An Italian Burrito in Rome…

Posted on June 4, 2011


Dear Florence,

Still trying to make my way to see this small city but it just hasn’t happened. The big BBQ party was a little too much for everyone and our trip was cancelled! I went to bed around 2am and woke up to my alarm at 7:30 feeling a little groggy but determined I sent the text to the other party determining a meeting time. I fell back asleep before I got a response of “sorry!” and by the time I actually got up it was nearly 11. The family thought I snuck out early this morning to catch the first train so they were surprised to see me home. Instead of Florence the group invited me to ZooMarine, which is exactly that: a zoo and marine park. I really wanted to go there with the family and  the boys so I passed and then hours later got the message that they changed plans and were at the sea drinking mojitos! Aww man! Oh well. Another time.

I had lunch with the family which was perfect since I wasn’t that hungry and it was the first thing I ate of the day. Fresh cantaloupe and prosciutto, good bread, cheese, and sliced turkey. Simple and healthy. This family eats very well, I lucked out, or perhaps EVERYONE eats well in this gorgeous country!? During lunch the boys were asking their parents how old their mothers were. 75 and 73 I learned! Wow! T’s mom looks amazing for a woman of 75! She sits on the floor with the children and walks and drives everywhere. S’s mom is the adorable one that always brings gifts “BabboNatale” they call her. Which is Italian for the Santa! The boys asked me how old I was so I answered them back in both English and Italian and they raised their brows at their parents and said I was not old but still a young girl! They are so funny…I thought they would say I was old but after their nana’s ages I guess I seem young!

I dressed in jean shorts and Pumas and packed my purse with my book, money, a sweater (you never know), my umbrella (again you just never know!) keys and phone. I decided that since I was “saving” money by skipping the trip today that I would buy myself something instead. I have been on the search for this particular style of belt but the one I found was real leather and about 30 euros…I am more interested in the look than quality of leather. Today I found the exact replica of the real leather for only 5 euros! Done and done. I later found a long green sweater on the street to add to my “summer nights” wardrobe. It gets extremely cool at night here in the city so sweaters are needed year round. Trying on a sweater in 86 degree heat, humidity and sun blasting isn’t ideal but I made the decision that two items were enough for me so I should take a break and find something to eat and some shade to relax. I wasn’t that hungry just yet so I settled at a shaded bench and read for about 30 minutes. I was seated in front of a Kebab place and have been wanting to try one but wasn’t sure what places and what to look for in a Kebab place. I watched the traffic move in and out and people seemed satisfied. I saw an old woman who lived next door go in and out with some food to go which sealed my commitment. I read a little more and soon a lady barely 60 came to share my bench with me. “Permesso?” she asked before she sat down, which is like asking for permission to sit near me. This word can also be used while trying to pass someone. As in on the bus when you are trying to exit without pushing your way through!

The woman sat with me for a long time and people watched and relaxed next to me. I decided to go inside and order my food and by the time that I came back out she was still sitting there. I had ordered a kebab piadina, which is like a thin Italian tortilla with shaved greek meat (I think I had lamb today!), purple cabbage, carrots, shredded lettuce, cucumber, some secret hot (HOT!) sauce and then something like tzatziki sauce. It was very tasty and the closest thing to a burrito I have had! It was indeed like a greek burrito and it was amazing. Spicy enough and still very fresh and something different. I am bored with pizza. I cannot wait to have another one and see what other choices there will be to make. I walked and looked for some water. All over Rome there is free-flowing water fountains and I needed to fill my bottle, my mouth was on fire! I made me way behind the vatican and felt like I was sweating my life away. If my body had anything left over from the tequila shots it was a fact that I sweated it all out! I found shade and water and read my book in some grass near some statue. Even the shade felt hot and I could feel the heat transpiring off the statue. I read a few chapters and couldn’t take it anymore so made my way home. It was nearly 5 by the time I arrived home and I was so hot that I wanted to jump right in the cold shower but forced myself to work out for twenty minutes first. The cold shower was amazing! Hello shorts tan line! No one was home so it was nice to take my time getting dressed and put away my new items while talking to my mom via Skype. I showed off my new belt and she approved. Once I heard the family come home we said goodbye (for now) and I went out to greet them. I knew after my shower that I was staying in for the night. I have gone out the last three nights and I need a break!

I had a nice dinner of pasta bianca (pasta with oil and cheese) and had the most flavorful eggplant parmesan ever! This dish was seriously so good but it was heavy! Super cheesy and a little kick to it. Sharing a few Becks with the adults while the kids watched a movie with their friend Guido on the couch they told me a story about the dish. A few years back they were invited to a friends and they didn’t know that they were supposed to bring food so they stopped in a place downstairs from the house to pick something up in a rush. They landed on this eggplant parmesan and it was the hit of the party! Everyone thought that T had made the masterpiece and there was no time to argue so they went along with it promising each other that next time they would make something and not buy it. By the time the group got together it was in unison that they demanded the famous T’s Eggplant parmesan! They are forever stuck in this promise to always bring the dish! It happens, I know I have done this before. The part that they worry about is that the place that they buy it is very famous and they worry that their friends might find them out if they come to Rome! Great stories over dinner…


Posted in: When in Rome