I nearly called this travel post 'The Roman Invasion' not only because it is historically apt if I do say so myself, but more so because of the sheer amount of tourism in this beautiful city.
I grew up in London, where tourism is rife, the odd bus full of foreigners atop flashing their camera, perhaps a group or two meandering through Oxford street and Trafalgar Square.
Rome however, is drowning in tourists.
They are spilling out of shops, colliding like aimless bumper cars as well as pointless snapping with a camera at anything that resembles something vaguely historic.
I was, to simply put it, slightly taken a back. I had never been thrust into the lap of tourism so harshly or suddenly. But the city over all, when you see through the tourists, is beautiful.
This makes me sound like a complete soft and plush lap cat...but hey! Thats me!
Mum and I chose a hotel not far from the Trevi Fountain.
This is something she had printed in her mind from the post cards, as I am sure many others do.
After leaving our bags in the hotel room we wondered toward the fountain with the occasional "I need to look at the map again!" stop.
The area was drowning is anxious spectators. Rome has always had a flare for showmanship and it seems even their fountains draw a gawking crowd.
This one in particular has been recently renovated by Fendi, the fashion house. Charity starts in the home don't you know...
People were on top of people, crying children, beggars, others selling useless apparently Roman trinkets. Over whelming but also such an interesting thing to observe.
This is the kind of place where you have to keep saying 'no thank you' to someone trying to sell you something.
We carried on through the narrow streets, each with its own story and interesting characters. Restaurant owners yelling at you that their pasta is indeed the best and you must try it.
Me not being a carb loader they found this to be a difficult sell.
It was however time for us to find a place to eat.
So the search began.
I am one who wants to try the best of the authentic food that any city has to offer, so I am always sniffing out 'cooked from frozen' signs on the menu. Which seem to be popping up a lot. I believe in a place like Rome there really is no excuse.
As night fell and we slowly strolled away from the Trevi Fountain with its hustle and bustle and flying pigs (yes pigs) pig shaped balls of rubber which resemble flubber and are thrown in the air and so as they come crashing down they produce a wail of ... 'pain' I guess!
These pigs seemed to be the biggest selling Roman relic. So much so that I bought one to bring back to Dr.S. He grew up in Rome, a taste of home coming right up Dr.S!
Soon we found a small eatery with painted ceilings and porchini mushrooms (which are my mums current obsession) so we dived straight in and away from the crowded street.
The art on the ceiling was pretty impressive.
For the life of me I can't remember the name. But I took a picture of the street for you so it should help! (above)
A rustic pizza oven took pride of place.
I decided to break my usual eating and order a pizza and pasta to share with mother dearest.
This made me happy.
The local wine which we were told to try by the taxi driver on the way to the hotel was named Frascati Docg so naturally we ordered that. Because you ALWAYS do as your taxi driver says!
Very light and easy drinking. I loved it.
Mum had an episode of 'Goldie Locks' and decided that sitting outside was far better.
So we moved.
Now onto the juicy bit.
The food arrived.
This was one of the best things I have ever tried.
Creamy, heaven like tangle of pasta flavoured by porcini and truffles.
Also a four seasons pizza, which was alright as far as pizzas go but nothing to write home about. Yet here I am writing about it!
Still the ingredients were fresh and very lovely.
As night fell Rome got calmer, or maybe the wine chilled me out and I began to enjoy it all a whole lot more. The tourists and the sellers became a cozy blanket of background to set your night to.
Just then the Roman style ricotta cheesecake arrived with a fiery sugar cube (yes the sugar cube was firey) it too has Roman flare!