Friday, May 18, 2012

A Bittersweet Farewell

After two sleepless nights, a whirlwind of packing, a final goodbye dinner, a 10 hour flight, and a significant amount of tears, I am back safe and sound in the good ol' US of A. I feel like I've been in transit for four months and now I've screeched to a halt. Whenever I come home it feels like I never left. My younger brothers get taller and my dog gets more decrepit but other than that, my four months abroad already seem like a dream.

(carciofi alla giuda - fried artichokes)

For our goodbye dinner on Monday night (Tuesday night we knew we would be too busy packing and getting ready) we went back one last time to Hostaria la Botticella in Trastevere. It's a wonderful little restaurant run by an older couple and their son. They make unbelievable homemade pasta and alla cacciatore dishes (lamb and chicken), though I'm sure everything on the menu is to die for. 

(schiaffoni con pomodoro, parmesan e basilico)

So simple, but so good. Schiaffoni pasta is like rigaoni, except it's wider and homemade. We ordered more food than was necessary, ate more than we thought was possible and talked and laughed for hours while the owner's wife, who's totally a modern day Strega Nona, made sure that we had everything we needed. What a perfect last meal to end the trip.

(fruit stand in the San Giovanni di Dio market)

Tuesday was a day of lasts. Our last trip to the market, our last time visiting the Pantheon and Trevi fountain, our last cannolis, our last gelato (ughhh noooo), our last tram ride, our last time in Piazza Navona (I could live in Piazza Navona, it's so beautiful in the summer), and our last time at school. It sounds so dramatic, but realistically I don't know when the next time I'll visit Rome will be. In five years, 10 years, 20 years? And when I come back I certainly won't stay in Monteverde, the quiet suburb I lived in. And it most likely won't be with my girlfriends (unless we do a Rome Reunion every 10 years, which I think is the best idea ever). It will be more of a tourist's trip than the true living experience that I've had.

(Goodbye I Dolci di Nonna Vincenza. You make the best cannolis in the whole entire world)

(Goodbye Gelateria Frigidarium. I'm so sad I only found you a few weeks ago because you totally deserve the ranking of #18 out of 3914 places to eat in Rome on TripAdvisor. Seriously everyone, go here.)

(Goodbye three-legged dog who hobbles up and down Via del Governo Vecchio who clearly wanted a lick of my gelato. Not sharing, mi dispiace non mi dispiace)

(HELLO SUSHI)

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