Buongiorno, bella Colosseo!

IMG_0939Upon arrival in Rome, we settled into our little apartment in the northeast neighborhood of Tiburtino before we decided to go exploring — sans map. You can imagine our delight when this scene came into view only a few blocks into our walk. Good morning, beautiful. Show us your story.

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The Leathersmith

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When we stumbled upon Il Gancio, a 30-year-old artisan shop in between the Corso and Pantheon, this lady leathersmith was hard at work on a fabulous skinny belt. Antonella is the owner and she makes everything on site with an espresso close at hand. The tannery was chock full of buttery-soft leather bags, bracelets, wallets, journals, valets and other gorgeous goods. Let’s just say we didn’t leave empty-handed.

Cul de Sac Caprese

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I wanted to take engagement photos with these tomatoes at lunch today at Cul de Sac, the oldest wine bar in Rome. The tiny enoteca in the Piazza Pasquino boasts an encyclopedia-esque wine list of 1,500 varieties.

When we asked if we could sit outside in the drizzle to admire Rome in the rain, the annoyed waiter shrugged his shoulders, shook his gray head and warned, “You sit outside. You stay outside.” Needless to say, we opted to eat indoors in case the rain persisted. I had the cacio e pepe, a simple but deliciously rich cheese and pepper pasta. Then Mr. McGrumpy brought out this beautiful Insalata Caprese that blew my mozzarella-lovin’ mind.

The parentals on pasta

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After I mentioned to mom and dad respectively that I might have to lose a few pasta pounds post Italian vacation, they had two very different responses.

MOM: “Well, have you been walking? Why are you eating so much? Get some exercise.”

DAD: “Good! You probably look better with some meat on your bones.”

Well, cool, y’all. Thanks. I think.