Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I just discovered this wonderfully true and powerful documentary by an Italian woman which addresses how women are seen and used on Italian TV (and those of us who've had the misfortune of watching Italian TV know how disturbing it can be). The English translation is a bit sketchy but it's still very much worth watching. Please watch and tell others about it!


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Inconsideration galore

I always feel so lucky to live in Rome when the International Rome Film Festival rolls around. Even though some of the films in the line-up will be in the theaters in a matter of weeks, there's something about the festival vibe that I just love.
This year I narrowed my selection to 5-6 films. I scoured the website to make sure I knew when, where, and how. I even bought some tickets online thinking I was going to be soooo ahead of the game. Not! In a normal place you'd buy tickets online and that would be it, you'd be good to go. Not here, my friends. Oh nooo, far too easy. First, you buy the tickets online (paying a surcharge of something silly like 80 cents per transaction), which was quite the task in and of itself. As with most Italian websites, it's not very user-friendly or logical. You get an email confirmation which you have to print out and THEN take it to the ticket counter at venue to pick up the actual tickets (and as I discovered, this often entails waiting in a long line). Oh, one more thing: they suggest going to the venue a few hours in advance to pick up the tickets so you don't get stuck in a line and miss your screening. So why the hell bother to buy tickets online if I end up having to go to venue early to pick up the tickets? At that point I may as well just go to the venue and buy the tickets a few hours earlier and save myself the 80 cent surcharge, no? Makes no sense to me... Things are always more complicated than they need to be in this country.

Anyway, this afternoon I had to go pick up my tickets for a late screening at Metropolitan, can we say royal pain in the ass? I get there and the ticket counters aren't open. My bad, I didn't read the fine print which said they open at 4:00PM. Luckily Via del Corso offers plenty of entertainment so I wander around and end up spending money I shouldn't have. I go back to the theater at 3:45 PM and there is already a line. I get in it and watch as a CRAZY line starts to form behind us- extending from the theater doors to the other side of the street, blocking people, bikes, and cars from passing. At one point a garbage truck was trying to pass by so people had to move aside... so being the logical person I am, I can't help but think- why don't we bend the line so we're standing on the sidewalk and not in the middle of the street? I suggest it out loud to the horde and what do you think they said? Come on, humor me, try to guess. Asshole #1 starts chuckling as if I'd just suggested he go to the bar and buy everyone in line a cup of hot cocoa. Asshole #2 says: "Who cares? The theater will open soon and we'll go in soon". Yeah, not quite... there are about 100 people in line blocking the street and I highly doubt that as soon as the theater doors open the line will magically disappear in 3 seconds. Asshole #3 (note: all middle aged Italian men) says: "Well who cares, it's a pedestrian area". And just like that, my dreamy state of "I'm-so-lucky-to-be-in-Rome" vanished and I was oozing with hate for Italians, or rather Romans. They have NO consideration for others. Since we're all blocking the street, pedestrians can't even get by, they have to push through the line, bikes are ringing their bells like crazy trying to get through, and the occasional vehicle (police, taxi, etc) has to inch forward at a snail's pace before the line breaks. Why is it so hard for them to see this and take a small step to prevent the chaotic buildup? IS it really that hard to take 5 steps to the right and get on the sidewalk, you lazy fools?
I get my ticket and peer back outside only to see an even longer line of people blocking the street and can't help but think- you're such inconsiderate assholes, no wonder why this country is stuck in a rut... you people just don't care.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Medical mysteries

I've decided to attempt to go back to the gym and the biggest hurdle so far hasn't been the physical effort but rather the bureaucratic effort! For those of you who don't know, Italian gyms require all members to present a "certificato di idoneità non-agonistica" or "certificato di buona salute/ di sana e robusta costituzione" (I'm still not sure what the difference is) which basically assures them that you won't croak while on the treadmill.
The gym manager told me the "certificato di idoneità non-agonistica" would cost 40 euro but the "certificato di buona salute/ di sana e robusta costituzione" would be free and would suffice. So I went to my public doctor (after going there two times only to find the office closed because he changed visiting hours again) and asked for this certificate. He filled out the form, stamped it (oh how Italians love their stamps), and asked for 20 euros. No EKG, no listening to my heart/lungs, no measuring of blood pressure, nothing. I gave him a 20 euro bill which he stuffed into his pocket. I'm perplexed 1) Wasn't it supposed to be free? This is public health care afterall. I asked and he said no. 2) Did my public doctor just evade taxes? I didn't ask but seeing as I got no receipt and there's no record of this transaction, I think it's safe to say my doctor got paid under the table.
Since I'm a total freakshow, I called the ASL hotline when I got home to try and find out what the deal is with these certificates. I called 3 times and got 3 different answers. First time: the certificates should be entirely free unless I'm training as a professional athlete (which I'm not). Second time: the certificate costs 20 euros. Third time: the certificate costs 40 euros.
So either I got a discount, I paid the right amount, or I got shafted... guess I'll never know!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Trenino from hell

It's been a while since I last spewed shit about Roman public transportation... NOT because I haven't had any unpleasant experiences recently but because it's a given it'll suck. But today, Roman public transportation outdid itself:

I'm at the Trastevere train station at 9:29, nice and early for my 9:39 train to Tiburtina. 9:45 rolls around and no sign of the train. At 9:45 the loudspeaker announces that the 9:39 train has been cancelled. The next train will be at 9:54. Okay, I'm annoyed but I'm used to at least one train being cancelled during my occasional morning commute. 10:00 rolls around and there's no train in sight. The loudspeaker announces the 9:54 train has been cancelled and the next train will be at 10:09. Okay, I'm getting very frustrated, as are all the other commuters who are mumbling and cursing on the platform. 10:15 rolls around and not one fucking train has passed by. They announce that the 10:09 train will be 15 minutes late- making it a 10:24 train. Funny thing is (well, not actually funny, more like annoying), the train schedule lists a 10:24 train so why didn't they just say they cancelled the 10:09 train as well?!
So my friends, the "commuter" train to Tiburtina passed by at 9:24 and then at 10:24... the three other trains in between were cancelled. How the hell is that possible?! Needless to say, everyone was livid, the train was packed, and we all began our workday in a bad mood.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Italian love & Roman beauty"

Translation: Don't eat here, seriously. Any place that writes crap like this should be avoided!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kids these days...

"Kids these days...." I love saying things like that, it amuses me. BUT today I really do mean it!
I overheard a conversation on the tram between some female American students and it went something like this:
The other day in class I was soooooo tired, it was like crazy, I could barely keep my eyes open, it was like I wasn't even in class. I think I may have to start taking Concerta before class from now on so I can pay attention.

Mind you, a few seconds before, this same girl was talking about how she's been going out every night, drinking like there's no tomorrow, doing pub crawls, etc...

I couldn't help but think, try getting some sleep and drinking less, THEN maybe you'll be able to pay attention in class- DUH! Kids these days are so quick to pop a pill for anything instead of taking more logical steps to resolve their "problems".

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Say what?

I've always wanted to document all the crazy "English" shit I see written on Italian clothing but never seem to have my camera with me when I need it. BUT the other day I managed to get a shot of this shirt at Oviesse:

Yes, technically it is correct but what the hell is it about? What does that mean??

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fall flicks

After a long, busy summer of translating films, I have a few Italian movie suggestions for the upcoming season:

First and foremost is "Baarìa", an amazing cinematic experience.

"Good Morning, Aman" with Valerio Mastandrea was refreshingly good.

"Dieci Inverni" was wonderful. Very basic love story but a million times better than the average young Italian film.

"Mirna", a documentary that was simple and beautiful and simply beautiful.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Birthdays and bubbly

Despite the fact that I've been in Italy for over a decade (gasp!) there are still some things that surprise me... like birthday routines. Last week my presence was required in the office for a few days. After lunch, the cleaning lady busted out a gigantic birthday cake... for HERSELF. No, I don't mean she brought the cake only for herself, I mean she brought her own birthday cake to work. I found it so odd that the birthday girl would provide the cake as opposed to the office providing it for her. But then I recalled a friend doing the same thing: inviting people out to dinner for her birthday and footing the bill herself (I was the only one who tried to object, I was obviously outnumbered). So very strange to me...

As for the bubbly, while we were all eating this very delicious cake for the cleaning lady's birthday, she also busted out four bottles of prosecco and started pouring a glass for everyone. I politely declined and was met with stares and that question: "Sei astemia*?"
"No I'm not, but drinking a glass of prosecco at lunchtime while Giuseppe Tornatore is next door ready to review my translation with me does not seem like the brightest of ideas, thank you very much!"
This got me thinking about how normal it is for Italians to comment on one's drinking or lack of. I have several AA friends so I find it somewhat rude to ask someone why they opt not to drink. Once at dinner here in Rome with an American AA friend, the waiter kept trying to pour him a glass of wine and I kept saying no, the waiter rudely insisted numerous times so I finally said "No, lui e' astemio (No, he doesn't drink)" and the waiter commented "Non ha la faccia di uno che e' astemio (He doesn't look like someone who doesn't drink)". I could not believe a waiter, let alone ANY person, would have the gall to make a comment like that. I was so taken aback, I couldn't even respond. Total lack of sensitivity in this country toward people who chose not to drink for whatever reason.

*astemio/astemia- sober, abstemious, someone who doesn't drink alcohol

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Guessing game

Okay, this is a question for all of you who don't live in Rome or aren't familiar with Roman public "transportation" (can you sense the scorn?). If you were to see a yellow wooden circle attached to a bus stop pole, what would you think it meant?

Answer: it means the bus/tram that usually stops there will not be stopping there but only before a certain hour and after a certain hour (naturally there was no signage referring to these mystery hours either). Try explaining that to all the tourists- Italian and non- who stood in the baking sun waiting for AGES for the 8 tram to pass only to discover that the 8 tram had become a bus and was stopping at the side of the road instead of the middle platform.

Way to be user-friendly, Rome!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Summer tirade

I'm back with a quick summer tirade, I know you missed my bitching & moaning so I'll get right to the point:

1) Just because movies are shown outdoors does NOT mean it's okay to talk all through the movie... no matter how bad it is!

2) Everyone and their mother was whining all year about being broke, not having money to go out to eat or even see a movie yet as soon as August rolls around they suddenly have money to go on vacation for several weeks... Maybe they all won the lottery? Lucky them...

3) Why does it seem like there are more junkies, crazies, and homeless people in the city now that the summer exodus has begun? The only people in line this afternoon at the grocery store were me, another foreigner, and 4 junkies (most of which were buying boxes of wine). Mind you, I still love August in Rome!

4) And last we have an old favorite. WHY WHY WHY don't Italians use better (or any) deodorant? It really is torture to be on public transportation with them during the summer. Maybe they should hand out sticks of deodorant instead of bottles of water at the metro stops?

Okay, back to work now. I have lots of good Italian film suggestions to post sooooon!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Call to arms

I don't go to many manifestazioni but today's protest against the government's budget cuts for the entertainment sector is very important for people who work in the industry (and not only us).
Come one, come ALL!

Monday July 20th, starting at 5:00 PM at Piazza Montecitorio
Lunedì 20 Luglio, dalle ore 17.00, a Piazza Montecitorio

Per contrastare l'imbarazzante provvedimento del governo di tagliare il FUS e per porre l'attenzione sui problemi dei lavoratori dello spettacolo, insieme ai rappresentanti della maggior parte delle associazioni di settore, è stato deciso di indire una manifestazione per Lunedi 20 Luglio alle ore 17.00 davanti a Piazza Montecitorio.
Vi preghiamo, non solo di aderire alla manifestazione, ma di inoltrare e sollecitare
la presenza di quante più persone potete coinvolgere tra amici e colleghi.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Mall tour

As always, I'll be spending my summer in Rome because it's high season for people in my line of work. And since I work freelance, I never really know if or when I'll have a day off.
This week I unexpectedly found myself with two non-consecutive days off, of course I didn't know they'd be days off till about 10:30 in the morning. So what did I do? I went to the mall (shut up, don't judge me!).
Yeah, I know it seems like a grotesque thing to do in a city that has so much to offer but I was feeling lazy, it was hot as hell, and I was curious to see if the sales were any better out of the center. If you're jonesing for some mall action, or if you just want to walk around in a place with serious AC, keep reading.

First up: Porta di Roma
As far as malls go, this one is good. Nice selection of stores (let's hear it for H&M), a variety of food (I heart WOK), and easy to reach. From Piazza Venezia take the 84 bus till the end of the line, then the 38 bus for a few stops (you'll be able to see the mall and pretty much everyone on the bus will be getting off there). There's also an Ikea and Decathlon attached to the mall.

Next: Parco Leonardo (warning: website is wicked annoying and not updated, some stores have closed down)
Wasn't crazy about this mall. Not many decent stores, bad mall food, but still rather easy to reach and cheap (1.30€ one way). Take the trenino from Stazione Trastevere in the direction of Fiumicino Airport, get off at Parco Leonardo- and bam, you're there!

Lastly: Euroma 2
To be honest, I haven't actually been to this one yet BUT it's next on my mall tour! My sources tell me it's nice and apparently it's Italy's largest mall. Also easy to reach. Take the B metro in the direction of Laurentina and get off at the EUR Palasport stop, from there take the mall shuttle bus.


Friday, July 3, 2009

Pet peeve

Is it just me or do any of you find it odd/annoying that the expiration date for a big container of yogurt is printed ONLY on the aluminum sheet that covers the top? Once you peel the sheet off and throw it away, you have NO idea when the yogurt expires. Can't they just print the expiration date on the container itself?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rewild: "Cruelty-Free club"

The first of its kind in Rome, a "cruelty-free" club/pub that serves fair trade beverages and vegan-only food.  Tested it out the other night and the food certainly did NOT disappoint, they make a kick-ass tofu burger and there was even a great acoustic punk concert to boot!
It's worth the trip to Garbatella:

Thursday, June 18, 2009

L'isola del cinema

Ohhhhhh, how I love this time of year in Rome despite the hot, humid temperatures. It's Isola del Cinema time!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cannes a Roma

It's almost that time of the year again!!!! See as many as you cannes while you cannes (yeah, I know.... but I could NOT resist!).

click here for PDF schedule

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Oh no they didn't!

Flier for a pizza place in San Lorenzo which roughly reads: Other people may have Briatore as their manservant, but we have... (photo of Obama).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I'm forever in search of good brunch places in Rome. Problem is, brunch in this city is pretttty pricey so in order to make it worth the money, the food needs to be good! Some recent finds:

The Perfect Bun- Very good! Authentic American brunch plus lots of other options. They even had an omelet bar and lots of desserts (the cupcakes were disappointing though). All you can eat buffet + unlimited American coffee for 25 euro.

Sweety Rome- Via Milano #48. This place isn't as authentic but was still very nice. All sorts of food (pancakes were the only American fare), including a kick-ass carrot cake, tasty cupcakes, key lime pie, and cream cheese brownies. All you can eat buffet + one coffee + dessert for 15 euro.

Monday, May 18, 2009


The trash saga is truly never-ending (Part 1, 2, 3). I spotted this on a door in Trastevere, it essentially says: Don't bothering ringing our doorbell, we have no organic waste.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Highly digestible?

An Italian friend of mine recently opened a pizza a taglio joint in NYC so while I was stateside, I went to check it out with some Americans. One of the first things these non-Italians commented on was the description of the pizza: "highly digestible".
Since I know Italian and more than anything, I know my Italians, I understood it was a literal translation of alta digeribilità- which is a HUGE selling point for any food product here in Italy. As most expats know, Italians seem to have delicate digestive systems so it's important for food to be easily or highly digestible...but this "benefit" has no pertinence in American culture. Americans can relate to something that's defined "light" but "highly digestible" makes no sense to them even if the translation is technically correct. Digestibility is a concept that's lost on an American audience, don't you think?

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stuffed animals?

What's with full-grown Italian adults and their obsession with stuffed animals? In my many years on the Boot, I've seen males and females alike with stuffed animals in their bedrooms, cars, etc. And when I say "stuffed animals" I'm not talking about the modern kind, I'm talking about straight-up, old school kids' toys. I find it creepy and corny at the same time. Same holds true for the many Italian adults who wear Disney-themed clothing. Shouldn't there be an age limit on that stuff?
Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Can you teach on old dog new tricks?

Apparently not... The trash saga continues. This note was taped up on my building after the garbage men came around yesterday. We're soooooo on their shit list now!
(very rough translation: AMA is pissed at my building because of what I described in my last post. They say they collected the illegal bags this time, but will not next time.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Told you so...

A month ago I wrote a post about AMA's new trash collection process and expressed my doubts that this new and "improved" system would actually work. Some of you might've thought I was being overly cynical but... I told you so! Damn, I should've bet money on this one!

Here's the deal: the garbage men now go door-to-door in my 'hood to collect specific kinds of trash on specific days (Tues, Thurs, Sat- organic waste; Wed & Sat- plastic, metal, glass; Tues & Fri- paper; Mon & Thur- regular trash). Anyone with a microscopic amount of common sense would ONLY put out the specific bags on the day they're supposed to be collected, right? Hell no, we're in Rome! Outside of my building this morning I spied all sorts of bags of trash (paper, bottles, etc) heaped next to the organic waste bin even though today was the pick-up day for regular trash only.

Instead of keeping the trash in their houses, people are just dropping it outside anyway which TOTALLY defeats the purpose because then the garbage men pick up all the bags- even if they contain the wrong trash. So in the end, this huge effort and investment to better the recycling habits of Italy is NOT working. Like I said, AMA should've spent some money on public service announcements because Italians are not quick learners. All the pretty bags and bins in the world are not going to make them pay attention to the "rules".
Conosco i miei polli!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fountain users beware

I've been meaning to write this post for ages but keep forgetting. You know those fountains on the sidewalks of Rome we all love?

Yeah, those. Well, you might want to think twice before drinking from them. Why you ask? In the past few years, as the number of dogs in the city has skyrocketed, I've noticed more and more dog owners- including crusties (or as we say in Italian "punkabbestia") with their rabid pack of dogs- letting their pets drink from these fountains... which would be fine and dandy IF their tongues didn't slurp all over the spigot in the process. I'm not fond of dog germs or dogs for that matter so I now only use fountains that are too tall for dogs to reach. Gone are the days when I would drink the ice-cold fresh water from these fountains without a care in the world, instead I now a stare at these germ-infested watering holes from a distance and walk in the other direction.

Friday, April 3, 2009

So wrong

I'm sure most of you have heard about the new Italian law which would oblige doctors/nurses to contact the authorities if they suspect the patient they're treating does not have a valid visa or work permit. It's wrong on so many levels that I can't even begin to put it into words. So instead I'll illustrate it through a story about a recent incident I had the misfortune of witnessing:
As I was walking in my 'hood, I passed by a beggar who's always on the corner of Viale Trastevere- I noticed there was a pool of blood beneath him and he was wiping away even more blood from his face. I don't think I've ever seen this much blood before in my life. A group of people were standing around him talking amongst themselves. "What the fuck is going on? Why isn't anyone doing anything?" was my first reaction, and naturally I stepped into the group of people to inquire. Apparently, two other homeless beggars had come by and bashed this beggar's nose in... and then just walked away. I started to get riled up asking if anyone had called the cops or called a medic from the hospital two steps away, but nobody had. Why not? Not because they didn't give a shit, but because they had no idea what this beggar's situation was. If he was an illegal immigrant, by calling the cops or doctors (who are now being forced to act as immigration cops) they would've basically been signing this guy's deportation papers. So rather than be responsible for getting him into trouble over his visa or lack of, everyone opted to stay silent and just stand around and stare. I was tempted to go call for help but realized that these people were right... And that, my friends, is one example of why this law is so wrong.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Casting Call: Anglo-Saxons needed!

I'm posting this on behalf of a friend who's working on this film:

MAORI FILM S.R.L. is looking for genuine anglo-saxons (both male and female of any age) interested in working as extras on the upcoming production “TUTTO L’AMORE DEL MONDO” to be shot in Rome from April the 20th on.
Only people from the EU or people with a valid permesso di soggiorno may apply.
Please send a full figure picture, your stats & contacts to: maoricasting@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The great cheddar hunt

Yeah, I like cheddar. You got a problem with that? Since I got back from US, I've been jonesing for cheddar. Don't get me wrong, there are loads of Italian cheeses I adore but sometimes I want me some cheddar. And so began the great cheddar hunt. This weekend I spied a few neighborhood eateries that used cheddar in their dishes, after inquiring they reluctantly yet kindly offered to sell me a chunk of their orange goodness but I still wanted to find a place where I could buy my own whenever I felt the urge.
At the suggestion of a friend, I checked out the deli of all delis- FRANCHI (they do catering too, their website focuses mainly on that). I'd been there a million times but never thought to look for cheddar--- and guess what? They actually had it: sage flavored cheddar (it's green, kind of creeps me out), whiskey cheddar, and good ol' regular orange cheddar all imported from the UK. Joy! Happiness! Cheesy smile! I have found my cheddar dealer!
Via Cola di Rienzo, 200 (Prati)

2016 update: just discovered another shop that sells both British and American cheddar!
La Tradizione
Via Cipro, 8/e

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Chain Reaction

Yesterday morning Mario Rossi (the Italian equivalent of John Doe) wakes up late and has to rush to get to work on time. He works in the center of Rome and drives to work. He frantically looks for a parking space but can't to seem to find any--- WAIT! What's that? A spot on the crosswalk on the street corner. It may be an illegal spot, but Mario Rossi is late so he doesn't care. Shortly after, a bus is driving along its route and needs to turn onto the same street Mario Rossi parked on but lo and behold, the bus can't make the turn because (wait for it).... Mario Rossi's car is in the way! So the bus gets stuck, passengers on the bus can't get to their stops hence they end up late for work, traffic starts piling up behind the bus making even more people late, and the whole neighborhood is in chaos. And all this happened why? Because Mario Rossi, being the typical Italian he is, doesn't bother to think ahead, doesn't try to see the big picture, instead he only cares about his own immediate needs and has no concern for his city or fellow city-dwellers. My advice to Mario Rossi, wake up earlier and take the bus, jackass!

Friday, March 27, 2009


Meravigliosa: that's what the dental hygienist said about my mouth this morning! 

While Stefania oohed and ahhed about how easy my teeth were to clean and how little plaque there was, we had an in-depth discussion about cultural differences in oral hygiene. Stefania insists her foreign clients (several Americans and one Australian) all have amazingly healthy and clean teeth, as opposed to her regular Italian clients who tend to have crooked, dirty, plaque-encrusted teeth (her words, not mine!). 
We tried to figure out why this is: Did I wear braces? Nope. Was I given fluoride tablets as a child? I wasn't but I believe the water in most US cities contains fluoride, or at least that was the case back in my days. I do recall that in elementary school, with the help of a giant set of choppers, we were taught how to properly brush and care for our teeth. Apparently, this does not happen in Italian schools (why am I not surprised?). I also told her most kids go to the dentist at least once a year. She claims most Italians don't have the best oral hygiene: they don't floss much, they brush sloppily, and to top it all off they don't go to the dentist yearly (making her job even more laborious)... and what's worse is Italian parents don't take their kids to the dentist until they're about 8-9 years old, whereas one of her American clients brought her kids in at age 4. So Italian kids are raised with a different perception of oral hygiene hence bad teeth all throughout life.

She's not the first Italian dental hygienist to compliment me on my teeth (mind you, this never happened to me in the US), once an Italian dental hygienist actually sent me home! I sat down in the chair, opened my mouth, she looked in and said "There's nothing to clean, go home and come back next year". I guess she was so used to seeing layers of grime that she considered my yearly build-up unworthy of her pick. Needless to say, I found myself a new dentist because I WANT to have my teeth cleaned yearly even if there's not much to clean. I'd rather get rid of the little plaque I have before it builds up, thank you very much. And my hygienist thanks me... maybe they should charge me less since it takes less time to clean my teeth?? :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Non amo AMA

When I got back to Rome this month, I'd received several pamphlets in the mail from AMA (waste management service) about their new door-to-door trash collection. Apparently, their main goal is to enforce proper recycling. And it's about time! Mind you, recycling bins do exist in Rome, but most people throw everything into one bin anyway. I myself have always fastidiously sorted my trash (you can take the girl out of America, but you can't take America out of the girl!), but most Romans are rather lax about it because 1) there have been numerous reports stating that the garbage men toss all the bins into the same truck anyway 2) Romans don't really seem to give a shit about their city's welfare.

Yesterday this was delivered to my door:

A year's worth of recycling bags (and a bin for organic waste). You have got to be fucking kidding me?! Where am I supposed to store all this? In this city, most people barely have enough room at home for their own belongings, let alone a year's worth of bags! My question is: seeing that AMA will be coming around to our building once a week to pick up our trash anyway, couldn't they just leave us weekly/monthly supplies? Whose idea was this? Seriously, it seems like every time they try to do something new & improved in this city, they screw it up by not thinking it through properly.
I may have to buy myself a bigger apartment in order to store all these bags...

Monday, March 16, 2009

New favorite pizza place

I know "favorite pizza places" is a very delicate topic but I recently discovered a place that kicks some serious butt! It's called La Pratolina. Their pizza is not as thin as typical Roman pizza but it is very light and doesn't sit in your stomach like a brick. They also have delicious homemade fritti that are rather creative (lots of veggie-friendly options too). AND they have the nicest, most efficient staff ever! Those of you who live in Rome know how hard it is to find decent service at restaurants, especially busy restaurants... so this place is a keeper. I highly suggest reserving because it's usually packed.
La Pratolina
Via degli Scipioni 248 (Prati)

Monday, March 9, 2009

I heart NaturaSì

I am back in the Città Eterna, which is eternally chaotic... but I won't let that distract me from today's topic: NaturaSì. It's a fantastic health food supermarket with lots of vegetarian/vegan/organic products that are reasonably priced. There are other stores in my neighborhood that sell the same kinds of goods like Canestro on Via San Francesco a Ripa and Innocenzi on Via Natale del Grande, but they're more expensive and have less of a selection, so it's worth the bus ride to Via Oderisi da Gubbio (more on my first bus ride in Rome in 3+ months in the next post) to stock up on rice milk, tofu, and whatnot. They are also unbelievably friendly and helpful- LOVE them!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Carrot quandary

Why do American carrots taste like mothballs? Ick.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Love at first sight

I just discovered the BEST wallet in the world. And guess where it's made? Yep... in good ol' Italy.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

A good excuse

I've been busy working...

Thursday, January 8, 2009


A country where health insurance companies do NOT cover the cost of a hearing aid but will cover the cost of Viagra. Sickening...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

I heart MTA

Yeah, I know I already wrote about how much I love the NYC subway system but wait... there's more! You know what else I love?
1) That it's SO easy to buy tickets (metrocard)- no hunting down a newsstand or tabaccheria, or inserting coinage into broken machines, no hoping there's a ticket machine on board. Just go into any of the numerous subway stations, swipe a credit card and voilà!

2) AND if you have a Bank of America credit card, for every $100 you spend on metrocards, Metro North or LIRR tickets, you get $10 back! Sure, it's a modest amount but let's not forget that in America most credit cards ARE free and to boot, they give you rewards for spending money. So it's still free money :)

3) The subways actually wait at stations when other trains are about to pull in so if anyone needs to switch trains, they can do it quickly and easily! Seems like basic logic but for some reason in Rome bus drivers seem to do the opposite. If the 8 tram drivers sees the 3 bus, he speeds away leaving everyone in the dust. I never understood it and always wondered why they couldn't wait 30 seconds more. I guess they like making passengers suffer.