Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Classic

This is a song I heard on the radio a few days ago. It's a song that by now I know, and I thought that it was about time that I featured it on the blog. It's La donna cannone by Francesco De Gregori from 1983.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


Since leaving for Rome last Saturday I've fallen off the diet wagon ever so slightly... Before stuffing my face with pizza and pasta for two days I was only 300 grams (!!) off my target weight, but since coming back to Milan I haven't quite been able to face the scales yet...

This cheeky treat didn't help matters either, but my willpower by now is seriously fading. It's a chocolate orange cupcake - yes, that's a piece of Terry's Chocolate Orange sat on the top! - that I bought at the Artigiano in Fiera today. I go to the event every year, it's held at the exhibitions centre in Rho Fiera, just outside the city, and showcases handmade goods from across Italy, Europe, and from the rest of the world. I bought a few Christmas presents, even though it pains me to start my Christmas shopping before the beginning of December! Before going home I actually went back to the cupcake stand I'd seen earlier in the morning to take one home with me.

And it was amazing. It was the first cupcake I'd had since this whole craze started. With Italians being fiercely proud and protective of their cooking, it's obviously not taken off in the same way here, but American style baking has become popular with the younger generations - as the crowd around the stall showed earlier!

That's the thing with foreign food in Italy, it's rarer, often not as good (not in the case of my precious cupcake though!), and more expensive. It makes that burger, that bagel, that cheesecake, or in this case cupcake, even more special!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Another Roman Weekend

The thing about going to Rome for the weekend is that the alarm clock goes off in the middle of the night. This time it was at 4.30, and not long after 10 (thanks Trenitalia for the late train both to and from Rome!) I was standing in Termini station in Rome. And this time I had company! My friend Sandra who lives in Veneto was coming to visit the city for the first time with her kids, so it was going to be a full-on weekend of touristing!

Our first stop was where I normally start on my Roman trips - Piazza di Spagna. I was glad to see that the work on the Barcaccia was over after it was covered in scaffolding the last time. We walked up the steps to Villa Borghese to admire the fantastic view above the city. We then hit Via del Corso, and the kids enjoyed doing some shopping. The Christmas music in Alcott was a bit of a shock - it's only November!

Visiting the city with Italians I was running late in true Italian for my lunch with Claire from Runbritchickrun! We went to La Zanara over near the Vatican, a 20s/30s inspired restaurant (even the waitresses' uniforms!) where we had some delicious food. I had papardelle with porcini mushrooms and vanilla creme brulee, quite a treat after being on a diet since the summer,but I had to laugh at the fruit on my dessert - it wasn't long ago that I discovered I was allergic to fruitsof the forest!

After a walk around the area I met up with Sandra and kids and we headed to our hotel for a rest. We were staying at Hotel Caravel on Via Cristoforo Colombo, the same place I stayed during my last trip in June. For some reason I was given a junior suite (without paying any extra!) and I didn't quite know what to do with all the extra room!

Supper was at a pizzeria called Grazie a Dio è venerdì - which translates as thank God it's Friday! In my over-tired state I didn't realise that the pizzas I was trying to choose from were bianca - without tomatoes - and when my salmon pizza arrived I had a bit of a surprise, and it was one of the most delicious pizzas I'd ever had. Dessert was a strudel with gelato, and afterwards we went for a walk through the cobbled backstreets to see the Colusseum at night. By then I was absolutely destroyed, but it was well worth the effort!

Sunday morning we were up bright and early, and after a delicious breakfast (much love for hotel breakfasts!) the four of us made the short walk from the hotel to Radio Deejay's Roman studios. It was lovely seeing Laura and Rudy again, and we were also joined by Alessio, a Tuscan friend of ours.

I then decided to take our group to the Trevi Fountain, even though there's still work being done on it I didn't really want them to miss. Now there's a walkway that takes you right up to the fountain, and even though there's scaffolding covering the fountain it was interesting to have another view of such an iconic landmark. From there we went on to the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, stopping at a bar for a sandwich for lunch.

After walking around in the direction of Piazza Venezia, we decided to hop on a tram to rest our feet for a bit. Our destination was the Altar of the Fatherland, where there's always a particular atmosphere. From there it's a short walk to the Colusseum, where we met another one of our friends. Unfortunately by then it was time to start heading back to Termini so we could get our trains, and we had one last coffee (hot chocolate for me as I wanted to sleep on the train!) before parting ways and getting on our separate trains.

Thanks to everyone who made the weekend so memorable. My Roman weekends are always exhausting but so much fun!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Classic

Musica ribelle is by Eugenio Finardi, and is from 1976.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Word of The Week

grigio - grey

Between the miserable weather and my new winter coat I've seen a lot of grey this week. It's not been particularly cold, but as with most of Italy we've seen a lot of rain this week. Luckily the sun's come out today, but it's not forecast to last!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Classic

Today in 1974 Riccardo Cocciante was at No.1 in Italy with Bella senz'anima.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

365 Days of Happy - Days 91 to 120

I'm actually nearly on time! Here's my latest round-up of the 365 Days of Happy challenge.

Day 91: Omnomnom blackcurrant

Day 92: Home.

Day 93: At the Deejay Village in preparation for Sunday's race.

Day 94: A meal with friends.

Day 95: Delicious Sunday lunch.

Day 96: Time to relax.

Day 97: Happy to be out of the rain.

Day 98: Pretty new jumper!

Day 99: Another Boots order!

Day 100: Coffee break,

Day 101: Another cheeky glass of wine...

Day 102: Sunday treat!

Day 103: Monday night wine...

Day 104: My shiny new Converse!

Day 105: Pyjamassss

Day 106: Gorgeous earrings made by my very talented friend Monica.

Day 107: I can finally put my feet up...

Day 108: Sunday morning coffee.

Day 109: Sunday treat - vanilla flavoured Greek yogurt.

Day 110: After 5 hours' sleep, finally back in bed...

Day 111: Shopping at H&M

Day 112: A bit of a strange supper to celebrate my Italianniversary

Day 113: I was getting ready to go out late at night...

Day 114: ... to go and visit the nightshift at Deejay!

Day 115: Mission winter coat!

Day 116: I love Lush!

Day 117: Love this book.

Day 118: Caffè al ginseng.

Day 119: Breaking out the big fluffy dressing gown!

Day 120: Treating myself to some goodies from New Look.