What Dreams are Made Of

I‘ve been in Rome for a week now, and that first-day, otherworldly feeling you get when you first arrive in a new country has yet to leave me. Each day I wake up, feeling like I’m in a dream. Walking down a cobbled lane when suddenly, the Colosseum pops into view, yep…still dreaming. But possibly the dreamiest part of Rome for me has been the food. Being surrounded by trattorias, pizzerias and gelaterias is my idea of heaven, and I’ve been working night and day to sample as many of them as possible–calories be damned!

My winner for the best pasta? Sette Oche (Seven Geese) in Trastavere. I had heard that the Trastavere neighborhood is home to some of the best food in Rome, and I was not disappointed! My very scientific method of choosing restaurants in Rome is to wander around until one speaks to me. This place was located down a quiet side street, and had a cat meandering amongst the chairs. As I sat down, the sun was slipping behind a vine draped building, casting a perfect golden light. Setting? Check. I ordered spagetti pomodoro–simple–and from the massive bruchette list, a version doused in olive oil, garlic and salt. The bread basket brought by the waitress contained extra goodies like salami, olives and buffalo mozzarella, all divine because of their earthy simplicity. The bruchette arrived, and I was in love. The crusty bread was indeed dripping with oil, salt and garlic, and eating it may have been the best time my tongue has ever had. Pasta next. Perfectly al dente, sweet and tangy tomato sauce with hints of basil and oregano. Washed down with a small carafe of Pinot Grigio. And the damages? A mere 12 euros.

Best gelato? Just like in Eat, Pray, Love, San Crispino gelato has come out as my clear favorite. While some gelatos are too soft, some too frozen, and some just all wrong, San Crispino gelato is all right. I chose a creamy coffe and stracciatella combo, the flavors combining so masterfully that I gobbled it down in mere seconds. I plan to return today!

Best lasagna? My rental apartment is located in a “real” neighborhood of Rome, tucked away behind Vatican City, so the restaurants and cafes here are crowded with locals. One such place, Cafe Grecco, is home to the best lasagna I’ve had–ever. Crispy cheese tops layer after layer of gooey ricotta and salty ragout spread thickly over endless sheets of pasta. All this for only 5 euros.

Italy is a dream I never want to wake from.

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