Wednesday, December 5, 2012

i heart iOS6

I updated my beloved iPhone 4s to iOS6 some time ago but I JUST noticed an amazing new feature that is very handy for bilingual folks like us (grin).
iMessage now has the capability of remembering the last language (keyboard) you used with a contact so that when you write to that contact again, it automatically sets the proper keyboard. Yeah, I know switching keyboards isn't that time consuming or complicated but it just makes things easier to have iMessage do it for you. Love it. Brilliant. Hats off to the Apple team.
Enjoy it, bilingual peeps!

(you can read about it here.)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

What gives, ATAC?

Lately I've been noticing more and more city buses sporting signs (some are even handwritten) saying: "Don't ask the driver for info".
I realize it must be frustrating for these drivers to navigate Rome's crazy-ass streets while tourists and non-expert bus users ask info, BUT (you knew that was coming) what do you expect, ATAC? Not everyone knows the bus stops by heart and not everyone has an app for that. Maybe you should consider listing the stops so that EVERYONE knows which one is which, and which is coming up next. Then they just might stop asking for info.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Che vergogna

Italy, you're embarrassing yourself with stuff like this. Stop it. Now.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap (in English with Italian subtitles)

 Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap
(in English with Italian subtitles)
October 8, 9, 10 ONLY
The Space Cinema Moderno
Piazza della Repubblica 43
at 19:30 and 22:00
The Space Cinema Parco De' Medici
Viale Parco De' Medici 135
at 19:40 and 22:10

you can buy tickets online at:

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pierogi heaven in Rome

I love me some pierogi. When I'm in the US of A, I can get them just about anywhere- from supermarkets to restaurants; when I'm in Rome... not as easy.
The other day I was having a fierce pierogi craving and decided to google it to see if, by chance, I'd find any stores in Rome that sold them. Lo and behold I found a sweet new Polish supermarket IN Trastevere! Could it get any better? Why yes it could! I went there and they had several different kinds of pre-made pierogi (vegetarian friendly options), the prices were very good (a giant container of sour cream for 1.80- take that Castroni! A package of 18 pierogi for 3.60), and the shop owner was quite possibly the nicest human being I've ever met.
I am thrilled to have found an awesome and convenient pierogi dealer in my 'hood.
If you're craving anything Eastern European (they even sell ceramics), go check this place out!
Sklep polski u Michala
Viale Trastevere, 233 

Mon-Sat 9-20
Sun 9-15

tel. 06 89567658 - 340 7248203
OH, and they have a website too!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Beppe Severgnini

I'm a big fan of Beppe Severgnini. His take on life in America as an Italian and his take on Italians in general entertain me to no end! His books can be rather enlightening and amusing for people attempting to navigate Italian culture and mentality.
You can imagine how excited I was to find out that on Saturday September 15th on La7, his new show "Atlantico-Pacifico" will air at 22:30.
I for one will be tuning in to watch his cross-country train trip through the USA pre-election.
And while I'm at... all you American expats: make sure to request your absentee ballots!!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Life as a pedestrian in Rome

I'm proud to call myself a hard core pedestrian. In all my years in Rome, I've never felt the need to own a car or a scooter (okay, maybe once or twice I've said to myself "Damn, wish I had a scooter right now" but I've never actually taken the plunge so it doesn't count), I manage to get by just fine with my monthly ATAC pass, my feet, an occasional taxi, and scooter rides from friends. To me, that's what city life should be about- being able to get around without the hassle of a car. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer Romans seem to agree with this. There's been a drastic increase in the number of cars in this city and the result is anything but pretty...

Ridiculously illegal parking jobs (see photo above) can be seen all over the city: cars parked on the crosswalk, on the sidewalk, on the curb, right in front of "No Parking" signs, etc. It makes life miserable for pedestrians, bikers, parents with strollers, and people in wheelchairs. I can't begin to count the numbers of times I've found myself literally trapped on the sidewalk, unable to get across the street because cars were parked back to front along the street and crosswalk. Luckily, I'm small so I can often squeeze my way through but not everybody can do this and more importantly NOBODY SHOULD HAVE TO DO THIS!

Since the traffic police don't seem to give a shit about doing their job, people have started to come together and create movements like:

Testaccio: Gli automobilisti indisciplinati


Incivile a Bordo- you can buy their NON-damaging stickers and place them on the windows of cars that are parked like assholes. I myself find it immensely rewarding!

It's reassuring to see the people fighting back. Rome needs more people to stand up and start making changes!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Support Italian indie films!!

From August 27-30 there will be the national premiere of the Italian indie movie “La Patente” (The License) by a young Roman director, Alessandro Palazzi, at Nuovo Cinema Aquila.
On Wednesday, August 29th, there will be two special screenings (20:30 and 22:30) with ENGLISH subtitles. 

via l’Aquila #68    

“The License” is a modern-day ensemble comedy revolving around the lives of two Roman slackers.
Rolando, thirty-something and perpetually unsatisfied, works at his future father-in-law’s driving school, and Sergio is a waiter at the corner cafĂ© as well as a small-time drug dealer.
Thanks to the unexpected death of the elderly owner, they end up taking control of the driving school during the pivotal week before the final driving test.
Characters of all ages and from all walks of life, future drivers and their unlikely instructors, come together to create a reality that borders on grotesque, yet feels incredibly familiar. It touches on important issues like integration in present-day Italy, and gender roles, while never losing its comic tone. 

- From downtown/Termini Station
Bus 81 (from St. Peter, Largo Argentina, Piazza Venezia)
Bus 810 (From Piazza Venezia)
Tram 5 and 14, Bus 105 (from Termini Station)

- To downtown/Termini Central Station
before midnight all the above
after midnight: Night Bus N.12 (to Termini Station, Piazza Barberini, Piazza Venezia)

Monday, August 6, 2012


While wandering in Pigneto before heading over to this amazing outdoor festival in an incredibly picturesque spot,  

we stopped by one of my favorite pizza places. 

This isn't a sit-down pizza place, or a pizza a taglio place, they only serve pizza bianca filled with the most sublime ingredients (many of which are vegetarian and vegan friendly). My picks: a piece with chicory and potato puree with dried tomatoes, and a piece with olive pate, zucchini, and tomatoes. DELICIOUS! They also have artisanal beers and beverages. 

I also discovered that Opulentia happens to have a stand at the Pigneto Spazio Aperto festival. One more reason to go!

How can you not love August in Rome?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I ♥ Casa del Cinema

This year the Casa del Cinema has outdone itself. They have an amazing selection of outdoor, free screenings! There are a few different retrospectives:

100 years of universal and paramount

Shakespeare in movies

Hello, male 

Homage to Antonioni

When she becomes a he

Come dance

Happy birthday to...

Rome in August gets better and better. GO see some films outdoors!!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


I've been meaning to write about this for a while... not sure how many of you have heard about this but I find it BRILLIANT! An incredibly useful tool for moviegoers worldwide.

Would you like to go to the cinema to see whatever movie is being screened, and read the subtitles, because you have hearing difficulties, or you speak another language?
With MovieReading today it is finally possible! You can choose the movie you want, and the subtitles in the language you desire.
All you need is a smartphone or a tablet, and of course a ticket… and MovieReading does the rest!
Install MovieReading’s application on your smartphone, and the cinemas open their doors to you.
Gone are the old subtitled movies, screened at impossible times, and on a few screens in your town.
As of today all movies are accessible from the first day of screening, or at most a week after the first screening.

Check it out:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

summer joy

The legendary FataMorgana has now opened an ice cream shop in TRASTEVERE!
My neighborhood may be chock-full of gelaterie already, but most are mediocre to say the least. I for one am thrilled to have them in the 'hood.
Take a stroll to Pizza San Cosimato and get a scoop or two (or three) at FataMorgana on Via Roma Libera #11.

August will be even sweeter now!

Friday, July 13, 2012

adventures in banking

How long does it take to close an Italian bank account? I found out today, join me on my adventure in banking...
I decided to close a secondary account I had since the bank was essential draining my euros one by one through various taxes, charges, surtaxes, etc. I went to my branch and was informed that in order to close the account I had to bring in 1) the ATM card I was given when I opened the account 2) the device I was given for online transactions (see below).
Okay... I go back home, gather the "o-key" but then realize I didn't have the ATM card since I'd cut it up and threw it away when I received it as I knew I'd never use it (no one ever told me I'd have to give it back when I closed the account). I call the bank and ask what happens if I don't have the card. I'm told to call the toll-free number and block the card. I call and block the card but am then told I have to go to the police and file a report as well and bring that to the bank... Luckily I have a police station nearby so I go there and file a "denuncia".
I walk back to the bank, wait in line, go to the teller who then tells me he can't close the account for me, I need to go to the upstairs office for that. Once in the proper office with the proper person, it takes about 30 minutes for the woman to figure out how to close the account (after having interrogated me on why I was closing the account, she seemed to take it so personally you'd think I was breaking up with her). Papers signed, stamped, double/triple copies and it's done. Total time: 3 hours.

Friday, June 8, 2012

"American breakfast"

We all know brunch has become rather trendy in Rome in the past few years, but recently a less impegnativo, less expensive version of it has been popping up in the neighborhood: "American breakfast".
A bar on Via Roma Libera started advertising the fact that they served bagels and scrambled eggs last year (though I've never worked up the nerve to try it or even inquire about the price) and just the other day I noticed that Mr. Clood had revamped its space AND has started serving "American breakfast" consisting of eggs, French toast, orange juice, etc. I'm very curious to test out not only their breakfast but also their quick and take-away lunch/dinner options. I'll keep you posted.
In the meantime, feel free to check it out yourself:
Mr. Clood
Via Luciano Manara 13
tel: 06 581 5186
American breakfast 9:00-11:00
Lunch 12:00- 15:30
Dinner 19:00- 22:00

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

common courtesy

Early this morning on the tram as I watched a fellow passenger take one last huge drag off of his cigarette and then exhale a cloud of smoke inside as the doors sealed shut, I began to wonder: where do we learn common courtesy? To me, what he did was incredibly obnoxious and inconsiderate. To him, apparently it was perfectly acceptable (which leads to another question: is he just oblivious or is he an asshole? Because in my mind, those are the only two possible explanations). Why is that? When do humans learn proper behavior? How are they taught? I don't recall my mother specifically teaching me about common courtesy or respect for others, maybe I just learned by observation? Or did we learn it at school? Or maybe it's innate… or not, for some people? I do recall public service announcements on TV when I was a kid but, despite their catchy tunes, I honestly don't know if those had any impact on me or my behavior.
I'm genuinely curious about how, as a society, we can help people be more aware and more considerate of others. Since I've been back in Rome I often find myself observing people's actions- from illegally dumping piles of trash bags by a tree, to leaving a dog shit obstacle course, to parking wherever the hell they want- while wondering: What makes you think that's okay to do?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Love at first sight

While scouring the internet for a gift for a relative's birthday, I happened to come across these beauties and it was love at first sight...

Belts (and accessories) that are handmade from bike tires! Not only are the belts crazy stylish, but the service was top notch: quick, efficient, helpful, and precise. Guess where these beauties come from?? Good ol' Italy. It's good to see young Italians doing cool stuff and doing it right. Props to Jiro belts.