Welcome to Old World New Girl: Italy Week
This week is all about Italy! I learned so many valuable lesson while studying in Rome for four months in 2011, and this summer I am especially Rome sick… Longing for Rome Sweet Home. Whether you are planning on going soon, wanting to see some student photos and work, or just love anything Italian (like me), this week is for you! What better way to start it off than a Taste, Trend Topic post? Let’s get our toes wet in the sea that is Italy! Then stay tuned this week for so much more! Enjoy OWNG: Italy Week!
I survive on pasta… If it was not easily accessible in almost every store, I’d probably learn to make my own. It is my staple and favorite food. My favorite pasta, which is rare in these parts of America, is “gnocchi,” pronounced “nyo-key.” *You will make a very screwed face and almost bite the back of your tongue while pronouncing it; otherwise, you’re not saying it correctly.* Gnocchi is what I like to explain as “potato pasta.” Its like a mini dumpling. While gnocchi is most typically boiled then dressed with all types of flavorful Italian sauces, whether cheesy or tomato-y, I like mine fried. Ok, that’s extreme, but you have to understand, I’m just an American southern gal with a heart for Italy. I don’t deep fry my gnocchi, that would be absurd (or would it?). I simply heat a teaspoon olive oil in a pan over medium heat and brown the gnocchi. The medium heat allows the gnocchi to cook all the way through while slowly creating a crunchy shell. Afterwards, I add my red sauce. You can add any tomato based sauce, or try a different sauce. With a recipe that simple, you must try it! Do tell if you discover a new delicious topping!
While Italy is know the world over for its impeccable creators of fashion, this country gal had a hard time maneuvering those cobblestoned avenues in cute shoes. I needed heavy duty footwear for all the walking that was required for school. That beautiful 30 minute walk between my neighborhood of Trastevere and my campus was even more beautiful when my feet were cushioned! Not to mention, try packing 4 months worth of cute stuff without exceeding the airline’s suitcase weight limit… I dare ya! While it is possible to be über cute and enjoy yourself in Italy, I found that when on extensive tours of different landmarks, it is best to be comfortable and cute. One must also remember that the churches are still churches, so it is best to wear less revealing clothing. I studied in Italy during the spring semester (January-April), so my outfits reflect the cold to warm change in the seasons. Checkout some of my staple clothing items while I was in Italy.
To top this post off with a delicious scoop of gelato, here is the one place that you must visit to experience the best aspects of Italy all at once.
Santa Maria della Pace
Santa Maria della Pace is a quaint little chiesa/church tucked away in the corner of a piazza. What’s so special about this church in a sea of churches? Aside from having a beautiful interior, when you go to the side of the building, you enter into a beautiful courtyard articulated by two forms of classical orders. This is the Bramante Cloister, built 1500-1504. Don’t get me started on how exciting it is to walk among architecture that is that old (even though the entire country contains architecture that old and much older). I love Bramante’s cloister because the historic aspects of it are still there, but on the top floor there is an amazing little restaurant, Caffe del Chiostro del Bramante, with modern interior design. To know Old World New Girl is to know that my dream job is to be an architect that restores old buildings sustainably while infusing them with aspects of new design that compliments their inherent character. Bramante’s cloister is my glimpse into architectural heaven.
Italy – Eyewitness Travel Guides
My last tidbit of information for you today is to select a travel book that will enhance your experience while in Italy. I received a “Italy – Eyewitness Travel Guides” book from my church one summer (I believe that everything happens for a reason). I knew even before that summer, as a pre-teen, that I would one day live in Italy. Details were not important, I just knew it would happen. When I got to college and it came time for me to get ready to head to Italy, this was one of the first items I packed. It is very detailed with a large map and maps of smaller geographical sections of Italy. My copy is now marked with all of the places I’ve visited and a few notes about them that my professors dished out. If I return to Italy, this book will be in my bag everyday again. It helped me to plan out my days in a way that was more fulfilling than finding a map online. It has information about every region of Italy, like history of the different areas, food created in that region, architecture details, and more. As the Doctor says, books are the best weapon, and this book made me feel indestructible when it came to navigating Italy! =)
I have more posts coming this week, revealing Italy and all of its gloriousness through the eyes of Old World New Girl! Get ready for the ride!
Until next time, Ci Vediamo!!!*
*Ci Vediamo = See you later in Italian.. I say it on every post, so now you know!