The most beautiful fountain in the world – Rome’s Fontana di Trevi at night.
Rome is somewhere I’ve always wanted to live. Great food, fascinating history, warm weather and hot Italian men… what’s not to love! A few years ago I had the opportunity to rent a penthouse apartment overlooking Piazza del Popolo for the same price I currently pay for my tiny studio apartment in Paris. I don’t know what I was thinking by not staying there, especially considering the number one benefit of living in Rome over Paris. The food!
That’s why I was so happy to finally experience Rome like a local. Staying in an apartment and taking part in a local food tour in Rome made me think how my life would be if I lived in the Eternal City. In short, it would be fantastic!
Our guide Eleonora showed us what was in season in the markets and how to pick the best produce. We started by tracking down the best artichokes which were on just about every menu in Rome at the time.
Then we looked for other seasonal produce which included Romanesco zucchini, wild asparagus and sweet smelling strawberries.
After that we picked up the most important ingredients of the day; black pepper, pecorino romano cheese and fresh hand made pasta before heading back to our apartment to cook.
Making Spaghetti with Crushed Black Pepper and Pecorino
This is one of the easiest pasta dishes you could ever make and also one of the most delicious.
Crushed Black Pepper
Grated Pecorino Cheese
Cook the spaghetti until it’s al dente.
Drain the pasta but reserve the salted cooking water. Mix the pecorino and black pepper in a bowl.
Add a couple of ladles of the pasta water and mix until the sauce reaches a creamy consistency.
Mix in the pasta and it’s ready to eat!
I lived like a Roman courtesy of HouseTrip who arranged for us to stay in an apartment literally a stone’s throw from the Colosseum. They have many apartments in Rome available for short stays but I don’t think you’ll find one with a better view than this:
Special thanks to Eleonora who prepared a four course meal for 10 of us virtually on her own. She has a great food blog called Aglio Olio e Peperoncino where she writes about Italian food and way of life.
Teatro di Marcello is one of the most beautiful ancient buildings in Rome. Built for Julius Caesar but completed after his death it has since been redesigned and reconstructed to take on its current form. The non-uniform facade (which you thankfully can’t see in this photo) is thanks to Mussolini who decided to have a bit of a go at restoring the building.
Walking past the theatre towards the Portico di Ottavia you’ll stumble into the Jewish Ghetto, an area established by the Pope in the 16th century which stripped the Jews of all rights and freedoms.
The Jewish Ghetto was enclosed by a wall and the 1,000 poverty stricken inhabitants were locked in each night. Nowadays, the exclusive residential area is known for it’s art galleries, boutique stores and great restaurants. Funny how quickly things can change.
The Jewish quarter is also home to Rome’s main synagogue which can only be visited on a guided tour (unless you’re there for a service). There is also a quirky turtle fountain.
From the Jewish Ghetto you can cross the Ponte Fabricio to stroll around the pretty Tiber Island and enjoy a gelato.