rome

ROME PT. 14 - the end by Caitlin Trickett

And just like that, it's all over.

[2:50 AM - bags packed and under 50 pounds - leaving in 1 hour - mix of emotions]

It is with equal parts happiness and sadness that I write my final post about living abroad in Rome. I'm sad to leave behind all of the wonderful things I have grown to love about this beautiful place but happy to be going back to the comforts of home. 

The first day in Rome I remember getting out at 7:00am (thanks jet lag) and exploring around my home for the next four months. With nowhere in particular to go I simply chose a direction and walked. At one point I came upon an archway. I crossed through the archway and then through a colonnade only to look up and see St. Peter's Basilica reveal itself in that beautiful pink early morning light. It was probably the most amazing moment of my being here. It was then that I realized the magnitude of what this experience would hold. "Wow, I'm in Rome." This realization would come about at random moments many times this semester.

Rome is much more than I ever imagined it to be in both the good and the bad kind of way. Dean Martin sings of a romantic Italy that I only saw a handful of times; a quiet side street hidden in Trastevere, the sound of a lonely accordion in an empty piazza, that rare smile from a barista as he hands you a cappuccino. Rome is an unforgiving place most of the time. The 'glamour of it all' is only occasionally enjoyed...when it's not tourist season, or when you can go a block without breaking an ankle on the cobblestones, or when you're not having to dodge piles of trash, or when you're not almost getting hit by a Vespa. Rome managed to make everyday life a little bit of a challenge.

Of all the things I have learned in these past 17 weeks I would say I learned the least about architecture (if you'll remember, learning about architecture is what I came here to do). No, I learned more things about food, fashion, cars, photography, people, and most importantly myself. Rome gave me the gift of time. Time to think, reflect, dream, play. 

In Rome the world was at my fingertips. I 'carpe diem'ed' everyday and drank in everything the city had to offer. It is said that Rome will welcome you when you arrive and forget you when you leave and now I understand. I am beyond grateful to have had the opportunity to study abroad and it is something that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. With a few tears in my eyes, it is now time to leave the apartment for the last time, catch my flight to the States, and watch out the window as Rome vanishes into the distance, becoming nothing less than my sweetest memory.

Until we meet again. Ciao Roma.

[A huge 'thank you' to those who kept up with me and my blog. That's a wrap on my time abroad but I'm excited to write about the adventures to come.]

17 Giovanni Bettolo, Rome, Italy - Home away from home

17 Giovanni Bettolo, Rome, Italy - Home away from home

ROME PT. 13 - BOTANICAL GARDENS by Caitlin Trickett

My time in Rome is coming to a close so I'm rushing to check some final things off of my 'To Do' list before I leave. The Botanical Gardens have been something that I've wanted to see for awhile now and it was nice to be able to peruse around in the park for a couple of hours photographing exotic plants from all over the world. The Cactus Greenhouses and Bamboo forest were probably my most favorite pieces. The park was a nice change of pace from the noisy, congested Rome. Here are some photographs from my time at the park today. Enjoy!

That's Amore - Joey and Shaelyn Engagement by Caitlin Trickett

How many couples can say that they had their engagement shoot done in Rome, Italy?! I don't know but Joey and Shaelyn can! Last Sunday was the perfect day for a photoshoot (minus the freezing wind). The three of us had a fun time playing around in the side streets of the city center before heading down to the riverbank to snap a few more shots. With Castel St. Angelo and St. Peter's as a backdrop you can't go wrong. These two looked great which made my job very easy and they were such troopers when the temperature dropped towards the end of the day. The love that Joey and Shae have for eachother is so apparent and I was happy to have been able to work with them. What a great opportunity they have had to travel Italy together! Here is a collection of some of my favorite photos from the shoot. Enjoy!

FOOD AGAIN - ROME pt. 12 by Caitlin Trickett

Here she is again:  Food! This month's edition is a bit lacking because I was having way too much fun and eating too many good things to remember to photograph them ha. I did a lot of traveling this month so I got to break away from the Italian pastas and try other dishes special to Spain and Switzerland. Looking back there were many delicious dishes that I wish I could share with you but you'll have to take my word for it when I say that "I've been eating good in the neighborhood" lately. So here are a few dishes for you to sink your teeth into:

^ This past week's Spring Break consisted of many good things including the homemade meals that happened 3 times a day everyday. This little spaghetti with meatballs combination was enjoyed twice while on the trip because the meat was SO delicious. We thought about taking a few back with us when we left but decided to keep them as a sweet memory. Just one more thing to persuade us to come back to the Amalfi Coast again someday.

^ Cesar surprised me with his culinary creativity by bringing out an "egg pancake" of sorts. It was a simple egg and saltine cracker combination and it was so delicious! We had this every morning during Spring Break week with a side of toast and strawberry jam and roasted red peppers. Oh and Peach Tea, you can't forget this because we had at least 4 cups each everyday.

^ At the beginning of March Cesar and I went to Barcelona and tried the famous Paella which is a Spanish dish composed of rice and a seafood medley. While there were yummy aspects to the dish we couldn't quite get over the different textures and the fact that some of our food still had its face.

^ I've set aside the brusselsprouts with pancetta and replaced it with a colorful, fresh salad. No matter what I'm eating I love to couple it with a heaping bowl of salad topped with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Tuna cakes are also a very quick, easy, and filling dish to make so I've been whipping up some of those lately as well.

^ This was one of the most amazing things I'd seen in a long time:  An All-American Breakfast complete with a stack of 3 pancakes, scrambled eggs, bacon, and a cup of coffee. This little gem of a place is known as Homebaked and sits atop a hill just south of Trastevere. While it's probably a 3 mile walk from my apartment I like to treat my self on occasion and I am never disappointed. 

^ My friend Hannah Breshears came to visit Rome a couple of weeks ago and opened my eyes to all sorts of wonderful shops and restaurants I'd never knew existed. This particular day we got brunch at the Babington's Tea Room next to the Spanish Steps and indulged in a ham and cheese sandwich and a pot of chai tea. I felt so fancy!

^ Another excellent example of Hannah's restaurant introductions is Prati Urbani. This place is relatively new with a hip environment and an extensive menu of delicious foods. I've been back three times since ordering things like Chicken Meatballs, Cheeseburger, Cheesecake, and Chicken Burger. Prati Urbani has everything and I'm a huge fan.

^ Roommate Kelley is at it again with her creations. To add to her gnocchi-making genius she has now embarked upon mastering the art of the Pici Pasta. A pasta dish famous in the region of Tuscany, Pici is a thicker pasta made from scratch and typically coupled with a ragu sauce. Kelley did good and I hope she lets me participate in the next eating of Pici Pasta.

So there you have it:  Food Again March Edition. I suppose the month of April will be my last 'Food Again' post so I'll try to only eat the best of the best to share with you before I head back to the states. Thanks so much for taking a look! 

TOUR DE LA VILLA - ROME pt. 10 - VILLA D'ESTE by Caitlin Trickett

TOUR DE LA VILLA - ROME pt. 10 - VILLA D'ESTE

Oh my goodness, Villa d'Este! This was probably the most beautiful in mine and probably everyone else's opinion. The villa grounds sit on the mountainside in the small town of Tivoli just a stones throw away from the city center of Rome. The villa itself was gorgeous with 3 stories of many rooms with beautiful frescos but the gardens below it were even more breath-taking:  fountains, trees, reflecting pools, gardens. I am definitely going to have to pay another visit to the quaint town of Tivoli for Villa d'Este sake and also for the excellent food and wonderful views. 

^ The main fountain about midway through the gardens.

^ The main fountain about midway through the gardens.

^ Looking back at Villa d'Este from within the gardens below.

^ Looking back at Villa d'Este from within the gardens below.

^Looking down towards the reflecting pools and above the main fountain.

^Looking down towards the reflecting pools and above the main fountain.

^ A gorgeous overlook. You could just barely see the top of St. Peter's dome in the distance.

^ A gorgeous overlook. You could just barely see the top of St. Peter's dome in the distance.

^ Yet another view to the main fountain from across the reflecting pools.

^ Yet another view to the main fountain from across the reflecting pools.

^ An archway looking out towards Rome.

^ An archway looking out towards Rome.

^ Looking down the main stair leading into and through the gardens.

^ Looking down the main stair leading into and through the gardens.

^ The lovely Tivoli in the afternoon sun.

^ The lovely Tivoli in the afternoon sun.

Well there you have it:  Villas of Rome! Whew, I feel like I've just run a blogging marathon with all of these posts! This weekend was one to remember and may be competing for 'number one favorite' thus far with all of the beautiful places I got to visit. Thank you again for taking a look and have a wonderful week. Ciao!

TOUR DE LA VILLA - ROME pt. 10 - HADRIAN'S VILLA by Caitlin Trickett

TOUR DE LA VILLA - ROME pt. 10 - HADRIAN'S VILLA

[I am realizing that I made the last two posts as a 'pt. 11' when it should be a 'pt. 10'! Ahhh!]

Today (Sunday) was yet another fun-filled day of visiting villas in and around Rome. Yay! The two we visited as a class today were a bit closer than Friday's which made for a nice, quick bus ride which was...well, nice! The first villa we visited was Hadrian's. This site is massive and also built in antiquity (around the same time as the Colosseum and Roman Forum) so it's basically acres of Roman ruins which made things a bit difficult. A good amount of imagination was put into use during our time at this villa. While Hadrian's Villa was interesting, to say the least, it was difficult for me to appreciate it fully because there wasn't much there to appreciate. That may sound bad because "it's amazing that these people thousands of years ago could make something this grand" or "we're lucky there's still anything standing". Yea, okay it's really cool but I still didn't like it as much as the other villas I had the chance to visit ha! Anyway, here are a few photos from my couple of hours at Hadrian's Villa!

^ This was probably the most complete and beautiful part of all of Hadrian's Villa (below as well).

^ This was probably the most complete and beautiful part of all of Hadrian's Villa (below as well).

^The hospital wing of the villa.

^The hospital wing of the villa.

^ Daniel snapping a few pictures.

^ Daniel snapping a few pictures.

^ This photograph is a good depiction of how most of the site looked. Pretty...ruined?

^ This photograph is a good depiction of how most of the site looked. Pretty...ruined?

^A nice reflecting pool on our way out. Lavender flowers surrounded it.

^A nice reflecting pool on our way out. Lavender flowers surrounded it.

^ Firm, marble butts are everywhere at all times in Rome.

^ Firm, marble butts are everywhere at all times in Rome.

^ This blog post needed some color! Here are some nice flowers growing at the large baths of Hadrian's Villa.

^ This blog post needed some color! Here are some nice flowers growing at the large baths of Hadrian's Villa.

TOUR DE LA VILLA - ROME pt. 11 - VILLA LANTE by Caitlin Trickett

TOUR DE LA VILLA - ROME pt. 11 - VILLA LANTE

Villa Lante won yesterday for 'most beautiful villa'. I can't even describe how amazing this place was! After we spent awhile at Villa Farnese we went to the town of Bagnina, Italy where we had some delicious lunch and a wonderful time exploring the grounds of Villa Lante. I don't think I stopped smiling the entire time I was here; hopefully these photos will explain why.

^ Looking back towards the fountain and front gardens of Villa Lante. The small town is to the foreground.

^ Looking back towards the fountain and front gardens of Villa Lante. The small town is to the foreground.

^ This is a water table. During parties of the Renaissance times people would gather around this table to eat, floating plates of food down the narrow basin of water to one another.

^ This is a water table. During parties of the Renaissance times people would gather around this table to eat, floating plates of food down the narrow basin of water to one another.

^ All I did was point and shoot for this photo. No editing! This is a grotto at the very top of the hill that the villa sits upon.

^ All I did was point and shoot for this photo. No editing! This is a grotto at the very top of the hill that the villa sits upon.

^ My feelings exactly Anna. This place is W-O-W!

^ My feelings exactly Anna. This place is W-O-W!

^ Trying to send a pinecone down the water luge. It seems wrong but I definitely compared this to the log ride at Silver Dollar City. Sorry Italy!

^ Trying to send a pinecone down the water luge. It seems wrong but I definitely compared this to the log ride at Silver Dollar City. Sorry Italy!

^ Oliver the cat. There were quite a few cats roaming around the grounds of the villa.

^ Oliver the cat. There were quite a few cats roaming around the grounds of the villa.

^ Reflections in the fountain pool.

^ Reflections in the fountain pool.

^ Oh hey there!

^ Oh hey there!

^ Photo credits to Cesar Chacon. He caught this guy mid-yawn. I love this picture!

^ Photo credits to Cesar Chacon. He caught this guy mid-yawn. I love this picture!

^ A little American pride on our way out. Thank you Bagnina!

^ A little American pride on our way out. Thank you Bagnina!

Thank you for taking a look! Be sure to stay tuned for Sunday's posts on a couple more beautiful villas in and around Rome.

TOUR DE LA VILLA - ROME pt. 11 - Villa Farnese by Caitlin Trickett

TOUR DE LA VILLA - ROME pt. 11 - Villa Farnese

Yesterday was my kind of day. The entire Architecture of the City class (all 50+ of us) loaded up onto a charter bus and headed north to visit a couple of gorgeous villas. The weather was perfect, the bus ride was relaxing, and to get out of the hectic city and into the quiet countryside was a breath of fresh air. The first villa we paid a visit to was Villa Farnese; a huge structure nestled into the hillside village of Caprarola looking out to the mountains and city below. The massiveness of the place was amazing and once you thought you'd seen it all there was yet another part of the villa through the main gardens, past the grotto, and up the hill. It was so peaceful. After spending a few hours sunbathing and on-site sketching we headed back down the hill to move onto our next destination of Villa Lante in the town of Bagnaia about 45 minutes away [TOUR DE LA VILLA - ROME pt. 11 - Villa Lante]

^ The view walking up to the Villa Farnese.

^ The view walking up to the Villa Farnese.

^ Villa Farnese

^ Villa Farnese

^ The Room of Hercules

^ The Room of Hercules

^ Looking back at Villa Farnese from the back gardens

^ Looking back at Villa Farnese from the back gardens

^ The dome at the top of the spiral stair (seen below). So beautiful!

^ The dome at the top of the spiral stair (seen below). So beautiful!

^ The view from the Hercules Room looking down to the courtyard and street and out to the mountains

^ The view from the Hercules Room looking down to the courtyard and street and out to the mountains

^ The second half of the villa grounds up the hill from the main Villa Farnese

^ The second half of the villa grounds up the hill from the main Villa Farnese

Be sure to check out the other 3 parts of the TOUR DE LA VILLA! Thank you for taking a look!

FOOD AGAIN - ROME pt. 09 by Caitlin Trickett

FOOD AGAIN - ROME pt. 09

Food February edition is here! We're mastering this cooking thing over here in Italy: perfecting the Italian cuisines and bringing back-home favorites to the table every week. While we (roommates and I) will make our individual meals most of the time it's more fun to get together and take turns preparing dinner, giving us all something to look forward to each week. For as little as 3 euro a piece we can all eat like kings a few nights of the week with leftovers for the next day. So great! One or two people make the meal and everyone else cleans kitchen and does dishes; a well-oiled machine here at Via Giovanni Bettolo. Here is a collection of some of my favorite meals from this month:

^ This is your standard "me" meal. I am a girl of simple taste and lazy cooking demeanor so I stick to the pasta and tomato basil sauce with toast and balsamic.

^ This is your standard "me" meal. I am a girl of simple taste and lazy cooking demeanor so I stick to the pasta and tomato basil sauce with toast and balsamic.

^ Gnocchi is probably one of the best foods there ever was but the process of making it is exhausting and takes minimum of 3 hours to just prepare...not to mention it leaves the kitchen a mess! Slowly but surely Roommate Kelley is perfecting her gnocchi dish.

^ Gnocchi is probably one of the best foods there ever was but the process of making it is exhausting and takes minimum of 3 hours to just prepare...not to mention it leaves the kitchen a mess! Slowly but surely Roommate Kelley is perfecting her gnocchi dish.

^ This is a delicious Zucchini Salad with a bit of spice to it. Roommate Patty is from Panama and she is always willing to whip us up a dish of her local favorites from back home. Always so interesting and so tasty!

^ This is a delicious Zucchini Salad with a bit of spice to it. Roommate Patty is from Panama and she is always willing to whip us up a dish of her local favorites from back home. Always so interesting and so tasty!

^ This is yet another "me meal". I absolutely love my breaded chicken patties with a side of pasta and brusselsprouts. While this may look like a carbohydrate overload it is definitely necessary when you're walking an average of 7 miles each day.

^ This is yet another "me meal". I absolutely love my breaded chicken patties with a side of pasta and brusselsprouts. While this may look like a carbohydrate overload it is definitely necessary when you're walking an average of 7 miles each day.

^ Taco Tuesday is now a tradition (3 times makes it a tradition, right?) in our apartment. This meal is quick, easy, and also not Italian ha. Sometimes you just have to breakaway from the pastas, you know?

^ Taco Tuesday is now a tradition (3 times makes it a tradition, right?) in our apartment. This meal is quick, easy, and also not Italian ha. Sometimes you just have to breakaway from the pastas, you know?

^ Yes! Roommate Caitlyn made breakfast for dinner and it was delicious! I have really missed the great breakfasts my dad makes back home so this was nice.

^ Yes! Roommate Caitlyn made breakfast for dinner and it was delicious! I have really missed the great breakfasts my dad makes back home so this was nice.

^ In the almost 2 months I have been living in Italy eating all of the wonderful foods it has to offer nothing has come even remotely close to how delicious this burger tasted.  Patties  is a burger joint dangerously close to school. Cesar and I went out for our Friday date night tradition ordering two juicy burgers that I immediately lathered in a puddle of mustard and ketchup. I don't think we talked to eachother for half of the meal because we were basking in the glory of those delicious cheeseburgers. It was so good that I ate half of it before I remembered that I wanted to take a picture ha! 

^ In the almost 2 months I have been living in Italy eating all of the wonderful foods it has to offer nothing has come even remotely close to how delicious this burger tasted. Patties is a burger joint dangerously close to school. Cesar and I went out for our Friday date night tradition ordering two juicy burgers that I immediately lathered in a puddle of mustard and ketchup. I don't think we talked to eachother for half of the meal because we were basking in the glory of those delicious cheeseburgers. It was so good that I ate half of it before I remembered that I wanted to take a picture ha! 

^ My neighborhood of Prati is blessed with the most wonderful bakery that is [A] Open 24 hours a day [B] has every pastry under the sun [C] is incredibly cheap and [D] is insanely delicious. Chocolate croissants and cappuccinos from this bakery are an every-other-morning or so ritual. 1.10 euro buys me this delicious breakfast you see here.

^ My neighborhood of Prati is blessed with the most wonderful bakery that is [A] Open 24 hours a day [B] has every pastry under the sun [C] is incredibly cheap and [D] is insanely delicious. Chocolate croissants and cappuccinos from this bakery are an every-other-morning or so ritual. 1.10 euro buys me this delicious breakfast you see here.

^ Roommate Patty got Grand Prize for Roommate of the Day by making this AMAZING Panamanian dish. It was nice to have a little seafood variety in my diet with these baby shrimp. I don't even know how to describe what I ate that night but it changed me.

^ Roommate Patty got Grand Prize for Roommate of the Day by making this AMAZING Panamanian dish. It was nice to have a little seafood variety in my diet with these baby shrimp. I don't even know how to describe what I ate that night but it changed me.

^ This was gnocchi Round 01 prepared by Roommate Kelley and also every other roommate in the house and then some ha! For the first of many gnocchi nights it turned out pretty good!

^ This was gnocchi Round 01 prepared by Roommate Kelley and also every other roommate in the house and then some ha! For the first of many gnocchi nights it turned out pretty good!

So there are some of the highlights of February's entrees and sweets. I am officially the only roommate in the house who has yet to make a meal for the household but I've got a few recipes up my sleeve so hopefully those will be featured in March's Food Again Edition. Thanks for taking a look! Ciao!

EN VOGUE IN ROME by Caitlin Trickett

Finally had the chance to photograph the lovely Caitlyn Juarez on Sunday in and around the streets of Rome. A big 'Thank You' to her for curbing my photo-taking appetite! Hopefully this won't be the only shoot we get to do while we're here. Enjoy!

[shot with Canon Rebel t3i l Kit Lens and 50mm lens - Edited with Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop]