Whilst I love San Francisco, the city that has really captured by heart is Rome.  No matter how long I spend there, it is just never long enough.   Rome is most often my first point of call on arriving in Europe.  Whilst the saying “All roads lead to Rome” I take the stand that all roads lead from Rome.   It is the perfect place to get reacquainted with Italian life before venturing further afield to explore the hidden treasures of Italy.

On my first afternoon in Rome a Gelato alla stracciatella (Chocolate Chip) from Il Gelato di San Crispino blows away the cobwebs and makes me feel at home.  Nothing beats heading to Villa Borghese and the Pincio Gardens to soak up some sun and stretch the legs.  Whether enjoying a boat ride on the lake, hiring a bike, or lying on the grass with a good book, people watching is a great way to sample the Roman way of life from this central oasis in the heart of Rome. The acres of parklands, bike paths, grassy meadows, fountains, monuments and shady trees are also home to a zoo, puppet theatre and Art Gallery.  I love the Villa Borghese especially on a Sunday afternoon watching local children play soccer, teens hang out with friends and families celebrate birthdays and anniversaries together in this unique green space in the heart of ancient Rome.

As travel weary eyes droop and sleep beckons, I head back to my hotel stopping for pizza at Fior Fiore located at Via delle Croce, 17/18 near the Spanish Steps.  Fior Fiore offer sit down or takeaway dining, and finishing the day with a slice or two of their pizza reminds me that I am back happily in Italy.   Enjoy a drink at the bar whilst waiting for your pizza before letting your head hit the pillow.  Tomorrow, the city awaits…

La Dolce Vita