Christmas is all around us

Hollaroh lovely people of the internet! It’s been a while! ^^

(Well, it might seem like I’ve posted more frequently, but that’s just because I intend to write up all the entries I’ve missed and backdate them. After all, they’re lovely memories and I don’t want them to go amiss. For the record, this is the first proper post since June. Everything in between has been entered later)

Anyhow. It’s Christmas! … Well, it’s almost Christmas! This Year I had a bit of a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit. Rome is just not a very Christmas-y city. I miss the proper cold and the snow. Also, I’ve had a bunch of group projects and presentations to do at uni and we wrote the last exam yesterday; so I’ve spent most days of December at my desk studying.

But since last Sunday, I’m ready! I got the last presents and I bought a bunch of pasta and Italian sweets to bing home and even though I still had to study, the scented candles and the cheesy Christmas songs kept me going.
I’m actually writing this blogpost in the library of my uni right now. I should get some reading done for my masters thesis, but it’s the last day of class today and I don’t feel much like it. ^^

I’m not gonna lie, this Advent was everything else than slow and peaceful, but it had it’s quiet moments. And while it seems to have passed in an instant, now I’m so looking forward to go home for Christmas, relax, charge my batteries, spend time with my family, see my friends, eat all the traditional food and most of all: cookies! 😀

That’s the current fairy light situation in my room. Needless to say I am more than pleased.

Happy holidays, merry everything and happy always,

XX, Angie

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A big fat Italian wedding

After coming back to Rome, my first official act was to attend the wedding of a friend and classmate from uni.

It was both, the first wedding of a friend of mine (as in: not a cousin or aunt, but actually someone of my age) and the first Italian wedding I went to. And let me tell you, my Italian friends made sure I was prepared: “Si mangia!” You eat. A lot. – So I can’t actually say I haven’t been warned, but I was still surprised by the amount of food; it seems to be the quintessential part of an Italian wedding! 😀

But first things first: the bride looked stunning! Gessi wore a fabulous fairytale-like dress and she was absolutely beautiful! The church was just behind the Colosseum and it looked like right out of a fairytale too! The ceremony was lovely and Sara and me made good use of the tissues thoughtfully provided at the entrance 😉 Afterwards we threw rice and greeted the newlywed outside the church.
While the bride and the groom were off taking pictures, the guests were entertained with Aperitivo: buffets of sweet and savoury snacks in a very scenic garden party ambient. I was basically full after that, but that’s only where the fun began. When the bride and groom were back, we were all asked inside a glamorous Palazzo where lunch was served: seven courses including the cake!

 

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That’s us, pretending to be Ok, after Aperitivo, three dishes of anitipasti, a main course with four sides, dessert, cake and sweets buffet. And caffé.

Ok, that’s enough talk about food now! It was a beautiful wedding, I am so happy for them both and also: it was so amazing to see what I’v been thought in Italian class in real life! One of the priorities of my first Italian teacher was to teach us culture as well as language. So whenever we’ve learned a new tense or use of articles, we’d read texts and speak about Italian culture to put it to use. I remember reading about Italian celebrations, the custom of giving confetti to your guests and the importance of coffee even after a multi-course meal. And that’s exactly what happened. 🙂

At the end of the day we were bursting of food and our feet hurt – but it was beautiful!

Please excuse me now, I have to dream of my own wedding…
XX, Angie

Peter & Paul

Almost as if to say good bye to me, the city of Rome organised a massive firework today – but it’s actually intended to honour the saints of the city: San Pietro e Paolo.

I spent the afternoon walking though the city and showing my favourite gelateria to one of Gonzo’s colleagues from Kuwait, who was touring Europe and happened to visit Rome that day. After some touristing around Campo de Fiori and Trastevere with him and his American friends (who were absolutely overwhelmed by the beauty of Rome in a very entertaining, American way) I steered the whole party towards the Piazza del Popolo, where the firework took place.

Of course the piazza was packed; I think I’ve never seen so many people in Rome at once. But it was a lovely summer evening and everyone was in a good mood.
The firework itself was absolutely amazing! It was accompanied by classical and pop music and the fireworks went along perfectly with the music! It was simply breathtaking  – and it lasted forever!

 

Thanks, Roma, for such a beautiful farewell! Tomorrow I’ll be off to the airport at dawn, ready for an Austrian summer.

XX, Angie

Summery Rome

As a complete surprise, Gonzo came to visit me over the last few days. There’s public holidays in Kuwait, so he decided to come to Rome last minute, even if it was just for a couple of days. And it was beautiful!

We enjoyed summery Rome together, walked along the Tiber, had lots of coffe, gelato, granita and pizza, Gonzo rowed me on a boat on the little lake of Villa Borghese and made me feel like a princess, we went to the beach and Gonzo killed all the mosquitos in my room. Very romantic!
On the day he left, I had my English exam – but it went well, of course. After all, I’ve had a lot of practise these days 🙂

I hate it when he leaves though. It’s as if he’d take a giant leap and jumps right back into my phone. If I shake it hard enough, will he fall out and give me a hug?

XX, Angie

 

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

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