Sunday, December 18, 2016

Hipster Christmas

I visited Rome's Vintage Christmas Market today in a part of town I don't hit very often. 
My friend and I saw a ton of cute stuff and knocked a few items of the Christmas list.  But mostly we reveled in the total hipster experience. There were food trucks, homemade nerd memorabilia, 'artisanal' vegan cake, newsboy caps and bluesy covers of Christmas favorites.  It was a good time and a weird reminder of being back in DC.

Only a week to Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2016


Last weekend I visited Antarctica (I mean Copenhagen). After my adventure in Norway I was excited to see some more of Scandinavia - and I have A-100 friends to crash with so how could I resist? 

I ended up only doing a long weekend but it was lovely. Unbelievably cold, but lovely. I focused my touristing on the Tivoli gardens, Nyhavn and the Christmas market. I ate smodbrod (spelling?), drank coca, and tried at least five new varieties of pastry. I tried Glogg and Gluhwein (glogg is the Danish version, both sweeter and a bit less alcoholic than gluhwein), wandered the stalls full of ornaments and furs, and admired the seriously extensive decorations.  I even saw Santa. If anyone is looking for somewhere to get their Christmas fix in, Denmark is the place. 

Love how bikeable Copenhagen was, and how no one found it necessary to lock them up.


Forgive the filter, but my camera can only do so much with low light. 

Sadly this is the best picture I got of the balloon ride but it was just charming. Google Tivoli, you'll see.

More Tivoli

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Rome Everyday

Well, that's it, 30 days - with a bit of cheating to hit the every-day target.  Hope you've enjoyed the random spin through my life here in Italy. And now I'm off to celebrate by ... leaving Italy. Just for the weekend of course.

Ciao, ciao!

(Photo from my recent trip to Florence)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Rome Everyday

Beautiful walk to work this morning - beyond freezing, but very, very beautiful.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Rome Everyday


Since most of my visitors don't just hang around the Embassy neighborhood all day, here's another pizza recommendation you can try just about anywhere in Rome (as you can tell from the map below). I highly recommend a simple pizza margherita here - they make it somehow fresher and more flavor packed than any other pizzeria.  Another bonus is that they sell pizza 'al taglio' meaning you can choose whatever size you want from any of the types available - and mix and match if you've got a big enough appetite.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Rome Everyday

More recommendations. This time for pizza - my favorite also happens to be the most convenient on a workday.  It may not look fancy but they make the best "diavolo" I've tasted in Italy so far. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Rome Everyday

Ok - it's after Thanksgiving, so what better time for leftovers?

From the Palazzo Barberini again - a couple stragglers that deserved their own post: Little Dogs of the Barberini collection

Well, they seem nice.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Rome Everyday

This weekend I saw Palazzo Barberini - a great museum that would be a very big deal back home for it's collection of crazy famous artists.  Here it's more of an 'off the beaten path, if you run out of other things to do' - type of museum. But it's that much more enjoyable for the lack of crowd!

One of the Barberini family? He certainly found someone better than the Medici's to do thebust...

La Fornarina - by Raphael, one of the museum's most famous pieces

Henry the VIII! Even I, the non-history buff recognized this one. (By Hans Holbein)

Forgive the photo quality but this is a close-up of a piece by El Greco. I had to wait for 15 minutes (I swear) for this old German couple to move so I could see it. It was worth it.

Beatrice Cenci, by Guido Reni - I think she gives the girl with the pearl earring a run for her money

And of course, a Caravaggio - in this case, one of history's favorite themes: beheading. (There were more Caravaggio's but I only pick the best for my faithful readers.)

Judith - "This is disconcerting. Why is there so much blood?"
Judith's grandma - "Give it to him good!"

And just to wrap things up, a Bernini (not to be confused with Barberini) statue featuring the Barberini family signs - bees, keys, and the papal crown. ... and sea creatures just for added effect

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Rome Everyday

Almost Thanksgiving and the weather was *perfect* this afternoon.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Rome Everyday

The park again - it never gets old.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Rome, Everyday

Italy: Fancy for a Living

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Rome Everyday

It was a beautiful day out and with nothing better to do (at least nothing that I intended to waste such beautiful weather on) I hit town and took a stroll through my favorite park. Falling leaves, roasting chestnuts, and of course, a stop for coffee. Italy is going to be a tough act to follow...

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Rome Everyday

Mystified why anyone, no matter how much they like portraits of themselves or how naturally unattractive they might be, would commission such unflattering busts... or maybe this is the work of an extremely early caricature artist?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Rome Everyday

Continuing with the 'not actually in Rome theme', I visited the Uffizi Gallery. Saw some art, you know. Nothing major. Just Michelangelo, Leonardo, Rafael, Botticelli, Caravaggio....

Mostly just enjoyed without my camera but here are a couple I couldn't resist:

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Rome Everyday

Those Medicis sure knew how to decorate

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Rome Everyday

I could see myself living here. Couldn't you?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Rome Everyday

I love the light in my neighborhood in the fall. And the chill in the air outside just makes my home feel that much cozier; such a change from last year when I was still trying to settle in to my empty apartment. Now my balcony garden is growing strong, my walls are finally filling up, and everything has it's place.  Lucky I still have nine months to enjoy this post!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Rome Everyday

Good morning to me!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Rome Everyday

The lovely NYU campus in Florence (I know, I know, it isn't Rome but how could I resist?)

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Rome Everyday

For the first time in a year+ I've actually seen 2+ cats at the cat sanctuary of Largo del Torre Argentina.  They weren't up to much.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Rome Everyday

Santa Maria Maggiore - one of the four papal basilicas in Rome.  It was nice, but unless you are on a pilgrimage I would say it wasn't really any nicer than the dozens of other churches I've visited in Rome. Still, a good stop on an overcast Veterans' Day.