A Stop At Ex-J (Urban Wear in Rome)

Rome’s winter sales (saldi) continue and are a highlight of many travelers making their tour through Rome’s cobblestoned streets. With so many wonderful items on sale, the choices may seem endless–at least, that’s how I found it be while making my way to Giolitti on Via Uffici del Vicario.

Still, there was one store that caught my eye: EX-J.

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Happy New Year’s Eve!

Thank You for Your Support in 2014!   See You in 2015.

Please, be safe as you celebrate this last day of 2014.

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  -Post by  Diedré Blake

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Location Feature: The Baths of Caracalla!

If you are in Rome or traveling to the city, then you may have noticed that the weather has been…well, unseasonably warm with a dash of intermittent cold and rain.  Truly, there are still days warm enough for expats and tourists (used to really cold weather) to break out sandals and other summer wear, or light/moderate autumn clothing.

With this weather, there is one site that you should visit while you have the chance: The Baths of Caracalla (Le Terme di Caracalla).

The Baths of Caracalla, ~AD 216

The Baths of Caracalla, ~AD 216

In the vicinity of the Basilica of St. John Lateran (the seat of the diocese of Rome, today presided over by Pope Francis), take a stroll down Via dell’Amba Aradam to the sumptuous view of Piazza Numa Pompilio and the Baths of Caracalla.  You can also reach the Baths via the metro line B’s Circo Massimo stop, especially if you are coming from Testaccio or some parts of Trastevere.

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Feeling the Halloween Spirit? Halloween Events Around Rome for Children and Adults

With Halloween just around the corner, you might be wondering where you can go to celebrate this spooky event in Rome.  Below is a list of both horrific activities to terrify you throughout this ghastly weekend.

Halloween Events for Adults

Circolo degli Artisti

Poster image from Circolo degli Artisti: http://www.circoloartisti.it/

Poster image for Santa Muerte: Circolo degli Artisti: http://www.circoloartisti.it/

This year Circolo degli Artisti celebrates Halloween with a Mexican flair.  Event features DJ sets in two rooms, spinning everything from the 80s to hip-hop to electronica. Come dressed for the event, and you can have your picture taken as well as be entered to win tickets for a concert.  Ticket Price: €8 (advanced purchase) or €10 (at the door) | Location: Via Casilina Vecchio, 42 (Bus #810). Doors Open: 9:30PM.

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Italian Christmas Cuisine (A Little History & 4 Great Recipes)

Even today, Christmas continues to be one of the most important holidays of the year in Italy.  In Rome, the playful side of the holiday is displayed through the many decorations to be seen outside and inside of homes and business.  In essence, the streets of the Eternal City are glimmering with the spirit of the Christmas season.

Image from Serious Eats: Click Image for Italian Grilled Octopus Recipe.

Click per la versione italiana.

If Christmas is embodied by the presence of Il Presepe (Nativity Scene), then the Christmas Dinner is its perfect complement, one that is uniquely defined in italy.

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It's Time for Thanksgiving! Are You Ready in Rome?

An Early Post to Help You Prepare

For U.S. travelers and expats, being overseas during the holidays can be challenging, especially if traveling alone.  If you are in Rome for this Thanksgiving, there are ways that you can celebrate this American holiday while in the Eternal City.

We have provided you with links to articles on what to do and where to go to create your own Roman Thanksgiving!


Image from Buzz in Rome: Click image to read their article “Happy 2014 Thanksgiving! American Food and Traditions in Rome”

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The Magic of Halloween: History, Myth and Roman Traditions

Image found on http://halloweenerrific.co.uk

Click per la versione italiana

Although Halloween is an imported tradition, the colorful vibrancy and chaotic energy of this holiday is fits well with the dynamic warmth and hospitality of Rome.   Halloween has experienced a rapid increase in popularity over the past couple of years—and you can be sure that Romans have found their own unique way of expressing it!

Surely enough, Roman Halloween holds true to all the familiar traditions: carving pumpkins, wearing costumes on the October 31st, and trick-or-treating of all, including adolescents and adults.  It’s no longer so unusual to see large festive groups of masked Romans wandering around the city, joking and having a good time with each other and passersby.

It was only starting in the early 1990s that celebrating Halloween became a successful trend, such that many places (hotels, clubs, etc.) began arranging themed nights prior to Halloween and parties on the actual day itself.

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“Christmas is Here” – Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays

“Hark how the bells, –        “Ascolta! Come le campane
sweet silver bells, –                 Dolci campane d’argento
all seem to say, –                   Sembrano tutte dire
throw cares away –                 Dimentica i crucci
Christmas is here, –            Natale è qui
bringing good cheer, –          Portando allegria
to young and old, –                       Al giovane e al vecchio
meek and the bold.” –                 Al mite e all’audace.”

Tanti Auguri e Buon Natale!!

  -Post by  Diedré Blake

In Rome on Christmas Day? No Sweat!

Italy is known for its focus on family.  Perhaps no other time shines the brightest spotlight on this aspect of Italian culture than the winter holiday season (with Easter coming in a strong second), and particularly Christmas Day.

As such, travelers to Rome will noticed that most (if not all) monuments, museums, and other attractions will be closed for the 25th, and perhaps have already been closed for the duration of the holiday period, i.e. until after the Epiphany.


Still, there is no need to despair.

Whether you are a traveler or resident, there are still ways that you can enjoy Christmas Day.  Remember public transportation is still operating, although the schedule and routes may be different for the holiday; and there will be some restaurants open, especially in the Jewish Ghetto. Of course, it is important to plan ahead for both journey and food! Continue reading…

The Jungle Called Rome

If a city is a jungle, then Rome has various paths to be discovered: narrow streets and major arteries, as well as shortcuts give you a breath of fresh air away from traffic of the city.

Click per la versione italiana

Image from Cinque Quotidiano.

Unlike other European capitals, however, Rome remains deficient in its transportation network; having only two active subway lines (A and B), an extension (B1), and a new line connecting the center with the periphery (C, inaugurated a couple of weeks ago).

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