• Clara Blanchette

My guide/experience in Italy


Hello people!

If you follow me on instagram, you know i spent one week in Italy. A marvelous week, full of suprises. Here I'll share my tips and tricks to spend the week there, and also my experience in this extraordinary country. eventually, I didn't visit the whole country, but I was ecstatic at the beauty of the places I visited. I also share my experience of eating gluten free during my vacation. Hope you enjoy and comment if you went there or if you would like to go!


friday


It all started by an email at 8:00 am telling us our flight was canceled and we had to arrange ourselves to find a new flight or we would have to arrive Sunday. wow, thanks. But eventually after spending 2 hours on the phone with three companies, we managed to book a flight that went from Montreal- Istanbul, Istanbul-Rome. So everything was fine, we were really lucky and we came to Istanbul. After running everywhere in the airport, we were told we had missed our flight and we had to take a VISA and stay the night in Turkey. Our flight to Italy would be the next morning. And so we went in a hotel, but my mom said: "Guys, we're in turkey, we might as well visit the place." So we took the metro to the downtown area and saw the Blue Mosquée, the Ayasofya, ate delicious baklava and wandered around in this amazing and very different place. The next morning we woke up to fly to Rome. We couldn't believe we had actually been in Turkey and then flied to Italy. Indeed, everything in life happens for a reason.

Metro pass or not?

Luckily, our apartment was 5 minutes to the Collisé so we were close to everything. But if you want my advice, in the heart of Rome, about everything is close to everything. In the beginning of the week we were unsure whether to take a metro pass or not, and thank god we didn't. Yes, we did about 18 000 steps a day, but I'm 11 and it was okay. And it's not as if you were walking surrounded by brick walls everywhere you went. There are beauties in every corner of the city. so be sure to enjoy your walks.


Taking a guide or not?

ok, this is so important to me. walking around without a guide: "oooh, woow it's pretty!" and then you walk away or spend 3h there wondering what it all means. walking around with a guide: "Gosh, how could they have done that? After all these years, and the story behind this is incredible!" and you can ask questions, interact with your guide. i have to say, maybe it's expensive. (it is) but my week was like a history class, but not those boring ones where you fall asleep. no, no... The ones where you can actually see what the teacher is talking about and your teacher is passionate about the knowledge he's giving you. That's what I call interesting stuff. BTW, we took all of our activites with GetYourGuide. (You see, all guides)

Attractions you have to visit


Ok so, if you know my mom, you're probably aware of the organization situation with her (that has been transfered to me, if you know me). And so, each day we had an activity planned. Monday was visiting the Vatican city. You have to visit this place, it's so friggin' amazing and the art and

sculptures are to die for.


Wednesday was visiting the Collisé, (SOOO gigantic guys, i'm telling you) the Roman Forum (Crazy they could preserve this and rly interesting to see, our guide had a book showing us the before and after of the forum. Sometimes it was easy to see how it was, but most of the time we actually had to bring our imagination to work, a lot) and finally in


the afternoon, we biked around the main attractions under the rain. even though it was pretty harsh, we still enjoyed our ride.

Friday we wandered around Villa Borghese. an amazing villa with a marvellous garden and where you can find a collection of artwork worth to see. as an example, i use the difference between a sculpture of Paulina, Napoleon's sister and Bernini's sculptures. Paulina is still and holding an apple, very beautiful if you see the details of the cushion she's leaning on, you would think its a real one. But then you see Bernini's exceptional piece. That's why you need a guide. Let me explain. His sculpture is in movement, the woman changing into a tree. The man is trying to stop her but failing because of a rock, which he stumbled on. Why? Because cupid had put love on the man and hate on the woman, the woman asked god to transform her into a tree since she didn't want to have anything with the man who's trying to get ahold of her beauty. a guide can tell you the story behind the fascinating.

Thoughts on italian lifestyle

while in Rome, and around, I discovered that we spent more time to eat, to enjoy. Take for example eating three meals in one meal in Italy. Who would do that in America? But eating while sight-seeing, biking while enjoying the view, that was amazing. It just came to me that I spent more quality time enjoying the life.

Getting outside the heart of Rome


The heart of Rome is sure something impressive but it's also a great experience to see the outside. Tuesday we went to Pompeii. We visited its ginormous archeological site, probably the best preserved in the world. it was fascinating to see they had thought about suff we think now. They did the same things we now do modernly. they also found petrified bodies and we were explained the technique they used to conserve them.


Thursday we biked the via Appia. Again, breathtaking. Our guide made us visit other maybe not so touristic places that had an interesting story. Biking across this Via was a great experience especially in the road where there are different sized rocks with big gaps. We experienced what it was like to drive in those times while enjoying the view. I have to say it is amazing when the sun is out.

Saturday. unfortunately our last day. But spent wonderfully. Still with a guide (now you're getting along) and our little group, we were off for this beautiful city. Florence is more relax than Rome, so as well as it's amazing, for us, kids, Rome was more exciting. We saw the Florence chapel in the middle of city, we saw El Ponte Vecchio. ( Crazy they can build small shops there, BTW all supaa expensive shops) We then visited a leather shop. Chanel bags, Gucci bags... the leather is all from Florence.


Then the guide opened a leather suitcase, and I'm telling you, everybody was really impressed. Gold bracelets and gold chains and gold, gold, gold. Eventually, we didn't buy anything, but just looking at the quality was pretty impressive and the way they coloured the leather by hand was so cool. We got the best view by climbing the MichelAngelo hill (and someone proposed it was soooo cute!) , and had to see the David, where they also expose his try-outs.

The Circus Maximus is pretty much long gone, but if you have a working imagination and would like to see the stairs that went down, you could. You can also walk in the gigantic circus! When you see the Before&After, it's quite impressive!


Circus Maximus with imperial palace ruins, on Palatin hill, in the back.

EATING GF IN ROME

Suprisingly, eating gluten-free in Rome was really not that bad. Actually they were more advanced in the type of food than where I live. In about every restaurant we went there was gf pasta, and we even managed to try out a gf pizza! here in Rome, they test kids at 6 years old to see if they have any gluten intolerance. Probably because there's just so much gluten! Here I'll share my fav restaurants in Rome and maybe a bit in other places I visited. I also include non-gluten free places. (don't worry gluten lovers ;)) If you would like to have something gf be sure to share it with the waiter.


Pasta Chef-Street food gourmet

Via Baccina 42 • 00184, Rione Monti • Roma


Best pastas ever!! If you would like gf pasta, ask for it ( i think it's a little extra) Great for take-out or for a calm lunch/dinner. Little music, atmosphere is cool. Pretty small restaurant. Recommend 100%. Went there 2 x in the week. Other adresses on pastachef.com

Types of pasta you have to try: Carbonara, Alfredo, Bolognese, Pesto and everything else is also exquisite!


Pandali

Via di Torre Argentina 3, 00186 Rome, Italy

2 steps from the Pantheon, amazing entirely gf restaurant. Vegetarian option. Bakeries, pizzas, calzones.... so many delicious options.

Polese

Piazza Sforza Cesarini 40, Roma, Italia

delicious for either a gluten free diet or not, great option for lunch or supper. It's kind of hidden,

behind a statue, but pretty cute and good.

Don nino Heladeria & Pasteria

  • Piazza Fontana di Trevi, 83 - 00187 Roma T 06 69923932

  • Piazza del Duomo, 11 - 50122 Firenze T 05 5283216


Don Nino is filled with handmade gelato, delicious pastries and people. jk, not that much of a line, if yes, it's worth it. We went there in Florence but the place is so wonderful they have the small shop in Rome as well so that's great! You can also visit their website to learn more and to find different adresses that convene you better. you can additionally find sorbet which is amazing for lactose intolerant people. My recommendations: take 2 flavours; pistachio gelato and mango or lemon sorbet. Other flavours are hazelnut, coffee, caramel, fruit, you name it. You can probably guess each is exquisite. I'll leave you with the taste in your mouth ;) (don-nino.it for different adresses)

Finisterra


Piazza di Santa Croce 12, 50122, Florence, Italy

Great if you're looking for a typical Florence food

restaurant. Fun Fact; where i first ate a antipasti, a segundi and a dolce, but it was rly good.

Naples Pizza

Any Neapolitan pizza is a delish. really. let me explain the three


amazing pizzas: Pizza Blanca, Marinara and Margherita. Pizza Blanca is no tomato sauce and ham. In marinara you'll find tomato sauce, olives and basil. Margherita; tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella cheese and olives. You see now how we americans put WAYYY too much condiments? The deliciousness is the simplicity and the quality. Americans are the greatest consumer of pizza in the world. You probably guessed that right? But majority of those pizza slices are just too much. Hope you enjoy your pizza slices and think twice before buying a slice in America. If you get a guide, ask him what's the story behind the Margherita ;)

Hostaria Romana

Via del Boccaccio, 1, 00187 Roma RM, Italy

Great food, try out the artichokes a la romana, they're just, just. AMAZING!


If you see salmon risotto on the menu, you got to try it!!!


You'll find these everywhere is Rome! Filled with pure spring water, rly refreshing! Instead of breaking your neck trying to drink from the bottom, put your hand of the leak to stop the water from falling and a few moments later, water will exit from a much more pleasant place to drink from. (BTW when you do this trick, make sure nobody is in front of you ;))


Hope you enjoyed my tips and tricks and that I gave you an idea of my trip and hopefully your next! ;)

truly rome is quite the best. truly rome is rome, it's breathtaking and belly-loving. it's full of surprises and maybe kind of a history class all along but that's why it makes it unique. Rome is Rome, in all it's ways.

Clara xoxo

#traveling