About once a year, I get an aching urge to visit Rome. I dream in pizza and piazzas, and have to book a flight. Actually, this Romesickness happens about once a month, but I can only make it a reality yearly.
This year’s trip was almost accidental, but one of the best. Remember how I told you I rent my apartment to afford travel? Well, I messed up and rented it for the last two weeks of September, then had to find somewhere to go. I decided to stay with a friend in London and work from there.
But Rome is so close to London! At least a lost closer than it is to Chicago. I couldn’t not stop by, especially once my friend Livia started mentioning all the things we could eat.
Two flights, a 12 hour layover, and the longest shared taxi ride later I arrived at her doorstep. It was 3am and I hadn’t slept in 40 hours, travel taking almost as long as the total time I would be in Rome.
And it was so worth it! For many reasons. Livia is one of the sweetest, most inspiring people I have the joy of being close friends with, and seeing her is always wonderful. We stayed up late talking, sipped coffee in the mornings and worked from her house, ate our way through Rome, drank lots of wine, and gushed about relationships and friendship and life goals. It can be hard to maintain friendships across oceans, but as we get older and really choose our friends, there are a precious few that are worth the effort. And thank god for whatsapp voice messages, right? Making it way easier to freak out to each other about life crises and happy moments despite time zones.
Then there was the food.
Trapizzino, cacio e pepe, pizza al taglio, sandwiches, Roman style pizza, coffee, Aperol spritz, and wine, wine, wine.
There are foods I have to eat whenever I’m in Italy, but it’s always fun to try new things, and Pianostrada Laboratorio di Cucina was no exception. Currently in Trastevere, though moving to near Campo de’ Fiori soon, the tiny spot serves an excellent sandwich selection made from Lazio ingredients. Chiara Magliocchetti, Paola Colucci, and her daughters Flaminia and Alice work behind the bar, whipping up seasonal sandwiches, salads, pastas, and sweets. I had the Pane Mare, with swordfish, fresh mozzarella, fig jam, rucola, olive oil, red pepper, and rosemary, served on a squid ink roll. It was one of the most interesting and delightful things I’ve tasted in a long time.
And then, of course, you have the views. Everywhere you look Rome is stunning. Picture perfect balconies, unsuspecting alleyways, terra cotta rooftops, crooked trees, detailed doorways, and grand domes rising above it all.
Each scene looks as though it’s from a movie. It might be the dreamiest city in the world, and it looked even dreamier from atop a friend’s roof, where we sat for hours drinking wine and taking it in.
The visit was short but oh so sweet. Food, friendship, and Roman vistas. Can you think of a better way to spend 48 hours? It was the perfect way to close out summer, and when my next Romeaches hit I’ll be sure to book a longer trip!