I arrived in Rome and met up with my good friend from Buenos Aires, Guido. He’s been traveling around Europe for a month and we spent a few days together before he left for his next destination, Austria, and before I left to my new WWOOF farm in Tuscany. In Rome I was staying with a friend of Guido’s family, Liliana, in her lovely apartment about 5 subway stops from the center of the city.
Liliana took us out every day; together we did all the touristy things you do when you are in Rome. We went to the coliseum, visited San Pietro (where the pope is), walked along the Tevere river at night and visited all the famous piazzas in the city.
Rome is a beautiful city. One of my favorite characteristics of Rome is its network of alleys. There are tiny alleys that wind all over the city where cars cannot pass. You may be walking along a busy street full of traffic, duck into a quiet alley and suddenly be surrounded by pedestrians, bicyclists, and charming bars and cafes. Then, just as suddenly, the alley opens into a vast piazza, with an impressive fountain in the center, artists acting or playing for spare change and people everywhere sitting, standing, smoking or drinking a quick espresso. I could spend hours in those piazzas, just people watching.
In the morning we would make a bunch of panini, sandwiches, with salami, tomatoes and cheese on French bread, and leave on foot to tour the city. Rome is an expensive city and eating out, even buying a panini on the street, is costly. Back home our host would usually cook up some pasta for all of us. Her specialty was pasta with prosciutto. Italians generally eat pasta at every meal. They do not only eat pasta however, they eat many different dishes. I am used to having a plate of pasta as a meal, but for them it is just like an appetizer! I am going to write a post explaining what Italian meals are like because they are so different from anything I am used to. Sometimes you eat fruit as an appetizer and cheese for dessert!
In August it is scorching hot in Rome. My favorite time to visit the city is at night, everything lights up! Walking past the gleaming monuments, elaborate fountains, old buildings and even strolling along the coble stone streets it seems you are walking through a painting. It is stunningly beautiful.
But, as always, I can only be in a big city for so long before I begin to feel a little caged in. At the end of a week, I thanked Liliana a thousand times for her hospitality and boarded a train for Tuscany! My next WWOOF farm is on the Northern tip of Tuscany near a town called Sarzana. I plan to work there for one month, to learn how to run an agritourism, a farm that has rooms or houses to host guests.