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Summer in Rome {Gillian's Links}

Summer in Rome

Summer in Rome is filled with some of my favorite activities. All of them are outside, near historic monuments and all of them are free.


Summer Indulgences {Gillian's List of Links}

The summer heat has finally arrived here in Rome.


Best Gelato in Rome {Five Favorite Places}

The weather is finally heating up here in Rome and it is the time of year when an afternoon gelato becomes a daily habit.  It is difficult to chose, because there are certainly more than five favorite places to get gelato in Rome, but here goes. My five favorite places for a cold and creamy treat. 


Best Panini in Rome {Five Favorite Places}

Best Panini in Rome

Best Panini in Rome
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Florence is probably better known as the place for gourmet panini than Rome is, but there are some pretty good sandwiches to be found here in the eternal city. Here are my picks for the best panini in Rome. 


This Must be the Place {Gillian's List of Links}

La Grande Bellezza

I have talked about home before. About what an evasive and variable thing it can be for a longtime ex-pat like me.

When I was first starting out in this vagabond life, I lived in a brown tiled house on a sandy road in Niamey, Niger. This was before the Internet, before Skype. This was the days when information came in the form of blue airmail envelopes and two week old Newsweek magazines and holding a shortwave wave radio over your head to get enough reception to hear the BBC world service. As the Teenager likes to say when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

I had a boom box, with a double cassette player. I know, fancy. Tapes were passed around and copied and scotch-taped back together when they got caught up in the sand-clogged mechanics. One of the tapes that got listened to over and over and over again was Stop Making Sense by The Talking Heads. One song has always struck a chord with me. I have often said its kind of an ex-pat anthem. Because of lyrics like this.

It's where I want to be. pick me up and turn me round
Home. It's where I want to be
I guess I'm already there

The actual name of the song is Naive Melody, but it is commonly known as This Must Be the Place.

The song has been covered many many times. My favorite is the Shawn Colvin version. It has been used in film soundtracks and its meaning as a love song is discussed in this The New Yorker article. Best of all, it served as inspiration for one of my favorite films from last year by Paolo Sorrentino.

A few weeks ago, Sorrentino's new film La Grande Bellezza, premiered to wild praise at Cannes. It is set in the place I now call home.


Finally {Tacos in Rome + La Taqueria}

Ask an American expat in Rome what they miss most from the states and nine times out of ten the answer will be Mexican food.  For some reason, this is cuisine that has just not caught on here.  You can get good burgers, great cocktails and there was a even a cupcake craze here for a little while.  For whatever reason, there was no really good Mexican.  I am happy to say that has now changed.