Happy Easter everyone or Buona Pasqua a tutti!
As promised, here’s a little run down of how I celebrated my first Easter away from home and my first Easter in Rome:
Holy Thursday (Giovedì Santo)
Well if you’ve been reading my blog 😉 you’d know that I kicked off the Easter period (ironically my name features in the Italian translation: il periodo Pasquale) with a visit to the Piazza Vittorio market and then dinner at I Porchettoni in Pigneto. Great start to the weekend!
Good Friday (Venerdì Santo)
It was so strange being out and about on Good Friday when I’m used to a complete commercial shut down back in Australia. And Italians call themselves catholic!! I did my first supermarket shop since being back.
I’m truly in my element in an Italian supermarket – I get lost looking at the variety of products – until I get to the point of what is like a race against time when packing your own shopping into bags while the check out lady has already started sliding the next shoppers items down the belt!!
That night, I had intended to go and check out the Pope and procession of the Stations of the Cross at the Colosseum but with the metro and surrounding area in lock down and choppers circling the city, I went to wine bar for dinner with friends instead. Not very holy of me, but it was easier! And lots of fun!
Easter Saturday (Sabato Santo)
I spent the afternoon in Campo de Fiori area. On recommendation of a couple of Rome foodies I went down to Via dei Giubbonari (one of the most famous streets in this area lined with artisan and chic boutiques) to check out Forno (Bakery) Roscioli and pick up some traditional Easter treats. I was tempted by the various Colombe (Easter cake not dissimilar to panettone) coming out of the oven including a pistachio variety, but was very disciplined and purchased one item only (that is if you don’t count the potato focaccia I bought for lunch). It was the Pastiera – a delicious baked ricotta cake.
Walking over to Trastevere from here and just as I was admiring Piazza Farnese, grey clouds moved quickly and a massive downpour hit. It lasted all of 5 minutes and with nowhere to run or hide, I got completely saturated (girls, I’m talking mascara and make up literally running down my face!!) But it was great walking through my old neighborhood and down my old street. I was greeted by shopkeepers and locals with over excited ‘Bentornata!!’ (welcome back!) and ‘L’Australiana e’ tornata!’ (The Australian girl is back!’). It was so nice!
Easter Sunday (Giorno di Pasqua)
Today I woke up to phone calls from family and friends back home. With the 8 hour time difference their days were approaching a close but mine was just about to start!
I was invited to lunch at an agriturismo near Ariccia in the Castelli Romani – agriculture and lake rich communes less than hour from Rome in the Lazio countryside.
On a really basic level, an agriturismo is really any type of countryside lodging very often in converted farm houses. Extremely popular in Italy, many are outfitted with small restaurants which serve food that is produced on the land or locally (hence the combination of ‘agriculture’ and ‘tourism’).
The place we ate at today, La Vite egli Ulive, was nearby the towns of Ariccia and Albano and had floor to ceiling windows with a spectacular view of the local vineyards. We had the Easter Sunday set menu (menu fisso) for €35 – which for what we ate (and drank!) was a bit of a bargain. Without going through the 5 courses in detail, I’ll just list the menu and post the pics.
Mix di salumi e formaggi
(cold meats and cheese platter)
Primo (1st course)
Risotto ai funghi porcini
(risotto with porcini mushrooms)
Primo (1st course #2)
Calamaratta alla matriciana
(tube style pasta with tomato and pancetta sauce)
Secondo (main course)
(Mixed lamb and pork grill)
Patate al forno
Sbriciolata con crema Chantilly
(Meringue crumble with coffee flavored Chantilly cream)
And of course, local red and white wine.
Needless to say, we just about rolled out of the place! My suspicions were confirmed… it’s not just the Easter celebrations in my household back home that give rise to the need for a nap after excessive food consumption – it’s the same in Italy too!
In need of more than a little walk, we stopped by the beautiful town of Ariccia (famous for its porchetta).
Tomorrow is Easter Monday or in Italian, Pasquetta and Romans usually mark the holiday with a picnic. I will be spending it with friends and recovering from what has been a jam packed weekend (all on the back of landing less than a week ago following a 24 hour flight!!)
So now… I need to sleep!
Adesso un po di riposo ci vuole!
Well that is until next weekend – my ‘1st Birthday in Rome’ Birthday party weekend 🙂
So stay tuned!
Signing off from Rome,