Archive | June, 2012

Rome Through Rainbow Tinted Glasses

28 Jun

Over the weekend, Rome joined most major cities around the world and held it’s annual gay pride parade.

Apparently this year’s event was nothing on the EuroPride march the city hosted last year, which saw 1 million people march through the italian capital.

But it was the first time I (with R in tow) attended an LGBT event and it was definitely an eye opener for both of us.

So, inspired by the Oreo rainbow cookie that is causing a storm across the world, I’ve decided to post some of my favourite photos of the day.

gay event roma pride 2012 LGBT parade

The theme for this year’s Roma Pride was VOGLIAMO TUTTO (we want everything)…

rome gay march parade gay angel

…and everything was on show. 

LGBT paradeAnti-pope outfit roma gay pride 2012

 For some, getting the message across was the most important part of the parade…

Rome pride 2012 roma italy

The sign reads: (left)It is everyone’s world..if you don’t like it.. get off at the next stop. (right) Where there is love, there is a home, where there is hate, there is the Vatican.

Italy europride


same sex marriage italy


Gay rights rome italy politician

…for others, it was all about getting themselves out there infront of the cameras.

LGBT parade rome italy gaydar

Gladiators Rome gay scene italy

italy transsexual carnival outfit

It has been an historic year so far for LGBT rights in Italy after the political party Italia dei Valori (Italy of Values) announced in May that it would push for marriage equality- the first time a party has endorsed same-sex marriage in Italy.

Who knows, we may be seeing more of these in Rome very soon!

rome gay scene italy


La Dolce Sweeter

20 Jun

I am not a cake person.

You would think that living in the-land-of-the-cream-teas for 9 years would have made me lust for the spongey stuff. But it was not to be so (don’t judge me)!

That’s not to say I don’t harbour a sweet tooth…I just believe it hadn’t been unlocked until a trip to Paris which made me a life-long friend of the pâtisserie.

Ooooh,the pâtisserie! Land of the delicate macaroon, baked custard tart and everything with a posh raspberry ripple through it.

I had heard about the Paris ‘places’, saw the Paris ‘places’ and got the T-shirt about the Paris ‘places'(and a few extra kilos to go with it).

But, no-one told me about the Rome ‘places’…until I stumble across one.

Imagine, on your way to work everyday, you had the unfortunate luck to walk past this. 

coffee shop in Rome cake shop cakes fruit tarts

Marinari Roma patisserie fruit tart torta di nonna

Well, naturally, I soon started rewarding myself with a daily treat from my new discovery- the wonderful world of the italian pasticceria ‘Marinari’. 

fruit tart italy libya rome cake shop

Founded in 1950 by a Tuscan baker, Cav. Malvino Marinari, whose motto was ‘customer first’ (well, he gets my vote), the shop is now run by his daughter Amber, who sticks to her traditional roots. 

The cakes are too beautiful eat and ooze class, even the Barbie birthday version that had me reminiscing about the 90s- and my mum’s attempts (they were very good, of course!).

Rome italian baker birthday cake little girl

They also do the usual pick n’ mix-a la-pâtisserie, including sugared almonds and pignoli amaretti (amaretti biscuits covered in pine nuts). 

bakery in rome italy coffee shop

The lovely lady behind the counter will wrap your treats in a gold box with delicate ribbon and pink paper, so that they arrive home in perfect condition.

bakery in rome italian coffee shop

And, saving the sweetest news for last, they serve traditional (to-die-for) italian ice-cream in the gelateria next door – for dessert, of course. 

The shop is on Corso Trieste ( a 15-minute ride on the 80 express bus from outside the Rinascente on Via del Corso).

rome bakery patisserie marinari

Uncorking Rome’s Wine Festival

12 Jun

There is a well-known Latin proverb that goes “Bonum vinum laetificat cor hominis“, which roughly translates to “Good wine gladdens a person’s heart”. 

What it fails to mention, though, is just how much more it gladdens a person’s heart when that wine is free! 

And not just a little dribble of a freebie to try to persuade you buy a bottle or two, but a full glass or two…or three..or four… 

Let me introduce the show of the moment, Rome’s annual wine festival (that deserves a thousand ‘Cheers!’) – Vinòforum.

Italian wines vinoforum città del gusto

Held at Gambero Rosso’s Città Del Gusto (City of Taste) along the banks of the Tiber River, Vinòforum runs for 16 days in June and each night hosts a different event such as a beer tasting or food pairing night.

With more than 500 companies, 2,500 labels for tasting and 6 hours  to try them all in (opening hours are 7pm to 1am), you will at first feel overwhelmed.

Citta del gusto rome

But, after being handed your wine glass and poured a little bubbly to get you started by a charming sommelier, you will soon get into the ‘swig’ of things… 

italian men sommelier vinoforum

As you can not buy any of wines that you try, there is a positive and negative side to these festivities.

The negative being that, in your tipsy state (to say the least), you will have to remember the names of your favourites and hunt them down in the real world. 

The positive, being that you can enjoy a glass  (and most of the sommeliers don’t hold back)of 50euro plus Chianti, have another, and then walk away grinning like a teenager who’s nicked his dad’s best bottle of whisky- but knowing you’ve gotten away with it. 

Another beauty of Vinòforum is that there is no sommelier snobbery. If, like me, you are an amateur when it comes to these matters (let’s just say, if it pours, I’ll drink it), a smile and a ‘whatever you recommend/what’s hots, what’s not’, does the job.

Italy wine festival in Rome

The beer tasting event was brewing (sorry, I had to)when I attended the show. Organised by Slow Food, it featured  40 beers from the award-winning  beer guide.

Some were ‘very interesting’, and it was generally agreed that one in particular called Martina, which had been fermented with pears, was a tad gorgonzola-y! 

However, the Quarta Runa, fermented with peaches, was particularly pleasant and definitely worth a try.

Slow beer guide 2012 third edition

Now, I know I said it was free at the beginning, this probably due to my inebriated state, but it does cost 20 euros to get into the Città del Gusto. 

But the price can- and should- be overlooked this time: it is an absolute bargain and a great experience. They also throw a jazz band into the equation that’ll have you ‘hopping and skipping’ as you ‘sipple and sample’. 

Città del gusto Vinòforum

In fact, I may just pop back before it ends, for as an anonymous man said a long time ago (he’d probably been to Rome’s Vinòforum) – “Life is too short to drink bad wine.”