Month: June 2018

The Pantheon in Rome

The Pantheon in Rome

It is the largest  dome in the history of architecture. The Pantheon, the actual Church of Santa Maria Ad Martyres, is one of the most visited monuments in Rome. Numbers, records and even an exorcism… come A Spasso Con Sara and discover the true history of the Pantheon!

 

 

Once upon a time…the Pantheon

Erected by Agrippa, prefect and son-in-law of Augustus, in the first century BC, it was born as a temple dedicated to all the gods. It was built near the Palus Caprae, the marsh of the Campus Martius where Romulus disappeared, miraculously ascended to heaven while passing through the army.

The present appearance of the monument is the result of a restructuring carried out by Adrian between 118 and 125 A.D. following heavy damage caused by some fires. The Pantheon of Adrian is a hymn to the greatness of Rome and its artistic and social hegemony, born from the fusion of different cultures and traditions: the round structure, Roman in style, joins the external colonnade of Greek inspiration, creating a unique building of its kind perhaps designed by the genius of Apollodorus of Damascus.

 

Virtual reconstruction of the interior of Adriano’s Pantheon (Credits: altair4.com)

Hidden Messages

On 23 September, Augustus’ birthday, at 12:13 p.m., the sun entered the oculus of the Pantheon and drew a circle of light on the door of the temple. The emperor, at the entrance of the building, would have been illuminated as if by a lighthouse, appearing as the man of destiny, the savior of Rome, the bearer of a new golden age, the one who is blessed by the gods.

Archaeological studies have shown that the same director connected the centre of the Pantheon with that of the Mausoleum, the gigantic tomb that Augustus had built for himself and for all his descendants. The hidden message was strong and clear: after his death, the emperor, like a new Romulus, would also ascend to heaven to be venerated as a god. And so, the eye of the Pantheon, the circular window in the center of the dome, is transformed into a magical diaphragm between heaven and earth.

 

Map of the Campus Martius. The link between the Mausoleum of Augustus and the Pantheon (Credits: lincei.it)

In the Augustan project, the new buildings built in the northern Campus Martius – the Mausoleum of Augustus, the Pantheon, the Sundial of Augustus and the Ara Pacis – were in fact the cornerstones around which a project of exceptional communicative depth revolved: the Campus Martius, originally an area cleared of buildings and consecrated to Mars and gymnastic exercises, now became a place of glorification of the new emperor and the Rome he refounded.

As the Mausoleum of Augustus should have appeared. Today, the structure has been severely damaged and is being restored (Credits: romanoimpero.com).

 

The Mystery of the Dome

What amazes the visitor most is the dome, a true masterpiece of engineering that Michelangelo even considered the work of angels. It is larger than that of St. Peter’s and Brunelleschi’s in Florence and has always attracted the attention of Renaissance scholars, architects and painters such as Raphael, who chose the Pantheon as the place of his eternal rest.

 

The dome of the Pantheon seen from the inside (Credits: naturamediterraneo.com)

 

But how was such a marvel built?

 

The dome of the Pantheon was built with a single cast of  conglomeratum caementiciumthe ancestor of the modern concrete, over a huge roof sticks of wood. An innovative technique was adopted for those times: lighter and lighter materials were used as one climbed up from below. In the lower layer there are concrete layers with brick chips. Going up you will find concrete with tuff flakes, while at the top, near the eye edged in bronze of nine meters that lights up the floor, you will find concrete mixed with volcanic lapillus.

 

Diagram showing some of the pantheon dome construction systems (Credits: didacticarte.it)

The exorcism of the Pantheon and the new life of the building

The Pantheon in Rome also holds another record. In addition to being the most copied and imitated work of antiquity, it is also the best preserved monument. This happened because, at the beginning of the 7th century A.D., the emperor of Byzantium Foca donated the Pantheon to Pope Boniface IV who transformed it into a Christian church saving it from the destruction and decline to which many monuments were condemned after the fall of the Roman Empire.

 

Where heaven and earth touch each other. The Pantheon has always fascinated artists and visitors from all over the world (Credits: ambranna.blogspot.com)

Legend has it that a solemn ceremony was organized that even included a real exorcism. On May 13, 608 AD, a large crowd gathered near the Pantheon to attend the ritual. The chronicles of the time report that from the inside of the building one could hear the chilling cries of the pagan demons who lived there. And so the pope forcefully opened the bronze doors and the cries of the idols became even stronger. No one was able to stand up during that show. Only the pope, undaunted, resisted and recited the formulas of exorcism. The demons left the Pantheon fleeing from the oculus of the dome and the immense door. The exorcism was accomplished and Boniface IV consecrated the Pantheon to the cult of the Madonna and the Martyrs calling the new church Santa Maria Ad Martyres, name that currently still has.

 

Today the Pantheon is a Christian church. Mass is celebrated there regularly and special ceremonies such as the rain of rose petals are held on the occasion of the Christian feast of Pentecost (Credits: Roma-Events.com)

 

Posted by Sara Pandozzi in ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES, 0 comments
Terracina – Beaches & Seasides – A Spasso con Sara

Terracina – Beaches & Seasides – A Spasso con Sara

Sun, Sea, History and Entertainment: Terracina, the perfect holiday not far from Rome

With the heat of these days, the desire to leave the big cities is stronger. But there is little time available and, let us face it, there is not always a lot of money available either. So how can we refresh ourselves from the summer heatwave? I will speak to you today about Terracina, my home town.

 

How To Get There

Terracina, in the province of Latina, is a charming town overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. Located 120 km from Rome, it is perfectly accessible from the Italian capital.

By car you only need to drive along the SS 148, better known as Via Pontina, and in about an hour and a half of travel you will arrive at your destination.

But if you don’t like the idea of driving with this heat, I suggest you take a regional train to Napoli Centrale or Minturno Scauri leaving every hour from Termini Station in Rome. Cost: 6,90 € and in an hour of travel get off at the railway station Monte S. Biagio – Terracina Mare. From here, a very convenient ecological shuttle service coordinated by Cotri (take a look here for all timetables: www.lacircolare.it/linee-e-orari.html) or the transport service of the CoTral (rides available on: servizi.cotralspa.it/Orari) will allow you to arrive in the heart of the city in a jiffy.

Terracina (Credits: trueriders.it)

 

Itineraries Between Art & Nature

Of very ancient origin, at the time of the Volsci (before the Romans), the city was called Anxur. Conquered by the Romans, it became prosperous and was enriched with several monumental works. His fame did not stop in the medieval period, when he was disputed between popes and influential families, and not even in the modern age when he became the physical terminal of the draining of the Pontine Plains promoted by Pope Pius VI Braschi. The effect of this last measure was the massive expansion of the town in the lower part (the ancient city was perched on a sloping slope of Monte Sant’Angelo, the mountain that dominates Terracina) and the consequent reorganization of the port and the strong development of the maritime vocation of the city itself.

 

MUST SEE:

  • The Emilian Forum: the ancient Roman square in the high historical centre, one of the few in the world to preserve the original Roman pavement with a dedicatory inscription of the magistrate who financed its construction. Take advantage of this opportunity to also visit the splendid Cathedral, which, installed in the oldest Temple Major that closed one of the sides of the Forum, has seen the election of Urban II, the Pope of the First Crusade and the first to be elected in a conclave held outside Rome. The whole high historical centre is worth a walk, especially in the evening. Let yourself be enchanted by its narrow streets, by the numerous examples of tower houses (Casa Torre di Gregorio De Acso) or Gothic domus (along Corso Anita Garibaldi) that populated the medieval urban fabric and by the characteristic late Baroque church of Purgatorio.

 

The Emilian Forum of Terracina. To the right is the ancient Via Appia, which crossed the ancient city. At the bottom the Cathedral of San Cesareo (Credits: terracinablog.altervista.org).

 

The interior of the Cathedral of Terracina (Credits: juzaphoto.com)

 

Interior of the dome of the Church of Purgatorio di Terracina (Credits: inspirock.com; photo by Anna Marchese)

 

  • The so-called Roman Sanctuary of Giove Anxur: on the top of Monte Sant’Angelo, it is the ancient sacred complex that dominates the town from above (www.coopculture.it/heritage.cfm?id=231). Modulated according to the Hellenistic scheme of terraced sanctuaries, it was a pilgrimage site since the fourth century BC. His life continued even after the end of the Roman Empire, becoming a monastic complex dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel (hence the name of Monte Sant’Angelo with which the whole mountain is known).

Reconstruction of the appearance of the Roman sanctuary of Jupiter Anxur of Terracina (Credits: terracinablog.altervista.com)

 

  • The Archaeological Museum: next to the Capponi Civic Museum, the new Terracina Museum has recently opened its doors to the public. Housed in the rooms of the Palazzo della Bonificazione Pontina, it houses numerous finds from recent excavation sites in the city (www.coopculture.it/heritage.cfm?id=234).

One of the new spaces of the Archaeological Museum of Terracina (Credits: terracinaweb.com)

 

  • Church of Santissimo Salvatore: from the ancient to the modern. Designed, together with the square in front (the current Piazza Garibaldi), by Giuseppe Valadier, famous neoclassical architect, is the most beautiful modern church in the city. Majestic and white, it houses inside the Madonna del Carmelo, solemnly celebrated with a wonderful procession at sea (one of the few existing in Italy) by all fishermen and the entire population in July and a beautiful Pietà inspired by that of Michelangelo in Rome.

The Church of the Santissimo Salvatore di Terracina (Credits: terracinablog.altervista.com)

 

  • And if you have enough art, then I suggest you to immerse yourself in the natural heritage with a wonderful visit to the Parco della Rimembranza, home of the ancient volsco-Roman acropolis and many protected plant species and an enchanting view of the Gulf of Terracina, or to take a trip to the Natural Monument of Campo Soriano, one of the most beautiful places to go trekking in the province and a wonderful example of karstic landscap. 

The Natural Monument of Campo Soriano in Terracina (Credits: meteoweb.eu)

 

The Beach

At Terracina you’re spoilt for choice! There are two beaches!

On the one hand, just below the Pisco Montano, we find the so-called Spiaggetta, a little beach in which most of the young people and sports enthusiasts of beach soccer, beach tennis, beach rugby meet. Personally I recommend Le Rive di Traiano (www.riveditraiano.com). I’ve been there for 5 years now and Italo and Emanuele have never disappointed me. Great prices, kindness, quality. The place is very nice even if you want to eat something at lunch (from sandwiches to first courses) or enjoy a beer with friends or a good aperitif before returning home. The place also comes alive in the evening. Several evenings are organized: good music and drinks! Many sports events, including the Italian championships of beach soccer. If you want to cheer Terracina, you have to come here and take place in the beach arena Carlo Guarnieri.

Rive di Traiano: the beach (Credits: www.riveditraiano.com)

 

The largest beach, the so-called Riviera di Ponente, opens onto the entire Lungomare. Here, too, you’re spoilt for choice. All the establishments are equipped with more or less large kiosks that will provide umbrellas, sun beds and deck chairs. The larger ones, such as White Beach (www.facebook.com/whitebeachterracina), even have restaurant, wellness, entertainment etc. areas.

White Beach Terracina (Credits: https://www.facebook.com/pg/whitebeachterracina/photos/)

Sleep

The tourist offer is wide and varied, but some recommendations certainly do not spoil. If we talk about hotels, I highly recommend the Hotel Acquasanta (www.hotel-acquasanta.it/it/). At the southern entrance of Terracina, it is a real paradise on the sea. 5-star service with prices and excellent value for money. In the rate, in addition to accommodation in rooms with sea or garden views, is included: parking, wifi, a rich and abundant breakfast buffet, the private beach with lots of sun beds! I recommend you also taste the dishes of the restaurant, prepared with fresh fish of the day. Book Now: +39 0773 726007

The Junior Suite of the Hotel Acquasanta in Terracina (Credits: www.hotel-acquasanta.it)

 

A real paradise. The private beach of the Hotel Acquasanta in Terracina (Credits: www.hotel-acquasanta.it)

 

If you prefer something different, then you can only choose Quiet Home (www.quiethome-terracina.it), a fully equipped and comfortable apartment in the heart of Terracina. Antonio and Rita, the hosts, have really thought of everything and I assure you that you will feel at home. The apartment, on two levels, all parquet and natural wood, is equipped with all possible comforts: washing machine, dishwasher, fully equipped kitchen, two bathrooms, three bedrooms and air conditioning. It is the ideal solution for families or couples of friends who can share the house without sacrificing their privacy. Televisions are available with Smart box and Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and many international streaming channels.

Quiet Home Terracina, one of the bedrooms

 

Quiet Home Terracina. One of the bathrooms

 

Quiet Home Terracina. The well-equipped kitchen

 

 

Eat

Here I have an endless list to offer, but I have chosen only my favorites:

  • Ristorante Centosedici: on the seafront of Terracina, in Viale Circe 116. You can not help but be impressed by the kindness of Gino, the owner, ready to welcome you already at the entrance. Fresh fish of the day, locally produced pasta, fresh products to compose a symphony of flavors that recall the territory of Terracina, where sea and land meet. Excellent desserts and supreme pizza by Francesco! Book a Table: +39 0773 764110

 

The beautiful seaview from Ristorante Centosedici in Terracina

Orecchiette by chef Michele Ruggieri

 

The Delicious Pizza by Francesco

 

  • Feronia Bistrot: It doesn’t happen every day to meet a woman chef. Well, that has happened to me. I was struck by the smile and inspiration of Michela, the owner and chef of this restaurant, in a side street of Via Roma, one of the streets of the city center. Her smile and love for her job come back to life in her dishes. From the lunch break, fast but without giving up the taste (personally I tell you that the filleted local fish with mixed vegetables is a perfect dish for those who, like me, is always attentive to the line), up to dinner, where the bistro becomes chic but is still cheap! Book a Table: +39 0773 701112

Michela Bartolomucci, the Chef of Feronia Bistrot in Terracina

 

Fresh ingredients and many colours: the cuisine of Feronia Bistrot in Terracina

 

  • St Patrick: in Corso Anita Garibaldi, in the heart of the old city, in a Gothic domus. This is the prestigious location in which Massimo and Ivana, the owners of St Patrick, have been welcoming their customers for several years. A selection of cheeses, excellent wines and then eggplant rolls filled with noodles. And it’s not over! The desserts of Ivana are very famous, all exclusively homemade … I highly recommend the banana cake! My dinner ended with a visit to the wine cellar, in a Roman cistern which is accessed by a beautiful spiral staircase. You don’t want to go there anymore! In summer, the tables are also placed in the back, on the characteristic Piazza Assorati. Book a Table: +39 0773 703170

St Patrick: a beautiful location in the heart of the historical centre of Terracina (Credits: https://www.facebook.com/St-Patrick-155213814501341/)

 

 

Aubergines rolls stuffed with Tagliolini Pasta (Credits: tripadvisor.it)

 

  • Ilvana Pasticceria & Pastificio: whether it’s Chiara’s cappuccino or Ilaria’s cakes or Ilvana’s spaghetti and dishes, it doesn’t matter. It’s a small bistrot in Piazza della Repubblica, in the heart of Terracina. Opens its doors early in the morning and remains operational until late at night. Personally I often stop for lunch or just for a coffee, they are smiling and delicious people. The pasta is all homemade (they have their own pasta factory) and the products are very fresh. Let me recommend a couple of dishes: Ravioloni with buffalo ricotta on fresh basil pesto, confit tomato and anchovies, Tonnarello with cacio & Pepe and zest of Lime. If that’s not enough, I recommend the apericena, the best in town. Fried ravioli and mini burgers are unsurpassed! I confess, then, that very often I stop here for the after dinner. Do not miss the cakes or monoportions, nice but also very good! Book a Table or Info: +39 0773 176 9081

The delicious croissants everyday produced exclusively handmade by Ilaria

 

Fresh Ravioli produced by the Ilvana Pasta Factory in Terracina

 

Fresh Tonnarello with Cacio & Pepe and Zest of Lime by Chef Ilvana

 

Ilvana’s Apericena: halfway between an aperitif and dinner. Excellent and delicious products for a pleasant evening with friends

Do you want to organize a holiday in Terracina? Ask me how! sara@aspassoconsara.it +39 329 8113372

 

 

Posted by Sara Pandozzi in BEACHES & SEASIDE, 0 comments
The Colosseum – A Spasso Con Sara – Archaeological Sites

The Colosseum – A Spasso Con Sara – Archaeological Sites

Built in the first century AD and inaugurated with 100 days of games, the Colosseum is the symbol of eternity and greatness of Rome. A Spasso Con Sara to discover the largest amphitheatre in the ancient world.

 

A neverending story

Destined for shows of great popularity such as gladiator fights, but also hunts and re-enactments of famous battles, the Flavian Amphitheatre (this is the original name of the Colosseum), was built by Vespasian on the artificial pond of the Domus Aurea to return to the Romans that part of the city of which Nero had unduly appropriated after the great fire of 64 AD. The name Colosseum, with which the famous monument has gone down in history since the early Middle Ages, perhaps derives from a colossal statue of Nero that stood near him. Construction began with Vespasian in 72 AD and was financed by the spoils of the Jewish war. However, it was his son Tito who inaugurated the building in 80 AD. Completed by Domitian, the Colosseum was restored several times until the fifth century AD.

 

Before the Colosseum: 3D reconstruction of the Stagnum Neronisof the Domus Aurea (Credits: realmofhistory.com)

 

The colossal bronze statue of Nero near the Colosseum (Credits: romanoimpero.com)

Fallen into disuse in the sixth century AD, the amphitheater took on new functions and experienced periods of neglect. In the thirteenth century, the Frangipane fortress was transformed into a real castle. The monument then took on a sacred character from the Jubilee of 1675, in memory of the many Christian martyrs condemned in the arena. In 1744, Pope Benedict XIV affixed the 14 Stations of the Stations of the Cross to it and declared it a church consecrated to Christ and to the Christian martyrs.

Since 1980 it has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list and since 2007 it has been among the New Seven Wonders of the World.

 

The Colosseum during the Way of the Cross which is held every Good Friday in the presence of the Pope (Credits: larepubblica.it)

 

External

The exterior façade consists of four superimposed orders. Starting from the bottom, the first three orders are marked by a series of arches supported by pillars decorated with Tuscan, Ionic and Corinthian capitals. The structure is then surrounded by a fourth level, the attic, a full wall, without arches, animated by pilasters. The arches of the first lower order are numbered in order to facilitate and make rapid access to the amphitheater for the many spectators. Only the 4 arches along the main road axes are not numbered. Among them, the one to the north was the entrance that led to the emperor’s tribune. The other three entrances, on the other hand, were intended for the entry of prominent figures of Roman society.

Reconstruction 3d of the original appearance of the Colosseum (Credits: archeologiavocidalpassato.wordpress.com)

 

A team of sailors from the military port of Miseno (Capri) manoeuvred the velarium, the imposing slice tent that protected spectators from the sun on hot Roman days. The tent was supported by poles fixed to the top of the building and was held in place by ropes anchored to stone stones, some of which are still visible outside the building on the side of Colle Oppio. It is an ingenious system for which only the stands were covered but not the arena. Thanks to this central hole, an airflow was created between the top and bottom to cool the audience.

The velarium of the Colosseum (Credits: Artis SRL)

 

In the lower part of the photo some of the stones to which were anchored the ropes that supported the velarium of the Colosseum

 

The external appearance of the monument had to be very different from the current one. Travertine slabs covered the entire surface, giving it a characteristic whiteness that contrasted with the glow of gilded bronze statues placed between the arches. Today very little remains of travertine. The current surface of the Colosseum is characterized by numerous holes, made to recover the bronze grappas that held the slabs together.

In the photo you can see the holes that characterize a part of the surface of the Colosseum. They were used to recover the bronze of the grappas that held together the travertine slabs that covered the external surface of the monument. You can also see one of the numbered arches of the lower order. The numbering was used to facilitate the access of spectators to the amphitheatre as in modern stadiums (Credits: fantasysmileschool.blogspot.com).

 

The arena

The amphitheatre, as is well known, was elliptical in shape. On its stairways could accommodate from 50,000 to 80,000 people, arranged in an order that reflected the Roman social hierarchy.
In the upper sector, the plebs had their place. Near the arena, however, where you could enjoy the best view, were sitting the senators with their families. They had comfortable seats and on the balustrade that surrounded the lower section of the cavea, were even written the names of the senators who were reserved seats.

At the end of the minor axis of the arena, grandstands of honour were opened: on the first, the emperor took place with the consuls and the Vestals; on the second, the Prefect of the City and other dignitaries.

The arena, the battlefield itself, was formed by a masonry floor outside and wooden floor in the center, covered with sand. Below it, a series of underground tunnels opened up. From these levels, through a complex system of ropes, pulleys, platforms, it was possible to quickly change the scenery or make the animals suddenly appear in the arena. These were the special effects of the time.

 

Reconstruction of the Colosseum in the time of the ancient Roman VS Colosseum today. The oval-shaped structure now appears strongly altered due to collapses caused by earthquakes and phenomena of success and expoliation that weakened the static nature of the monument (Credits: archeolibri.com)

 

 

Among these galleries, the most famous was the so-called Porta Libitinaria (Libitarian Gate), destined to the exit of the corpses of the gladiators killed in combat. Also well known is the famous Gallery of Commodus, built as early as the Domitian era (end of the first century AD), under the imperial tribune, was the place where was the place where they tried to kill the Emperor Commodus.

For more details on the fascinating world of gladiators and the history of the Colosseum, contact me now at sara@aspassoconsara.it +39 329 8113372 and BOOK NOW YOUR WALKING!

 

Credits: pompeieventi.com

 

 

Posted by Sara Pandozzi in ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES, 0 comments
A Casa Di Marco Food Tour: A Spasso con Sara’s Exclusive Experience

A Casa Di Marco Food Tour: A Spasso con Sara’s Exclusive Experience

Excellence of ingredients, passion and imagination are the three main things of Marco’s cuisine, ambassador of the taste of the Pontine lands. History, landscapes, archaeology and gastronomic products a few km from Rome.

 

Terracina, just 120 km far from Rome (Credits: Terracina foto)

 

 

Who’s Marco

Marco Pannozzo, originally from Terracina, a town on the Tyrrhenian Sea, 120 km from Rome, gets up early in the morning in search of the best products of his land. And the Guests who arrive every day “A Casa di Marco” (the house where he cooks for you and where you can start your tasting tour), never know in advance what the chef will prepare for them that day … yes, because the menu of Marco depends exquisitely on the season and vegetables, meat or fish that the chef will find that day at the market walking around his city.

I can tell you for myself! One day Marco, knowing that I was coming back to Terracina to visit my family, calls me on the phone and invites me to his house: “you come tonight and I’m preparing something!” I tried in vain to ask him what he would have prepared for me that evening (I am a very curious person) and that was his answer: : “I don’t know! Let’s see each other at 5 p.m. and go together to see what the sea now offers us!”

The chef Marco Pannozzo between the arches of the Temple of Juppiter Anxur, the symbol of the city of Terracina

A journey through local history, archaeology and taste

And so, at the appointed time, we met at the port. That’s the time when the “paranze”, the fishermen’s big boats, return to the sea after a day and unload the fish. An extraordinary adventure had unwittingly begun: my journey through taste! Marco took me to the fish auction and not only explained to me all the different varieties of fish present, but he made me participate in the auction and in the end I got a nice box of shrimp, one of anchovies and even mussels!

A paranza just returned to the port of Terracina after a day of fishing

 

Different types of fresh fish explained by the chef at fish auctions

 

Fresh anchovies and prawns purchased with chef Marco at the fish auction in Terracina

 

And, with that precious treasure in our arms, as we headed towards his house, we crossed the Roman remains of the pier of the ancient Roman port of  Terracina. Marco showed me the history of that ancient infrastructure (you can still see the mooring rings) that was supposed to be the second most important port in Rome after that of Ostia. From his words it was easy to imagine very large ships that, guided by the Lighthouse and the Temple of Venus at the entrance of the great basin, docked at Terracina. The products and goods arrived, through, then, the Via Severiana, arrived by land in Rome.

The ancient Roman port of Terracina in a reconstruction (Credits: www.terrapontina.it)

 

A few more steps and a small stop at the market to buy delicious local green zucchini and … go! After a fantastic story about local products and Roman history, we finally arrive at Marco’s house. The chef wears his uniform, opens a bottle of Sant’Andrea wine, makes a toast and starts cooking in front of your eyes. Between a smile and a story about local traditions, its delicacies come to life.

 

The Dinner

It is hot and then we decide to sit under its pergola. The table, set simply and tastefully, also speaks of the sea. Tablecloth, candles, cutlery. No detail is left to chance. And then the scent of capers and basil, the smell of extra virgin olive oil, crispy bread, the pasta of the Ilvana pasta factory … the taste buds, as he says, are in celebration!

 

The table for dinner. Everything talks about the sea in Terracina

 

Dinner opens with a bruschetta with Sperlonga Tomato, marinated Terracina rose shrimp and fingerlime. The crunchiness of the bread goes perfectly with the delicacy of the prawn, fresh and of excellent quality. The touch of the tomato is also delicate, exquisitely local and obtained from a variety of the most famous San Marzano tomato. The beads of fingerlime, better known perhaps as lemon caviar, explode in the mouth releasing that pleasant aroma of lime that gives the right freshness to the dish. a dance of delicacies for the palate and a concentration of nutritional properties.

Bruschetta eaten at the opening of the dinner

We continue with a Spaghettone Pasta prepared with mussels, saffron from the sea of Gaeta and Zucchini from Barchi. The pasta chosen by the chef is of exquisitely local production. It is prepared by the local Pasta Factory “Ilvana” (pastificioilvana.it) in an artisanal way in order to preserve the organoleptic characteristics and the richness of the nutritional virtues of the raw material used. Marco made me look at Pasta Drive in the heart of the Marina Market and he made me personally choose the pasta format I preferred that I could buy at a very convenient price. And in his hands, this fresh pasta has become a delicious dish, delicate and perfectly balanced.

The excellent ingredients used for the composition of the first course

 

The final realization: Spaghettone Pasta prepared with mussels, saffron from the sea of Gaeta and Zucchini from Barchi

But the surprises are not over yet. We continue sipping a glass of white wine “Riflessi del Circeo” and with many laughs. And so, in a unique and relaxed atmosphere, comes the moment of the second dish: millefeuille of fried anchovies, buffalo stracciatella with strawberry compote and balsamic vinegar. This dish also celebrates local excellence. The very fresh anchovies, bought together with the fish auction, are now brought back to life in a new and crispy way, embraced by the exquisite buffalo stracciatella (a paradise for your mouth, believe me!) and the taste of the compote, obtained by processing the local strawberry Favetta, a variety typical of the Terracina area.

Millefeuille of fried anchovies, buffalo stracciatella with strawberry compote and balsamic vinegar

 

It has come late and we are getting up from the table. However, the chef does not fail to give me one last surprise. Opens a small door and pulls out a box. Opening it up, it shows me its treasure, the dessert! Local sweets, accompanied by a good glass of VinSanto, mark the end of this sensory wine and food journey.

Local Sweets and VinSanto

If you also want to live your experience “A Casa di Marco”, contact me immediately and book your exclusive Food Tour in partnership with A Spasso con Sara. an unforgettable experience on the sea a few km south of Rome at a very affordable price! What are you waiting for? Come on! Contact me!

 

Posted by Sara Pandozzi, 0 comments
Vatican City 3 Of 3. Accommodations. A Spasso con Sara’s Guide

Vatican City 3 Of 3. Accommodations. A Spasso con Sara’s Guide

Third and last event dedicated to the Vatican. After visiting the artistic wonders of the area and having a nice dinner with us, it’s time to go to bed.

A Spasso Con Sara has selected exclusively for you two of the best accommodation facilities to sleep peaceful dreams a few steps from St. Peter’s Square without falling into the classic traps for tourists.

Strategic location, attention to detail, unbeatable value for money: Inn Rhome St Peter Guest House & Domus Quiritum.

Inn Rhome St Peter Guest House

If you are looking for accommodation within walking distance of the Vatican Museums and well connected to the subway and public transport in general, Inn Rhome St Peter Guest House is then the right place for you. Four rooms with private bathroom on the third floor (with elevator) of a building a few steps from the metro stop “Cipro” (the same line can be used to reach Termini Station, the area of Barberini and the Trevi Fountain and then also that of the Spanish Steps).

Patrizia and Alessandro, the hosts, will do everything to give you a pleasant and unforgettable stay in Rome.

You feel welcomed from the very first moment. Impeccable cleanliness, functional spaces, tastefully furnished rooms and comfortable beds. And then again flat screen televisions with Sky (yes, you read well!!!), air conditioning. Ah, there is even a small safe. And if you are still not satisfied, I recommend you take a walk in the bathrooms. A large shower will be your paradise when you return home.

Yes, because in their Guesthouse, Patrizia and Alessandro will really make you feel at home. Not only comfort of the rooms, but above all kindness, courtesy and masterly knowledge of every corner of Rome. The best at your service.

The WIFI connection works perfectly. So if, like me, you need to work in your room too, here you can do it without any problems.

Personally, I was very pleased to have a small coffee and cappuccino machine in my room. I love espresso and in the morning, when I sleep out of the house, I hate having to leave my room and ask for coffee (moreover making me see in my pyjamas or with my face sleepy by everyone!). Here I woke up and had breakfast in my room! And believe me, there was really everything: from fresh croissants to yogurt, from cereals to juice, from jam to butter, from cold meats to cheeses to water and sweet bread … so I ate both sweet and salty and without anxiety of having to leave at a set time (which very often happens in some small structures).

Alessandro, then, was able to recommend some restaurants in the area not bad. Tranquility, comfort and excellent value for money – just a stone’s throw from the Vatican.

 

Address: Via Francesco Sivori, 48

Telephone: +39 327 958 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Domus Quiritum

In the heart of Rome, in the Prati district, just a 10-minute walk from St. Peter’s Square. This is the frame in which the Domus Quiritum, the bed and breakfast of Alessio & Lucilla, is born. Romans and travelers returning from a trip from Alaska decided to open their home on the second floor (with elevator) to travelers from all over the world.

Their bed and breakfast consists of three rooms, the Artist, the Traveller and the Astronomer (my favorite! Book it and then you will understand why!) each of which is equipped with every comfort: memory foam mattresses and double glazing, which will allow you to sleep like little angels while being a short walk from one of the most popular areas of Rome, air conditioning, TV 32 inches with Netflix, WIFI, safe. Each room has a private bathroom with shower, hairdryer, linen and amenities.

Your stay begins even before you set foot in the room you booked. And when you arrive in Rome, Lucilla and Alessio are ready to give you a warm and special welcome. Availability and continuous assistance, a smile and good advice, help you live an unforgettable holiday and especially as a true Roman! They even made their bikes available to me to visit the Eternal City in an eco friendly way.

Breakfast is delicious. I am very attentive to the quality of the products I eat every day and I must say that in the morning. I found biscuits, jams, sweets and honey! I discovered that Alessio’s father enjoys personally making sweets for the Guests of the Domus Quiritum! I’m also intolerant to yeast and lactose and the guys have been very attentive in this regard too. Mentioning this, in the morning I found products specifically for my special diet.

And if you want to give yourself a unique and extraordinary experience, I suggest you book an astronomical visit … for a Rome that you will never forget!

 

Address: Via Duilio, 7

Telephone: +39 338 299 6291

Web Site: www.domusquiritum.com

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Sara Pandozzi in GUIDES, PLACES TO STAY, 0 comments
Vatican City 2 Of 3. Food & Drink. A Spasso con Sara’s Guide

Vatican City 2 Of 3. Food & Drink. A Spasso con Sara’s Guide

Let’s return #aspassoconsara for the second special appointment dedicated to the Vatican.

Climbing the dome of St. Peter’s or visiting the wonders of the Vatican Museums you will be hungry…for sure. Because culture puts some appetite!

So, whether it’s a snack, a dinner or a lunch, take a look at my places to eat something if you’re in the Vatican area.

 

Gelateria Old Bridge

We head towards the summer season and, after an afternoon spent visiting the wonders of the Vatican Museums, an ice cream is a good idea. I recommend you this small ice cream shop. You will notice immediately for the queue that forms at its entrance, but I assure you that the service is really very fast. Huge and tasty ice cream cones, but also yogurt and homemade fruit sorbets. Yes, you read well, homemade! Stracciatella, Nutella, Creme Caramel, but also Banana, Black Cherry, Coconut….chocolate or fuits, choose your favourite one! The perfect snack a few steps from the Vatican.

Address: Viale dei Bastioni di Michelangelo (at corner of Piazza Risorgimento)
Phone: +39 328 411 9478
Website: gelateriaoldbridge.com

 

 

Duecento Gradi

I must say thank you to my friends Matteo and Antonio, because since I discovered two hundred degrees, I no longer renounce to an exquisite sandwich in the Vatican area.
Two hundred degrees is the right compromise: eat well and spend the right one. The quality of the raw materials, starting with bread, is truly unique. And there is something for every taste, you can’t help but find a sandwich that isn’t to your liking. And if cooked or raw ham, vegetables, cheeses and truffle sauces are not enough, there are also delicious sandwiches, real delicacies based on nutella, mascarpone, pistachio kernels.
And if you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, you won’t be disappointed. There is a wide assortment of tasty sandwiches also with vegetarian or vegan theme … personally I tasted the one with vegetable cheese and I found it delicious!

Address: Piazza del Risorgimento, 3
Phone: +39 06 3975 4239
Web Site: www.duecentogradi.it

 

Duecento Gradi. Credits: erasmusu.com

 

 

Choose your favourite one! Credits: agrodolce.it

 

Mama Eat (Also Gluten Free)

Already owners of the historic restaurant near Piazza San Cosimato (Trastevere) and Neapolitan DOC, the owners of Mama Eat opened also in the Borgo Pio area (next to St. Peter’s) a place dedicated to Street Food. I personally love the Crocchè by the metre and the Polpett cook and I go crazy for the Sasiccia & Friarielli sandwich. But it’s not over, because when I come from Mama Eat to St. Peter’s I certainly don’t give up on a nice pizza or a calzone! And finally in beauty: the Cuoppo Delizioso, a concentration of sins of the throat … bomblets covered with sugar and Nutella! I forgot to tell you the most important thing: the place is also suitable for people with celiac disease. Gluten free food but never renounce to taste.

Address: Borgo Pio, 28
Phone: +39 06 4550 8771
Web Site: www.mamaeat.com

Sasiccia & friarielli sandwich (Credits: mamaeat.com)

Cuoppo Delizioso (Credits: mamaeat.com)

 

 

Osteria di Birra del Borgo

Maybe many of you don’t know, but before bloggers, I’m also an archaeologist. And I drunk my first Birra del Borgo in Borgorose, in the province of Rieti, the area where this beer is born. I tasted it on a hot evening, after a very hard day working in Cartore’s plain and from that day on it really won me over!

So when walking a few steps from St. Peter’s (where I love to go often) I saw Osteria di Birra del Borgo, I entered and I recognized that bottle and that label so familiar. I sat down and besides ordering a beer, I wanted to taste the menu right away.

A set of delicacies that make this place the perfect location for an aperitif or a break at the counter or for a lunch / dinner seated at the table, to be conceived, however, as a real journey into taste, to discover the beautiful marriage of beer and food.

Cooking or pizza, the choice is yours. Well, I’ve come back there several times, I confess. I absolutely recommend the selection of meats and cheeses and meatballs. Exquisite also the pig and the breast of guinea fowl. Even pizzas deserve it, trust me. Order a La Già vista with Burrata, prosciutto, rocket and hazelnuts and then let me know!

And to finish your evening off in a beautiful way, order a drink. The cocktail bar welcomes in fact the proposals of the best bartenders of Rome of the famous Jerry Thomas academy!

Address: Via Silla, 26
Phone: +39 06 8376 2316
Web Site: osteria.birradelborgo.it

 

The Osteria di Birra del Borgo (Credits: birradelborgo.it)

 

 

a nice dinner with a very good beer! (Credits: spignattando.it)

 

 

The Jerry Thomas at Osteria di Birra del Borgo (Credits: cucineditalia.com)

 

 

 

 

Posted by Sara Pandozzi in EATING & DRINKING, GUIDES, 0 comments