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Tag Archives: melanzane al forno

La festa del ringraziamento

23 Nov

This is before we had the grappa.

I’m a little drunk right now (10:30pm). It might be because of the grappa the Swedes at the next table insisted we needed to try. We decided a few weeks ago that we could not recreate the usual American holiday spent with family and friends (you know who you are: Jonnie, Veronica, Barry, Derek, John, Susan, Debbie, Eddie), so we chucked it all and decided to embrace a different sort of Thanksgiving. We decided to continue our exploration of this marvelous city. Ric has to work tomorrow, and I committed to a couple of hours on Saturday, so leaving Rome was not an option.  We embarked on an urban hike up Monte Mario.It was a lovely fall day in Rome. We can see Monte Mario from our windows in Parioli and for

The green path up Monte Mario. Only 450 feet high!

the 6 months we have lived here have said, “We need to go see what’s up there.” So today was the day. Monte Mario is officially the highest peak in Rome at 450 feet. (Yes, Oregonians, it is a lightweight. Even Minnesota has a higher peak at Eagle Mountain. People here are always asking us how we manage the “hills” of Rome. To an Oregonian this is flatland.) Monte Mario was lovely! Rome is spread out at your feet, and the hoards are left far behind as only locals make the trek, often with their dogs. There is a magnificent vista from a cafe where we indulged in espresso and croissants. (Pictures from the top were less than stellar due to haze, but it was really quite stunning in person.) In 2 1/2 hours we covered Monte Mario and the Foro Italico (site of the 1960 Olympic Games and current soccer stadium). Great exercise. Va bene. In fact, this reminded us so much of our Portland “urban hikes” it was amazing!

We could be in Portland or in Rome, at this point.

So we explored a bit of Rome we had not seen before and worked off our dinner before we ate it.

We thought briefly about cooking a turkey. Very briefly. It’s a lot of work for only two people.  Once we discarded that idea of cooking, it was easy to decide what to do. This evening

Best melanzane al forno anywhere. If you come to visit I will take you here, blindfolded, I don’t want everyone going here.

we ventured to our favorite trattoria, where we were warmly greeted by the staff as we go here often (and have for two years now). With Australians on one side and Swedes on the other, we feasted on mussels, melanzane al forno (eggplant parmesan), and trippa. (Ric ate the trippa. I’m not having any part of that!) The mussels here are sweet and delicious. I could eat them all night. We also indulged in dessert and the Swedes insisted we needed to try the “good” grappa. My it was good! But it was also a good thing we weren’t driving! Every time we go to this restaurant we end up in conversation with wonderful people: Italians, Aussies, Swedes, French. (Not often Americans.) There were toasts to our American holiday, and reminiscing about favorite holidays in our respective countries. How lucky we are to have this experience in international living!Much love to you, our American friends and family. We’ll “do” turkey and all the trimmings with you again one day, but for 2012 this was our celebration. Hope yours was festive and that you were surrounded by love.

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