amphitheatre, artichokes, basil, brioche, brooklyn, cacio, clown, espresso, Etna, fior di latte, gelato, iced coffee, lava, Leoncavallo, mozzarella, neighborhood, olives, Pagliacci, pasta alla norma, pecorino romano, pepe, pizzeria, Rome, Taormina, tomato, white chocolate, zucchini flowers
Following a wonderful day in Scarperia, the next morning we drove to the 13th rione of Rome, Trastevere.
My sister’s study abroad took place here, so she eagerly showed us every nook and cranny of the neighborhood possible. The first night, we went to my sister’s favorite pizzeria, called Dar Poeta. The atmosphere of the cornered restaurant was very casual and easy-going. All that mattered was the food.
I ordered the packed Superbufala pizza, which has tomato, bufala mozzarella, grated pecorino, olives and artichokes. While it may look thick, the pizza dough is extremely light and crisp. The dough tastes very unique when compared to that of a traditional pizza.
The next day, we walked around the greater part of Rome, including the Vatican City. Along the way, we stopped at Caffe Sant’Eustachio, an excellent café that grinds and brews its own coffee. This is likely the best espresso I have ever had, with such a deep-roasted flavor from the high-quality coffee beans. My mom had an iced coffee, which was creamy and sweet enough to enhance the flavor of the coffee beans.
After roaming the streets of Rome, it was time to stop for yet another snack: gelato. This must have been a trip of “bests” as this gelato was the best I have ever had. Gelateria del Teatro produced a great variety of interesting flavors, including white chocolate and basil. This flavor was especially delicious, as it is a combination of two ingredients that one would not usually place under the “synchronizing flavors” category. The yellowish-colored gelato is fior di latte, a simple gelato with a subtle essence of honey.
Later that night, we went to Antica Pesa, which if you can recall from an earlier blog post, opened up in Brooklyn. Interestingly enough, I enjoyed the food at Antica Pesa in Brooklyn more. I had cacio e pepe, which was delicious. Considering the prices of the items on the menu, this is not a magnificent restaurant, incomparable to the food at Il Torrione in Scarperia.
Finally, to close our 11-day trip, we flew to Taormina, Sicily, a small town on the east coast of Sicily. This charming town hosted fabulous dishes including fried zucchini flowers and pasta alla Norma.
On the second night of our stay in Taormina, we went to the Greek amphitheater dating back to the early seventh century BC, for a showing of the opera, Pagliacci by Leoncavallo. This opera is the tale of a clown whose heart is broken by the sight of his love cheating on him. He must, however, continue playing out his comical act, revealing an ocean of passion beneath the concealing mask of the clown. What made this experience of watching an opera outdoors under the bright moon and glowing stars truly remarkable was the radiant lava spewing out of Mount Etna in the distance.
After this memorable opera, we walked to Bar Capriccio for some gelato. I noticed they served the gelato in brioches, so I asked for one with fior di latte. The gelato held well in the brioche, so that I did not have to worry about the typical dripping of gelato onto my hands, pants and feet.