Roman Holiday II

The adventures continued for another 6 days. It was a long but marvelous vacation.

Continuamo.

P1040216Thursday: We ventured to the magical island of Capri and had our breath taken away multiple times by the stunning views and long hikes up steep hills.  For dinner after our long day? Bistrot, a cute and delectable restaurant almost next to our AirBnb that we actually went to on Wednesday night as well! We made friends with our waiter (running theme) and ate like queens. Amazing experience I will never forget. Grazie, Federico. I will find you on WhatsApp someday like you requested.

Friday: Impromptu trip back to Rome. I’m pretty certain both me and Julia said at one point “let’s go home early.” Home = Rome. On the way, we stopped in Naples for pastiera at Gambrinus and pizza at Da Michele.IMG_6572

Saturday: EVI ARRIVES! I was so lucky to be joined on this trip by two beyond lovely people. It was such a nice dose of home life. Evi and I got lunch and had our worlds rocked by Old Bridge gelato. “This is really doing something to me.” – Evi, on Old Bridge gelato. We headed to Dar Poeta for pizza with Julia on her last night, and somehow afterwards Evi and I end up back at the Irish pub. (I know the way.)

Processed with VSCOcam with 5 presetSunday: Buona Pasqua! To celebrate? Dolce Maniera. By this point you’d have to pay me to stay away. We took a nice walk around Rome to see all of the sights but mostly to get gelato from Giolitti (round 3 at this point). In comparing the two, Evi and I both slightly preferred Old Bridge but let me tell you… the fico caramellato flavor from Giolitti is now, hands down, a crucial element in my hypothetical “last meal.”

Monday: The goal of this day was to see some stuff on our way to the aventine keyhole, eat lunch in Testaccio and hit up Old Bridge gelato on the way back. Mission. Accomplished.

Tuesday: Evi flies back to Chicago, I fly back to Reggio, and the memories from this amazing trip settle in to last forever.

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P1040088 Thank you Julia, my honey, and Evi, I still think his name is Krad, for making this holiday even better than I could have imagined.

Current day: I passed my exam from Italian level A2 and moved up with a few of my friends to B1. The course is difficult but I appreciate the challenge and am learning so much. Tutoring is going well, the kids are making me laugh every day, and I can’t believe I only have two weeks left here.

Source: my own

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Roman Holiday

Two days after my last post, I left for a 12 day trip to Rome and the Gulf of Naples. Now, I’m back in Villa San Giovanni, back to my routine and trying to squeeze the most out of the next two weeks before I return to Chicago. Because I only packed a backpack for 12 days (ouch) I couldn’t blog real-time. So, hopefully the following notes and pictures will suffice as a retelling of my lovely Italian holiday. And yes I am literally wearing the same thing in most photos. I packed in one backpack for 12 days, remember?

Here’s a bit about the first half of the trip!IMG_6345

Friday: Panic in Fiumicino. How am I supposed to meet up with my pre-arranged, Italian-speaking cab driver in this gigantic airport? Fumble my way through Italian phone/text conversations, that’s how! JULIA ARRIVES!!

Saturday: Paradise. The Taste of Testaccio tour was one of the most magnificent things I’ve ever done. Julia and I ate our way through one of Rome’s coolest neighborhoods, guided by an even cooler lady who taught us so many things about Roman food, Italian customs, etc.

Processed with VSCOcam with se1 presetSunday: First stop: Dolce Maniera. One cornetto, one ciambella… 60 cents. “We’re definitely coming back to this place.” Next, Giolitti’s famous gelato knocks our socks off. “We’re also
definitely coming back to this place!” Night ends at an Irish pub in the middle of Rome filled with hilarious people? “…. We’ll probably have to come back to this place, too.”

Monday: Returned to Giolitti (told ya so), saw the remaining sights in Rome and ate pizza at Brillo Parlante which ended with a free dessert from our waiter – “For my honeys.” – and an invitation to continue drinking at a nearby bar after his shift. Purtroppo, we declined.Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset

Tuesday: Dolce Maniera (we keep our promises) to buy breakfast treats and colomba di pasqua to take to Castellammare with us. We took a lonnng train ride to Naples and then another long Circumvesuviana ride to Castellammare di Stabia, our home base for the next few days. We had dinner in this night. Wine on wine on wine on cheese… Things got silly.

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Wednesday: Pompeii! Julia and I both remember learning about Pompeii in middle school and being horrified by the events. This day, I was fascinated with the rowdy group of English boys running around practically wrestling while standing up. Their teacher was getting really tired of reminding them, “You’re in an ANCIENT civilization. Act like it!!”

 

To be continued…

Source: my own

InstaTravel

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Let’s just be honest. Instagram is the coolest kid on the block. Sure, sometimes you’re scrolling past seven selfies (same person, different angle) and a fuzzy picture of a slice of pizza to find a gem, but trust me when I say: If you follow the right instapeeps, you most certainly will find gems.

I follow Jamie Oliver because that’s just mandatory. I follow Duff Goldman, Urban Outfitters, and a local pie shop, but what I’ve found to be the most exciting are the average, every day people who have built themselves little Insta-Empires. People who are just wizards behind the iPhone camera lens, and wizards with their editing apps. They have amassed hundreds of thousands of followers just because they make things look pretty. Or rustic. Or edgy. Pick your adjective, we could go on forever! I’m particularly fond of the people I’ve found who are living in countries I love, who apparently spend all day walking around Paris or Rome snapping shots for me to enjoy. How kind of them!

The above shot from Instagram was taken by yours truly at St. Pauls in London, but if you really want some eye candy, check out the list of IGers below whom I love to live vicariously through. You won’t be disappointed. Unless you have Europhobia.

It’s 10am on a Monday. Am I waltzing down a side street in Montepulciano?

No. No I am not.

I’m just gazing intensely at a photo fit in a tiny square on my phone. But for a second there…

 

Travel IGers:

http://instagram.com/wisslaren – Crisp, clean shots of Sweden

http://instagram.com/twheat – Crazy cool Hong Kong & Tokyo photos

http://instagram.com/nathparis – Paris – magical

http://instagram.com/parisbug – Just livin’ life in the French countryside

http://instagram.com/Jeera – Fun London edits

http://instagram.com/cucinadigitale – Ahh, Rome.

http://instagram.com/aufgetaucht – Berlin-based