Browsing by Category: Travel

The nearly three year old Testaccio Market is new by Roman standards. When it opened in the summer of 2012, fans of the original market were skeptical of the modern space that had moved away from Piazza Testaccio in the heart of the district. The inauguration of an American budget steakhouse and terrible (more…)

Monte Testaccio 1

Join me for exclusive visits to Monte Testaccio, an archeological site that is generally closed to the public. Composed of fragments of tens of millions of ancient terracotta amphorae, the site is a fascinating trash heap which testifies to the Roman appetite for imported oils during the Empire. We will begin our visit with some background of Testaccio, an area that was a hub of commercial activity in antiquity and during the industrial revolution and still clings to those traditions as the area becomes ever more gentrified. We will explore the concepts of ancient commerce and modern industrialization as we hike up to the top of Monte Testaccio for views over the old slaughterhouse, the Testaccio district and Ostiense’s industrial ruins.

Dates: March 17, 2:30pm; April 21, 2:30pm; May 13, 11:00am; May 26, 9:30am; June 9, 9:30am.

Meeting point: Bar il Seme e La Foglia, Via Galvani 18 (Map).

Duration: The guided tour will last approximately 1.5 hours.

NB: Booking is obligatory and fees include a guided tour and admission fees. Wear comfortable shoes and bring a camera!

Monte Testaccio ShardMonte Testaccio PanoramaMonte Testaccio inscriptionMonte Testaccio Gazometro

Pizzarium

For centuries, pizza in Naples – indeed, across Italy – was meant to be a cheap fast food. It became such an ubiquitous phenomenon that many pizzerie have managed to skate by on sub-par ingredients, quick doughs and low-quality toppings. Only recently has pizza in Naples and beyond entered a new era. Call it third-wave pizza, a movement that celebrates raw materials, gives supreme attention to fermentation, and restores dignity to the craft. I share the whole story with Australian Gourmet Traveller in their annual Italy issue, on newsstands now, and available online here.

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As far back as the 2nd century B.C.E., Jews have made their home in Rome and represent the oldest Jewish community in the world outside Israel. What we recognize today as Roman Jewish cooking is fruit of universal Jewish dietary guidelines and, perhaps most importantly, the community’s forced isolation into a gated ghetto for 300 years, which resulted in a unique spin on traditional Italian and Jewish cuisine, using what limited ingredients were available. Additionally, the cuisine reflects many outsider influences—result of the Jewish diaspora of the 15th century as direct result of the Spanish Inquisition, and again in the 1960s when thousands of Jews fleeing Libya settled in Rome.

Rumeli Hisari
Rumeli Hisarı, an Ottoman fortress, is the gateway to the Upper Bosphorus.

Even for a city that straddles two continents, Istanbul is packed. Depending on who’s counting, Turkey’s cultural capital is home to 14 to 20 million, a staggering range by any count. To accommodate the booming population, the city’s environs have been transformed and deforested — and the pastoral life that once (more…)