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

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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

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

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Christmas couldn’t possibly have come and gone without a Christmas dinner for the flat and as (for some miraculous reason) we all were off yesterday evening, we held a very Spanish dinner party – with a little Austrian twist!

Our kitchen was busy since the early afternoon with everyone preparing their course for the massive dinner we had planned. And while the guys did the cooking we moved tables and chairs to the living room and prepared a festive table.

As you know the Spanish-Austrian ratio in our flat is 5:1, and that was perfectly mirrored in the menu:

  • Canapés and Gazpacho as starters
  • Croquetas and lots of Langustines in garlic and parsley
  • Black rice with aioli and fried Calamari
    and for dessert:
  • Baked apples, gingerbread and cookies and mulled wine 😉

We definitely had enough to feed a roman legion, but that’s how it’s supposed to be. What a Christmas dinner would it be, it there weren’t enough left-overs to live of for the rest of the week?

And even though we almost died in food coma, we had fun revealing the Secret Santa presents (thanks for the lovely tea pot!!), took lots of pictures, played games and cracked loads of Christmas crackers!

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It was such a nice and relaxed, little bit chaotic, very festive and lovely evening!
Thanks so much chicos! 🙂

XX, Angie