The Sound of Music: A Photo Story

Tags

, , , , , ,

IMG_20160410_171412_HDR

“The hills are alive with the sound of music, with songs they have sung for a thousand years…..”

IMG_20160410_172234_HDR

The Sound of Music Tour

DSC05135

Hohensalzburg Castle: a stunning sight

Nonnberg-Abbey-where-Maria-was-a-novice1

Nonnberg Abbey: where the real-life Maria married Georg von Trapp (Credits: Shuttersandsunflowers)

DSC05141

Leopoldskron Palace: where the children “supposedly” fall. Now a private property

DSC05152

Hellbrunn Palace: Another song location

DSC05155

The famous gazebo from “I am 16, going on 17” In the movie, the dance was done on a set.

DSC05177

Lake Fuschl and Lake Wolfgang: panoramic places from the movie

DSC05195

St. Michael’s Church, Mondsee: where Maria gets married.

IMG_20160410_180416_HDR

The Pegasus Horse Fountain: from the song “Doe a deer a female deer….”

IMG_20160410_180319_HDR

Mirabell Gardens: Used as a backdrop several times

Good to know:

-The real life Maria and the von Trapps family have been shown differently in the movie. For instance the Baron wasn’t cold hearted at all.

-The movie shows several locations that are different from the ones they pretend to show.

-Maria and Julie Andrews met in real life after the success of the movie.

-The locals in Salzburg aren’t amused by the film and many haven’t even seen it because they think it spoils the sanctity of their town.

For more info:

Panorama Tours & Travel

Cost: EUR 42 p.p.

A Day in the Baroque Town of Salzburg

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Salzburg, the picture perfect town that most people connect with the movie The Sound of Music, literally means”salt fortress”. Its old world vibe and baroque architecture with the ever imposing Alps makes for a great vacation spot.

DSC05065

Hello Salzburg!

DSC05004

I also say hello with a bookstore!

DSC05023

…..and Bialetti!

DSC05026

These charming streets

DSC05028

I love the greys

DSC05037

Details details

DSC05038

Yummy Mozart chocolates!

Salzburg is well known because Mozart was born here. And Mozart is everywhere in this town. You can see his orange colored home turned into a museum along with plenty of other things such as Mozart Cafe, a Mozart festival, a Mozart Library….Not to forget the Mozart chocolates! They are quite something and worth sampling for the flight  back home.

DSC05049

Salzburg is an artist’s dream

DSC05056

Traveled back in time

DSC05061

Local food?? Not so much

IMG_20160410_121225_HDR

Grab a seat

DSC05105

Goldgasse- the main shopping street

The town is also loaded with several bars and restaurants like any European town. There are many over priced ones with extensive menu of local wines and schnitzel. But I had my reasonably priced share at Cafe Mozart. Delicious food in a quiet place.

IMG_20160410_125315

Delicious schnitzel!

DSC05108

Cafe Mozart

DSC05067

EUR15 (return) on the funicular

DSC05076

But worth it for the views!

Salzburg is best seen on foot but to get sweeping views of the town going to the top of the Hohensalzburg Fortress via a funicular is a must!! It is a well worth the money and also a breathtaking sight to see the town from above. There are many photographers lined up to get shots from that 900 year old fortress.

DSC05086

Empty this side

DSC05073

Imagine owning one of those villas by the river

While this baroque town might be ancient and historic, there is a trendy side to it too and that includes impressive modern art on the streets!

DSC05059

Salzburg is a doable day trip from Vienna but long-ish (about 2 hours, 40 mins one side). However, if you leave Vienna early morning you can take the last train back that leaves from Salzburg around 20:00. Check the latest schedule at WestBahn.

All in a Day: Belvedere Gardens to Austrian Library

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

The weather in Vienna is so unpredictable and windy. I wasn’t lucky both the times and my clothing choices turned out to be poor because I didn’t pack enough layers.

DSC08141DSC07936

DSC08171

Being the last day in the city I was on the verge of finishing my cash but since I was in no mood to withdraw more euros, I wanted to make do with what I had. That meant choosing between two options:

Option 1: Seeing the whole of Belvedere Palace and Austrian National Library. Spending about EUR 30 for the visits.

Option 2: Seeing the Belvedere gardens (free entry) and the Austrian National Library. Skipping the Belvedere Palace completely. Spending less than EUR 10 for both.

Needless to say, I chose Option 2.

The Belvedere Gardens are an easy 15 minute tram ride from the centre of Vienna. Since I was skipping seeing the palace I wanted to relax in the gardens and just sit for a while. I was at an advantage since I went there on a Sunday morning. There were less tourists and more locals and most of them were exercising and running amongst all that glory, just very casual!

One of the locals clicked a photo for me and we got to talking. It turned out how she and her husband had lived in the South of India about 16 years ago! She even knew a little Tamil and Hindi and we ended up speaking a lot about India. I was impressed with her friendly demeanour something a little unusual for me in Vienna.

DSC08082DSC08103

DSC08130

I wouldn’t have ever thought that I would be speaking Hindi in the Belvedere Gardens in Vienna! I think she stole a bit of thunder of those French styled gardens. But all in all it was a great visit.

DSC08085DSC08091DSC08125

My next stop was the Austrian National Library in the heart of the city. The entry to visit the library was EUR 7 last year. Inside there was an exhibition showing the life of Emperor Franz Joseph (1830-1916) who ruled for over the country half a century.

Emperor Joseph was known to be very creative and imaginative so the whole library was about his collection of letters, drawings, photographs and paintings. What was wonderful was how well it was all preserved. There were an endless number of old books inside the library which were obviously not to be touched. If I had a better camera, I could have got more shots but standing there was better from what I remember.

DSC08005

DSC07976

DSC07983

I secretly wished to climb up the ladder and have a look at all those books! The library would have been more fun had a section been opened to the public. Hence my visit was quite short but I learnt a lot about the history of Austria.

DSC05294

Vienna as a city has a lot to offer because of its fantastic transport system, old world cafes and cultural life. However, speaking from personal experience, the locals were not as friendly. Despite visiting twice and for longer intervals, I have no friends from the city. I think people need to be more open and kinder especially towards Asians.

Have you traveled to Vienna?? What was your experience?? I am really curious to know 🙂

The Bookstores of Vienna

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Hi everyone! 🙂 Are you ready for a virtual tour to see some of the bookstores I visited in Vienna??

Let’s start!

Shakespeare & Company: If you are an English speaker in Vienna, chances are you will feel a little lost in the city. There aren’t a lot of stores selling English books and the ones that sell, don’t have a great collection. But Shakespeare & Company was the opposite. It turned out to be the only English book store in the city with an amazing collection! There are books covering each inch of the store and as I walked in, there was ooh-ing and aah-ing in my head. It was the kind of store you see in movies or better yet dream about. Located in a quiet alley that also turns out to be the oldest and most prettiest corners of Vienna, the bookstore contains hundreds of translations and unknown authors. It was therapeutic just being there. The service was super friendly and I was suggested to read Elena Ferrante when I asked for the popular books. I enquired whether the bookshop is in any way related to the famous Shakespeare and Company of Paris, when the man at the counter smiled and politely said no. I could guess that he got that question a lot.

shakespeare-and-company7

Pic Credits: Shakespeare & Company

IMG_20160411_092636_HDR

My buy!

Sterngasse 2, Vienna

Frick International: A large and modern bookstore with a decent English books collection, Frick is a type of store where no one really cares if you buy anything or not. You can spend as much time here and no one will really question you. Frick has a huge stationery counter on the first floor (that I ignored because of my inner voice) and a room full of English books at the far end of the floor. It seemed as if it was almost forgotten! There were still a loot of catchy titles and it turned out to be better than most of the stores. I picked up a copy of 84, Charing Cross Road which surprisingly I didn’t own. Frick is a popular name in Vienna and you will see many stores by the name of Frick or Frick International or Frick Bestsellers.

DSC05301

Another Frick in the wall (Sorry!)

Graben 27, Vienna

Leporello: Almost sounds Italian to me but it is not. An independent bookstore with a friendly service, Leporello is located behind the imposing St. Stephen’s Cathedral and is therefore closest from the metro. It is strangely quieter inside even though it is located in one of the most touristy areas of the city. While browsing, you can hear church bells ringing so loud! The store however has a sad little English collection (as of Sept. 2016) There wasn’t much to browse. My guess is that they don’t sell as many English books hence a lot of the titles here are probably collected over time. Having said that, I still enjoyed the look and feel of the store and a friendly smile always helps.

DSC05289

Not a great picture, but you get the idea

Singerstr 6, Vienna

Tyrolia Buch: If you want to go and stare at books, go here! Seriously I am not kidding. Just next to the metro station, Tyrolia is another chain in the country. They have tons of books in German and if you are like me, fascinated by the same books read in English and comparing their covers in other languages, this store should be fun. That being said, Tyrolia’s English collection was a sorry state with just only a rack.

DSC05298

We need more English books here!

DSC05300

Stephansplatz 5, Vienna

Overall, I expected a more international vibe from Vienna. Maybe I didn’t go to the right stores and maybe I have a lot left to explore but these are my short findings as of now. There are several second hand bookstores in the city with great deals if you know German and for academic books, Manz bookstore on Kohlmarkt is the best. I went there looking for fiction and came back empty handed.

Oh Vienna, I Love Your Cafés

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

I love Europe because it is so easy to have the prettiest things around you without you having to even realize it. Whether it the old world trams, beautiful monuments or historic cafés, Europe has a side to it that I probably think no other continent offers. One such side is that of Vienna with its traditional coffee houses. Now I know that every city in Europe has coffee to offer. Then why is Vienna so special??

Simply because the Viennese coffee houses are not just coffee shops but institutions of social events and culture. They are places to chat and read the newspaper. Places with marble tables and a cosmopolitan air. Places where the piano is played and gentlemen play cards in a corner. Places where one can sit and write all day.

“Where time and space are consumed, but only the coffee is found on the bill”.

-The Intangible Cultural Heritage 

So here’s showing you a list of my favorite cafes in the city, which by sheer coincidence  (#NOT) are historic! 😉

Café Sperl: Fans of the movie Before Sunrise will easily recognize this place. I visited it only because a major part of the movie was shot here. Remember the telephone chat?? It was so sweet. Right in the middle of the elegant Sperl! This place has been serving coffee since the year 1880 and stepping in will make you feel as if you walked back in time. Velvet upholstery, old furniture, dainty cups and impeccably dressed servers, Sperl is such a treat. Do try their famous double mocha with or without cream, a speciality that the server suggested me.

DSC08061

Café Landtmann: I saw more locals in Landtmann than anywhere. And also locals staring at me! It was as if I had invaded their space. This café is on a slightly different street, a walk away from the main landmarks and maybe that is why not as heavily thronged by tourists. A local suggested me to visit here and I am so glad for that. On both my visits to Vienna, I spent a good amount of time here with delicious goodies on my table. Their line of pastries are probably the best I saw. Ever.

DSC08017

Café Griensteidl: The Griendteidl is one of my favorites! Horse drawn carriages outside and a view of the Hofburg Complex, this place has been a regular meeting place for a lot of literary influencers as well as locals. Being a 19th century café , Griendteidl is very charming. The interiors are lovely and sandwiches are excellent. Griendteidl  is also slightly more easy on the pocket despite being in the centre of Vienna. However, that being said, I saw very few tourists here too.

DSC05261

Café Central: There is a queue to enter this café. Yes! I couldn’t fathom how a queue that covered more than half the street would help me get that famed cup of coffee. But it was in about 10 minutes that I had got a seat next to the pastry counter. I wasn’t complaining 🙂 I doubt if they ever have a moment of peace. The place was jam packed and service was super fast. I tried their vegetable soup since it was so windy and cold and finished it with some chocolate pastries.

IMG_20160409_171008_HDR

Café Sacher: Located in four different Austrian cities, Sacher is a hotel chain in the country and therefore a big name. It is famous for its Socher Torte which I went to try after a 3 hour walk in the city. The cozy atmosphere of this café made me sat there for longer and I missed seeing the Opera. I totally blame Sacher! 😉 Their torta is a chocolate cake, slightly pricey, but worth trying. Its recipe goes as far as the year 1832.

DSC04972

I was fortunate to visit Vienna (Wien) twice in the past year. If you haven’t read my post on Imperial Vienna with Context Travel and my stay at 25 Hours Hotel yet, do give it a read. It will give you a little more understanding of this elegant city.

Ispirazione: Learning Italian through Instagram

Tags

, , , , , , ,

I have a very special guest on Italophilia! We have known each other for over a year now and been in touch thanks to Instagram and Facebook. Peeps, say hello to my friend Elfin Waters! A passionate Italophilie who hails from Gaeta in Lazio, Elfin now lives in Cremona and teaches English and Italian at Italki. 

Today, Elfin will be sharing her thoughts and knowledge about learning a new language through Instagram. She has made this post simple for all readers and language learners so that the focus is more on understanding and listening the language. I am inspired by this lady so much because she pushes me to do little by little every day just as she trains and helps her students. Elfin’s focus has been on learning a language by watching videos on Instagram (IG) and making sure that no matter how busy you are, there’s time to fit learning in a joyful way.

Let’s move forward and learn from her:. Here’s what Elfin has to say:

If you’re able to fit in Instagram in your daily life, you can fit language learning around that. Instagram is an amazing tool for language learners. For starters there are tons of teachers on IG, like myself for instance. Teachers post a picture or a short video with a relevant piece of language for the day and learners get to pick all levels of language.

How do you find other teachers or language learners?? Through hashtags- an important source of categorizing content on social media and Instagram where they pretty much run the show.

How you can find hashtags??

If you’re learning Italian, you can simply start with #learnitalian and search it as a hashtag as shown below. But it doesn’t have to stop there. You can use them to look up words you are learning and help memorize vocabulary.

Let’s say you’re not quite sure what the word papavero means. So you can write to the IG search engine and get many pics of papaveri. (Explained in picture) That will give you a visual hook that will make the word more memorable. Nice, right??

hashtags

So, how are you actually learning a language by skimming quickly at a post from an Italian account? Very little probably. That’s why practice comes in. You really should use your down time, say the line at the supermarket, or time while cooking, to skim and see what is relevant to you. Listen to songs and podcasts and watch videos. Whenever you see something you think could be helpful to you, bookmark it!!

In IG under every post, you can bookmark to review later. IG even has added folders to help keep everything organized. So if we are online and we see something relevant like a grammar rule or a nice idiom, we can just save and bookmark the picture. Exploring the Instagram App is essential to get a feel of it and when you are free, whip out your notebook or even phone and start going over your saved posts.

If you’re feeling brave, leave a comment on the picture or video that you liked and practice the language presented. If you don’t feel up to that yet, just jot your comment down. It is normal to feel shy about leaving comments so make sure to keep all your notes in one place. When they add up, even after a week, they will give you a sense of accomplishment.

Is there anything else I can do??

A few ideas:

I am learning Spanish and I realized that teacher accounts were great but weren’t enough to keep me going. So, I went in the search explore part of Instagram and started looking hashtags with the word Spain in it. That is how I followed Spanish accounts that talk about going to Spain, which is what I hope to do and these will keep me inspired. Plus, I also get exposed to Spanish in other contexts. Tiny things always add up to something bigger. So, even if I don’t have time to crack those verb tenses, or that grammar book, I do have time for IG and that exposes me to tiny moments of native content. Make sure you check out the comments on videos/pictures because they provide a lot of interesting language tips. Similarly, if you’re learning Italian or you probably are in love with the country, what better way to keep you motivated in your studies than to follow accounts that showcase Italy?? Start with classic accounts such as IgersRome and IgersItalia and then you’ll quickly find more account suggestions on the IG App. 

Join a community and share your passion:

Join a language challenge. These are organized by teachers on IG where you are supposed to commit to posting one video/picture a day for a month on words/topics suggested by the teacher/organizer. At the end of it, you get feedback from fellow learners which gives you the feeling that it’s alright to make mistakes and that we are all in this together.

The most famous challenges are the IGLC by Lindsay Williams from Lindsay does Languages  and the #mylanguagediarychallenge by Katie from Joy of Languages.  For more detailed info on how to join a challenge check this blog post

Remember, you can’t do this alone. And why should you?? Learning a language is about connecting.

Share on Instagram Stories:

Lastly, I can’t recommend following IG stories enough. It’s a great source of motivation and learning the local language. IG stories are similar to Snapchat where you post a picture/video and talk about your day or just share snippets of your day. These help to know local life to a language learner. Do remember that these stories are not like IG posts and disappear after 24 hours. This also means you can keep adding more daily.

InkedIG stories_LI

IG Stories are a great way to practice your listening skills and learn new vocabulary. An Italian account on IG stories I really recommend is @lucreziaoddone from Learn Italian with Lucrezia. Follow her!

I hope you enjoyed reading through all my tips of language learning through Instagram. My only recommendation would be not to get lost in the process as Instagram is a very addictive app. Also do remember, it shouldn’t be your only source of study! Thanks for reading 🙂

Follow Elfin on Instagram

rsz_smiling_sideways

In the comments please let me and Elfin know whether you use Instagram to learn Italian or any other language?? Has it helped you??

Grazie mille carissima per la tua ispirazione!

A Photo Shoot & Fendi- Big Day in Rome 

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

I was in Rome for close to a week (don’t ask me what I did except lots of walking and eating) so I thought of making use of my time and decided to go for a photo shoot! My dear friend Linda from The Beehive suggested me her friend Katrina Tan- a local photographer originally from Indonesia.

We quickly made connection and decided on a date. I am so glad to have had such a great suggestion because Katrina was wonderful. She made me super comfortable in 15 minutes which helped me ease out the rest of my time in the neighborhood of Trastevere. I love the way photographers are so patient. There is so much to learn from them.

Katrina asked me why I wanted a shoot since it was important for her to understand the objective. The main reason was that since I travel alone and don’t have any great shots of myself, I wanted some beautiful memories of the trip that I could enlarge later on my wall back home. Understanding the reason of shoot really helped her. It was all about me and Rome. Me and the streets of Italy! 

I hope you enjoy a glimpse of my morning ❤

34649745650_b5dc617c84_o

~There are countless things that can go wrong when you are traveling but embracing them is what truly counts🙅 I have tried to do that from my very first travel to Italy. I was a self-effacing individual learning to carve a niche for myself but ended up learning a lot of lessons when I traveled with a friend✌️ Looking back, I see the path I treaded on and how it culminated. It was all meant to be❣️~ ~Today I feel blessed to have gone through that path because of which I can converse in Italian and visit nooks and corners of the country that I could once only bookmark on my computer💻With every trip to Italy, I come a little further in realizing this deep connection I have for this wonderfully diverse country and its people!🇮🇹 This connection that has earlier been labelled as "obsessive", "silly", and "crazy" is now loved by you! For that I'm #ForeverGrateful 😍😘~ –PS- another pic from my photo shoot in Rome with @zero_the_one

A post shared by Ishita. Italy. India. (@italophilia) on

Believe me this is something totally out of my comfort zone. I never thought I’d do something like this. But then when I think about it, isn’t that what travel is all about??

It turned out to be a great day and a great week too. I received Fendi’s amazing sunglasses via SmartBuyGlasses the next day. I was over the moon! This was “FENDI”!! 

Everything about them is totally amazing! I was very surprised to discover that the website of SmartBuyGlasses has every big designer you could possibly think of. Not to mention the coolest designs! I was blissfully unaware of it until that day.

I’m all for everything Italian so Fendi was the perfect gift for me! Also, since sunglasses are part of our daily lives, I’m going to use them daily now on my way to work.

These are also the most expensive pair I own till now 🙂 A picture of me wearing them will be shared later once the rain clouds looming over my window sends some sun back! Cheers to SmartBuyGlasses.

5 Cafés to try #WhenInRome

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

One tends to walk a lot in Rome (a lot a lot) so its natural to grab a seat by the many lovely cafes the city has to offer. This time was no different for me except that I was a little more open in my choice. Usually I frequent one café my whole trip and make it my morning ritual. But this time I tried different ones almost every day and sometimes even twice. So here is a compilation of my favorite cafes from the eternal city:

Bar Farnese- If you go here you will come back with a smile on your face. It is a true Roman experience with the owner Angelo and his courteous staff. This is one of the many cafes with a great sitting area for people watching. The bar is so old fashioned and vintage that I could cry! The no frill service adds to its charm. Bar Farnese also happens to be a stone’s throw away from the major attractions of the city. But do not confuse it with Caffe Farnese which is very close by.

Via dei Baullari 106, Rome.

IMG_20170526_124207

-Pasticceria Trastevere- This was only 2 tram stops away from where I stayed so it became sort of mandatory to try it. Their pastries are to die for!! Small but delicious choux puffs filled with cream, custard, chocolate or something you might not have had altogether. The service is super quick and I loved their painted cups.

Via Natale del Grande 49, Rome.

IMG_20170528_113914

Antico Caffè Greco– Do not judge me! Yes I went there for fresh juice and a caffè. It was a costly affair and I was aware of it (if you sit inside a caffè costs about EUR7) but I was a tourist in Rome so I enjoyed visiting the second oldest cafe in the country! I am also a sucker for places where the great writers frequented. Goethe and Byron are two examples who used to come here. If you end up visiting Greco, order at the counter and enjoy the old world experience!

Via dei Condotti 86, Rome.

IMG_20170528_164738

Roscioli Caffè- I visited Roscioli twice, once with a friend who was most kind to treat me and once alone where I had the freshest panino ever! I loved the whole experience of standing at the narrow bar and enjoying my food. Of course there is free WiFi and a place to sit inside to chat. Their pastries are super delicious and somehow I found that even a cornetto was more creamier here! The service isn’t as friendly but maybe that is because they are always so full.

Piazza Benedetto Cairoli 16, Rome.

IMG_20170530_102457

El Mojitaro Bar- Another no frills bar with an owner who loves to chit chat. This could be one of the most photographed places in the graffiti covered neighborhood of Rome. Courteous service and great views I found their cocktails to be a tad expensive. I’d just go for their cappuccino and enjoy the view.

Vicolo del Cinque 5, Rome.

IMG_20170527_171049

Apart from the ones above I also loved Caffè Peru, Bar Willy and Bar San Calisto. Have you tried any of these?? I’d love more recommendations for my next trip 🙂

 

 

Testaccio, Trapizzino & Tram Depot

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,

I didn’t know all of Rome’s districts until recently so one morning I decided to take a walk in the lesser known neighborhood of Testaccio. It was local life at its best! Romans going about their businesses, shopping at Mercato Testaccio, nonni playing with their grandchildren, women having a quick chat at the butchers’. Essentially Rome without the crowds 🙂

IMG_20170527_105437

Mercato Testaccio

From the main piazza to the end of the road I chanced upon the Tram Depot-an old inoperative tram carriage made into a kiosk serving coffee, cocktails and much more. This place was totally a win win for me with its brilliant garden swing, shady sitting area and retro styled chairs. I enjoyed their fresh cornetto and cappuccino with the super friendly service. It was a good way to immerse in speaking Italian even though most of it concerned about the many pigeons in the area 😉

IMG_20170527_111930

Buonissimi!

IMG-20170527-WA0027

Old world and retro

Address: Via Marmorata 13, Rome

After a long pausa, I headed to the latest street food craze called Trapizzino! In simple terms- a comfort food place offering small triangular shaped pizza with a topping of your choice! There were so many delicious toppings to choose from but I chose a polpette al sugo (meatballs in tomato sauce) witha chilled beer.

The next best options for me were eggplant parmesan and marinated artichokes. Oh well….I was in Italy! My trapizzino was super yumm at just €3.50. The place was packed but had a small sitting area which was a perfect spot for people watching. Now here is where I heard English and also saw tourists like myself 😉

IMG_20170527_124420

Which one would you have??

IMG_20170527_125307

Yummy in my tummy!

Address: Via Giovanni Branca 88, Rome

Have you been to any of these places?? If not, I’d recommend you to try them #WhenInRome

Also, if you are on Instagram why don’t you give me a follow?? I promise to fill your timeline with beautiful travel pictures and yummy food from Italy 🙂

A Roman Food Tour in Trastevere

Tags

, , , , , ,

Rome as a city can be so wonderful yet so overwhelming at the same time. It is definitely important to feel the pace of the Eternal city and the best to understand that is through its food.

IMG_20170526_164922

While it wasn’t my first time in the city, I definitely hadn’t done a food tour ever in Rome so when Sian of The Roman Guy approached me, I thought why not?! It would be a great way to know more about Rome and see the hidden food points that I may not have known as a visitor. So I went for the Roman Guy’s Trastevere Locals Food Tour.

The Food Tour started at Campo de’ Fiori – only a 10 minutes walk from Trastevere. We we were a good group of 7 people- a mixed bunch from across the world. Our guide, Melissa, originally from Naples came from a family with background in food. She seemed quite passionate about food.

Our first stop was a cheese store where we tasted 5 different types of cheese from all over Italy. A generous amount of Prosecco was served along. I loved everything we ate but Burrata was and remains to be my favorite 🙂 I was wistfully reminded of my adventures in Puglia.

IMG_20170526_172706

Heaven!

IMG_20170526_172751

Our next stop was something that was on my bucket list thanks to my fellow blogger Natalie. She had mentioned going to Dar Filettaro for its Filetti di Baccala in one of her posts and that’s exactly where I wanted to go too. And….Voila! We were there! Soon there was a hot plate of hot deep fried fish called “Baccala” along with a pitcher of white wine. It was a killer combination and the fish was so delicious! The place was so off the tourist track that I only saw locals around. This also made the service better.

IMG_20170526_180031

Baccala

Next started a 10 minutes walk to the enchanting neighbourhood of Trastevere. We stopped at a small bistro that I could have easily missed. It was super cozy and cute. The owners use organic ingredients in everything they made and a happy staff member served us wine with a cheese, meat and bruschetta platter! I surprised myself as I fell in love with a cheese and jam combination.

Melissa mentioned that we were half way through our tour and I believed so was my tummy. But I was ready to have a slice of pizza and that’s just what our next stop was. Pizza al taglio (pizza by the slice) was the next stop at another cute little place in Trastevere’s lively streets. I could have had another one 😉 It was a very short stop and I wished it lingered and we could have just sat and talked.

IMG_20170526_185146

I want more!

Our second to last food stop was dinner with two types of pasta- Cacio e pepe and Amatriciana– classic Roman dishes! We were informed of their backgrounds and our group enjoyed it with wine and a plate of Parmigiana.

IMG_20170526_191246

Parmigiana

IMG_20170526_192923

Fully Roman

We ended the tour with the classic gelato! (No pic sorry) I chose hazelnut and melon as my flavors. Divine!!

IMG_20170526_195310

A Happy Little Group (The other table wasn’t with us) 😉

All in all it was a great food tour as it gave insight into the food and culture of the Romans. The tour group being small also added to the fun. I would especially like to highlight the food quantity which was apt and sufficient. My stomach gave a happy clap at the end. But even though I loved the food at the tour, I would have appreciated a fun energetic guide because in my humble opinion it can totally up the whole tour!

Disclaimer: I was a guest at The Roman Guy’s Food Tour. However, all opinions expressed here are solely my own. Big thanks to Sian- the Marketing Voyager at The Roman Guy who helped plan this tour! Sian-see you again in Rome or India! 🙂