Italy’s done, so you know what time it is? Photo time!
There’s a place back in Toronto called Porchetta and Co. that serves what was, up until now, the best porchetta that I’ve ever had. I had kind of assumed that it was porchetta perfection; I honestly didn’t think it could be topped.
It has been topped. Sorry, Porchetta and Co.: your porchetta sandwich is officially garbage.
In what I have to assume is fallout from all of the terrorist shenanigans in Europe over the last few years, there are soldiers pretty much everywhere in Rome.
Rome is generally not the cheapest city ever, but there are bargains to be had. Example: a great little pasta joint called Pastificio. It’s been around since 1918 (it’s always a good sign when a restaurant has that kind of longevity); it doubles as a shop where you can buy pasta to bring home and cook yourself, and starting at 1:00 P.M., as a purveyor of delightfully cheap (and delicious) meals.
For the unaware, Cinecitta is the legendary Italian studio where directors like Federico Fellini and Sergio Leone made a bunch of their films, not to mention big Hollywood productions like Ben-Hur, Roman Holiday, and Gangs of New York.
For 20 Euros, you can check out some nicely-assembled exhibits, and you can take part in a guided tour around the studio. It isn’t exactly cheap, but if you can’t forget about the budget every now and then for something like this, what’s the point?
Cannolis aren’t exactly a Roman thing, but there was no possible way I was going to leave Italy without eating at least one. A quick “best cannoli in Rome” search led to a very conclusive answer: everyone seems to be in agreement that a Sicilian bakery called Ciuri Ciuri has the tastiest cannoli in the city.
There isn’t anything too interesting/unique at McDonald’s in Italy, though they do have something called “Le Ricche” fries, which is basically just a plate of fries with cheese sauce on them. You can choose between regular cheddar, and hot cheese. I went with the latter, though I have to admit that there’s something vaguely unappetizing about the phrase “hot cheese.”
So I just arrived in Rome — I spent the day walking around the city, and holy crap. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a city (and not just on this trip, in my whole life) that has so many breathtaking buildings and monuments pretty much everywhere you go.
I actually didn’t even realize that there was a second city that was wiped out by the Vesuvius eruption that you could visit — Herculaneum, which is decidedly smaller than Pompeii, but definitely worth a visit.