Monday, January 31, 2011

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Great Roman holidays or Veni, Vidi, Vici!

The winter in Riga already lasts a century. At least it seems so. Snow everywhere, snow angels as well, freezing air, red nose, pink cheeks, grey faces in the bus except the red noses..hmm - one word - boredom. The winter joy is gone with the symptoms of flu..yeahhh the H1N1! Again!? . And as I am being kinda ill and spending lot of time in the bed with Beigbeder (not himself ofcourse but with Au secours pardon and other stuff like Vogue and Elle) , decided to remind myself about some warmer place I have been and would like to visit again some day :)
Ciao bella..ragazzi...amore..pasta....come stai....tutto bene etc..These phrases we often hear. Where? Yes, all around the Italy, but our destination was Rome which isn't a simple city but city of love if we read the name of it vice versa ROMA = AMOR :)
I was sure that I gained tones of good knowledge of history in the University and thanks to that I was able to plan how to spend 8 days in city rich of cultural heritage. Romans were smart and martial indeed - built enormous temples and fortresses, created such an Empire and destroyed it themselves. and it all in 500 years! And now we can see the title SPQR all around the trash cans what means The senate and People of Rome. But it was a small indent speaking about our trip...
It was a hot July when the airplane landed in Fiumicino airport, only 2 hours and You are in first centuries of our era. We were 4 brave travelers - and we were totally ready for non diet days, lot of walking and total lounge with probable sunburns on the noses ans shoulders what actually did happen not only with body parts i mentioned.
My suggestion - its actually more beneficial to rent an apartment just like we did. 8 days for 4 persons 800 EUR and i can assure that 80 square metres with 2 bathrooms, huge terrace in just few steps from Vatican - is totally worth that. and if You like to cook - Voila! fresh products just downstairs in the shop - red, juicy tomatoes, crispy grapes, smelly basil, thick asparagus, super green and fresh rockets, different types of cheeses (soft, semi hard and hard ones), eggs, delicious ciabatta with olives, and where can You go in Italy without a prosciutto..the meat which looks so shiny like a red marble in the walls of tombs in Basilica san Pietro. For me as a vegetarian it was interesting so watch how guys were consumpting tones of it during the breakfast, lunch and dinner and believe me - we even had a full luggage of this marvelous delicacy :) besides the olive oil, pesto and many other things.
The Rome is a place where You can still feel that power of great empire, the smell of sweat and blood in Colosseum from thousands of animals and gladiators were killed for pleasure of eyes of Emperor and the public "Panem et circenses". we all know what it means!
Thousands of churches..tiny and huge ones. The eyes can get tired of sparkling baroque facades and interiors but mind - never! Museums...if You don't mind to wait in a long queue for seeing the Sistine Chapell and masterpieces by Caravaggio, Tiziano Vecellio, Raphael Santi, Michelangelo and many, many, many other ones. for art lovers Rome just like Paris is so rich that even a year wouldn't be enough to explore the great beuty of this heritage.
Rome is the place where the baroque has born and each fountain will remind us about that. Fontana di Trevi..ohh..what a place. Do You remember the episode of movie La Dolce Vita? Even being 100 metres form the fountain You can smell the moisture of it in hot summer day, hear whispers of people, jingle of coins being dropped into it and imagine thousands of wishes let in the air....and all it even more amazing in late evening when warm light are surrounding...
and if You are going to Italy, be ready to eat a lot in the greatest meaning of the word - pasta, lasagna, Italian gelato (i can eat tones of it), grilled artichokes (Rome is the best place in the world for this dish), fruits and veggies, seafood, wine (lavish Chianti or fresh fizzy Lambrusco) and coffee - Italian espresso is something You can't compare with other beverages. 8 days of rich carb diet :) lovely! and it is even possible to show Your skin to real, hot sun at Ostia Lido, the beach in 40 min train ride from the city - easy peasy!
fashion..that is one guilty pleasure You can't avoid in Rome - Furla, D&G, Gucci,Versace, Rocco Barocco and other brands like Dior, Chanel etc. and all it almost in one district near Piazza di  Spagna Via dei Condotti, Via Borgognona and Via del Babuino. and window shopping is for free. but anyway i managed to get a new Calvin Klein bag and some other lovely things from Acqua di Parma, i had a birthday, so why not?!
and if You like some antique things, small markets and cozy shops will offer You artistic goods from different centuries and masters..
we even saw Obama on his way to Pope..the sky of Rome was full not of birds on that day, but many helicopters..and of course we found the time for romance as well - Villa Borghese with its wonderful parc where renting a boat You can have a ride in the pond full of cute turtles and friendly ducks, feel the scent of oranges and leafage in the air and have a summer kiss :)
so this is the way i had my great Roman holiday, in hottest month of summer - July. we were sleeping long hours with open window, having our profuse meals with wine (lot of it) on the sunny terrace with a view to greatest Christian temple, being part of history, leaving our footprints where the Roman warriors and deities did..tasted the the rhytm of this culture..where lot of attention is paid to family, cousine, spending time with friends at long dinners, chatting, laughing and enjoying wine, coffe and gelato..oohh Rome - amore mio! A presto, baci!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A tribute to Paris!

What can be better that starting a blog with the most desirable destination like Paris. I felt in love with the city even a long time before 2008 when for the first time I was there.
And it is needless to say that it was a love from the first sight which will last till death us do part :) It may sound quite trivial, but who cares...if You see the Arc de Triomphe from the window during morning consumption of fresh, crispy croissant knowing wha a history is behind the great walls of it..when You are at the top of Tour Eiffel or Tour Montparnasse thinking of those thousands of love songs and poetry created inspired by it...sitting on the bench in Jardin du Luxembourg with hot coffee when the air is freezing..watching kids running after pigeons and laughing..meeting Frederic Beigbeder himself in front of Cafe de Flore on the Boulevard Saint - Germain..or simply shopping in some vintage shops near Montmartre or Galeries Lafayette...
Paris seems to be a basket full of guilty pleasures like confectioanary macaron and other sweet sins by Laduree, Pierre Herme
We can read thousands depictions of Paris, watch tones of movies and read pieces created by famous Parisiens but the best experience is to go there and explore the great beauty, grace and charm of it...what can be better?!

And I am so happy for my friend Ilze who lives in Paris..coz I know we can share this passion, to have great moments together there, going to best crepperia, cupcake place, even visiting a tomb of Serge Gainsbourg, whos songs have made women crazy all around the world for decades..and it is all because - Paris Je t'aime!