My friends have been all over the world this summer. I’ve asked a few of them to share some of their favorite new spots and experiences in a series of guest posts on the blog. The first is a dispatch from Rome from my lovely roommate Courtney.
My name is Courtney, and I am a world traveler (in-the-making). This summer, I was given the opportunity to study abroad at the American University of Rome in Italy. I made Rome my home for one amazing month. While I did take the typical tourist tours and saw some famous sites, I also ventured off to a few parts of Rome that are a little less known. Here are a few, just to give you a little taste of la città bella:
Just another restaurant located amongst many others near the Tiber River in Trastevere, Anthony’s exquisite cuisine is pleasing to guests from everywhere around the world. A house wine–your choice of red or white–is available to take with dinner. My friends and I chose to have a little of both. When in Rome! I ordered the fettuccini pomodoro (fettucini with tomato sauce). The noodles were thick, the sauce tasty, and topped with fresh basil. For dessert, a rich and delightful tiramisu.
2. Torre Argentina Roman Cat Sanctuary
Located on the corner of Via Florida and Via Arenula, Roman cats roam at night–and in the daytime. These alley cats wander into the cat sanctuary and make it their home. Quite honestly, they couldn’t pick a better place to lick their paws at night. This sanctuary is run by two women, Sylvia and Lia, who collect donations to care for the cats. Adoption is another available option–for $15/month, one can “adopt” a cat and receive regular updates on his/her feline friend. Not a bad gig, if I do say so myself.
By use of the metro in Rome, one can make a straight shot to the “Hollywood of Italy”–Cinecitta. These grounds are used for film production, with several studios and landmark recreations. Cinecitta also holds a building dedicated to the famous Italian film director Federico Fellini. Just as Hollywood in America would, Cinecitta brings to life the culture of its beloved country through the art of film.
4. Cooking classes in Rome with Chef Andrea Consoli
Where better to learn how to cook than in Rome? Located in Trastevere, Chef Andrea owns a kitchen where he hosts cooking classes for the public. He cooks different dishes for each class. Our menu consisted of one main dish and a dessert: homemade cavatelli with eggplant and tomatoes in the Sicilian style and riccotta pie with homemade walnut and pear jam. Chef Andrea buys his fresh ingredients the morning of the class and only purchases from local markets. I was in charge of preparing the homemade sauce from scratch. Every participant played a part in the meal and we all enjoyed dinner at a family style table located right outside of the kitchen.
While the sites were breathtaking and the food out-of-this-world incredible, my experience with the Italian people and learning their culture struck me the most. In a nutshell, I learned that Italy is real. The food, the people, and the culture are raw and fresh and exciting. People say what is on their mind and move on. There is no holding back. The two most important things in Italian culture are family and food. Lessons learned from yours truly: love deeply and taste every bite of life.