A summery walk in the city

Last week was super stressful. Also, it got quite hot here in Rome over the last couple of days. And what would be a better solution to unwind, relax and have a gelato than a coffee, cornetti and walk on the market of Campo de’ Fiori?

(We found a “biscotteria”. How amazing is that?? Translated it basically means cookie-shop)

Here are some impressions of summery Rome, enjoy! 😀

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XX, Angie

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How to celebrate a Birthday the Italian Way

Exam season has officially started – actually, come to think of it, it never really stopped in the first place… 😛 Anyhow, this weekend I got a little break from it all and spend two lovely days in Ronciglione, a tiny village just out of Rome.

The bus ride was about an hour, departing from a small train station in the outskirts of the city. It reminded me a lot of when I used to commute to Salzburg while doing the bachelor’s degree.

I went there to celebrate the birthday of my friend Ilaria and, as you might imagine, the festivities consisted mainly in eating – the proper Italian way! 😀
On Saturday I arrived just in time for lunch: Ilaria’s mum had prepared the most amazing Parmigiana! But of course there was also a Primo and a Frittata and after the main dish some fruit and of course dessert (not the birthday cake, mind you!). After lunch, in order to avoid falling into a coma, we went for a walk and Ilaria showed me the streets she grew up in.
In the evening the actual party started, friends and family members gathered and some more food got involved. Ilaria’s mum had baked a massive Torta with strawberries and vanilla cream and was constantly worried that there might not be enough for everyone. It was an absolutely lovely evening, people complimented my Italian, we spoke about music and movies and eventually watched Harry Potter films.

This Sunday was Mother’s Day both here in Italy and in Austria. When I told my mum that I was gonna spend the weekend with Ilaria’s family, she was happy that I’d be with some mum at least.
In the morning we had a nice walk to the local park where we had fun making flower crowns and gossiping. After another amazing lunch (which was very poor and only the leftovers according to Ilaria’s mum ^^) I took the bus back to Rome.

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When I walked down Via Boccea, I felt like I’ve been away for at least a week. It was good to get some rest and not study at all for a bit.

Now I feel revived and the stress can begin again 😉

XX, Angie

The collateral bunch of flowers ;)

One exam down, about a hundred more to go. That could easily be the motto of my weekend, and actually the whole of spring until July.

I spent a whole grey and rainy morning trying to figure out what to study next, which summaries and essays I still have to write and which deadline is the most pressing.

But after lunch the sky cleared up and the sun came out, so I did the only sensible thing to do: I let all my writing and deadlines be and went to have a walk in the centre.
My steps carried me over Piazza Navona to the flower market on Campo de’ fiori, one of my favourite places in Rome. It’s always alive with tourists, vendors and Italians trying to get their shopping done. I had a walk in the narrow streets surrounding it and read a couple of chapters sitting in a small park, enjoying the sunshine.

And then, just before catching the bus home, I couldn’t resist the temptation any longer and bought a beautiful bunch of marguerites.

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Happy Saturday!

XX, Angie

City of Stars – La La Land in concert

Yesterday me and some friends went to see Tess & the Yellow Cabbies, a jazz band that played the most famous numbers from the soundtrack of La La Land.
The five-man band consisted of piano, contrabass, drums, trumpet and saxophone/flute plus the singer, who was American, but made all her announcements in a sweet Italian with a very strong accent and declared her love for Italy and La La Land more than once.

The show was great! I love the soundtrack and hearing it live made it even better! They did some very nice improvisations (just like the character of Seb explains in the film: they are the heart and soul of jazz) and when Tess and the piano player sang the slow duet “City of Stars”, the whole audience sang along.

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The evening was supposed to end with a Swing dance party, but we soon discovered that the DJ who took over, didn’t take that very seriously. After some swing-ish songs, he shifted toward Elvis, Little Richard, Buddy Holly and eventually The Beatles.
I certainly did not complain and we sang along and danced until we couldn’t feel our feet! 🙂

Here’s to the dreamers,
XX, Angie

Procrastibaking

So tomorrow I have an important exam – and what would be more adequate now than baking a fresh plum galette? … Studying? Revising? Meh! I believe making sure to have a fulfilling breakfast for the next day, that will allow me to start the day in the best way possible (with freshly baked goods obviously) and therefore focus perfectly on the exam, has to be my absolute priority now 😉

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In my defense, plums are finally in season in Italy and they just looked so juicy and sweet. I mean, they basically asked for it! I promise it was a very quick bake and afterwards I returned to my desk and went over all the important con concepts of Web Marketing one last time.

XX, Angie

Edit 6.5.: We got the marks, and let me just tell you: I did well. The cake definitely helped 😀

Green Explosion

I know I’ve been to Kuwait for less that two weeks, but Rome changed while I was away: it’s so green now!

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It was raining the last couple of days and that gave it the last push. The Lungotevere and all the streets are lined with trees in full green coats and it feels like a natural spring-cleaning, the air smells light and fresh after the rain.

Spring has definitely sprung. I love it!

XX, Angie

Arabian Nights

or: “the Kuwait Kilo” (we ate so much!)

Did this actually happen? Did I really travel 14 hours to Kuwait, spent 8 absolutely fantastic days in that incredible city, then travelled 17 hours back and am here in my little colourful room in Rome now? It seems like a dream. Everything is back to normal, my routine has me back.

But I did travel to Kuwait to see Gonzo and it was indeed amazing. ❤

Gonzo showed me around the city: the old market, the new malls, the futuristic skyscrapers; we ate in traditional restaurants and american food chains like Applebee’s, The Cheesecake Factory and Wendy’s; we had tea, hobnobs and baklava for breakfast and tried Arabian coffee and tea. We went for walks on the beach where I put my feet in the Persian Gulf and did big shoppings at the supermarket and wished that it was summer and Cinemadamare. I watched Gonzo shoot and I realized how much I missed it. We lingered on the hot mornings and went out in the night when the air was tolerable and a bit cooler. I enjoyed the view from his bedroom window on the 26th floor.

It was a an incredible experience! I have never travelled outside the western culture before, so for me it was a whole new adventure. It was strange to walk the boardwalk in Kuwait at night; when we sat down to watch the waves rolling in, it might have been Nova Siri and when we walked through the park in front of the mall, it could have been San Benedetto – except that it wasn’t. I hope this makes any sense!
I learned that money can buy just about anything and that shopping is an acceptable past-time in Kuwait, that apparently no tourists visit the city (measured according to the difficulties we had in order to find postcards) and that I needn’t worry so much about what I wore, people are very respectful.

All in all it reminded me a lot about southern Italy: hot, sandy, messy and noisy – but the people are incredibly nice! 😉

Last year we were in Edinburgh over Easter. Never in a million years would I have thought to go to Kuwait just a year later. It’s funny how sometimes life holds such unexpected surprises!

XX, Angie

Mamabesuch!

Mama_Collage.jpgAs schools in Austria close for easter holidays already during the whole of holy week (as oppose to Italy, where schools and unis only close after Wednesday), my mum came to visit me in Rome! ❤ She recently discovered online booking, so the whole trip was planned and booked when she arrived.

Unfortunately I couldn’t spend all the time with her, as I still had lessons and even an exam on Wednesday (Economics, urgh!) but we managed to spend a lot of time together. It was so good to show her “my Rome” and we had a really nice time!

We had authentic Pizza, went to see a Burlesque show, had caffé and cornetto, lunched in a little restaurant just around the corner of Saint Peter’s square (but hidden from the tourists), I introduced her to fried zucchini flowers and showed her the little mercato close to my house. But the highlights were definitely the guided tour she’d booked for us through Saint Peter’s church and the cupola on Wednesday afternoon just after I finished my exam, and the tour of the Colosseo, Palatine Hill, the Forum Romanum, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona on Thursday – yes, that was one massive walking tour and afterwards we rewarded ourselves with a proper pizza and amazing gelato. 😀

I really enjoyed having my mum here, strolling through the streets together, pointing out my favourite vincolos and gelaterias and take her to shop at Tiger (she loves colourful useless things just as much as I do). The best part was that I could finally show her my little apartment and room, which she’s only seen on Skype so far and that she could help me pack and get ready for my journey to Kuwait.

On Friday morning she came to pick me up and we had breakfast together before she saw me off to the airport. Everything’s just so much nicer with a mum around 🙂

Danke Mama, hab die Woche sehr genossen!

XX, Angie

Ho fatto una Pastiera e ne sono molto fiera!

After baking a Tortano last year, which turned out really good actually, the only logical next step in my Italian easter baking progression, was to attempt a Pastiera.

I read a bunch of recipes over the last week, did a big ingredients shopping and finally on the weekend, between studying and skype-writing a group project with my colleagues from uni, I baked the Napolitan easter cake, filled with cooked grain, a rich ricotta cream and candid orange and lemon zest.

It’s a rather complicated recipe and basically every nonna has her own version. My hopes weren’t that high, given that it was my first attempt, but I got a bunch of compliments from my flatmates and my friends from uni, so I guess I’ve done well. 🙂

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I am really proud of it, especially as it was the first time I made it! Now I’m one step closer to obtain the official grandma-certificate 😉

XX, Angie