Looking through pictures and reminiscing has brought me back to my family’s wonderful trip to Italy, Winter Break 2018-19. We visited Venice, Florence, and Rome. I loved this trip so much and can’t wait to relive it while writing these posts. Rome was a fascinating city filled with incredible architecture and history as well as the best eggplant parmesan in the world. Once again, all photos were taken by yours truly.
Discovered by my mom in 1995, we send all our friends and family here. The jolly owner, Nicola is a frequent Chicago visitor and the place feels so welcoming and authentic. The eggplant parmesan is to die for and it all just feels so very Italian.
Never did I think I would have the best matzo ball soup of my life in Rome. Bella Carne is located in the heart of the Roman Jewish ghetto. The Jewish cuisine was comforting and so warm on that terribly cold day.
Hostaria da Pietro
We were the only non-Italian customers in the entire restaurant. A spot for locals who like their food authentic and delicious. The adorable twin brother owners also happened to be frequent Chicago visitors and enjoy attending Lollapalooza. It’s a small world.
After visiting I could see what made this fountain so crowded. It was stunning. A true display of Italian art and beauty. Unfortunately, I’m still waiting for my wish to come true.
I’m not even going to get into the fact that I was dumbfounded to learn this is a separate country. I will say though, for the smallest country in the world, the Vatican City sure has a lot of history packed inside. We spent hours roaming St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museums, and staring up in awe at Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel.
It’s really wild to process that this massive amphitheatre was built in 70 A.D. Walking around inside and admiring from the outside was incredible. Although the Colosseum was a place of bloodshed, it is a standing wonder.
Tempio Maggiore di Roma
This absolutely gorgeous synagogue is the temple I want to belong to. Touring the largest synagogue in Rome educated me more on life in the Roman ghetto during the time of World War II.
I would have never guessed that upon arrival with my winter coat that I would be roaming streets with palm trees. Rome is southern enough to house palm trees, which I still don’t really understand because some days in Rome were freezing. The trees aren’t native to Rome, but they have learned to survive.
What is a post about Italy without a mention of gelato? Gelato became a post-meal necessity. I was never much of a gelato fan prior to my trip but it is so flavorful how could I resist? This particular cone was from a small chain called Venchi and was delicious. I saw the same chain out of the corner of my eye a year later in Tokyo and raced to get inside but they were closing. It was a sad walk home.
The most magical part about being in Italy during the holidays were the street lights. Beautiful arrangements lined all the streets, keeping them alive at night. It was so gorgeous sometimes I just stopped for a while to admire them.
Every trip I am fortunate enough to take is where I learn the most about the world but also myself. I create a new connection with each city explored and love them forever. Hopefully, when I return to Rome it will be a bit warmer and will make each cone of gelato a bit sweeter.