You know what everyone needs to survive? Food. And what do you do with food? You eat it. Hence, Romans must eat food. And to do what Romans do, you must eat.
I was introduced to this Italian treat called cannoli back in Florence by a few friends, and ever since I’ve been dying to try it. Luckily, it’s all over the place in Rome! Walk into almost any cafe, and they will probably have it.
Cannoli is basically a deep fried pastry stuffed with ricotta cheese. There are some variations that I’ve seen – you can stuff it with chocolate or custard, and also dip it in nuts/chocolate chips, but they all look the same. Some places have premade cannoli sitting there, and other places (like Ciuri Ciuri) fill up the pastry with fresh ricotta cheese right in front of you.
It seems like ricotta cheese is just an Italian thing in general. I remember our first day in Venice, when we found a ricotta + honey + sesame flavoured gelato. As we walked along, we stumbled across another very famous Roman bakery called I dolci di Nonna Vincenza. Aside from cannoli, they also have this donut stuffed with ricotta cheese. To be honest, I don’t love ricotta cheese, but being here has made it grow on me. Do as Romans do, right?
As you know, I like to walk into McDonalds in every country to see how they compare. In Paris, they had croissants and macarons. In Switzerland, they had prices to compare with everything else in Switzerland. Well, in Italy, they have gelato.
Our Airbnb host has been so nice to set up the coffee maker for me every morning, because I had no idea how to use it. But after trying it out and dissecting it to wash it, I’ve figured out how it works. The bottom compartment is for water, and the coffee grind goes in the middle. Just put it over the stove until the water boils, and as it does, the steamy hot water passes through the grind, condenses into liquid, and you end up with your fresh pot of espresso coffee in the top compartment. Another lesson learned on this trip!
Most of the meals here in Italy have been pasta, and so far, I haven’t been to any bad restaurants. But on our first night in Rome, I did go to one really good restaurant called La Vecchia Conca. Their noodles were freshly homemade, and that chewy texture and rich egg flavour really stood out compared to all the other restaurants we tried! It’s also a little bit pricier, but I thought it was totally worth it.
All food aside, the other thing that people do in Rome is visit the Vatican for a blessing from the Pope. Today also happens to be a Sunday! But we purposely went after his speech so we wouldn’t have to fight for breathing room with the huge crowd. Besides, we usually leave the house at around noon, and that’s when he gives his speech anyway. (Anything before noon is too early for us…)
If you’re not up for huge lineups, then there really isn’t much to do in Vatican City. You literally walk into a plaza, take a picture, and leave.
Vatican City does have its own post office, and that was interesting enough for us to want to send a postcard from inside the country. However, the post office also has Poste Italiane logo inside, so it’s probably piggybacking off the Italian post office anyway.
The other thing to see are the Swiss mercenary guards, which I thought was interesting because I actually learned about this in the Swiss National Museum back in Zurich! I love it when things relate.
Just so you know, if you’re planning a trip to the Vatican, make sure your knees and shoulders are covered. You will be allowed to enter the country, but you won’t be able to get into any of the buildings otherwise. For us, it really didn’t matter, since we weren’t going to line up anyway!
So, with this post written out, that’s the last planned day of my Eurotrip adventure! I’ll be alone tomorrow, and most likely just taking it easy with some more writing and sleeping before flying to Toronto. I don’t expect a crazy day, but the spirit of adventure can bring you anywhere 🙂