Travel

My Roman Holiday

20/03/2012

Hello! I’m back from a long weekend in Rome , during which I immersed myself fully into the wedding planning, ate a month’s worth of carbs, saw my fiancé complete his first marathon, ran the Roma Fun 4k race, helped my 92-year old grandma make gnocchi and met the fabulous girl behind Un’Americana a Roma blog.

They were busy and eventful days, but also full of fun, love, sunshine and good food!  I started off on Friday with a visit to Villa San Nicola, the chosen venue of my wedding. Located in the outskirts of Rome, it has big gardens and a small lake with ducks and swans. It was a wonderful sunny day and I fell in love with the place!

I also went shopping for wedding favours, which in Italy are called bomboniere and come with sugar-coated almonds called confetti.

In preparation of Sandy’s marathon, we embarked on a “carbs’ marathon” – I felt compelled to support Sandy in this one as well! ;) I had dinner at the Roman bloggers’ favourite hangout place Open Baladin, where you get the best burgers and beers of Rome! On Saturday we went to a typical “trattoria” in Testaccio: Da Bucatino. Of course, I couldn’t leave without tasting their signature dish “Bucatini all’Amatriciana”, an enormous plate of perfectly cooked (“al dente”) bucatini in tomato sauce with bacon (“guanciale”). You even get your own bib, so that you can pitch in your pasta without worrying about dribbling sauce all over your clothes! :)

There was also a lot of homemade food: my mum’s pizza and my grandma’s potato gnocchi!

A Saturday afternoon stroll with my friends in my local neighbourhood of Ostia Lido, meant stopping at the famous Paglia Bar and Bakery. They only do “krapfen”, fried doughnuts filled with custard cream, chocolate or jam, but they are the BEST of Rome! In 30 years, I cannot recall ever seeing the shop without a queue!

Then yesterday it was St. Joseph (Father’s Day in Italy) and to celebrate I bought a tray of Bignè di San Giuseppe. Similar to what in Naples is called “zeppole”, in Rome we have bignè (beignets), choux pastry balls fried or oven cooked and filled with cream. As I didn’t have time to visit the famous Pasticceria Regoli, I bought them from my local bakery, but didn’t miss out a bit: they were heavenly!

More sweets and coffee were of course part of my Roman diet! :)

Finally, it was Marathon Day and I’m happy to report that Sandy completed it in under 4h30′, despite pulling a calf muscle halfway through and injuring his right knee! It was amazing meeting him at several checkpoints along the route, cheering him up together with the rest of “Team Sandy” and even running alongside him for a few meters! I am so proud of him for achieving this incredible result!

See you soon, Rome! I’ll be back in the summer!

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