No time to Dine? Try One of These 10 Roman Street Foods

Wondering what to eat on your next break between seeing Rome’s most famous sites? Well, the Eternal City has many quick and easy treats to refresh you before you begin your journey again…and no, we don’t mean gelato!


Image by Just A Taste:    Not in Rome? Click the image for an a recipe!

Arancini – Melted mozzarella, ragù (meat sauce), tomato sauce and peas are the usual fillings of this large-sized fried rice ball, a satisfying and easy to eat Sicilian treat.

Recommended: Venanzio Sisini,  Via di San Francesco a Ripa 137

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In Rome, Prepare for Christmas with the Tradition of the Nativity

If for many Christmas is symbolized by the fir tree, the tree decorations, and by the miniatures of a jolly but belabored Santa Claus climbing into chimneys with his massive bag of gifts, then for many others the symbol of Christmas is represented by a crib.


Click per la versione italiana

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Essential Rome: 6 Things You Should Know Before You Go! (Part 2 of 2)

(Read Part 1)

This week we tackle three topics:

communication, dietary needs, and expat communities.

Traveling has its ups and downs.  For many, traveling is a positive and worry-free experience of visiting a new place and soaking up local culture.  For others, traveling can mean high dose of anxiety.  Still, visiting Rome doesn’t have to become a nightmare! There are many ways to navigate the Eternal to find exactly what you need.


Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere

Beyond arranging your flight and hotel, here are some essential ways to prepare for your stay in Rome.

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The Roman October Days (L’Ottobrata Romana)

It is said that “all roads lead to Rome.”

The Baths of Caracalla, ~AD 216

The Baths of Caracalla, ~AD 216

Click per la versione italiana

Then it’s no surprise that being enchanted by the magic of Rome is a date with destiny for any visitor who sets foot in the Eternal City.  Beyond the clichés, the fact is that the warmth and charm of these early autumn days are to be savored.  Although it never gets Boston-cold here, winter is just around the corner—and what’s not to love when the average temperature is 77°F (25°C)?

The celebration of these beautiful and hot Roman October days is known as ottobrate romane.  Back in the early 1900s, the ottobrate was traditionally more than appreciating and taking advantage of the weather.

It was a downright bawdy, music-filled spectacle on every Sunday during the month, topped off by a traveling cart filled with seven women, accompanied, on foot, by revelers from tenements, such as Testaccio and Trastevere.

Image from Wikipedia:

Where were they going? They went to the campagne, the lush green expanses of the surrounding countryside just outside the walls of Rome.  These leisurely walks (passaggiate) in the campagne were considered essential, and offered the ability to enjoy the mild weather with family and friends.

Today, Romans are still celebrating the warmth of October and their passeggiate, only this time the lush green grass is more likely covered pavement!

Still, during Rome’s Ottobrate every intake of breath or blink of an eye is an immersion into a history that allows you to capture the splendor of this magnificent city.

So, walk through the Forums and the majestic Colosseum, take a passeggiata through Monti, eat gelato, or perhaps relax in an outdoor café with a cool drink and ask yourself: what is the taste of Rome in ottobrate romane?


Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere

Original Article by Samir Hassan

(Translated & Edited by  Diedré Blake)


Look Out For Posts Every Wednesday & Saturday!

The MindtheGuideTeam 


Learn Italian:

La campagna – Countryside

La passeggiata – Leisurely walk or stroll

Ma che bella ottobrata romana!   (What a lovely Roman October!)

MtG's Advent Calendar: 8 Days to Go…8 Facts to Know

With only 8 days to go, preparations of creating an unforgettable Christmas is in full swing in most homes throughout Italy, especially those in Rome.  This past Saturday, Pope Francis held the Vatican’s annual Christmas concert, featuring the likes of American singer-songwriter Patti Smith; and many other events are happening throughout the city over the next several days and beyond that. (Check out our previous post for a listing of some of those events: Winter in Rome).

(Video: He’s Ready for Holidays. Are You?)

Although Christmas is not celebrated by all who visit Rome or live here, the holiday certainly impacts the way in which the Eternal City is experienced during the winter.  To help you countdown to the 8 days to the big day, we’re sharing 8 facts about what it means to celebrate Christmas in Rome and the rest of Italy.  Feel free to share them with your friends!

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How to Travel Like a Local with MindtheGuide: A Guide to Rome

Welcome to MindtheGuide‘s Travel Blog! We are a networking hub that connects travelers to independent tour guides.  Based in Rome, MindtheGuide collaborates with licensed tour guides, who provide tours around Rome, the Eternal City.

Our key philosophy centers around the word choice, because we believe that travelers deserve to choose not just their tour locations, but also those who will lead them. Continue reading…

How to Travel While (Chronically) Ill: A 6-Step Approach

Diedré M. Blake, Blog Contributor

Diedré M. Blake, Blog Contributor

Greetings Fellow Travelers!

I am D, a student, health blogger and a weekly contributor to the Mind the Guide Blog.

Throughout my life, I have visited over a dozen countries and have lived in four.  Since 2011, I have called Rome my home.

Whether it is before, during or after, being sick while traveling, especially on vacation, is simply…awful.

As a traveler living abroad with a chronic illness (fibromyalgia), I know just how awful it can truly get: forgotten medication, limited specialized medical services, ignorant doctors, etc. You name, and I’ve probably experienced it.

Still, such occurrences are not the end of the world.  Furthermore, having an illness, chronic or not, does not mean having to stifle your inner nomad or cure your wanderlust.

Yes, there are and will be challenges.  However, you can overcome these challenges by maintaining a realistic approach to the travel experience itself.  That is, you have to be mindful to your body and your new environment.

Below are some of steps I have taken to ensure a better travel experience and also some links to sites that offer more guidance on the subject. Hopefully, they will be helpful for you as you prepare for your visit to Italy’s Eternal City or wherever else your feet may choose to wander.
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Winter in Rome: Markets & Holiday Events

Following up on our previous post, below are some ongoing events during this holiday season:

Christmas Markets (24 Nov. 2014 – 6 Jan. 2015)

La Befana Dolls at Christmas Market in Piazza Navona. Image by Samsonite Australia:

Piazza Navona is already of great historical and architectural renown, and its massive annual Christmas market adds a hefty dose of magic to this busy attraction.  On an average day, thousands of people make their way easily through the open stadium-shaped piazza.  During its Christmas market, however, the piazza is transformed into a crowded marketplace, filled with stalls selling all sorts of decorations (such as the Epiphany’s Befana dolls, shown above), foods (make sure to try a hot ciambella, shown below), jewelry, books, and a host of other things.

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Essential Rome: 6 Things You Should Know Before You Go! (Part 1 of 2)

You’ve bought your ticket, packed and repacked your bags, have been crossing off the days on your calendar leading up to your departure date, and probably have been psyching yourself up for your trip by imagining touring the Vatican or the Colosseum.

But could it be that you’ve forgotten something?

Image by Dolores Juhas. Copyright (c) Dolores Juhas. All Rights Reserved.

Beyond arranging your hotel and flight, here are some essential ways to prepare for your stay in Rome.

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Xmas is coming…

Christmas and New Year holidays are coming. Profit from car-free Sundays in various parts of the historical center, and discover every beauty of Rome.

Christmas is approaching with long afternoons and streets filled with tourists (and residents), who will walk, shop, and enjoy aperitifs in the heart of Rome’s beauty.

In particular, for the people staying in Rome during all the Christmas holidays, there are great possibilities to create a simple self-planned itinerary; a way that, without renouncing small gastronomic or relaxing pit-stops, enables the Eternal City, dressed up for the festivities, to offer to everybody the best show. Continue reading…