Roma – La Città Eterna

Yesterday was definitely one of the best days ever, spent in the beautiful city of Rome! ♥

In the morning we caught the train+metropolitana, had caffè al bar, wandered around the piazzas and then finally met up with Claudia (meno male) just in time for…our private tour of the Italian Parliament House!

It was SO amazing, il Palazzo Montecitorio. Unfortunately we couldn’t take any photos inside due to the stringent security measures, but I’ll try describing it as best I can anyways. Divided into two sections between ‘historical’ and ‘modern’, the place was enormous and the furnishings were just so beautiful. With red-carpet lined floors covering all the corridors, we walked through ‘Il Transatlantico’, saw the different rooms like ‘La Sala Verde’ [The Green Room] and ‘La Sala del Casellario’ [The Mailbox Room], and sat in for a segment of question time in ‘L’Aula’ [The Plenary Hall of the Chamber of Deputies].

But my favourite part was by far entering ‘La Sala Aldo Moro’ [previously La Stanza Gialla], ‘La Sala della Regina’ [The Queen’s Hall] and ‘La Sala della Lupa’ [The Hall of the She-wolf]. Inside ‘La Stanza Gialla’, there was a huge chandelier hanging from the ceiling, and everything was shiny gold – insomma, it was utterly incredible! It was such an overwhelming feeling to be in the exact places you’d normally see on TV during press conferences and diplomatic agreements. And to think that I’ve now been to the place where all the politics of Italy happens, oh so official!

The decorations, fittings and artworks inside…seeing the original tapestries of the Medici family, among so many other priceless pieces of art. It was SUCH a good tour, and I absolutely loved every part of it, ah amazing! Made even better due to the fact our ‘group tour’ consisted of two people, for the most part the guide spoke to us in Italiano – and I understood a large majority of it! After they checked our passports at the first entrance though, we somehow managed to bypass mandatory security screenings completely?

After Parliament we walked the entire Via del Corso and went shopping! I must say, I am loving ‘i saldi’, and the shops on that street were SO good. (ZARA), H&M, Gap, Sephora…and all the other stores you can’t find in Australia! And for those of you who know how much I LOVE (and am an absolute sucker for) touristy souvenir shopping, I was able to finalise all of my token memorabilia for the trip! Fun times!

Time passed so quickly, to the point that we only had lunch at 3pm at a pizzeria. In the afternoon we revisited the lovely Trevi Fountain followed by Piazza di Spagna, which was honestly so much fun! In search of the perfect gelato, one of the highlights of the day was definitely eating WAY too much of it, more than once by the way – assolutamente buonissimo! But seriously, why does gelato (+flavours) taste SO much better in Italy?

Such an enjoyable and unforgettable day, I can’t believe everything is starting to wrap up though – in exactly a week I would have just landed back in Sydney…just in time for school – non voglio partire!

A dopo!

xxxxxxx

Serena

[Palazzo Montecitorio]

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The land of coffee, pasta, pizza, lasagne, bread, cheese, gelato…

So it’s only really just occurred to me that I haven’t actually mentioned the idea of food much, and considering how much I love food – and the fact that I’m in Italy…

Well I don’t know where to begin, but in short: the food is absolutely amazing! To a certain extent, it’s somewhat different to the clichés available overseas – for example, the thought of having pineapple on a pizza is frowned upon, as well as ‘mochas’ referring to the little coffee pot (moka) used to make coffee instead of the name of coffee with added chocolate..?

But having tried more variants of pasta than one could ever imagine, I can now officially say that I’ve experienced Italian food, the authentic way. The day I first arrived, we went out for dinner at a pizzeria, and to my utmost surprise – the pizzas are HUGE.

Although I’ve always been the one who opts for an extra slice of pizza…the concept of ‘slices’ doesn’t exactly exist here. Everyone orders their own pizza, and they’re at least 1.5 times bigger than the ones you normally find in Sydney! So that night was just a bit awkward to say the least, given I felt full after a single slice – and only managed to finish half of it in the end. But over time (and practice), I can now finish one of these giant pizzas by myself in its entirety!

Spending last week in a completely different region of Italy was really interesting, in that we had the most incredible types of bread and cheese available everywhere. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of vegetables (yes, I use the term ‘vegetables’ loosely) like olives and fennel but when added to bread the Italian way, it’s actually so delicious! And the cheese…ah!

Moving onto dessert: proprio buonissima! Gelato, chocolate, nutella crêpes, strudel, tiramisu, struffoli, cannoli, panforte, pandoro, panettone, cheesecake, biscotti…the list goes on…

I’ve gotten to the stage where not having pasta for either lunch feels like something is missing; but I can’t say I’ll ever get used to having dinner so late ie 9:30pm sometimes! So while I’m having this incredible culinary adventure though, I must say it is DEFINITELY taking it’s toll elsewhere!

Buon appetito!

xxxxxxx

Serena

[Just a small snapshot of the amazing food! Ps the picture of the pizza by no means captures how enormous the plate actually was – trust me]

[Lunch]