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The Best of 2016

#bestnine gmcguireinrome

It is the end of the year, a time for both reflection and looking forward. I think most of you would agree that 2016 was a pretty terrible year for the world. I am incredibly lucky to be able to say that it was not a terrible year for me personally. Before I dive into 2017, I want to look back at 2016 with some thoughtfulness and bring intention to the new year. Last year a blogger pal of mine had a post that I really loved. Heather from A Merry Feast had her family list the highlights of their year. We adopted it as our own tradition and spent the last day of  2015 thinking about the year that had passed with these questions. 

Here are my thoughts on the highlights of my 2016. I would love to hear yours. Please share in the comments section below. 


Mercato Centrale Roma {Where to Eat in Termini Station}

Mercato Centrale Roma Where to Eat in Termini Station

Mercato Centrale Roma Where to Eat in Termini Station

A trip to Rome probably means a trip to Termini station. This is a place that I really used to work hard to avoid. Slowly over the past few years train travel in Italy has gotten more convenient and now I actually go to Termini on purpose. Sometime for a reason that has absolutely nothing to do with trains. 

The reason for the non train journey visits to Termini you ask? They are because of the Mercato Centrale.


Five Hours in Venice

Five Hours in Venice

Five Hours in Venice

In the last twelve months I have spent a lot of time in Venice. It is one of those places that I fall in love with just a little bit more with each time I visit. In my dream life I would like to live there all winter long when the city is slightly less overwhelmed by the literally thousands of people who visit in the warmer months of the year. I would love to learn how to navigate all the tiny calle, memorize the vaporetto schedule and have a bar where they know how I like my morning cappuccino and my evening spritz. I want to learn the kind of things that you can only learn if you live somewhere  and go to the same places over and over again. 

The other day I did the exact opposite of what I am describing. I went to Venice for lunch. From Rome. It was impulsive and extravagant and something I am always discouraging people visiting Italy from doing. I loved every second of it.


Exploring Garbatella

Where to Eat in Garbatella

Where to Eat in Garbatella

I hope you are in the mood for lots of pictures today because I went a little snap-happy the other day in a part of Rome that you might not be familiar with that is just two metro stops from the Colosseum. 

Years ago when I was first learning Italian I watched a show called I Cesaroni. It was a light, funny, Brady Bunch kind of show about a blended family and their Roman life. They lived in a house (!) in Garbatella with a garden and met at the bar around the corner. The theme song was my ring tone for a long time. Who can resist such a Roman line that goes 

"Pizza e mortadella la strada é sempre quella 

guardo tramontare il sole sulla Garbatella"

Fast forward to now. I spend much less time working on my Italian, my ringtone is a Hamilton song and I still had not made it to Garbatella. A pal was in town working on a book and invited me along for a day with Rosalie who runs I Dolci Passi, a tour company that leads walks that mix history and food.


Christmas Gift Guide 2016 {Gillian's Lists of Links}

Christmas in Rome

Christmas in Rome

This years Christmas list is full of things I love; Things that make traveling more entertaining and comfortable, beautiful things from Italian destinations I adore and experiences that taste delicious. Make sure you scroll down to the bottom of the post to find previous years posts of my suggestions for Italian themed Christmas gifts. Happy shopping!