Christmas in Italy – Settling into Rome, and a quick overview of Rome itself


In keeping with the tradition of adventure, Sarah and I went on a big trip for Christmas and New Years!

This year, we met up with Sarah’s family in Italy, traveling to Rome and Florence; not quite a perfect midpoint for everyone, but it was close enough. And, also, you know. Rome. Florence. Amazing!


Thursday, 21-Dec-2017



The seat of European history. The home of Romulus and Remus, second only to Athens in its effect upon the ancient world. The seeds of nearly everything were planted here: from warfare to irrigation, from republics to frescos.

We couldn’t wait to explore it! With so much to see and do, our targets were nearly limitless… so we focused in on the big ones: Our goals were mostly to see the ancient sites – the Pantheon, Colosseum, and the Forum, alongside some of the baroque architecture of the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica.

We’d also aim to tour as much Roman cuisine as possible, exploring the restaurants and grocery stores to gather delicious knowledge of Roman cooking. All the while, of course, enjoying the city itself and it’s uncountable outdoor sculptures and plazas.

Our base of operations was a mid-sized apartment that Henry and Leah had rented near the Spanish Steps – not directly on any crazy streets, but close enough to the action that we didn’t have to think about renting a car while we were there.

Sarah and I arrived earlier than the rest of the group, so not only did we get a nice pre-tour as we took a cab into the city from the airport, but we also got to get a tour of the apartment from the concierge before setting off to explore the town a bit.


The apartment itself was on the top floor of a series of apartments, complete with a kitchen, three bedrooms, and two small patios that gave us a pretty impressive view of the Roman skyline. We planned to split our time between eating out and cooking in; the kitchen was pretty well provisioned with pans and spices, and the groceries were bound to be stocked with the best ingredients a chef could ask for. But we wanted to make sure that we didn’t miss out on too much of the famous Italian cuisine by staying in – a balance was the way to go.

That first night was eating out – since we were the only one’s in town so far, we headed out on our own and found a small eat-in fast food style place.  Now, I know what you’re thinking… but bear with me.  This place smelled amazing, and didn’t have the American style fast food.  Instead, it had pasta and pizza, and most importantly it had that type of pasta that Sarah and I love – Buccatini, served with sliced sausage and asparagus.

I’ll be honest, that first meal was pretty amazing… and may have been better than any version of the meal that Sarah and I cook. It was simple ingredients… but cooked beautifully, and seasoned perfectly.  Our initial interaction with Roman cooking was a success.

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