Saturday, April 20, 2013

When in Rome...

Ah, Roma!
Us overlooking the river

Like many Americans, I've always wanted to see Rome. I’d heard and read stories from many people who just rave about the city. One thing I read before we came was something to the effect of the “grittiness” of Rome, but even with that grittiness you can’t help but fall in love. This didn't sound so great to me and so I tried to forget that I read it because I just didn't understand how I could love something described as dirty and gritty and crowded.

Well, let me tell you, that description actually makes a lot of sense and I truly did fall in love with the city despite of and because of its grit! I don’t know how to explain it, but it just gets to you. For me, it was a combination of two things that really put me over the edge: the beautiful ancient architecture around every corner and the food.
Ruins near the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Everywhere you turn in Rome is another historically significant and beautiful structure. From the Coliseum, to the Trevi Fountain, to the Pantheon, to St. Peter’s Basilica to the random church on the corner; the beauty is overwhelming. There are fountains and plazas and huge Roman columns, you think you've gotten a handle on the city and seen so much and you turn the corner to find another grand and stunning building/fountain/sculpture/obelisk that you haven’t seen before!
The Colosseum
The beautiful Trevi Fountain
The Pantheon at Night
View from the Pantheon doors
And then there’s the food!!! With my diagnosis of Celiac disease just a few months ago, I was kind of dreading our time in Italy when it came to the eating part. I love Italian food, but since my diagnosis it’s been hard to find a gluten free pizza, bread or pasta that is actually more than just a way to satisfy my craving. I've yet to find any that’s really good. And then I came to Rome. Rome knows how to do gluten free and they do it amazingly well. Drew and I had many meals and often shared two entirely gluten free dishes so that we each could try more things. And all of it was delicious! He didn't feel like he was being cheated and I felt normal again! I found restaurants that had entire menus that were 100% gluten free (Mama! Eat), and many other places could make at least a few types of gluten free pasta or pizza as well. I was in heaven and for those three days we both ate extremely well and filled ourselves with lots of pizza, pasta and wine, and several cappuccinos and even gelato.
My first meal in Rome: Gluten Free deliciousness at Mama! Eat
Gluten Free Nutella Pizza for Dessert at Mama! Eat
If you’re a Celiac, you MUST go to Rome. You have to go out to eat in a place where it’s not a big deal and people just nod and hand you their gluten free menu. You have to taste the best gluten free pizza and pasta in the world. You just have to. It’ll be worth it.
And if you’re not a Celiac, you’re still going to love Rome. It’s beautiful, romantic, and full of amazing food in addition to all the legendary sites!
Gluten Free French Fry Pizza at Voglia di Pizza! Yum!
One of our many Coffees in Italy
I was very sad to leave Rome…luckily we will be back for two days in just a couple weeks, as that is where our cruise departs from. Super happy about that!
Inside Vatican City
Vatican City
Bernini's Four Rivers Fountain at Piazza Navona
For more pictures of beautiful Roma, click here.

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