It’s said that Italians think more with their hearts than with their heads ? and so did I.
Mellow, sunny Thursday afternoon. I was seated at a table next to my grandma and many devices that create my remote office. Work was almost done, birds were singing and I kind of accepted the fact that I need to hold my horses for a while and try to enjoy a small town vibe.
Like every sense and well-organised girl, who I claim to be, I knew that I need to stay there for at least a month to prepare my backpack and, what’s even more important ? my wallet – for a 5 months journey through both Americas.

Click, click….?hmm, I haven’t been in Italy for such a long time?….click, click…. ?I always loved that place so much…? ?click….?if only I could find a ticket both ways for less than 100? I’d go?….click….

– OMG GRANDMA!
– What happened?
– 99?!!!
– What are you talking about?
– Wait, 5 minutes, please….

I’M GOING TO ROME IN LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!

Why you should go there as well, what to do, when you will, how to set your working space in a public toilet or even lick a pope. Here we go!

 

What does the term Termini mean?

 

I landed in Rome-Ciampino about 11 pm, excited more than a cat left alone in a sushi shop. After saying my first Italian sentence in ages ( un biglietto per Roma prego) I tried to pay for a shuttle bus that would get me to the city centre. ATM ? not working, my head ? apparently not working as well ? I typed the pin wrong. Twice. Fortunately few deep breaths helped me to turn this walnut-shaped thing in my head on again. Yay me, a ticket was done. Next mission: wine from the airport restaurant (yes wine runs through my veins like blood) and I was ready to go to TERMINI.

This is the central railway station in Rome. I was told it would be dangerous to go there alone at night, but who would care, after a small bottle of wine?
It’s a spot really worth mentioning. You can find there not only trains and all the shuttle buses from and to both airports but many other useful things as well: working ATMs, casual restaurants, cafes, outlets, pharmacies, well-equipped supermarket, bookstore and entrance to metro line A and B. Just check the level -1. It’s possible that in the middle of the night you won’t meet there anyone but crowds of Afro-Italians, but, just wait till morning.

 

Shopping window working and free food.

 

The hostel I was staying in was cheap, clean and in a good location but the only place I could put my laptop was at the table in a tiny, claustrophobic kitchen without the window, well let me say: nope. So I packed all the equipment I needed in a bag and went on a walk in search for an office ? this is one of the best features of being a digital nomad ? you never know where your office will be. First I tried to google Starbucks but it’s obvious they don’t need Starbucks in Italy. After a while, I’ve found a spacious Grand Cafe Bar with slow but stable internet connection. My jaw dropped to the floor when they informed me, that buying a double sandwich with lettuce and smoked salmon plus 2 cafes latte didn’t make me reach the minimum 5 euro threshold that allows you to pay with a credit card. 4,30! for all this food and drinks in a Rome city centre, nuts. The table I’ve chosen to be my desk for that day was located right next to the floor-to-ceiling window, so without leaving my drawings for too long I was able to feed my eyes with Rome’s morning rush full of man in well-tailored suits, Vespas and a hint of espresso. At the end of the working day when I was about to leave, the handsome barista asked me:
Sei Italiana, eh?
No, ma grazie, ci vediamo domani ūüôā

 

Feel unattractive? Go to Rome. Free food and drinks? Go to Rome.

 

Absolutely yes! There’s only one catch, you need to be a girl.
Ciao bella! This is probably one of the most popular Italian phrases along with ?quattro stagioni? or ?spaghetti carbonara?. You can hear it everywhere, and, let’s face it: Italian men are awesome. They would stop just to tell you you’re beautiful, to wish you a good day, to compliment every aspect of you, they could ? and then simply walk away. No intrusion. No importunity. Nothing.
I walked al the way from Termini to Piazza Venezia, Fontana di Trevi, Campo dei Fiori surrounded by warm smiles, nice words and… swarms of tourists. Unfortunately, it’s inevitable and I guess they won’t disappear into thin air like – ever.
On Piazza Venezia vis a vis the monument Altare della Patria I sat in Caffe Petrucci. I’ve been there before, a few years ago with my grandma, when I took her to make her finally see the eternal city. She was already 76, but very brave ūüôā Anyways! More sober than thirsty I decided to order Aperol spritz, a combination of Aperol liqueur and prosecco with ice and a slice of orange. De-li-cious.

 

 

 How surprised I was when after a moment a handsome waiter brought me not only a glass of prosecco but a plate full of small, tasty looking bites.
  • Scusi! Non ho ordinato questa cosa! – I said just to be told, that it’s for free. Hel yeah.
Every next time during this magic week in Rome when I ordered spritz it always came along with tiny sandwiches, peanuts or even a basket full of focaccia. Well, it’s well known, that it’s always better to be hungry than sober, and I guess, that if you follow this rule they simply want to kind of ? help you? ¬†Because you cannot be hungry in Italy.
What about the free drinks?
Scenery: Campo dei Fiori, starring: hungry me who decided I won’t be dieting vegetarian for a day, or week, or I start being one on Monday. Maybe even this year Monday.
Action:
Roaming through the boards with delicious menus on it I was trying to decide where to eat. It’s not that easy, because, first of all, you need to face a huge variety of different food and even if your tummy has a never ending capacity ? your wallet doesn’t and you need to choose something. And this is the land of pitchmen.
– Hello, would you like to eat something?
 Рno, I just like to read menus
¬†– oh, but you’re a princess, and¬†princesses always get a free glass of champagne in this restaurant
Caviar, champagne, wine, sushi, pasta ? you don’t need to say it twice. I’m going to die fat but happy. This free champagne for princesses place serving awesome pasta is¬†HERE.

 

 

 

What’s good? More food! Yes or nope ? would you lick a pope?

 

Ice, ice, baby! Especially in¬†L’Orso Bianco¬†next to the basilica Santa Maria Maggiore. A variety of tastes (whisky cream, pistachio, bounty) and really big portions, so be aware of it when you decide to order more than one scoop. They melt, run down to your elbows and make not only your hands but whole forearms sticky. Don’t you worry ? you can wash your hands in a fountain that’s right there.
20 tastes are not enough? Go to Gelateria Della Palma where you can enjoy 150 different tastes of mind-blowing ice cream.

 

 

And if you’re still craving for more, right next to this place you can find a shop with… a pope-painted lollipops. Or maybe I should say: lollipopes?

 

 

To sum up: it’s amazing! Passing by the ancient ruins, fashion shows, smell of pizza and always cheerful and loud Italians is a thing more to experience, than to write about. And if you’re tired of tourists start around 11 pm, on Wednesday. Try via Lungaretta with many tiny bars, check the fountain near¬†Bar la Licata¬†where young people gather to sit on the pavement and drink beer bought in a shop nearby. See all the murals, try to squeeze between people near Di Trevi.

Eat, drink, love. That what Italy is for!