Recently I was lucky enough to find a spare 2 weeks to head to Italy and spend time with my daughters and niece who’d deserted me months earlier.

We’d planned our trip before they left, we’d decided on Italy only, and we picked 2 areas to concentrate on rather than spending too much time travelling from one spot to the next, this turned out to be a masterstroke.

First stop, Rome.

We found a gorgeous little AirBnB about 100m from the Campo di Fiori, so really central Rome, although it’s such a small city anything in the old part IS central, and we hit the ground running, all flying in early one morning, dropping our bags and heading out exploring.

Around each and every corner you turn in Rome is another ancient ruin, or statue, or building waiting to be walked around and in, and photographed, it’s such an endlessly fascinating city


Around each and every corner you turn in Rome is another cafe, trattoria and bar, waiting to be sat in, and ordered from, and we did.

Amelia had spent the previous night in Rome, and recommended Trastevere as a good place to start, so we walked across the Tiber and into the area.

I highly recommend Trastevere, we had a great time wandering around, exploring little laneways, making note of every great looking bistro as a potential lunch venue, and relentlessy snapping away on our phones at this gorgeous cityIMG_6076

I just loved the green hues in this pictureIMG_6104


And this cafe not only made great espresso, but was so pretty.

All this walking was making us hungry, and then we stumbled upon a trattoria that our host has recommended, Trattoria di Umberto, so we sat in the piazza, drank beers, ate Spaghetti Vongole, and everything was right with the world .


Rome, and it’s people, are so endlessly fascinating, that it’s so easy to while away a day, wandering around, stopping to tiptoe around beautiful old churches, or to admire all the wonderful produce in the little street markets, to check out boutiques, food shops, and gaze at ruins….we had a wonderful day.

Home for a quick freshen up; hair, makeup etc, ready for la passeggiata, the evening stroll, that all Italians do, out and about, to see and be seen, greet friends and have an aperitif or two. Well who are we not to join in such a lovely local custom?

We had a stroll, then some cheeky Negronis and Campari Spritzers, loving the Italian custom of serving a little snack with the aperitifs; a small bowl of olives, some peanuts,  some potato chips, or maybe a little bread with cheese, and sometimes all of the above! More strolling, another aperitif (we’re on holidays remember) then on to our final destination; a 9 pm booking at Ristorante Roscioli, recommended to me by my darling friend Marco Lori, who I cooked with at Becco, and who is now cooking at Lupino.

Ristorante Roscioli is incredible deli at the front, restaurant down the back and in the cellar, with a really extensive wine list and truly wonderful food and atmosphere. We were excited as soon as we walked in, more excited as we saw food being delivered to other tables, and glad to be able to put a big effort into our plan to eat our bodyweight in Buffalo Mozzarella whilst in Italy!

IMG_6103 (1)This was such a great place, go there if you get a chance, it’s about 50 m from the Campo di Fiori, and you should book.

We had; Buffalo Mozzarella, Prosciutto, Jamon, the most incredible Smoked Swordfish and Smoked Tuna Carpaccio

IMG_6101Then we followed with a deep sea fish served with Vongole, in a little bit of broth, scattered with toasted bread that soaked up the broth, and Meatballs with Buckwheat Polenta and Smoked Scarmorza.

Next day, up and at ’em, sightseeing with a capital S; the Spanish Steps, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain (being renovated), Piazza Venezia, Piazza Navona… name it, we went there….we EARNT our aperitifs that day.

Off to the area near the Vatican for drinks then dinner at another recommendation; Il Sorpasso.

This is a very groovy, buzzing place full of the hip in Rome, with great food at ridiculously reasonable prices. We shared more Buffalo Mozzarella, more Prosciutto, thinly sliced Tongue with Salsa Verde, crumbed morsels of Braised Boar, and 3 pastas that were just delicious.

IMG_6118They were; Spelt Tagliatelle with Zucchini Blossoms and Pesto, Orrechiette with Fennel Sausage and Passata and the table fave Tagliolini with Butter and Lime Juice topped with chopped Raw Wild Salmon ( such a delicate and wonderfully simple dish) Some great bread, great local wine and great dinner companions……a great night.

Again, put this on your list and again, do book

Next up, the truly incredible Sardinia