Italy is my addiction.
This will not come as a shock to people who know me well. I am in love with so many aspects of this beautiful country. The people, the culture, the language and, of course, the food.
Our journey to il bel paese, the beautiful country, this time was particularly special as it involved la mia bellissima nonna, my beautiful grandmother. After enjoying a sunny week in London together (you can read a little bit about that here) we set off to explore my Nanna’s country of origin.
Time spent in Rome is always time well spent. As we have visited the city quite a number of times now we were able to show Nanna and her sister, Aunty Gina, a few places which are often overlooked when visiting la città eterna.
Our b&b this time around was located in Monti, a quaint and very trendy part of the city. Although its location is a stones throw from the Colosseo, it is quite well hidden and usually goes unnoticed.
The narrow, cobble stoned streets in Monti are lined with independent clothing stores and tiny little cafes and restaurants offering some very tasty treats. The greenest vines drape themselves across the stone buildings and the locals ride past on their old bikes with baskets full of fresh produce. As Kristian highlighted, the area of Monti seems like something straight out of a movie. It’s such a dreamy part of Rome, similar to Trastevere in some ways, but without the masses of people.
Our four days in Rome were very relaxing. There was no rushing about trying to see everything. Our days were spent strolling the beautiful streets, eating gelato and taking in the atmosphere. The perfect way to enjoy a stunning city.
La Piadineria- Via Del Boschetto 98, 00184 Rome, Italy
On our arrival to Monti, we were greeted by the very enthusiastic Silvia, the owner of the b&b, who gave us a quick tour of the area. On her advice, we grabbed a quick lunch at La Piadineria, just around the corner from our apartment. They offered a variety of delicious piadine (hence the name of the shop). A piadina is an Italian flatbread, filled with simple and delicious ingredients, and then folded in half. It proved to be a very pleasant lunch. We each had a very simple piadina, filled with prosciutto, fresh tomato, rocket and mozzarella. It definitely hit the spot. Highly recommended for a quick lunch you can take with you whilst you explore Monti.
La Carbonara- Via Panisperna, 214, 00184 Rome, Italy
I found this little osteria in Monti after realising that, on account of the thunder and lightening and rain outside on day two of our visit (every other day was perfect), we would need to spend a bit of time indoors. The rain provided the perfect excuse for a lengthy lunch at “La Carbonara” where we slowly devoured multiple plates of delicious food, losing track of time and enjoying each others’ company. The restaurant offers many sumptuous regional pasta dishes, such as ‘Arrabiata’ and ‘Cacio e Pepe’. All the pasta is homemade by the lovely old lady who owns and runs the restaurant, Teresa. Everything we ate was delicious. My pistachio and cherry tomato fettucine was superb. It had a lovely creaminess to it. The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente.
The atmosphere of the osteria is very inviting and proved to be the perfect place to shelter from the subpar weather. Guests to the restaurant are invited to write messages on the walls, which are adorned with the many scribbles of past visitors. A very homey and relaxed place to enjoy a meal.
Giolitti- Via degli Uffici del Vicario, 40, Rome, Italy
Our cousin, Domenico, who lives in Rome, recommended the most fantastic ice cream parlour, which also happens to be the oldest ice cream parlour in Rome. He says it’s one of his favourite gelatarias in the city. And rightfully so. “Giolitti” offers the most delicious array of ice cream. With so many different flavours it makes selecting only two or three very difficult (and time consuming!) My Nutella ice cream was sublime. It was almost as though I was eating straight Nutella, which for me, is perfection. My other choice, caramelised fig was also a winner. I highly recommend strolling down to Giolitti in the evening for a taste of ice cream heaven!
Monti Bio- Via Panisperna, 225, 00184 Rome, Italy
This cute little organic shop/café sells fresh produce as well as homemade treats. I purchased some fruit and veg as well as the most delicious gluten free lemon biscotti, which were used with my baked peaches. They also offer an array of lunchtime options, and although we did not dine here, the lunches sure looked delicious!