DivoraRoma's June 3-10, 2017 was a great success!
The fabulous group of 3 travelers (+ myself) had a great time... and we certainly had many chances to taste a delicious variety of foods and wines from Rome and the surrounding area (including a day trip to my family's home town outside of Rome: Bracciano AND a second day trip to a childhood hangout of mine: Civita Di Bagnoreggio - more on this on my travel journal/blog soon!), a cooking class in our apartment, a professionally organized wine and food tasting of 9 wines and 9 dishes at the super fun Roscioli restaurant, and sightseeing around the archaeological (Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum) and history (Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and St Peter's), and just plain FUN!
Here is a summary of our experiences and activities together, as well as a slideshow of the highlight images from our glorious week as a group:
My travelers came at different times on June 3rd 2017. We settled into the beautiful apartment in the Prati area, near central Rome (by Piazza Del Popolo and the Vatican) and then began our week with a passeggiata (evening walkabout) and a delicious Roman dinner a at the delicious Antica Enoteca on Via Della Croce by the Spanish Steps. Keeping the first half day simple and easy was a goal of mine, so as to let all travelers adjust to being in Rome after a day of travel.
I wanted to organize a casual yet sophisticated week for this group of travelers, whom had never been to Rome before! The Roscioli 9-course food and wine tasting was delicious and a fantastic start to our experiences in Rome together. We spent 4 hours eating and sipping on wines from all over Italy, and learning about their processes and flavors. Around midnight, we happily walked back home to our apartment, through the fantastically lit up streets of Rome.
We explored the various Rioni (neighborhoods) in Rome as the days went by (Trastevere, Campo De Fiori and beyond), while enjoying the delicious foods as we came across them. Gelato and caffe' were always part of our daily routines, allowing us to keep a steady and vibrant pace. Evening naps (riposino) are a part of day to day life in Rome (in Italy in general) so we took advantage of them too, allowing us to rest up for an hour or two during the hottest part of the day, so we could freshen up and dress up for the afternoon and evening happy hour and outings.
Our two day trips were a great way to break up the hustle and bustle of Rome, with the peaceful tranquillity of the country side. Bracciano is where most of my family is from and goes to during the hottest summer months. It is only about 45 minutes away from Rome, so it is an easy drive to on a whim. We visited the medieval castle in Bracciano (Orsini-Odescalchi) and enjoyed a delicious lunch al fresco at Trattoria Vicarello, a derelict farm house along the lake road. It's not on any tourist books... this is where my own family goes to have a delicious lunch! ;) Private and little known, and oh so fresh. All of my DivoraRoma guests will receive recipes and photographs of just about everything we had a chance to cook and eat during out week together, by the way... Its one of the exciting post-trip things I love to offer, for sure!
The second day trip was to Civita Di Bagnoreggio, which is an originally Etruscan settlement on top of a hill made of tuff (pumice), turned Roman town, turned medieval village, turned hip artist gathering as of today. Civita is about one and a half hours from Rome along a beautiful country drive. It is such an absolute picturesque village, and so worth the drive to get there. Visitors park away from the citadel, and must walk a long pedestrian bridge to enter it. Thursdays are the off-days during which most all restaurants and shops are closed, but it is still beautiufl to see.
I cannot forget the super fun home cooking class and lunch we had one Monday! Local tour operator Susannetta put me in touch with Eataly chef Silvia, who met us at the Jewish market (Campo De Fiori) that morning, to help us purchase ingredients for the cooking class and lunch. We all took taxis back to the beautiful apartment (Visconti House) and then learnt to make pasta, saltimbocca and tiramisu. So fun and so delicious! These recipes will be included in the cookbook as well, of course.
We visited the Colosseum and the Vatican on two separate days, for half a day each, so we could get a full taste of Rome's Roman empire AND Rome's Papal history, as well. All so very interesting and beautiful! I love to combine my food and wine expreriences with art, architecture and history tours... The latter are not included in DivoraRoma, but I absolutely enjoy organizing and facilitating the purchasing of tour tickets for my travelers. I even love to participate in some of these tours, since even though Rome is where I was born and where I am from, I continue to be mesmerized and in awe of all of the art and museums, and I take any chance I can get to visit sites too.
This is but a summary of our full week of eating, drinking, exploring and friendships. I am so very proud of what I was able to organize for all, and am extremely impressed by all of the Roman businesses I worked with ahead of time, in order to assure a perfect stay for my guests. I am very much looking forward to more experiences! Thank you for reading!
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