Monday, June 24, 2013


Roma!!! Pasta, vino, sun, and all that color!

I liked it very much as you can see...

Oh my god. The carbonara at Ai Balestrari was simple, rich, and sooooo good. It doesn't look like much but I could barely finish it on a empty stomach. This is the kind of pasta that I couldn't make at home because it wouldn't be the same. Italian food in Italy just tastes better than anything else.

M was busy with finals so I gorged and saw the sights by myself. I had lunch alone at Ai Balestrari twice in a row. I was self conscious at first but no one cared. They were busy living their own lives. A lot of my time in Rome was enjoyable alone but I would have loved to have a friend or lovah for company. It struck me how much I appreciate a traveling companion - someone with you to wow over the Pantheon, share gelato, and take dorky tourist pictures with to show your family.

It was the first time I've been all by myself in a foreign city (not counting the UK). To be honest, being alone and lost in a scorchingly hot city where you don't know the language made me really anxious. I'm not a zen, go with the flow person at all... but however nervewracking and lonely it was sometimes, it was probably a good experience to have. 

Cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper pasta), a Roman specialty at Ai Balestrari. I preferred the carbonara.


Ai Balestrari
Via dei Balestrari, 41, 00100 Rome, Italy
- Once again, I really recommend Ai Balestrari for a good, affordable lunch. I spent €25 on a starter, pasta, and a fourth of a liter of wine. I skimped the next day and spent about €12 on just pasta and water.

Fatamorgana Gelato
Via Laurenia 10 near the Spanish steps
- Amazing, creative gelato. Noci e miele (basil, walnuts, and honey) was beautiful (can you use that to describe food?) although I usually stick to the plain stuff like pistachio and chocolate. It was really affordable especially for an artisanal gelato place near a touristy site. I got three flavors in a cone for €3. I'm definitely going back next time I'm in Rome.

- I hit up all the tourist sites (the Colosseum/Forum/Palantine Hill, Pantheon, Trevi fountain, Spanish steps, etc). I really recommend getting the Colosseum/Forum/Palantine Hill ticket online so you don't wait in line like I did. It took ages to get in and I honestly could have spent that time doing better things like eating and drinking. I thought the Colosseum looked more impressive from the outside actually.

- I used Parla Food as my main source of food and drink recommendations. You should too!

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