Showing posts with label x marks the spot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label x marks the spot. Show all posts

Monday, 22 October 2012

mouth of truth

Bocca della Verita

The mouth of truth

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

ikea how to

In the land of motorbikes.......

Q.  How do you go shopping to Ikea? 
(or as the italians pronounce it 'ee-keh-ya')

A.  Find somewhere to strap that stuff on and involve some bungy ropes

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Saturday nutshell

Brunch at Nino's

Via 4 Novembre 97,

Cycling around Parco Appia Antica, exploring.....

Bicycle hire: 3euros an hour (you need to leave a drivers license or ID)

Parco appia antica

Parco appia antica

Parco appia antica

Parco appia antica

Parco appia antica

Parco appia antica

Parco appia antica

Parco appia antica

Parco appia antica

Parco appia antica

Parco appia antica

Took a glance at 'Le catacombe di San Callisto'....the christian catacombes which hold upto half a million graves.....

San Callisto Catacombe
Via Appia Antica, 110/126
8 euros entry with guided tour

christian catacombes rome

christian catacombes rome

Followed by a drive through the city and pizza.......then partaking in Romes 'Night of the musuems' where all the museums on 6th October were free by night! 

night of the museum rome 2012

So we visited the MAXXI museum designed by Zaha Hadid which is similar to 
the Tate Modern in London.

Via Guido Reni, 4 A

Entry is normally 11 euro

maxxi rome

The building is way more impressive than the Tate, but we found the exhibitions lacking somewhat (in our humble opinion). So yeh...we basically walked through deciding modern art was questionable but both appreciating the design of the building.

Maxxi Rome
Maxxi Rome

Maxxi Rome
Maxxi Rome
Maxxi Rome
Maxxi Rome

Maxxi Rome
Maxxi Rome

around 11pm we hot footed it over to Testaccio to check out the Macro museum which was holding it's annual photography festival. This was truly amazing. So many interesting exhibitions and live rock jazz in the background.

Piazza Orazio Giustiniani 4,

Entry normally 6 euro

macro testaccio

Housed in a 19th century slaughter house, this place was buzzing and not unexpectedly as every entry was free!

Testaccio reminds me of East London in so many ways, taking an area that was used for old agricultural use and making it the hip and trendy area to be. Or maybe it's just the people as they looked so 'east london'.

musak, via di monte testaccio 38/A

 A curved side street (via di monte) is home to bars and clubs galore. If you're there check out 'Musak' on the strip...a killer little club, where i literally danced for hours last week. But nothing kicks off until after midnight so grab a late dinner first.

Perfect saturday in Rome complete!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Visiting London

I came across this 'london on a budget' post at The Huffington post......

You simply have to watch just to hear how he pronounces 'pret a manger' and 'sainsburys'. Also how he describes 'cheap food' as triangle sandwiches?!

I have to give it to him, he gives a fair description of some great ways to see london on a budget. I know that it's quite rare to find free entrance to museums, especially in Rome.

But who would ever recommend Kings Cross London as the ideal place to find a B&B?

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Dairy bingo

1 line

They actually have banana yoghurt here! 
(No more buying muller crunch corners just for the banana yoghurt!)

banana yoghurt in italy

2 lines

No more holding out for Onken to bring back the limited edition vanilla with chocolate bits!
This is 'stacciatella', which is precisely that! You can get this as gelato as well, which is my current favourite!

stacciatella yoghurt italy

full house

You can get a stacciatella cake mix, just pour in the tin and pop in the oven........

stacciatella cake mix


a few pounds 
(in weight.........not monetary)

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Willy wonka...but for adults....and in Rome

Bestie pal Kristina (noted columnist for spirit and destiny magazine ( and her fella Genaro (creator of were visiting Italy on tour and stopped off in Rome to meet up!
So of course we had to take them to the chocolate bar, on vicolo del cinque, near pizza santa maria, Trastevere.

If you haven't been before, get in line.....a book shop, a bar, wine, chocolate........
need i say more?

This is the specials board which details combo shots served from a chocolate cup, 
topped with panna.

 With strict instructions to down the shot, dropping the cup into your mouth bottom first.

Watch out for the most sensual chocolate italian bar maid you've ever met, she's a great saleswoman....

oh the anticipation..........

Kristina then treated us to a turn on the piano! 
 all together now.....''Knees up mother brown........''
( was wasn't that, it was something far more elegant)

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Keeping Kosher

''do you know where the jewish ghetto is?'' the geek chic american girl said about 2 inches from my face.

I was hurrying to Trastevere so answered in my clipped english accent ''I have been there before but i've only been here two weeks so i haven't a clue on how to direct you, i'm sorry''

(This is where i wished i had pretended i was italian to feign innocence. ''Mi dispiace, non parlo inglese'')

''like, omg where are you from? she replied, instantly drawn to the accent

''i'm from London''

''like, omg, where in London''


''like, omg, my mother lives in London''

''oh right, whereabouts?''

''stanford hill?'' 

How she managed to make it sound like a university i don't know.

''oh cool, that's...ummm.....great''

(was this going to turn into one of those 'we know a mutual place, therefore you must know the person i'm speaking of?'

''So are you jewish?'' she said with expectant eyes.

Gotta love it right?

I'm a veritable chameleon, when in israel they think i'm Israeli, when in italy, Italian, get the picture. But the jews have a funny knack of seeking me out....sniffing my Jewish ancestry.

So because i truly was in a hurry i replied.....''Well, my dad is, so i'm kind of a half jew....but hey potatoes, potatoes?''

her interest suddenly wained.

jewish ghetto rome

So if course there's a jewish ghetto in Rome! It's not far from 'bocca di verita' (the mouth of truth) and it's a quiet, cute area. If you are jewish and want to keep kosher then head on over to 'Ba ghetto'.

There is a huge synagogue, and also a museum which i have yet to check out.

Needless to say there is always a horrific history linked with any jewish quarter anywhere in the world around the time on WW2. Because this morning i have no head for details here's an exert from life in italy website.....check it out for more details on the area!

The Roman Jews came directly from the Holy Land before the Diaspora, first arriving in the 2nd century BC to establish business ties. Then in 70AD Emperor Titus became angry when the Jews in Jerusalem would not worship him and he attacked Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple and brought home 50,000 Jewish slaves. The Popes eventually ruled the Jews and although some Popes treated the Roman Jews more humanely, others persecuted them.

During a time of an increase in anti-semitism, Pope Paul IV created the Jewish Ghetto in 1555. 4000 Jews were walled in on 7 acres of land. The Jews had to wear yellow scarves and caps, couldn't own property and a curfew was enforced. The Ghetto walls were finally torn down in 1848. In 1870 after Italian unification they were granted full rights and citizenship.

September 11, 1943 the Germans occupied Rome and 2000 Roman Jews were sent to concentration camps. Only 16 survived and returned to Rome. Pope John Paul II initiated steps toward healing between the Roman Catholic Church and the Jewish community saying the church should have stood stronger in defending the Jews during the Holocaust.

 So if i'm ever in the mood for latkes.............