After taking a break on Monday to celebrate the long weekend and Liberation Day in Italy, I'm back! There's been a lot going on with events around the city reaching a peak, due to the flurry of April holidays and days off. Here's a quick overview of my favorites and what I've been doing, eating, and planning.
In Rome, I've been taking frequent walks in the center to get outside in the sun. The city is starting to fill up with the summer tourist crowd and once again you can see people outside at all times of the day and night. My constant goal is to try as many new drink and food places as possible and experience the wide variety of Italian food that Rome has to offer. Most of the time I stick with classic Roman trattorias or pizzerias, but variety is the spice of life...
We've also been taking many day trips in Lazio and in the country on these long weekends, which I love. There's nothing like the feeling of driving on Italian country roads with the windows open and seeing the amazing landscape. I really count myself lucky to have a car here because while I don't use it in the city (unless my boyfriend's driving at night) it's perfect when we want a last minute trip outside. Day trips also have the benefit of being much easier on my wallet as I'm saving up for summer holidays, usually requiring no more than half a tank of gas and €15 for lunch.
On Sunday, I headed outside of the city with Edoardo to a sagra di cinghiale, where we ate pasta with boar ragu and stewed wild boar (I was more into the pasta than the straight mean but everything was good!) Going to sagras is always fun because the tiny towns that host them are full of locals who are so interesting. Tourists aren't common in these places so you can really get a feel for what rural Italian life is like. Plus the food is usually amazing, seasonal, and cheap.
At home, we've implemented a once-a-week new recipe night, the goal of which is to perfect some of the classic Italian dishes we want to learn. Last week we started with Carbonara and this week, I went for asparagus frittata and pasta with artichokes. Picking up fresh produce at markets is so fun and inspires me to try new things and stop being so lazy in the kitchen.
After cleaning off the entire balcony this weekend (involving 4 full bags of trash, cleaning out the drain pipe, scrubbing the pavement and one water fight) I'm so excited to spend more time out there. We love having friends outside in the summer and eating our meals there too. We really need another table for the space and some outdoor greenery to spruce it up. I'm thinking a couple of fruit trees and then lots of potted plants.
At this point, everyone I know is planning out their summer holidays and deciding which seaside location to go to in August. We are booking tickets to the U.S. soon, which although they aren't the cheapest option for a summer trip, will give us both a couple weeks with my family. And after that, see if I don't try to snag a few days on the coast of Italy...