What I ate: Da Mario's

January 26, 2016

Our second last meal in Rome was at Da Mario's. It doesn't have a patio so it does not get as much attention from tourists but I highly recommend coming here to eat. I felt at home eating here and it's no fuss place. Everything was set and the food was really good. 

My boyfriend ordered the famous Roman tripe for dinner while I ordered the fresh pasta with porcini mushrooms. My absolute favourite! This was even better than the pasta from Da Massi. I can't even describe each flavorful bite of this pasta. Total dream! 

And we also ordered potatoes with sausages and it was also fantastic! I never have room for dessert after dinner so my loss :(

10 Reasons why you should stay in Trastevere area in Rome

January 19, 2016

After reading blogs and searching on google, I picked the Trastevere (meaning "across the Tiber") neighbourhood for my stay in Rome. I booked my hotels there only knowing that it was a great place to explore with great restaurants. I didn't delve into much more reasoning. And I was so happy that I stayed in Trastevere because I had the best time in Rome because of it. I LOVE LOVE this neighbourhood! I always felt excited to come back to my hotel in Trastevere after sightseeing all day. It felt like home to me.

1. Less touristy - although Trastevere is not devoid of tourists but it is still less busy compared to the City Centre. It's not brimming with tourists. Although I did spot a few guided tours during the day but it's not crowded as the Termini station area. 

2. Great location - I didn't know until I arrived in Rome that most of the tourist sites will be walking distance from Trastevere. I was so happy that I didn't have to take the bus/tram all the time since it was always packed. I ended up walking to get to the tourist sites. The Vatican was only a 15 minute walk, the Colosseum about 20 minutes, everything can be reached by foot. It was a great way to see Rome! And if you don't want to walk, you can take the tram or bus to get to the different piazza's and sites. 

3. Amazing restaurants - As a person who loves to eat, this was what drew me in to Trastevere and I was not disappointed. Tons of restaurants are located in Trastevere that serves amazing food for a really good price. I personally loved going to restaurants that were farther away from the main piazza. I found really good restaurants that were tucked in empty little streets but had DELICIOUS food! 

4. Superb bars/nightlife - Trastevere becomes more alive at night when bars are open for happy hour. It was fun to go to small bars and sit outside the patio to people watch and drink Aperol spritz! Really good prices too!

5. Budget friendly - You will pay less here than eating out in the centre of Rome. The same for drinks and gelato. You can have a great meal for less than 25 euros for two people here that you can't get in the City Centre. Ditto for hotels! I stayed in a really great hotel for a very good price and it was spacious! 

6. Magical side streets - The best part is getting lost in the cobble stoned alleyways. Everything is photogenic here! Buildings that are covered in ivy leaves, the cutest cats, pastel buildings, and laundry hanging out.  You will discover amazing artisanal shops! It feels like I am transported to a magical place when I walked around Trastevere and it's even more amazing at night. 

7. Tiber river - Trastevere means "across the river" and once you do, you will never look back (haha I kid) but you will never stay in a different area in Rome ;) A loved crossing the bridges to get to the other side of the Tiber river as it is lined with maple trees on either sides. It is very picturesque especially at night. A loved strolling along the river especially after dinner.

8. The best gelato  - My absolute favourite part of Trastevere is the gelato from Fior di Luna. Trust me it's the best! Do not miss it! The pistachio flavour gelato made me melt. I think I almost cried when I tasted it. This alone should be a reason not to miss this area. 

9. Safe - It's very safe to walk around at night. I did not feel scared walking around the alleyways at night.

10. Flea market - there is an amazing Sunday flea market here! Sadly, I missed it when we arrived on a Sunday because jet lag kicked in but I spoke to a fellow hotel guest and she said it was amazing! More reasons to go back to Trastevere.

Do you need more convincing? 

Gelato in Rome

January 12, 2016

I had this mission to eat gelato every day while in Italy! No matter how many calories; I wanted to try different gelateria's to taste different flavours and variety. So, without further ado, here is the list I visited in Rome.  Also, I always ordered my gelato in the smallest cup possible so I wouldn't feel guilty. I must say the prices of gelato in Trastevere is also cheaper than in the centre of Rome. In Trastevere the small gelato cup is around  €2.  But of course it was cheaper in Naples for €1.70!

Gelateria Alla Scala  -  (Via Della Scala, 51, Roma) My first gelato in Italy. I picked fruity flavours - lemon and strawberry. You can really taste the flavours of the lemon and strawberry.

Fior di Luna -(Via della Lungaretta, 96, 00153 Roma). This is my absolute favourite gelateria in Rome. The first time I came here, I ordered the pistachio flavour and it was to die for!!! I have never tasted pistachio that way. It's my favourite flavour but no one does it justice except Fior di Luna. I ate the gelato so quickly! 

The second time I ordered persimmon and pistachio! 

La Giulietta -(Borgo di Santo Spirito, 11, 00193 Rome). This was my well deserved treat after the Vatican museum. I was so tired that I needed something sweet to perk me up (excuses!!). Hazelnut flavour gelato for the cure. 

Il Gelatone - (28 Via dei Serpenti, 00184 Rome). Found this place while walking on a side street to see the Colosseum. So happy I went in and got myself a cup of crema and nutella flavour. 

Gelateria Regusto -(Piazza San Giovanni della Malva, 9, Trastevere). Look at that cup overflowing! Really generous servings! Got my pistachio flavour and I can't remember the other flavour...mmm..But nothing beats Fior di Luna pistachio. 

Grom gelato -Termini Station (lots of locations). I was waiting for my train to Naples when I killed time by eating this. Made the mistake of ordering the whipped cream. It was disgusting and expensive. Just get the gelato and skip the cream. I ordered the pistachio and tiramisu flavour. 

Mission Accomplished! Let me know your favourites in Rome. I might come back just for the gelato ;)

What I Ate: Dar poeta

January 8, 2016

I read a lot of good reviews of Dar Poeta Restaurant in Rome. I knew it was very close to my B & B accommodation but I didn't know it was literally at my front door. Such a pleasant surprise! I arrived just after lunch in Rome and I was pondering if I should eat at Dar Poeta but decided against it. I wasn't thinking clearly. I needed to get bearings so I went to a different restaurant.

I went back to my hotel and took a nap. When I finally woke up, it was raining hard so I decided to go to Dar Poeta for convenience. Snapped the last table on the main floor and enjoyed a superb pizza! I can't even remember what I ordered but it was delicious and the wine was fantastic!! 

There was a group of girls that came in solely for ordering the pizza filled with nutella. I didn't have room in my stomach for that. It was HUGE! 

The key to getting a table at Dar Poeta is going off hours or pretty early for dinner, otherwise, prepare to line up and wait for awhile.

I ended up going here 3 times!!! It was really fun to sit on the patio with pizza and drinking wine. La dolce vita!


January 5, 2016

I don't know why it's taking me forever to start writing about Italy. My head is still there. I'm pining for the streets of Trastevere and Naples. I didn't expect to fall in love again (story of my life). But boy oh boy did I. I had no expectations about Italy. I knew it was going to be great because I can finally see all the art that I've been dreaming about since highschool but I didn't know I was going to fall in love with the people too! 

I guess I have enough love to go around..or something like that because there you have it. I'm head over heels about Italy and especially the dog and tomatoes in Naples. Who falls in love with a strange dog or tomatoes? 

Just me. 

Rome is better on foot. You get a great workout and you're not waiting for the bus/train that is packed all the time. Trust me, just walk! It's better for you and less likely that you will get pick pocketed while on a full bus. 

Hope you are having a great start for 2016! A lot more of Italy coming up.

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