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Christmas in Rome

Christmas in Rome

Christmas in Rome

It is Christmas eve. My boy is home from college. Love Actually is queued up on the television and French onion soup is on the stove. Things will be a little quiet here on the blog while I enjoy this cozy time of year with my family and friends. 

Wishing you all the happiest of holidays from Rome.


Shopping in Rome {Biola}

Shopping in Rome

Shopping in Rome

A few years ago before we moved from Balduina to Monti, before we were even friends, my now good pal Elizabeth organized an event for the Friends of the American Academy in Italy. There was a screening of the film Food Inc. and after the film there was a panel discussion with three farmers who spoke about small holder farming practices in Italy and how to shop in markets in Rome to make sure you were getting locally produced food. I had recently arrived from many years of living in Africa. I was bewitched by Rome's shiny supermarkets and the orderly, anonymous, fixed price shopping I could accomplish in one easy stop. That one afternoon of film, conversation and food changed everything about how I shopped for and fed my family. I no longer went to the supermarket and instead overcame my language fears and forged a fast friendship with the neighborhood butcher and trekked down the hill to the Trionfale market in search of vegetables that were grown in nearby Maccarese. One of the farmers at that American Academy event was Giuseppe Brandizzi, a third generation cattle farmer who sells what might be the best steak in Lazio. 


Living in Rome {Gillian's List of Links}

Living in Rome

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.


Eating in Tuscany {Antica Locanda di Sesto}

Eating in Tuscany

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.


A Weekend in Tuscany {Lucca}

A Weekend in Tuscany // Lucca

A Weekend in Tuscany // Lucca

I have written here before about how Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. But this year, my first with Noah away at college, the thought of planning and celebrating and feasting made my heart hurt a little. Mark had the great idea to just get out of town for the weekend. We chose to spend a weekend in Lucca. Thankfully.


Eating in Rome {Açaí & Friends} CLOSED

Eating in Rome

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.


Christmas in Rome

Christmas in Rome

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.


Christmas Gift Guide {Gillian's List of Links}

Christmas in Rome

It's no secret I love a list. Another thing I love are gift guides. Here is my Christmas gift guide for 2014.