My 10 Year Anniversary with Rome

Thanks to those fun Facebook memories, I was reminded that July 3rd, 2007 I arrived in Rome for the first time.

I had traveled before. We traveled to the Caribbean often and I had spent a month in Ireland a few years before, but this trip was different.

I was traveling as a supervisor for a high school English credit (which just so happened to have my brother and cousin taking the class). The students had class during the day, and we spent our afternoons Rome-ing around.

That first day exploring we visited the Baths of the Diocletion, the Piazza della Republica and the Spanish Steps. I remember so vividly walking from the Baths to the Spanish Steps when it hit me – these were the roads that an ancient civilization walked on, these were the places they built. Here I was, thousands of years later, being in awe of all of it. That feeling of being in awe followed me each day – to the Vatican, through the Forum, to the Pantheon and on our day trip to Florence.

That month changed my life. I learned so much, about myself and this beautiful city. I grew as a person. I found a strength in me I didn’t know I had. It sparked a love of travel and need to continue exploring the world.

No matter where my travels take me, I always feel a calling back to the Eternal City.

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Italy – May 2017 Update

Okay. I admit it. I was far too boastful in my trip planning. After thinking about it (logically and financially) we’ve made some changes to our trip.

Here’s the thing – as much as I love Italy (and I really do) there are some cities *cough*Venice*cough* that I want to go to once and feel as though I don’t need to go back. We also realized there was more we wanted to see and do in Emilia Romagna.

Here it goes:

Day 1: Land in Venice at 7:30am. Take a nap and stroll around.
Day 2: Venice tour day!
Day 3: Day trip from Venice to Burano.
Day 4: Drive to & tour Verona.
Day 5: Drive to Bologna, stopping at Parma.
Day 6: Bologna tour day!
Day 7: Day trip from Bologna to Modena.
Day 8: Train from Bologna to Rome!!
Days 9 & 10: Tour Roma.
Day 11: Fly home.

Last weekend we booked all of our accommodations so now it’s just time to plan our tours!!

If anyone has any recommendations or tips for these cities, please share!

Italy – May 2017

I feel like an evil genius! I’ve figured it out!

I believe I’ve mapped out the best trip possible for us starting in Venice and ending in Rome.

Here it goes:

Day 1: Land in Venice at 7:30am. Take a nap and stroll around.
Day 2: Venice tour day!
Day 3: Day trip from Venice to Burano.
Day 4: Drive to Golfo Paradiso, after spending a few hours in Verona.
Day 5: Tour Golfo Paradiso.
Day 6: Drive from Golfo Paradiso to Bologna, stopping at Parma & Modena on the way.
Day 7: Bologna tour day!
Day 8: Train from Bologna to Rome!!
Days 9 & 10: Tour Roma.
Day 11: Fly home.

We’re going to be moving a LOT more than normal but I think we’ll be okay!

If anyone has any recommendations or tips for these cities, please share!

Pizza & Gelato

It’s official!

We’re heading back to Italy this May for our 30th birthdays and 5 year wedding anniversary!

We have a very vague plan right now – fly into Venice and fly home from Rome. The idea is to road trip our way down and *finally* be reunited with Roma for the last few days. The countdown begins to all of the pizza & gelato… and Parmesan…and prosciutto…and *drool*…

Here is my wish list of stops:

~ Venice
~ Burano
~ Verona
~ Bellagio and Lake Como
~ Parma, Bologna and Modena
~ Golfo Paradiso
~ Maybe Florence
~ And finally, Rome.

Hopefully we can fit it all in! We will be going on our shortest trip to Europe so fingers crossed!!

Fava Bean Puree with Cicoria and Cardone

In May 2014 we spent two weeks in the south of Italy, road tripping from town to town all along the heel of the country. Fave e cicoria was of our favourite primi plates, instead of pasta! After we got home I was dying to recreate it. Here it is, hope you enjoy!


Fave e Cicoria Ingredients

1 Can Fava Beans, drained (I used Unico)
4 Medium potatoes, peeled
1 bunch cicoria/dandelion (If you can’t find cicoria, rapini is a good alternative)
Olive Oil
Garlic, peeled and sliced
Salt

Cut up the potatoes and put in boiling water. Let potatoes cook.

In the meantime, cut the cicoria into 3 or 4 inch pieces, put in boiling water. Let cook for 15 minutes. Drain the cicoria and heat up some olive oil and sliced garlic in the pot. Let the garlic start to cook (it should become fragrant), then add the cicoria back. Sauté on medium heat until the fave is done. Salt to taste.

Drain the potatoes, saving some of the water. Put the beans and cooked potatoes in a food processor with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Turn the processor on until the mixture is the smooth. If it is still chunky and you think it needs more liquid, add some of the leftover hot water.

Drizzle with olive oil. Serve with toasted bread.


Cardone

Cardone isn’t traditionally served with this, but it’s in season and I had a craving so it became part of our dinner.

Ingredients

Cardone
Olive oil
Salt
Garlic, peeled and sliced

Cut the cardone into 1 inch pieces and put in boiling water. Boil for 35 minutes.

Drain the cardone. Heat olive oil and garlic in the pot. Add the cardone back and sautee on low for 15 minutes. Salt to taste.

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Buon Appetito!