Friday, 10 April 2015

My trip to Rome in 2014...


I guess I've talked enough about our kitchen, so this post will be a little different from my older ones, but guess it's still going to be about food :D haha

Well, seems like I constantly think about food, but I can't help it because I love food and I love to think about things that I love.

But don't worry mum! As a responsible student, I still enjoy "not" thinking about food while studying my long-time favourite subject of peace & human rights ;)

Anyways... :)

Now that I finally feel spring has arrived in the UK, it reminded me of my amazing trip last year.

All the pictures were taken with my iPhone 5 :)
It was exactly around this time (7th-14th, April, 2014) when I travelled to Rome, Italy with my best friend back in London :)

Some people asked us, "wasn't it too long to stay in one city?" about our exclusive 7-day-stay in Rome.

Well, the answer was... "Never!"
We were so determined to visit all the famous & hidden places in Rome :) And we did it - and even we wished we had more time!

Unfortunately, I don't remember much of the names of the places we loved...only because it's been a year + I have a memory of goldfish in terms of remembering names (!)...but I'll try my best to recall some of the stuff :)

So, we took Ryan Air from London, Stansted Airport to Ciampino Airport, and Terravision coach to Rome Termini station (£4!) where our hostel was located :)

It was called, Hostels Alessandro, a youth hostel in a 6 bed mixed dorm style, placed just a stone throw away from the station :)* And it was only around £18/per person, per night! :D

Bed rooms, other utility rooms, and common room were all hygienic + spacious! And, all the people staying there & hostel staffs were so lovely and friendly that we often had a nice chat together at the end of the day :)

We were very happy that we chose this place for us to stay after all :)

* But you always have to be careful when you are staying in a dormitory style hostel as some people might get very interested in what you might have - we were extra careful about our security, but were pretty lucky that people staying in our room were all very kind.

Carrying your valuables with you all the time + making sure you double-lock your locker with a key chain doesn't hurt anyone, but can be a good deterrent!

Anyways, the weather was excellent, and we got to visit all the major sight-seeing places in Rome + Vatican City, museums, churches, catacombs, ruins, galleries, markets, ballet recital, as well as climbing up all the way to the very top of Saint Peter's!

All the people we've met and the places we've been to were wonderful and truly amazing, which made me believe again of human benevolence, as well as feel grateful for everything and the fact that I'm alive.

Well, it's very personal but...this trip was especially special as a little earlier that year, I lost my loving family member back in Japan - and the fact that I couldn't say the last goodbye deeply affected me - I couldn't cope well with my emotion and my guilt for a while. But somehow this trip made me feel very close to her and I started to feel like she prepared all those amazing experiences for me to be happy again.

Capuchin Crypt was one of the places where brought me strong emotions and a relief.

I could go on more details about where we were and stuff but...
I guess it's the time again to talk about....

Food !! Of course, why not? :)
nb. Most of the food in the pictures contains gluten.

We absolutely loved the food there! Of course, we were expecting this as Italy is famous for its gourmet food, but I believe a tip to have lovely meals every time there was to check either the guardian, tripadvisor or Yelp for where to go before actually going out, which, in our case, never let us down or complain about food when we left the restaurants :)

As shown in the pictures, it's almost funny how much pasta we consumed just in seven days! I guess we were like, "let's compare the taste of carbonara in many different restaurants!" :D

In terms of gluten-free products in Rome, I remember me being very excited by finding many different kinds of GF pasta as well as sweets & snacks, which I got some for David, but I don't remember which one it was :D Though I still remember this pasta & spice shop in Vatican City, called Castroni where they had some interesting GF pasta :)

I'm afraid that I forgot most of the names of the restaurants - except for two of them. One was called, Mamma Angela's - in the very first picture here :) And the other was called, Da Francesco - the third one :) Both had lovely atmosphere as well as food! I've got two more restaurants that I really really want to remember as the customer services & food were excellent, but sadly I have no clue :(* 
* I'll update this when I happen to remember by chance :)

Ok, so there's one more thing to talk about in terms of this trip :)

Actually, the initial reason* why me and my friend decided to even visit Italy was because we had cravings for...

Italian Gelato! :)

You know as a big fan of Audrey Hepburn, I had this long-time fantasy about eating gelato on the Spanish steps just like her in Roman Holiday :D

* Well, to be honest, there were other reasons as well, like wanting to feel the history of the good-old Roman empire, visiting the foundation of Catholicism, and so forth :D

Anyways, now let me make some comments on some of the Gelateria we've been to...:)

San Crispino (picture at the bottom)

Though our expectations were very high particularly as this was our very first Gelateria, it was not as good as we imagined, and was more expensive than we though it would be. The place was crowded with tourists, and the service was rather rude. In spite of that, the gelato itself was good, especially the mandarine flavour was refreshing and nice :) 

Gelateria Frullati (on the right in the middle)

So, the next one in Vatican City was lovely :) It's a tiny little Gelateria and was cute how the people making gelato were standing side by side in a small counter and taking orders in a very friendly manner :) We went there twice and we asked for their recommendation each time, which were all tasty and lovely! Also, you can get some cream on top for free :)

Giolitti (on the left in the middle)

We went back to this place for like 4 times, twice in the same day sometimes :D You first have to get a ticket from the counter where you pay :) Then bring the ticket to this fabulous gelato case with so many flavours :) Staffs there are very friendly and let you try some of the flavours :) The place looks very sophisticated as well! 

Gelateria "Come il Latte" (at the very top!)

We sincerely adored this place. We even went back on the day of the massive strike in Rome and when all the roads were shut. Nonetheless, their gelato - its flavours & presentation were all superb. And the owner & staffs were all incredibly friendly! What's convincing as well is that they seemed to invite more or as many locals as tourists like ourself, which is always a good sign :)

As a wise man would say "Actions speak louder than words", please go to Rome and have this amazing gelato at Latte!*

* I'm not working for them or anyone, but just simply sharing my sincere opinions :D

I always learn new things each time I travel, small or big - and the fact that I'm currently living outside of Japan by myself in the UK is still a big journey to me as well. Through my stay in Rome last year - and now that just by remembering it, I'm more convinced that travelling is nutritious to our being and something that helps our mind to flourish :) All the amazing things that I discover, the kindness of people, history, food and even gelato, was through the interaction with others, which make me love humanity more and more :)

I'm so glad that I've made the decision to visit Rome, and I would love to go back there once again. But the next time, perhaps I'll try harder to remember things more.

:D haha

Cheers! the loving memory of my beloved granny


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