Freitag, 13. Juni 2014

Rome-Special Part I.

We only spent 5 days in Rome – which is naturally not enough to give a complete account.
Nevertheless I would like to share a little of the atmosphere and all the beautiful things with you – including my own enjoyment ;).

For those of you who will prefer to visit Rome themselves I will share some concrete tips and advice for some exceptionally lovely shops and restaurants.

As mentioned earlier, Rome literally showers you with sights.
My husband and I, however, were not trying to “check off” as many of them as possible, we chose but a few and above all applied a relaxed approach to it all.

If I am new to a city, in my mind this city is made up of the cultural and historic treasures as well as some other details of equal importance:
I like to take slow stress-free walks through little alleyways, I want to be able to forever explore a small store, try on 10 dresses and joke around with the sales ladies, drink espresso and just stay put for a long time and watch the passers-by.
While doing so I don’t put myself under pressure to try and spot the usual suspects at all costs.

You really have to try it – you will be intensely aware of everything, the pleasure could hardly be any greater, as it were ;).

My tips today are all located along one single street in a picturesque part of town called Monti.
If you leave yourself time for your stroll, I will guarantee you that it will take the whole morning to reach the end of Via Urbana.
If you are faster you can easily reach the Colliseum by foot and can thus combine both of them.

Towards evening you may enjoy the cool shade of the trees and the breathtaking view of the city in Villa Borghese Park:
With its broad shady walkways, fountains, temples and many statues it makes for a perfect end of the day.

Here are a few tips for Via Urbana:

1. LOL is a magical shop with incredibly congenial sales assistants and a small but wonderful selection of dresses, cashmere and accessories.
I bought a silk dress for myself and delicate jewelry for Noelle there.

2. A few steps further on you will discover a store for leather goods of the old-fashioned kind:
here they sell leather in all colors and qualities by the yard.
If, however, you don’t plan on sewing your own purse any time soon you can also simply buy the finest belts of very high quality and at excellent prices – they will be fitted for you there and then.

3. For all fans of vegan food:
all tucked away between other shops chocolate heaven is waiting for you:
Grezzo raw chocolate is not only designed in an incredibly stylish and loving way, but also bursting with several types of chocolate ice-cream and small desserts.
Everything hand-made and without sugar.
Unfortunately there is no possibility to eat them right there, which is why I bought a small selection, took it with me to the next café and enjoyed it along with an espresso.

I don’t even want to tell you much more:
Discover it for yourself, this picturesque quarter, enjoy wonderfully fresh food at Aromaticus and stroll through the quaint alleyways without a worry.

I want to show you an absolutely fantastic alternative to the usual “tourist uniform” today.

It is comfortable AND stylish.
It is airy and still well-dressed.
It is elegant and at the same time relaxed.
It is the perfect mix of lady and hippie.
Depending on its cut it covers or underlines all the right parts.

I’m talking about the maxi dress!

I hadn’t worn one up to now, because I am not very tall – however, I changed my mind this summer: I love it and am truly thrilled about how much fun it is to wear a maxi dress!

- it is ideal for travelling by plane: the legs are covered in case it gets cool on board, and combined with a little jacket you have a comfortable yet elegant outfit.

- you will look perfect all day in a maxi dress: wear a black or white one with some classy earrings and a dressier pair of shoes for the evening, with casual sandals and a purse with a fringe for daytime.

- there is the right kind of cut for every physique: whether it has short set-in sleeves, a V-neck, a longer or shorter hem (have a seamstress make alterations).
Simply try out different variations to find out what suits your body best.

- If you carry a few extra pounds you will NOT look like an elephant seal – I promise you: a maxi dress is by far the better option to the usual “large T-shirt – loose pants – both in a dark color” kind of thing.

- Important:
If you combine the maxi dress with a little jacket it should only reach your waistline, so the proportions will stay intact.

alles von Mango

alles von Mango

alles von Mango

alles von Mango

alles von Mango

We will conjure up Bella Italia for our dinner table at home:
Served by the very pretty Laura who has true Italian blood running through her veins and who is working for me as the Liebesbotschaft intern at the moment!

"Every year when I go visit my family in Sicily, there is one dish that tops my (long) list of “I-definitely-have-to eat-this-while-I-am-here“: 
Pasta alla Norma. 
This pasta dish is a traditional Sicilian dish and was named after the opera “Norma” by Sicilian composer Vincenzo Bellini. 

I learned from my sister only last week that even the choice of colors is typically Sicilian: the eggplants’ black and the Ricotta Salata’s white are supposed to symbolize the volcanic Mount Etna and its snow-covered peaks. 
The classic Italian tri-colorway is represented by green basil, red tomatoes and white pasta.

If you manage to track down a good-quality salsiccia at an Italian grocery store (salsiccia is a type of Italian sausage, with different spices added depending on the region, e.g. fennel, red wine or pepperoncini), you can excellently supplement the recipe with it, namely like this:

Pasta alla Norma con Salsiccia
makes 4 servings

- 14 oz Italian sieved tomatoes (bottle or can)
- 1 handful of cherry tomatoes (the sweeter, the better)
- 1 shallot
- 1 bunch of basil, chopped
- 1 medium black eggplant
- approx. 1 scant pound of salsiccia
- approx. 3.5 oz Ricotta Salata (Sicilian hard cheese)
- 1 pound of pasta of choice

- First prepare the tomato sauce. Slowly sauté the diced onions in olive oil, in the meantime chop the cherry tomatoes and add to the onions. Add salt and pepper and chopped basil. Briefly bring to a boil, then add sieved tomatoes. Simmer over medium heat, if needed add more salt and pepper later.

- Dice the eggplant and sauté in olive oil. A good Pasta alla Norma’s secret is to sauté the eggplant well, so brown it well in a generous lacing of olive oil – it requires a bit of patience, but it’s what produces the fabulous taste . Once the eggplant is done, set aside in a bowl.

- Squeeze the salsiccia from its casing, cut into small pieces and sauté. Now add the tomato sauce, mix it up and bring to a brief boil. In order to avoid the eggplant getting soggy I always add it at the very end.

- Mix the cooked pasta with the sauce, so that the pasta already absorbs the taste of the sauce .

- Finally serve the pasta with the rest of the sauce and the freshly grated Ricotta Salata.

Buon Appetito!"

I am looking forward to next week:
We will continue with Roman inspirations and the Italian way of life!


p.s. Thank you, Nicole, for the beautiful picture!

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