Dienstag, 1. Juli 2014

Rom-Special Part III.

When I found out that we were going on a trip to Rome, the first thing that came to my mind was the following:
I want to take a spin on a Vespa when I’m there!

In hindsight this idea was the best idea of the year – I can hardly recall a time when I had That. Much. Fun in a row than during those days:
The temperatures were unusually warm for June, the head wind pleasantly cool on the skin, without great effort one was able to see the most beautiful places and corners, all the while resting your feet.
What the bicycle is to the inhabitants of Berlin, the Vespa is to the Romans – sometimes I felt as if I was in a motorcycle gang, like when we took off at a traffic light that had just turned green.
So you’re not only in good company, but you can get to any place in an uncomplicated way, and fast, too.
Uncomplicated AND thrilling:
My husband learned to drive a moped in Lagos, Nigeria, and accordingly…to cut a long story short: he drives like a maniac – no gap too narrow, no bend too tight, no curb too high.

I can very highly recommend it to everybody:
Rome without scooting around on a Vespa is like chocolate without black tea or like summer without the seaside – nice, but it could be muuuuuuch nicer.
It’s uncomplicated to rent one, they give you a helmet as well and off you go!

Today we are going to visit the district around the Campo di Fiori:
Narrow alleyways with small boutiques and vintage shops, a big square with a farmers’ market (a food blogger’s paradise with all its many dishes and stalls with items made of olive wood), and the most delicious food in the world!

My tips today are all straight from the horse’s mouth:
The recommendations for you are Andrea’s, who has lived in Rome for over 20 years and is the designer of beautiful fashion – she spontaneously wrote to me and we had a great time together!

- Ice-cream at Giolitti’s: the best ice-cream ever at via degli uffifi del vicaro 40, near the Pantheon (right around the corner from the Lautre Chose store, pzza di campo marzio 9-11)

- Best pizza and beautiful people: at Gusto’s at piazza augusto imperatore 9, stylish atmosphere and good food, attached to it is a shop with ABSOLUTELY must-have kitchen gadgets!

Apart from Andrea’s recommended locations, here is another one of my special shopping tips:

There is a store on a side street off of Campo di Fiori where you can get your own hand-made flip flops:
Custom-made with customized heights and individual color of leather, and the world’s prettiest decorative embellishments!

Some more classical tips from Andrea: Campo dei Fiori.

One of Rome’s most beautiful squares ever.
In the mornings there is a farmers’ market, where tourists and Romans alike simply enjoy the lovely ambience. Make sure to stroll around the alleyways, to me this is Rome’s essence: not at all dressed up, but super authentic! From total ignorance to total brilliancy: everything’s there, cast in a beautiful light.

- Auditorium.
a must-see! 
One of the few modern buildings in Rome that actually turned out a success (besides the Mausoleo di Augusto on pzza augusto imperatore).
Renzo Piano is the Auditorium’s architect and he created a truly one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Great concerts all the time, but also stop by for the bookshop, the exhibitions, the aperitivo and above all for the intellectual, but not formal, atmosphere.

Believe it or not:
Roman ladies drive their Vespas wearing dresses and high heels!
So did I, and on one of the particularly hot days I wore a top and shorts, very uncomplicated.

My style inspiration for the summer:
Get a slightly fancier top and wear it during the day accompanied by a big tote and jeans, as well as in the evening with a necklace, a clutch and sensational shoes – a lovely eye-catcher and a highlight in your closet!
Whether they are made of silk, lace or flounces: these type of tops are real investment pieces and I wear them for years.

I have had the top in the pictures for several years (at Queermode in Stuttgart), but these are also beautiful!

1. Hallhuber (silk)
2. Hallhuber (silk)
3. Mango


1. Mango
2. Mango
4. Mango

When I was in Rome I quite often simply ordered a plate of antipasti instead of the usual pizza or pasta dishes.
To my delight they were so varied and copiously assembled that they were a true inspiration and a special treat!

They were usually served on simple plates or platters and the loveliest utensils made of olive wood.
Since obviously not every reader will have a chance to go to Rome straight away, you can also order stylish dolce-vita props online:
With small bowls for olives and simple plates that look as if they were hand-thrown due to their irregular shapes.
I like!

Just barbecue some veggies, buy Italian salami, mortadella and cheese and arrange everything on a platter together with small bowls of olives, pesto and other delicacies – so simple and so incredibly delicious!

Isn’t Laura, my current intern, breathtakingly pretty?
She supplies the ideas for the originally Italian recipes and supports me in everything in a perfectly wonderful way.

When I first had Caponata Siciliana on Campo di Fori, I was instantly smitten!
Laura prepared it for us at home and you’ll end up with this incredibly delicious dish that either works as a meal in itself or perfectly matches the plates of antipasti.

"Caponata Siciliana has many variations – ingredients and preparations differ depending on the region and the taste. 
As it happens my Sicilian grandfather is known for his delicious Caponata, which he sometimes cooks in huge casseroles and gives away to all his neighbors and friends.
Here is the recipe for my version of the dish:

Caponata Siciliana

- 2 eggplants
- 1 red onion
- 2 sticks of celery
- one handful of green olives
- 1 Tbsp capers
- 1 can chopped tomatoes (Polpa di Pomodori)
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp sugar (dissolve the sugar in the white wine vinegar)
- one bunch of basil

- Sauté diced eggplant in olive oil until golden brown, put aside on a plate.
- Cut onion into thin slices, sauté in olive oil, add can of tomatoes and bunch of chopped basil. Add salt and pepper, reduce sauce by simmering (Attention: err on the side of caution when it comes to adding salt, as the capers are usually quite salty already).
- In a second frying pan sauté diced celery, halved olives and capers (if they were pickled in salt, better rinse them beforehand) for a few minutes. Then add eggplant and deglaze with the vinegar-sugar mix – this will add the typical sweet-and-sour taste.
- Now add the reduced tomato sauce and bring to a boil for 2 to 3 minutes.
- To finish you may add pine nuts and/or sliced and toasted almonds. Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes and enjoy at room temperature (or cold).”  

This was the final chapter of my Rome impressions.

If you really want to go there and still need accommodation:
We stayed at face to face.
It is situated on a picturesque little street and you are amongst Romans in a personal atmosphere and stylish ambience (and at a relatively reasonable price).
In the evenings I sat with the proprietress for hours, chatting about anything and everything, and hugging the cleaning lady who not only cleaned my room, but even eliminated my mess tidied it every time.

Whether you actually go and visit Rome or not:
The relaxed way of enjoying food, and the simple yet elegant way of dressing is inspiring in any case!

If you have additional tips for Rome I’d be happy, if you shared them with everyone in the comments!

Sources of supply:
white Plates: LaMaison
Olivewood-bowls: LaMaison


p.s. Nicole Adler drew the most delightful picture of all times – a thousand thank yous for that! 
Thank you so much, Eva from Ginnellstudio, for translating this post!

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