Il buco della serratura

I know that all tourists books about Rome are recommending this place. Still, due to the fact that it’s not that easy to find and the unusual view, it’s one of my favourite spots in Rome. A peek-a-boo view of St. Peter’s dome through the keyhole on the gate to the headquarters of the Knights of Malta (Cavalieri di Malta) on Rome’s Aventine Hill.
Peek through this keyhole and you will see a garden path that ends with bushes perfectly framing the dome of St. Peter’s in the distance. What you are peering though are the gardens of the Villa del Priorato di Malta, one of the Rome properties of the famous Knights of Malta.

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You need to look for this building and its gate. Usually there is a long queue there, but sometimes no one, so really, remember this building, otherwise you are going to walk further 🙂 Atop the Aventine Hill at Piazza Cavalieri di Malta in Via di S. Sabina.

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And here are my own very bad quality pictures I was able to capture with my iPhone 🙂 (with the great help of a random professional photographer tourist guy, thank you again!! :)) But give it a try, with proper equipment you can have your own photo.

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Going out in Trastevere – 2.

Terrazza San Pancrazio

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This outdoor rooftop lounge bar is serving seafood, such as raw fish, sushi and oysters, orchestrated with Yugo restaurant. Afterwards, move to the other side of the Terrazza, where a full bar, plush vintage couches and a lighted garden space awaits. The refreshing cocktails, and live jazzy music or low-key DJ sets create the kind of summer ambience that makes the Terrazza the place to be on a balmy night.

https://www.facebook.com/TerrazzaSanPancrazio/

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Il Baretto 

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Il Baretto Cocktail Bar is very close to Terrazza San Pancrazio, so it’s still located in the heart of Rome and has always been a place where everyone can feel at home, with pleasant atmosphere that makes you feel free in the body and in the mind. Il Baretto is the place to indulge in a bit of deserved relaxation alone or in company, surrounded by festive air. Il Baretto is now part of the daily life of the Romans from breakfast to aperitifs and until dinner.

https://www.facebook.com/BarettianiDOC/

http://www.ilbarettococktailbar-roma.it/

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Cinema italiano – Perfetti sconosciuti

A recent masterpiece from Italian cinema: Perfetti sconosciuti by Paolo Genovese. 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4901306/

It’s about seven friends who come together for a regular dinner: one challenges the others to a truth game in which they must share whatever communications come through on their phones during the evening.  It would be easy to do this script badly – a mechanical wheeling out of one embarrassing moment after another.  Come to think of it, that’s what Genovese the director does; and yet he works hard on the characterisations. There is a duality at work in the characters. They may be vulnerable, imperfect people, but they are trying. None of them is mean. The film certainly attacks the way mobile phones have taken over our lives, but the malaise here is not technical. Among these seven friends, secrets are the only constant. Genovese says he took the premise from a line by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian novelist, that we all have three lives – one public, one private, one secret. It might have been nastier in the hands of a less experienced director but Genovese handles it with delicacy. They might all be liars, but who’s going to throw the first stone?

Cinema italiano – Movies about Rome

There are also movies that everyone should have seen already, but it’s great to remind ourselves from time to time to watch them again.

To Rome with Love by Woody Allen

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1859650/?ref_=nv_sr_1

The great beauty – La grande bellezza by Paolo Sorrentino

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2358891/?ref_=nv_sr_1

The young pope by Paolo Sorrentino 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3655448/?ref_=nv_sr_1

 

Cucina italiana – Senza carne – 3.

Burrata my love 🙂 🙂 🙂 And that’s true I have a very unique relation to Burrata. Maybe because in the countries where I have been living for the past 10 years they don’t really serve fresh Burrata? And I could just enjoy it freshly during my travels in Italy and Spain? Not sure, but I remember that even in Rome in February we are eating basically every day somewhere Burrata. Awww 🙂 But even if anywhere else I find on the menu, it’s no question what I’m going to order, ahahahahaha 🙂

If by any chance you haven’t tried yet, Burrata is a pulled cheese like mozzarella, known in Italian as pasta filata, and is made in a very unique way. Burrata is a cheese with a fairly recent history. It was first made at the beginning of the 1920s. Originally, Burrata was made with buffalo’s milk, but today cow’s milk from two milkings is used together with super fresh cream. Burrata is a pulled cheese like mozzarella, known in Italian as pasta filata, and is made in a very unique way. Once the cooked curd is divided into pieces, the cheesemaker immerses them in very hot water and is then formed into a pouch. The cream is poured inside and the pouch is closed by pinching the top together, making a pear shaped sack. Like mozzarella, Burrata is a fresh cheese and should be eaten as soon as possible in order to enjoy the flavor. Burrata can weigh between ½ to 1 lb. The paste is a shiny milk color and is wrapped in a smooth pouch without a rind. It is normally sold wrapped in green leaves. Burrata has a rich, buttery flavor with notes of milk enzymes that can be brought out with the addition of salt and freshly ground pepper. It is a delicate cheese that can be served with spring lettuces that compliment its flavor.

“It needs to be said: It is quite possible that Burrata is earth’s best cheese.”

– The Huffington Post, and I couldn’t agree more, look at these recipes, OMG!!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/20/burrata-recipes-mozzarella_n_3505490.html

And my favourite one, to die for: just keep your Burrata as pure as possible with some light seasoning and the perfect complement — sweet caramelized peaches.

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http://www.thegalleygourmet.net/2012/08/caramelized-peaches-and-burrata-cheese.html

 

Relocation

I love writing, recently this is what keeps me going. Even though I don’t have many followers, I’m not sharing breakthrough posts, or writing about any outstanding things, still I like this kind of feeling of writing things out from myself. It’s not like that I don’t have enough friends to talk to what is in my mind… but due to the recent happenings and decisions in my life, currently there are very very few people among my friends as well who know all the things about my life. And somehow here, this space, where I can actually be myself, I’m able to write out my current feelings.

So even if I want to admit or not, I need a change in my life. Things are all happening in a way that I have this feeling that life is really supporting my ideas and pushing me gently day by day to fulfil my dreams, even if it’s sometimes not gently at all, rather super radical, but keeps me going. And since I have decided, day by day it’s getting clearer why I even arrived to this point in my life, and why this change is necessary now.

I’m spending many times with this blog and looking for topics which might be interesting besides the everyday struggle of moving and leaving behind things. I’m trying to put the focus really on the positive aspect, as there are many advantages of a relocation besides the early difficulties.

So when 5,5 years ago I left my home-country, my plan was to stay here only for 6 months, so in the beginning I really didn’t take it seriously. I was in this mood that I can do it, how cool is that actually that I was offered with this job, and I’m here to share all my experiences. OK I had a job since the first day I moved, as I moved here because of a job opportunity and they organised a temporary place for me to stay, but nothing else. So very sudden I realized how many things I need to organize in my new country, without speaking a word in their language. And of course not everyone could speak English.

When I moved here in January 2012 – I started to write a blog, and I was writing that in my mother tongue, so no point to link it here, but I have just checked it, I wrote 113 posts during one year. And after 1 year I just stopped, I think my life became that busy by that time and with the time there were much less culturally shocking differences so I was out of topics and interest to continue writing that blog.

But as said before, during the past years here, being away from my home country, and needed to manage my life fully alone without any real support by anyone else transformed me into a real surviver. And I learned a lot what I would do completely differently in my future. I’m not really good yet organizing my thoughts properly, so it might be a random list again, but these are my tips for myself and of course for anyone else who is reading this post, how to do it now:

  1. Find a job, any kind of job, temporary, or long term, your dream job or whatever job, where the workplace helps you to organize all your necessary papers. Later on you can change anytime for a better one if you feel like. The most important things are the papers, work permit, especially if you are out of EU.
  2. Find a home, the best would be to stay with a roommate in the beginning, who can help with things till you get familiar with everything – ideally close to your workplace to avoid everyday public transport craziness in the beginning. To find housing on your own, you could find a real estate agent (which is, admittedly, a bit of an old school tactic), talk to other expats (nothing like a personal recommendation!), or use one of the many online housing providers out there. Yes, the big name in the industry, AirBnb, will let you rent places by the month — but is not the most economical. Your first (and sometimes second) month of rent as well as a security deposit will be required when you sign your lease. Be sure to have enough savings to cover these upfront costsDon’t forget about the mundane, yet essential, tasks of figuring out your water, electricity, trash, and internet. Try to have a local help you organize your housing, especially if there’s a language barrier. Their insider’s perspective will prove invaluable, and help you avoid potential scams for extra fees (“Foreigner’s tax,” if you will), that you’re in a good neighborhood, and ensure there’s no funny business in your contract. If this local is a personal friend who genuinely cares about you, even better!
  3. Plus side-note, yes organize the public transport season ticket for yourself, to be able to travel around the city, but even more important is to: get a bike!! You know I love biking, right? 🙂 Actually after finishing this article I’m going for a bike ride with a friend again. This friend doesn’t know yet that I’m leaving… Hm.
  4. Join all expat communities!! You need buddies, you need people around you, who are similar to you. Even if you are anti-social, introvert, it’s better to have connections from the beginning. Later on you can still select which relation is worth to keep or let go. Bloggers are great people to know and tend to be in touch with their community. Do a quick search for people writing about your area and see if you can arrange to meet for coffee. Check for local meetups, expat get-togethers. Of course, make sure to meet up in public areas the first couple or times. Do you like to cook? Ride bikes in crazy hot weather? Climb ridiculously early in order to capture that perfect sunrise? There will be communities of expats and locals who feel the same way. Find a group online with similar interests. There is comfort in familiarity and while you’re on a grand overseas adventure, it can be wonderful to talk with a group of people from your home country. There are a ton of expat groups online and they tend to organize gatherings and get-togethers. Take a class in something you’re passionate about. Whether it’s cooking, language, or dance, you’re sure to meet people who have similar interests as you.
  5. Start a language school as of the 1st week, don’t wait longer, you can meet new people, and really start to learn the language properly without waiting “that it will come with time” and other bullshit (and I’m so lucky that I speak some Italian already:)) Learn the local language with a language partner. See if there are local schools that host a language exchange, or search for established ones online.

Awww, I just cannot wait to be there… 🙂

Monday thoughts / Pensieri di lunedì

Vorrei continuare a scrivere in italiano. E sarebbe grande se qualcuno potesse controllare se scrive correttamente. But it’s not the case yet and as I have many things to share and it’s still much easier and faster for me writing in English, purtroppo. Ma si spera che un giorno riesca a scrivere tanto veloce quanto io scrivo in inglese 🙂 Nel frattempo…

It’s an emotional rollercoaster what I’m living day by day since I have decided to move and I was not really ready for that. As on paper the plan works very well. But in reality…Overall I’m living a very tense period of my life, with lots of changes in my private life, in my family, with my ex-boyfriend here, with my colleagues at the office, with my friends here who know already that I’m leaving and the others with whom I haven’t had the chance yet to share this fact, therefore I need to skip this topic for a while… and all the questions which are being asked by random people and I think I have answers for everything while it turns out that of course I don’t. Not to mention all the other questions which are appearing in my mind and there is no one else to reply on them besides me, therefore there is no one else who could verify my decisions either. It’s not like that anyone could have that big influence on me at the moment to make me change my decision about my future.

This weekend I will spend in my home country, I will fly there on Friday, yaaaaaaay 🙂 and maybe I need to share my plans with my friends there too… as they are my oldest friends, they will see anyhow that I have something in my mind what I’m not talking about. But I know for sure that they will be more than happy to visit me in Rome once I’ll be there 🙂

And actually in 6 months I’ll be there so I should really take seriously to write in Italian. I will try to force myself as of now and continue my language lessons.

But couple of advices if someone is in the same situation at the moment and struggling with themselves and decisions about moving, staying, leaving behind… And basically would like to run away from their everyday thoughts and yet unanswered questions…There are always other options to choose from besides drinking every day, hahaha 🙂

  1. For my mental health the best thing what I’m doing is sport. Whatever sport, any kind of sport, any kind of body exercise do help! Basically I’m using every occasion to be on my bike, to go to work, to meet my friends, to go for shopping, etc. and my plan is to have a bike as well in Rome, once I’m there as I think this is the best transport you can use. It’s fast, you can discover the whole city, you exercise, it gives you adrenalin and you are outside on the fresh air at the same time, win-win-win-win-win! Side note: I need to check the bike routes and overall bike culture in Rome, how it is, also I need to arrange a bike once I’m there.
  2. Besides that I’m trying to spend as much time as possible with my friends. As I already know that I can enjoy their companies till the end of November only maximum, so all these moments are now special. Even if they don’t know that I’m leaving. I know, and I’m very grateful for the time what I can still spend with them.
  3. Trying things what I haven’t had the chance yet here, and I always thought that anyhow “I have time, I’m living here, we can do it later.” Well not anymore, the time is now to experience everything what I haven’t done yet. So therefore I’m walking with open eyes and checking all programs where to go, what to see, what else is there that I haven’t seen within the past 5,5 years.
  4. Be nice and open to people. I know it’s an overall rule for your life, and usually I’m trying to be nice with everyone as I was raised like this, but now I feel I would like to be even kinder, nicer and even more helpful. These are the last moments, hours, days, weeks to be nice with these people who have been part of my life during the past 5,5 years.
  5. Start to re-think your wardrobe, hahaha, it’s kind of a practical advise, but believe me it helps passing the time very well. I need to pack almost 6 years and move to my home country and from there after one month to Rome. Obviously I don’t need all these things what I have collected here, to bring with me neither to home nor to Rome. What I learned during the past 5,5 years with all these crazy travelings that I can leave out perfectly from 1 suitcase for quite a long time. So I’m really planning to do a big cleaning and do a big garage sale. Not sure yet when exactly, but I think waiting until the last minute to pack is a recipe for disaster. I should start with little-used, decorative and seasonal items, saving the functional “must-have” items to pack for the very end. Also moving is a great time to “clean house” by staging a garage sale, putting rarely-used items on some websites or / and making donations. So hopefully I’ll not only end up with less to move, but I’ll have some extra cash in hand as well.