Saturday, November 25, 2006

Autumn

One thing I love about Italy is the distinct change in Seasons and the new fruit and veges that arrive in the markets. When I first came to Italy I used to get very frustrated when I was unable to get a certain fruit or veg, as in NZ they were always available whether local or imported. Now I have accepted the fact that I can only get certain things when they are in season and in fact it has given me a greater appreciation of them as its something to look forward to.
Autumn has to be one of my favourite seasons, I love the green leavy veges, broccoletti, kale,friarielli, the fresh carciofi, porcini mushrooms and roasted chestnuts are the ultimate in comfort food.




Today was a beautiful day in Rome and it felt very Autumny whilst walking along the Tevere, the trees all changing colour and the river was very calming as the sun was beginning to set.





Blondie

Yesterday I took the plunge and decided to go very blonde. Even though I was reasonably happy with my hairdresser nearby I was finding that every time I went for highlights he never quite did enough, and due to lack of communication I wasn't able to express exactly the colour I wanted.
So I decided to pay a visit to my husbands friend Maurizio who has a salon in Rome. I have only had Maurizio cut my hair once when I first arrived in Italy and at the time I said 'never again' as I feared that I was going to leave earless!. Its not a nice feeling to have someone chopping away at your hair whilst he is looking in another direction talking to someone!!
Well yesterday I was desperate, so I went to see to him with a photo of Uma Thurman in hand, hoping he could transform me to the same colour. He did a pretty good job copying the colour, though I am now starting to freak out as its the first time I have had a full colour and I'm now worried about the mousy roots that are going to expose themselves any day now!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

What does one 'do' with a Cachi.

Today I bought my first Cachi. I have seen them in the markets quite a bit lately and usually just look at them and think what on earth would I do with one as I am not at all familiar with this fruit.
I peeled away the skin and was pleasantly suprised to find the inside very sweet with a sort of firm jellyish texture.
If anyone has any cooking/ dessert suggestions for the cache, please send them my way.

Grazie

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Napoli. I love it and hate it!

I have a real love hate relationship with Napoli (the birth place of Domenico, though he escaped at 15 years old!).

Lately I have been feeling a bit vulnerable and especially wary with all the violence that has been happening and especially since Domenico and his friend were held up at gun point last week.
They had just parked when a couple of guys on a motorbike pulled out a gun and asked if they had
any money, when they said they didn’t they just said OK and took off with a wave! Unbelievable! It seems to be a normal occurrence, though I would be freaking out.

My love of Napoli comes in the form of food. I just love Neapolitan pizza and desserts, as well as marinated Octopus Salad, made with the big octopus’, whilst sitting outside one of the waterfront restaurants on a balmy evening, watching all the crazy antics of the passersby.

I also love walking around the side streets of the Spanish area just off Via Roma, exploring the food shops and markets whilst dodging crazy Neapolitans on their scooters.

After a couple of days though I am driven away by the chaos, dirt and constant noise and can’t wait to return home.

I can’t get my head around why Neapolitans have such a problem with rubbish, it is everywhere and such a health problem. For weeks sometimes the big street bins aren’t emptied due to strikes. Whilst driving into Napoli one day on the autostrada, the people in the car in front of us threw out two supermarket bags full of rubbish straight onto the next lane. I was in shock, sometimes I wonder if they have their heads screwed on properly! They don’t think about the ‘what if’s’.

And to finish off my rant, who in their right mind would live here…….

Bella Roma

Whoops I seem to be slipping a bit, no posts for the past 3 weeks. No excuse really just lack of motivation as well as going back and forth to Napoli the past few weeks.

Well the days are certainly a lot cooler now, but the beautiful crisp sunny days and less tourists make it a perfect time to visit Rome. Quite often I take a trip into Rome, a quick 20 minute train ride from Frascati, and do a walk taking in all the sights as well as exploring new areas.

So if you are ever short of time and want to do a speedy sight seeing trip taking in as much as possible I suggest the following itinerary.

Once you arrive at Termini station, hop on the metro B line to the colosseum, here you can also take in the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.

Look out for my daughter Liana and say hi if you see her. She is currently taking tours of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, they say she is the youngest guide down there at 18 years old and loves to meet new people.

Next head down Via Dei Fori Imperiali towards Piazza Venezia and Piazza Del Campidiglio, to take in the sights of the amazing Complesso Del Vittoriano and Campidoglio..

From here once you have dodged the traffic of Piazza Venezia, walk down Via Del Corso where you should see the sign to Fontana Di Trevi.

From here you can cut through the side streets to the Spanish Steps.From the top of the steps there are some great views over Rome.

By this time will probably be ready for lunch. One of my favourite places is Gusto in Piazza Augusto, very cheap and they make great Pizza Napoletana.

From Piazza Augusto take the little back streets to the Pantheon and then onto Piazza Navona. The streets around Via Coronari also have plenty of little restaurants and hosterias to eat at.

At this stage if you still have time and your feet are not crying out, head towards the river and cross the bridge ‘Ponte San Angelo’ to see Castel San Angelo. From here it a straight walk to Piazza San Pietro and the Vatican.

To get back to Termini, take the Metro A line at Ottaviano.

So there you have it Rome in a hurry. Of course ideally you need at least 3 days to do it justice and to take in other areas such as Campo De Fiori, Trastevere and Villa Borghese and the park.