To be honest, I have visited Rome, many years ago, and the only two things I remember was how hot it was, and that bottled water outside the Colosseum cost 5 euros. So today I am lucky to revisit Rome through the eyes of a local explorer in Episode 8 of the Curious Pavel Podcast Sessions. Join me as I talk with Michele Frolla a.k.a The Intrepid Guide.
Have you ever wondered where the word MILESTONE comes from? We need to thank the Romans for that one! Learn how to recognise authentic gelato, and find out how The Colosseum got its name. Hear more about the Romans and Rome in this podcast episode.
Michele is an Australian language and travel blogger and ‘guide’ behind The Intrepid Guide. Michele aims to enrich her readers’ travels with her detailed destination guides, free travel phrase guides, and online language courses so they can enjoy meaningful interactions with the locals and avoid being treated like a tourist. Follow Michele on Instagram, and Twitter and Facebook and YouTube as she shares fascinating and little-known linguistic and cultural facts.
You can also find this podcast about Rome on YouTube:
Mentions in the Podcast:
Romulus and Remus – Rome was founded in 753 B.C. by Romulus and Remus. Romulus wanted to found the city on Palatine Hill (where the Roman Forum is now), while Remus wanted to found the city on Aventine Hill. Brothers, huh?
Places to visit in Rome
Knights of Malta Keyhole (Il Buco della serratura) – here you’ll find the Knights of Malta Keyhole where you’ll see the Dome of St. Peter’s framed by garden hedges. It is located on Aventine Hill.
Pantheon – means “temple of all the gods”, a former Roman temple but is now a Catholic church. The Pantheon still holds the record for the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome.
Colosseum aka Flavian Amphitheater (il Colosseo) – The name Colosseum comes from a colossal statue of Emperor Nero that once stood nearby.
Trevi Fountain – This famous fountain, where has featured in films such as Roman Holiday and La Dolce Vita is located at the junction of three roads. Trevi → tre vie→ three roads. It has become traditional to throw coins into the fountain (using their right arm over their left shoulder). Astonishingly, tourists throw over 3000 euros into the fountain each day. The money supports a supermarket for Rome’s needy.
The Passetto di Borgo, or Il passetto – an elevated passage that links the Vatican City with the Castel Sant’Angelo. This was the escape root used by Popes if they were ever under threat.
Via Appia Antica – One of Ancient Rome’s roads that leads all the way down to Bari in Puglia. Its common name was: “Appia longarum… regina viarum“, which translates to: “Appian Way, the Queen of the Long Roads”. Here is where you’ll find “mile stones”. Placed every 1000 paces, they calculate the distance from Rome.
- Cacio e pepe – classic Roman pasta dish, with three ingredients: spaghetti, pecorino cheese and pepper. A good example of the Italian belief that great food doesn’t need to be complicated, it just needs a few quality ingredients.
- Spaghetti alla Carbonara – this authentic Roman dish is traditionally made with guanciale, or pork cheek, and egg yolks.
- Tiramisù – literally means “pull me up”, this popular Italian dessert, made with coffee, is the perfect end-of-meal pick me up.
Gelato / Gelateria (gelato shop)
The Italian version of ice-cream demands its own section. But how do you spot an authentic gelato? Read on…
- Gelato is more dense than traditional fluffy, whipped ice cream.
- Real Gelato uses flat, metal ‘spades’ instead of curved ice cream scoops
- Look for flat metal tins, which may have lids on them, not white containers overflowing with brightly coloured gelato. This is fake.
- Gelato has a more natural colour, eg pistachio gelato is more brown than bright green.
Congratulations for reaching the end of this article 😉 Have we tempted you to visit Rome or to seek out an authentic gelato? Maybe you’ll make one of the classic Roman dishes such as Spaghetti alla Carbonara (my personal favourite)? Leave a comment and let us know or ask your question about Rome and we will answer it 🙂
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