I love New York – and coincidentally, Milan and New York share more than you’d think. Milan has always looked up to New York (as well as to London and Paris) in many ways, like a brash disciple striving to surpass the master. Milan is an adorable brat you can’t help falling in love with; it is creative, open-minded, free-spirited, laid-back, yet ambitious and hard working—just like New York.
I adore the Italian opera, and visiting opera houses around the globe belongs inseparably to my travel adventures. I have seen many – but Rome has something you won’t experience anywhere else in the world. In the summer, the Roman opera house – Teatro dell’Opera – takes its performances under the open sky to Terme di Caracalla, ancient Roman baths in the southern part of Rome.
Barb’s Italian Summer #5: My Neighbors The Artists & Living In The Center Of The Center Of The World
I don’t mean my real neighbors that live next door on Piazza di Spagna, although they could be called artists too: They sing in the shower in the morning, dance in the patio in the evening, and their culinary creations make my mouth water every weekend. I mean two famous personalities who used to live in the neighborhood and who enjoyed living in the very heart of Rome as much as I do. Being here helps me get to know them better, and maybe our love of the neighborhood connects our artistic souls.
Piazza di Spagna, just like other famous places in Rome, has become a tourist sanctuary. When you get hungry, it’s easy – there are dozens of restaurants in every street and on every square. But what if you’re not just hungry, what if you want to enjoy a good, authentic meal and atmosphere as well? That’s tricky! Yes, I always say you won’t find a bad restaurant in Italy and you will eat well everywhere, but some places are just better than others. How do you find them? Let me give you three quick tips:
This is how lunch in Rome works: You go to one of your favorite family-run trattorias just around the corner. Today, in my case, Fior Fiore, whose owner Alessio has become a good friend over the years. Fior Fiore has been a household name in the Spagna area since 1975, and it’s one of the most popular places where locals buy delicious fresh pizza by slice.
La vetrina means shop window, and this store couldn’t have a better name. The shop window is the heart of the store, and I’ve never seen a more magical space for shoes. Shoes of all styles, colors and shapes, classic and extravagant, come to life and dance in an alluring embrace. You could stand here for two hours, submerged in their beauty and perfection, your heart pounding, your feet tingling with desire, your soul begging you to go inside and buy them all.
As I have said on many occasions, Italy is a country of good food and Milan has a special talent for inventing new, chique places to taste the best the country has to offer. One of my favorite places to have lunch in Milan, and to buy the best Italian cheese, is Gastronomia Menescaldi in Via Lucca della Robbia 10.