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When in Rome, do as the Romans!

When in Rome, do as the Romans!

– By Smita Deo

Animish, Sheetal, Abhinay and I were fast asleep in the train bound to Italy from Nice. Abhinay was sleeping towards the door of the coupe.

At around 2:30 am Sheetal and I got up from deep slumber because of the commotion in our coupe only to realize that we were robbed of our money.

Abhinay was calmly sitting with a grin on his face, but the rest of us were in a total state of shock. I was wondering, “How the hell did this happen?” The ticket collector we approached for help didn’t pay much heed to us.

After an unsettled feeling we reached Rome at 7:00 in the morning. Sine we were short of money we quickly opened the Frommers for cheap accommodation and we came across a camping bungalows called “Flaminio”. After we booked ourselves we got on to the bus to get there where an old women cautioned us to be careful with our valuables. My first reaction was to hug my haversack and protect whatever was left.

Flaminio seemed like a good place full of caravans. We were also escorted to one by the manager. The place was neat and clean and the campus provided us a swimming pool, tennis court and restaurant too.

After freshening up and grabbing a bite we took a bus to the Vatican city which is right in the center of the city and where the St Peter’s Basilica stood proud in front of us. It is Italy’s largest, richest and the most spectacular Basillica. The interiors are lavish with spectacular work of art: Michelangelo’s Pieta, his soaring dome and Bernini’s 29m high baldachin over the papal alter. Once you in the nave the enormous size of the church becomes apparent. It has a space large enough to accommodate 60,000 visitors. It was truly amazing to be there.

We headed off to the Vatican museum that boasts one of the world’s greatest art collection. One should not miss going there.

I was too hungry and tired to move without lunch the aroma of freshly ground coffee that comes out of the cafes was amazing.

After sharing a carafe of the local wine and a hearty lunch of Pasta carbonara in a Trattoria we set off to the Sistine chapel. The chapel was outstanding with some mind – blowing paintings all over the ceiling painted by Michelangelo between 1508 – 1512.

We headed to the Forum place where the Romans would discuss their political and other issues. The Colosseum was at a walking distance. It was a run down building, which is said to have been a place where the prisoners would have to fight the beast in order to entertain the king. We spent a lot of time there enjoying the beauty of the place.

We called it the day off after the Colosseum. After eating the Pain Au Chocolate (chocolate puff) we returned back to our caravan to crash.

The next morning after a heavy breakfast of fried eggs, toast and some warm coffee we headed to Naples in a train. It is Italy’s largest city and is one of it’s oldest, most artistic city.

Its archeological treasures are among the worlds most impressive, and its swag of palaces, castles and churches make Rome look positively provincial.

The food servs up the country’s best pizza, pasta and coffee and many of its most celebrated seafood dishes, street snacks and sweet treats. We had some amazing pasta and pizza on one such street. The taste of which I remember even today. Naples is a master piece.

We headed to Pompeii from there. It is a vast archeological site in South Italy. Once a thriving sophisticated Roman city. Pompeii was buried in the meters of ash and the pumice after the eruption of the Mt Vesuvius. One must visit this place.

The next morning we went to see the Fountain of Tretie. The myth is you throw a coin in the water and make a wish and its said that it comes true.

We headed for the Pantheon from there. It was beautiful the glass dome showering the sunlight inside was spectacular.

Rome was really beautiful and I don’t think one should miss anything there and must enjoy the place, the culture and the vast beautiful architecture.

Signing on this note I will share with you one of my favorite pasta recipe

FETTUCCINE CARBONARA

INGREDIENTS:

280 gm bacon rashers chopped

375 gm fettuccine

3 egg yolks beaten lightly

1 cup cream

½ cup parmesan cheese

3 tbsp chopped fresh chives

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt to taste

METHOD:

i. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the bacon till crisp.

ii. Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling water or as per instructed on the pack.

iii. Combine the pasta in a large bowl with the egg yolks, cream and cheese and cook on a low flame till it turns creamy. Don’t over cook it or the yolk will scramble. Sprinkle the chives and serve along with crispy garlic bread.

About Smita Deo

Smita Deo is a food blogger and loves to cook food and feed her near and dear ones. She often blogs on meatroot.com.

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