Last year, I studied abroad in Rome for four months. It’s safe to say that I know some of the best places to eat, shop and site see, and a lot hidden treasures that you might not find in your typical guide to the city. It is one of my favorite places in the world and I miss it (and the pasta!) everyday.
When we first arrived after an 8 hour flight, it was a bit of a culture shock! Especially for me as I barely knew any Italian.
But, we immersed ourselves in Italian culture immediately! Starting with getting a typical Italian breakfast at a local cafe. Breakfast isn’t really a thing in Italy, besides grabbing an espresso. We lived near a great cafe in Garbatella, called Eden Caffe.
This was our typical breakfast before we started cooking at home! Cornetto con nutella and a cappuccio, per favore.
It is amazing to live so close to some of the most beautiful and well known sites in the world. As we were trying to find dinner our first night out, we got out of the metro and the Colosseum was right in front of us.
Being typical tourists we settled on a tourist trap for dinner. We thought the food was good but we had no idea what Italy had to offer. My one suggestion for restaurants is to never go into a restaurant where there are a lot of tourists! Go find the Italians!
Rigatoni alla Cacio e Pepe
Cacio e Pepe is my favorite dish in the whole world and I pretty much ate it at every restaurant we went to. I’m a bit of a Cacio e Pepe expert. I will share my favorite restaurants in one of my following Roma posts!
Completely amazed by our first night in Rome, we navigated the metro back to our apartment in Garbatella.
We lived near an area called Testaccio where there are restaurants, night clubs, and markets. So, the next day with our group from school we headed to il Mercato di Testaccio. It has amazing food and produce!
Our first week in Rome was orientation. We were taught basic Italian phrases, which cafes to go to, and how to get around. We also went to a vineyard outside of Rome, where we had a typical Italian lunch. Tons of bread, meats, and cheese. Followed by pasta and meat. And wine!
This was a very good vegetable lasagna.
While I was a little bit homesick for a couple days, I was having so much fun that I forgot about it! I have so much to share from the best 4 months ever!