When you are a foreigner in a foreign land there are a lot of things to figure out. There are the practical things like learning the language and what on earth that stuff you need to clean the bathtub is called. In the grand scheme of expat life these challenges are pretty easy to tackle and master. And then there are the fuzzier, deeper things. First you learn about La Bella Figura and that it really does matter and maybe then you move on to why on earth does the shop owner stand in front of the entrance smoking a cigarette when all you want to do go inside. Whether you are living in Rome for a few months or a lifetime there is always another layer of culture to uncover. Another thing to try and make sense of. In the end that is why I chose this life. I enjoy that never-ending search for a deeper layer of understanding of a place that piano piano just might become my own. These are a few things that I have been reading and watching in my quest for understanding.
The Tuscan Chef Aurelio Barattini was one of the first people I followed when I first got started with Instagram. I remember when his son was born and over the years I have followed along on trips to the beach and New York City. His behind the scene pictures of what he and the team of chefs at Antica Locanda di Sesto just outside of Lucca are cooking is sweet torture. Rare Tuscan steaks, hand rolled pastas, traditional Lucchese desserts; Each shot just makes you hungry both for the food and a trip north to Tuscany. Finally after years of attempts we made it to Lucca and I met my social media pal in real life.
Since September I have really been on a mission to eat more vegetables and less pizza bianca. Luckily in my Monti neighborhood that's pretty easy. I can go get some green juice up the street or a slice of farinata from downstairs. The other day after a teensy shopping spree I was starving and wanted something quick. I was just about to succumb to a salty, carby slab when I spied Açaí & Friends.
The calendar says December. The thermometer feels more like April. Here in Rome the city is busy getting dressed up for the holidays.
Soon the streets will be filled with sparkly lights and decorated trees. For right now here is sneak peek of what's to come.