30 Mar 2012

The Hungry Man goes to Palermo

I'm so exited to present a new (and handsome) collaborator to this blog: The Hungry Man!
I'm not gonna waste time with introductions, the name is already quite obvious.
To get to know him better just scroll down and read his first post about Palermo. 

It's been awhile already since we took a short trip down to Palermo, but I felt the need to share some things about food and Sicily. You see, during the five months or so that we have been running around in Italy, I doubt that I have seen anything as chaotic as Palermo. And more chaos = more street food (just invented that).

So yeah, the first night there - as we landed pretty late - we took the advice to eat at a place our host recommended. Meh. Your run of the mill Italian place for locals. Good and affordable, but nothing that I would remember (I don't, actually).

So the next day we were hiking around the city, stumbling upon this auspicious (or was that suspicious, can´t recall) looking place at the corner with a small terrace. They offer everything you possibly would want to stick into a bread - and they did it without a smile (which I found comforting). So we ordered a couple of panini with salsiccia, and they were great. I mean great in that street way, when the atmosphere is basically making up for at least half of the meal. After eating out pretty much every weekend for god knows how long, it was more than amazing to just have your basic sandwich at a run-down place by the local corner.

Well so far this have just been rambling. The real thing I wanted to talk about happened at Saturday night. We were debating where to eat, when we happened to walk by this dark shitty alley. I mean it was shitty, but oh my god it really smelled good. You see, they were having this totally awesome barbecue in between the houses - and the fumes were just pouring out on the streets. You did not just have one huge bbq, but three. One for meat, one for fish and the third for octopus or calamari or whatever it was.

We went for a drink, to gather our thoughts. Then we followed the smell back, hungry hungry hungry. In the end it became a race to try everything they had. And let me tell you that fish sausage just blew our minds. I mean, we had fish with bread, fish without bread, shrimp, pork, unknown meat on stick and unknown meat rolled around unknown meat on stick - and all of it was great. But that fish sausage just left us plain drooling. I seriously doubt that we would have found better in any restaurant in the city. Couple this with great atmosphere, a not so cold February night with beer and you have a winner.

So if you are around Palermo and thinking about where to eat, just stop. Walk around and follow the smell, and it will reward you. Trust me on this one.  Check the images for confirmation, and consult the map for directions.

The Hungry Man.

25 Mar 2012

What's more fun than looking at tourists pretending to hold up Pisa's leaning tower?

I thought that looking at tourists pretending to hold up Pisa's leaning tower was already fun enough.
But today we discovered something even better:

Holding up tourists that are pretending to hold up the tower!

One more Sunday well spent.

23 Mar 2012

How to get tiramisù for free

This is the story of how we got tiramisù for free in a little roman restaurant.

We were walking around Trastevere district on a Saturday morning, we got tired and hungry at some point and decided to enter into a clothes store to ask if someone would recommend a place to have lunch.

There was a very nice girl that suggested us to go to a restaurant in Via della Lungaretta, I think it is called Aristocampo or something like that. 
The restaurant had a sign by the door that said "We are against war and tourist menu" which looked promising. We were not disappointed, the food was delicious.

While we were enjoying our meal we saw the girl from the store coming into the restaurant.
After we said ciao to her, she sat on a table nearby with her colleagues. 

When we were about to order coffee, the waiter came with a beautiful bowl of tiramisù and told us that was from Susanna... (Susanna??) I am not sure who looked more surprised, the waiter, us or the tiramisù
We have not ordered any dessert. We had no clue where was that tiramisù coming from.
For few seconds we both had the who-the-hell-is-Susanna kind of face.
The waitress left us alone with our dessert.
After the initial shock, and before actually trying the tiramisù, we came up with 3 hypothesis about its unknown origin:
# 1: The tiramisù from Susanna went to the wrong table by mistake.
# 2: The restaurant owner called Susanna was trying to poison us with tiramisù (it was pretty clear from the sign at the door that they were not so happy to see tourists around).
# 3: Susanna was the girl who recommended us the restaurant (who could as well be trying to poison us for some reason).

Before we had time to come up with a conclusion, we heard someone laughing behind us, turned our heads and saw the answer to our little mystery: Susanna, the girl from the store.

With that smile it could not be possible that the girl was trying to poison anybody, so we started eating our dessert after saying million thanks to our new friend Susanna.
It was one of the best tiramisù we had in Italy, plus (so far) we haven't got any signs of poisoning.

My take-away from that day:
1. Roman people are super cool.
2. Tiramisù is the best dessert ever!

So, if you ever find yourself in Rome, go to Trastevere before lunch time and look around the stores for a girl named Susanna. Smile and ask her where to go and eat.
I hope you are as lucky as we were!

Based on a true story.

19 Mar 2012

If I cannot have a cat, I want this bike!

How about this nice bike as a replacement for the cat I will never have?
(I already explained here how miserable my life is because I cannot have a cat.)

It's from Beg Bicycles, and it is so cute that I almost feel like taking a bite out of it!

Image from Beg Bicycles
And well, I don't want her to feel lonely. I must get this adorable little basket to go with it, don't you think?

also from Beg Bicycles
I might skip the flowers part though, killing flowers makes me sad.
Flowers aside, the basket will be very handy to fill it up with groceries, picnic stuff, teddy bears or some useful books like this one I just found: Heels on Wheels, A Lady's Guide to Owning and Riding a Bike.

from Amazon
Couldn't be more appropriate.
I have been riding mountain bikes ever since I learned to cycle, some advice on how to ride a bike like a lady will be more than welcome.

16 Mar 2012

If I cannot have a cat, I want...

I cannot get a cat because I'm traveling too much.
It sucks because I really like cats, they are funny.

In order to get over it I decided to start a new section called  'If I cannot have a cat, I want...'  where I will try to look for stuff that might replace the cat I will never have.

I wanna show to the world that life without cats it is not completely meaningless!!

That being said, let me finish this inaugural post by introducing to you the cats we have at my parents place in Spain:

Hoste (top left), Queta (top right) and Pumis (bottom)
I miss them so much!

I think Pumis will be the perfect candidate to take to Finland.
I will choose her just because she is so ugly that makes me laugh!
It is the best therapy ever, you look at her every morning before going to work and it will make you happy for the rest of the day. Moreover, she has got enough fur to survive the Finnish winter and that's a plus!

Anyway, since taking a cat to Helsinki is out of question, I'll have to make do with what I have: this section and a bunch of funny cat videos on YouTube.

Stay tuned!

11 Mar 2012

Top 8 things to do in Rome

"Top 10" lists suck, here is an example. 

Still I could not resist creating a little list on my own about (alternative) stuff to do in Rome.
Hopefully "Top 8" is less lame than "Top 10" or "Top 20".

Here it comes:

I. Visit the Open Air Museum alongside the Ara Pacis. 

II. Ask some local in the street where is the best place to go and eat.

III. Take the tram to Pigneto district and go to eat porchetta in "I Porchettoni" (I'm vegetarian but you gotta trust me with this one!)
- Via del Pigneto, 68 -

IV. Have a coffee post-porchetta in Lo Yeti Libreria - Caffè

V. Try Italian artisan beer at Bir&Fud 
- Via Benedetta, 23 -  

VI. Have a good night sleep at Aldebaran B&B.
- Via luzzatti, 19 -

VII. Check out the tiny stores in Monti district.

VIII. Try Roman artichokes

5 Mar 2012

The best open air museum in Rome

Is the open air museum alongside the Ara Pacis.
If I would do a list with the "Top 10 Things to do in Rome" I will definitely put this one on it. 

We found it by luck while walking in Via di Ripetta, thanks to this sign:

Fausto Delle Chiaie is the artist behind this open air installation, every afternoon you will see him putting up his own special show under the Roman sun.

1 Mar 2012

Never ask Google: What to do in Rome?

Tomorrow we are taking the train to Rome :-)

I wanted to check in Google what should we visit there during the weekend.
Big mistake. I ended up with all kinds of random lists like this one from here:

Top 20 things to do in Rome:

1. Greet the Old Masters of the Capitoline.
2. Connect with your inner gladiator at the Colosseum
3. Stroll through the Gardens of the Villa Borghese
4. Join an audience with the Pope at the Vatican
5. Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain
6. Perfect your geometry at the Pantheon
7. Scope out delightful ice cream at San Crispino
8, Photograph the city's best piazzas
9.  Scale new heights to see spectacular views
10. Glam up for a night at the Opera
11. Follow the legend of the wolf
12. Teas your taste buds at Il Pigneto
13. Grab a slice of authentic pizza
14. Have a glass of white Frascati
15. Discover geek chic at book bar
16. Browse in boutiques
17. Amble around antique markets
18. Catch glimpses of Napoleon
19. Indulge in sweet treats
20. Stay up for a late drink

If I try to imagine what I see myself doing, the list goes down to "top 6 things to do in Rome":
7. ice cream, 12. Pigneto, 13. Pizza, 17. Antique markets, 19. Sweet treats and 20. Late drink.

Some of the remaining "top 14 things to do in Rome" either don't interest me or I don't understand them very well... What the hell means catching glimpses of Napoleon?
This is the answer I got from Google: 

From here
I'm more confused now than before....

I lost plenty of time going through Google results and posting about it in here. And I am still without any super plan for the weekend. F**k you Google.

However, I got the most important things marked on the Rome map:
1. The hostel street
2. The address of the gelateria San Crispino.

I should be good to go.

See you on Monday!