A family weekend

I know October only has 31 days, but this one seemed so long! How did so many things fit into one singe month? It feels like only yesterday that Gonzo left, Uni started again, we went to London and two of my best friends came to visit – and last weekend my family came (and the month still isn’t over yet!)

My dad, Kathi and Max took the night train from Austria and arrived early on Thursday morning. And that only meant one thing: the first round of caffé and cornetti 🙂
After a quick refreshment we stared our tour, as we had a lot to go through. Max had never been to Rome before, so we had to give him a proper introduction: a walk through the centre including all the major sights, pizza al taglio for lunch, gelato on the go and on to the Aventin hill just in time for the sunset, overlooking the city dipped in orange – so beautiful! Finished off with dinner in Trastevere. Thadaa – Rome in a nutshell.

Even if they’ve basically seen everything now (I’m a very efficient tour guide) I’m glad they stayed a bit longer! On day 2 ATAC was on strike and tried to sabotage our plans – but we were a step ahead and outsmarted them by actually visiting the Colosseum and the Froum Romanum from inside, where we stayed for the main part of the day. Obviously we took a bunch of photos and listened to our audioguides very attentively – in cased we’d have to fill out a questionnaire about ancient Rome when we’d get home 😉 Just before lunch time, Manner saved us from death by hangriness. Being good Austrians we obviously had some handy! We spent the rest of the day wandering around and exploring ruins and churches before retiring to an early dinner. However, the plan of going home early and rest our hurting feet didn’t quite work out, as a wild Irish Pub crossed our path (or did we cross the Pub’s path?) and we kinda got stuck there.

On their last day, we went to the Roman Harley Davidson Shop and the Hard Rock cafe, tossed a coin in the Fontana di Trevi and had fancy Magnum ice cream. We did some shopping for crucial train journey supplies and edible souvenirs (mainly coffee and crema di pistacchio) and I prepared lunch packages for their homeward journey.

When I saw them off at Termini, I was really sad. Usually, people come to visit me by plane, so we’d say a quick good bye at the bus to the airport. But I actually accompanied them to the train station and we hugged good bye in the big arrival hall of Roma Termini. I feel like the station and all the hustle around make the scene much more dramatic. After they left I felt quite lonely when I took the metro back home and didn’t have to make sure, everyone got off at the right stop.

But I am so happy! It was a lovely weekend and even though Kathi and dad were her already last year, we managed to see many new things. I always enjoy sharing my little Rome, my discoveries, hidden alleys and favourite gelateria.

Hab euch lieb!

XX, Angie

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Pre-holidays

I have to admit I did a bit of a crazy thing: right in the middle of the exam session I went home to Austria for a whole week!

Well, let me explain: The main reason for going home just before exams ended, was my cousin getting married. Otherwise I’d probably waited until exams are over in order to go on holidays (like any sane person would…) But given the facts and the circumstance that I happened to have 13(!!) days without any exams right in the middle of June, I decided that instead of coming home just a couple of days for the wedding and stressing everyone out (including me), I’d stay the whole week. Easy.

It was a gorgeous week of early summer, filled with a beautiful wedding, barbecues on our terrace, motorcycle rides, a fashion photo shoot, many coffees in the sun and lots of cake, a walk in the narrow streets of Salzburg, going to the ballet with my sister, hiking with my dad and just being home. ❤

I suffer of a very particular case of home sickness – I only ever get it when I’m at home. When I am away, I’m mostly happy and don’t miss being at home very much (apart from that special occasion, when my relatives send me photos and make me miss them). But once I’m home, I realize how beautiful it is, how cozy and lovely and I miss being here all the time. I am not entirely sure if any of that makes any sense – but to me it does. 🙂

I’m back in Rome now – for exactly two more weeks. I’m charged with energy to finish those exams and in a bit I’ll go on holidays again: back home to Austria!

XX, Angie

Oh là là, Tarantula!

This weekend my cousin Klaus came for a blitz-visit! He arrived late on Thursday and left early on Sunday – which means we had only two days to jam in the most of Rome we could. And we did!

On Friday we had a walk at the beach at Ostia and Aperol with a view of the seaside, took beach selfies and on the way back had Pasta at Eataly. We walked around Circo Massimo to the Colosseo, had ice cream and Aperitivo in the sunshine and finally went out for drinks with a view of the Colosseo (and met some interesting French guys! XD).

Saturday was the “let’s see all the important sights”-day. After a proper Roman breakfast with Maritozzi (brioche buns filled to the brim with whipped cream) and Tramezzini we took the bus to the centre and started our tour: being young and fit we managed to walk all the way from the Vatican to Castel Sant Angelo, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, on to the Trevi Fountain (where we tossed a coin, of course!) and the Spanish Steps, where we finally sat down for a coffee and consulted the guide book for all the sights we saw and just briefly stopped to take a picture before heading to the next one – that’s time efficient tourism! 😉 To end our little marathon we went to see the “Secret of Rome”, which apparently is not so secret any more, as there was a queue of people and a souvenir stand. So we skipped it. But we were just in time to see the sunset form the Orangery at the Aventine Hill, which is an absolutely fantastic view!

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Oh, and if you are wondering about the “Tarantula” in the title: On Thursday nigh, after picking up my cousin at Termini station and getting some pizza, we came home and my flatmate welcomed us with the news that she saw a big tarantula in the back of the kitchen.  😱
After the first panic faded away and Klaus’ face got some of it’s original colour back, we elaborated the subject a little more and it turned out that said “spider” had only four legs… and that Graziella confused our little house-lizard (we named him Lucio) with a massive spider.

Benvenuto in Italia, Klaus … and by the way, in summer there are scorpions too.

Thanks for the visit, the gossip, the memories, ice cream and post cards! Come back soon!

XX, Angie

Back in London

It’s been almost exactly half a year since I left London. Actually it’s a bit of blur; I mean: I can pin down the exact day we left, but we’ve been to CinemadaMare in between and I didn’t move to Rome straight away. But anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve been to Good Old England.

I missed London a lot! I left a bunch of really good friends and lots of very dear memories at London and I think about them a lot. But it wasn’t until we arrived at Stansted and I got excited just by seeing a Costa and a WHSmith that I realized just how much I really missed it. It’s my comfort zone, I know the places, the shops, the language (my Italian is still weaker than my English…)

After being with my family the last week, Gonzo and me had some quiet “us time”, some lovely mornings waking up to the rain on the window and just not caring about it. But I also felt like re-discovering the city. I got really excited walking down Oxford Street and seeing all the shops I know and noticing little changes. I felt half tourist, half old friend. It was a good, but somehow strange feeling.

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One of the best things was to see my friends in London! We had breakfast, teas and dinners, I invented a peanut butter and jelly cheesecake and it was just like always ❤

I still miss you guys ❤

XX, Angie

Christmas at home, like always <3

When I went to live in England with my sister, our mum made it quite clear: “You can go and live wherever you please, but at Christmas you have to be at home.” – and so it has been ever since. Some years just a couple of days, a hurry almost, some other years I spent weeks of festivities and re-charging batteries at home.
And so, just two days after coming back from Sicily, I packed my bags again (full of Panettone, Torrone, Italian sweets and coffee) as it was time to fly home for Christmas. ❤

I love this time of the year! Even tough it wasn’t cold enough in Rome and not anywhere near snowy, one could feel the hustle of the last days before Christmas and even at the airport the mood seemed different to me – or maybe I am just projecting my own expectations onto everyone else.

 

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Christmas at home is almost a sacred ritual for me. I know exactly who we have lunch and dinner with what days and when and where we celebrate. It hasn’t changed in years and I find it very reassuring and calming. It’s almost as if those couple of days follow a meticulous plan (full of traditions and food) which has never really been established, it just happened and now it’s there and everyone follows it. 🙂

The days in between Christmas and New Year’s were full of friends, snow, baking and happy doing nothing. I like it when being home is “nothing special”, as in: the way it always used to be, nothing extraordinary or exceptional.

On the 31st of December Gonzo came to visit and in the early morning I went to pick him up at the Salzburg airport. We spent a lovely “boring” New Year’s Eve with my family, my grandmas competed in cooking traditional dishes for us, we went sledge riding, had walks and photo shoots in the snow and Gonzo insisted on learning how to ski – and he did really well, considering he’s a Spaniard who’s not used to snow! 😉 In short, we had a couple of super cozy wintery holiday-days.

And after those wintery days in Austria we went to London – but that’s another story and shall be told in another blogpost.

XX, Angie

Habemus visitors!

Last weekend my dad came to visit me – and he brought my little sister along as a surprise! 😀

I was so happy to see them both – but especially Kathi, as she was making quite sure I knew how busy she was and how she absolutely had no time to come to Italy when I invited her – well played! 😛

Well, we had quite some busy days here too, based on all the sights, cappuccini and cornetti we ticked off our tourist bucket list. Basically, I managed to show them all major tourist sites of the eternal city in just about three days – we even spent one day at the beach, soaking up Italian autumnal sunshine (people were still swimming in the sea!).
I know it sounds a bit stressful, but mind you, we had enough coffee and gelato brakes to regain strength and energy throughout: my dad absolutely loves Italian espresso and la dolce vita, so coffee in the sun at least thrice a day was obligatory – and so was delicious dinner!

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We had a really lovely time discovering Rome together and it was a good feeling to show them my room, the streets I walk in every day on my way to uni, the uni itself and my favourite spots in the city. After explaining everything on Skype, it was nice to share it in “real life”.

I’m looking forward to the next visit! (In the spring the orange trees are in bloom… ^^)

XX, Angie