La Dolce Vita in the Eternal City

| August 17, 2009

I’m just back from having spent 5 days walking around Rome and sitting in cafes sipping on coffees and people watching.  I was lucky to be staying with a friend who is from Rome and so knows the “Real” Rome!  After the mandatory stops at the Pantheon, Colosseum, St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Castel St. Angelo, and Piazza Navona, you only really scratch the surface of this city that just gushes with history and art at every corner.  To see the real Rome you then have to venture in to the smaller streets and piazzas.

Our main hangout joint ended up being Campo dei Fiori which is a square near Piazza Navona that is not quite as crowded and filled with tourists, and there’s a great little coffee shop there leading on to Piazza Farnese (where you will find the stunning French Embassy).  Our other lounging spot was in the Trastevere neighborhood where the people from Rome mostly hang out at night.

So, a day in the eternal city Kat and Sarah style commences with breakfast al bar: cappuccino and bombolone or cornetto (not the ice-cream but the croissant type thing).  You then proceed to walk around the Eternal City walking the cobble-stoned streets and taking in the sites for a couple of hours.  Side note and quick tip: 2nd week of August is the best time to be shopping in Rome as the sales are at their peak!!! Additional side note: 2nd week in August is also easily the hottest week in the year and you will just want to collapse after a couple of hours walking around so make sure you make lots of pit stops for coffees and granitas.

Wanting to keep food costs on the cheap side, lunch consisted of a “pizza al taglio” which is essentially a slice from a big rectangular pizza (check out the pic).  Topping selections vary, but caprese, prosciutto, quattro formaggi, melanzane (eggplant) are usually present on the list.  All of this washed down with a Coke, a European Coke with actual sugar in it and not corn syrup – tastes so much better.

After some more walking around and shopping, we decided to keep dinner on the light side seeing as it was still pretty hot by 10pm.  I opted for some rotoli of mozzarella di bufala with bresaola on a bed of rucola (arugola).  Very good choice and actually quite filling.  Sadly, I could not get a decent shot of the dish as it was too dark and I only had my iPhone with me.  On this particular day, I was so tired and full that I wasn’t able to make room for gelato.  Made up for it the next day though!

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Category: Europe, Featured Articles: Travel & Culture, Travel & Culture

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Kat is not only a whiz at online new media and social networking–is the brains getting this site up and running!–but she’s also a monster on the tennis courts. Her penchant for honesty and genuine pursuit to lead a good life has garnered her many fans, although she is far too modest to even realize this. A connoisseur of espressos, cappuccinos and Italian/Irish gastronomy, Kat will gladly share her opinions in one of four languages. Check out Kat’s site if you need help with your social media and web communications strategies

Comments (4)

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  1. Greg says:

    I loved hanging out in Rome. One of my favorite spots was Campo dei Fiori. My wife and I stumbled upon it and then brought several people from the tour we were on. I purchased spices from the vendor there and am still cooking with some of them. Every time I get the spices out I think of Campo dei Fiori and how I wish there was someplace like that in the United States, more specifically in Durham so I could go there everyday and hang out. As a tourist the one thing we found was never eat in any of the popular squares, always wonder a few blocks away. You could always find better cheaper food.

  2. Kat says:

    Hi Greg,

    Completely agree with you about not eating in the touristy areas in Rome. The food is much better of the beaten track. I was lucky that I got to stay with a friend who has lived there all her life so really knows where all the gems of the city are. Glad you had a great time in Rome.

  3. Now that you’re home from the eternal city, keep it going. To learn how to live like an Italian here, read Friday Evening: Creating La Dolce Vita, one bite at a time. You can view the delicious photography and read the humorous excerpts at I hope yuou enjoy the free seasonal menus available on the website for your inspirational first steps. Buon appetito!

  4. Roz (bella) says:

    I so wish to visit Rome someday and greatly appreciate your descriptive words of your visits there and for your recommendations on places to see and stop at. Thank you so much! ~ roz