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Hamburgers in Rome {Quarto}

Last year my good pal Annie tweeted me that she had found the  Best Hamburger in Rome in the Prati neighborhood.  It took me a little while but I finally joined my friends, Diana, Heather and Nathalie to see if I agreed with the Scooter Maven's bold claim.


Markets in Rome {Trionfale}


Markets in Rome Trionfale

Markets in Rome Trionfale

When I first moved to Rome I was no fan of the food markets.  The market closest to my apartment in Balduina was the Trionfale market, which at the time was scattered messily on the sidewalk on both sides of the wide via Andrea Doria.  It was haphazard and confusing and way too much like the life I had left behind me in Africa.

As I grew to love Rome and her beautiful and chaotic ways, I grew to love doing my grocery shopping at the market.  When the Trionfale market moved from the sidewalk to the large, orderly space still on via Andrea Doria is was very much a part of my weekly routine and I was very sad to leave it when we moved across town to Monti.

Last week I had the chance to go back to my old haunts when I was invited by Trionfale Tours to spend the morning with them learning about their favorite places.


Breakfast in Rome {Vanilla Organic Bakery} CLOSED

Breakfast in Rome

I am not really a morning person. And I am even less of a breakfast person. Left to my own devices I would stay up until the middle of night, wake at an embarrassingly late hour and have a grilled steak sandwich or a slice of pepperoni pizza when I finally had an appetite. Alas, I am a wife and a mother and I have work to do, so I am up with the birds with a large cup of coffee and NPR.

The thing is, I love pancakes. And bacon.  And french toast. And scrambled eggs. My friend Diana and I try to meet regularly every couple of weeks so that we see each other in person and not just as emoticon comments on Instagram. We usually go to the cozy and charming Coromandel near Piazza Navona. In the spirit of a new year and new habits, we decided to try something new (and close to my new yoga studio)The Vanilla Organic Bakery near Piazza Fiume. 


Yoga in Rome {Ryoga}

Yoga in Rome

It might be hard to imagine if you watch my Instagram stories which can make it seem like all I do it drink coffee and eat plates of pasta, but before I moved to Rome I was a pretty serious yogini. I had a regular ashtanga-ish practice with a community of women from around the world. My day started at first light in the international school gym that we were granted access to for the first class period of the day. Zimbabwe in the early 2000's was not always the most fun place to be. My husband traveled all. the. time. My household staff was ravaged by HIV, those being the days before access to ARVs. Security dwindled, currency crashed and staple supplies vanished. My yoga practice and those women were my foundation and solace.

and then I moved to Rome.


Coffee in Rome {2periodico Cafe} - CLOSED

Coffee in Rome

Coffee in Rome

Regular readers of my blog and anyone who knows me will not be surprised to read that I am creature of habit. Writing for a living can be lonely work. I am lucky to have a nearby neighbor who frequently forces me away from my screen and out into the world for a quick cup of coffee on many an afternoon. We chat about what we are working on and clear our heads by knocking back strong small cups of coffee to steel ourselves for a few more hours of typing. Usually we go to Er Baretto, a comfortable spot on via Boschetto. This being a new year and all and that it was only just beginning meant neither of us was quite off vacation time, so we switched things up and tried something new. 


Eating in Rome {Armando al Pantheon}

Armando al Pantheon // Rome

2013 was a tough year for Italy. Things like talk about a tax on the internet and youth unemployment rates on par with sub Saharan Africa can make it hard to see the positive.

But positive there is. New restaurants and swanky cocktail bars are opening up all over town. Old favorites are renovating and are always full. 


The Noble Families of Rome {Gillians's List of Links}

The Noble Families of Rome

The Noble Families of Rome

It is easy to get inured to the history that surrounds you when you live in Rome. No matter how dramatic or romantic Rome may be, I still do the same things anyone anywhere does like grocery shopping, laundry and paying bills. The slight difference is that history imbues every part of daily life. The ancient is still very much a part of modern Rome. I live on a street rumored to be the former home of Julius Cesear, though this is the Roman version of George Washington slept here. My trek to the grocery store include a climb of the the Borgia steps. The families who crests adorn palaces and fountains are parents at school and friends at cocktail parties. 

Here are a few links for you to learn more about Rome's noble families. 


Cocktails in Rome {Moderno + Testaccio}

La Moderno Testaccio // Cocktails in Rome

La Moderno Testaccio // Cocktails in Rome

The other  evening, after listening to some hipster Romanian music and visiting a photography exhibit at the MACRO in Testaccio we were not quite ready to head back home.  It was dark and felt late, but it was not even 7pm. I had remembered seeing some new cocktail spot that had recently opened being talked about on Facebook and while I was looking up the name I realized we were actually standing right in front of it. 


Cocktails in Rome {Bottiglieria il Nolano}

When I see pictures on Instagram of Christmas markets in other parts of Italy and in northern Europe I feel a twinge of envy.  I love Vin Brule, mulled wine.  The syrupy sweet cut with spice and citrus is perfect for a nippy wander around town.  Here in Rome,  the Christmas weather is not all that nippy and vin brule is not so easy to find. There is one place we return every year, after one of our traditional long afternoon holiday walks.


Museums in Rome {MACRO // Testaccio }

We have been using this time in between Christmas and Befana to see some of the many exhibits that are on in Rome right now.  The MACRO complex in Testaccio has all kinds of things to keep you busy in January.