much for linking to PoCoLo x

  2. says

    I have had a sudden onset of something the doctor has called “wanderlust”. This, accompanied by a growling stomach, apparently is not good for the Monday morning blues syndrome. What an adventure – culturally, spiritually, gastronomically! I really NEED to visit Roma now. Stunning photos and I’m so glad you got to unwind and just explore. What an underrated word – explore.

  3. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    You’re hardly ever stuck for ideas as to what to do there , so yes-it was a full-bodied holiday! Having said that, I also realised I can’t live anywhere except the UK, I’ve come back with a strong allegiance to the ‘queue’, Italian traffic control is pure anarchy! 😛

  4. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    Thanks for stopping by Victoria, we indeed had a great time! :) Thanks for hosting #PoCoLo, such a fab avenue for us bloggers! xx

  5. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    Aww, thank you! So glad you stopped by and took the time to scroll through a zillion images! 😛 Will pop along and see your blog too. Great to be connected! xx

  6. says

    You’ve brought back some great memories of Rome for me. I went once when I was a little girl and again when my son was aged about 10.
    Love your photos, especially of St Peter’s. The ice cream man is easy on the eye too 😉

  7. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    Good to hear that, Trish! :) Thank you for liking what you saw, and yes, totally with you re: the “Ice Cream Man”, hah! Such a genuinely affable chap! :) x

  8. says

    Your pictures are incredible, I adore Italy, wow, this is one of the most uplifting, visually striking posts I’ve seen in a long time! Do link up to #tastytuesdays if you fancy it!

  9. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    Thanks for that- I’m so touched! :) Will pop over and add my post to the linky :) xx

  10. Jasmine says

    Loved the photos……..a real adventure. Somewhere my heart has always wanted to take me…….

  11. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    Hi Jasmine, that’s music to my ears! I’m so pleased you stopped by, always a pleasure to hear from you. :)
    It was a lovely holiday, You should go – it’s so worth it and I bet you and Frank will get more out of it then the average tourist! xxx

  12. says

    New follower from the blog hop! Your photos are absolutely beautiful! I went to Rome about ten years ago and it was such an amazing experience. Your photos made me want to go to Europe again. Thanks for the inspiring post 😉

  13. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    Ah, how nice of you to stop by! :) Thank you for your lovely words. I’ll stop by and see what you do, too! :) Nice to be connected. xx

  14. says

    Stunning photographs. Rome is one of my fave places on earth, my husband’d family come from just outside, and these pictures really take me back.

    Popping over from Word of the week

  15. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    So glad you liked what you see @fashion-mommy! :) I can see why people return to Rome again and again. Wow! You must really have a special relationship with the place :) xx

  16. says

    So many wonderful photos! What a fabulous trip. Rome is on my must visit list. I’ve explored Venice, Florence, Verona and The Lakes, but not Rome..yet! And I so want that ice cream! Thanks for sharing with #WotW

  17. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    Thanks @the reading residence and Notmyyearoff :) I think there’s something in the myth that you always yearn to return to Rome, such a fantastic place! Thanks for stopping by :) xx

  18. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    Thanks Laura and Hannah… The food was unsurpassed, amongst the other very big plusses! I still haven’t gotten over post-holiday blues. :) xx

  19. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    Thank you Claire, for stopping by and liking what you saw :) Good to be connected :) xx

  20. says

    Lovely photographs! Would love to visit Italy one day. Love the carnival, I’ve always loved them. Also like your daughter’s name :) Rayna like the spanish word reina. In my country (Philippines), we’d spell it “reyna” :) #whatsthestory.

  21. says

    Wow what a post! Absolutely love Rome, it’s such a beautiful city. Love your photos, just stunning. Reminds me that we must get back there! Thank you for sharing with #whatsthestory

  22. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    Thank you Funky Wellies, Dean of Little Steps and Charly Dove! Aw, such lovely comments :). Will be over soon to see what you do and spread some blogging love. Thanks for popping by! xxx

  23. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    Thanks Mary and Coombe Mill! I suppose that will be the everlasting lure of a historical city :) I can’t wait to go back for more! xxx

  24. says

    Wow Rome is top of my list of places to visit. In fact I would love to tour Italy as there is so much to be seen! Your photos are beautiful and I’m incredibly jealous as I won’t be visiting until the kids are older, Haven holidays is as far as we can stretch at the moment lol!

  25. Intrepid Misadventurer says

    Ah, ladies, what can I say…I still haven’t quite got over the fabulous time we had! Would return in a heartbeat! :) Thank you for your lovely comments!xx

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