Having an Italian origin has always played a major influence in my life and I am consistently eager to travel and visit Italy. This was my second visit to Rome accompanied by 4 wonderful friends where we shared a brilliant time enjoying each others company (they may say otherwise), laughing, appreciating the beauty of Rome and of course EATING!!! I must say every time I visit Italy I fall in love with it over and over again and it is truthful for me to say that I smile like a weirdo when I am there I feel so content and happy. But this trip was even more special because of the company that I was with.
Visiting Italy for short periods of time pays a price to my practice with the Italian language and I must say I was nervous to put my knowledge into action. Slowly, slowly it started to come back to me but still needs a hell lot of work (my companions can back me up on that one!).
Fortunately our place of accommodation was located in the heart of the city where the Colosseum was a short walk away. I must say at this point that Hotel Apollo provided us with a charming apartment which was a delightful place to stay. The gentleman who I believe owns or runs the establishment was incredibly welcoming and was able to cater to our needs. I would definitely recommend and revisit this hotel; it was truly wonderful.
Being the ‘Italian’ in the group I was assigned the job of navigator and translator for the duration of the trip- yes I had my own map which at the end of our 4 days was scrunched up but put to very good use. Having previously visited Rome I wanted to make sure that my friends gained the best experience and was adamant that they saw all the major cites and monuments. Yes, they were in for a real treat and a lot of walking!
My fellow travellers have been aware of my passion for Italian culture and food for a few years now and once we were in Italy I wanted them to understand, taste and fully agree that Italian food is simply wonderful!!! (Don’t deny it boys!) Even though I cannot state their opinions in this post I can confidently express that they love Italian food too! Particularly on one of the days in Rome we stopped off for lunch just opposite the Altare della Patria where one friend took the liberty of being slightly more adventurous with their food palate by trying Arancina or rice ball as we say in English. This is a dish that consists of a meat ragu which is then stuffed into a risotto rice ball and then deep fried. This is quite a common dish to find in numerous areas in Italy; it is truly delicious. On another day in Rome we had lunch just outside the Pantheon and it made me stop and think about how lucky I was to be in such a beautiful city, beautiful company and I didn’t want it to end; to be in a location with Dean Martin’s That’s Amore playing in the background is a memory that I will treasure.
Our time in Rome was ‘educational’ for one friend as his thought process included that when abroad in hot countries ones body is somewhat immune to the heat and regardless of our encouragement in using sun cream our dear friend remained unprotected for an entire day. Yes, you can see where I am going with this… He found out the hard way. He did however then purchase a delightful hat for protection for our remaining days in Rome which in all honesty did make him look mafioso and during our long wait for the Vatican it became a useful fan.
A daily ‘ritual’ was what one friend called Gelato Time, the part of the day where one could not refuse the amazingness that is Italian ice cream. During my travels to Italy it is of vital importance for my stomach to have bacio (kiss) ice cream as this is made with my favourite chocolate, Baci Perugina. Words cannot describe the taste of this ice cream, it is THAT good! We were somewhat taken aback when we found viagra ice cream (yes, you did read that correctly). None of us were feeling quite adventurous for that flavour but apparently it is meant to taste rather nice- perhaps for another visit?
Rome is absolutely beautiful and my love of Italy just grows and grows. For my readers I would like to share some of my photos with you and I hope you enjoy looking through them. I would also like to leave a small message for my wonderful friends and would like to thank them for an amazing time in Rome. I truly had a fantastic four days with you guys and I will miss you all so much.
As we say in Italian ci vediamo presto!