October 30, 2010

Frascati Apartment: Part I

One of the best things about moving somewhere new is getting to decorate a new place. For the last few weeks my boyfriend and I have been working on getting our Frascati apartment comfortable and beautiful. There is still a lot that we want to do to it but it's fully functioning now. We can cook in the kitchen, shower in the bathroom, sleep on a bed, and eat at a dining table. The apartment was very nice to begin with and just a few things that needed to be updated. It was also partly furnished by the owner so we had a dining table and sofa to make it more comfortable at the start.

One of the biggest improvements to be made and one that took the longest was in the bathroom. When we moved in we had to sit to shower. So Nathan hung a shower curtain and mounted the shower head to the wall. It was actually much more complicated than it seems because we couldn't get the shower head to fit into the holder. Eventually I realized that the hose was on backwards and the ends needed to be switched. We found out why when we tried to fix it. The correct end didn't fit properly onto the faucet. With sheer determination, much frustration and a newly purchased wrench Nathan was eventually able to screw the end on. Now we can stand up to shower and have both hands free!!

Here is a view of the very small kitchen.  We didn't do much to the kitchen other than to clean every inch of it. Nathan found this rug at Ikea and felt that we absolutely needed it. Now every time he walks into the kitchen he starts humming the American national anthem. The rug is actually part of Ikea's Christmas collection.

In a kitchen so small you have to be creative with how to use the space. There is no dish washer so everything gets washed by hand. Since there really isn't space to put a drying rack, this is what we did...

These racks hang in the cabinet above the sink. The wet dishes drip down into the sink and we don't have to worry about using up all our work space to let the dishes dry. Pretty cool if you ask me.

Those are some of the things I have been working on in the apartment. Other rooms and more to come!


October 22, 2010

Views from Frascati

Frascati is a small town only about 20 minutes from Rome. Its half way up an ancient volcano and has nice views of Rome. The great thing about this town is that it's small but still lively. There are almost always people out and about and many tourists like to come here for a few hours during their sight seeing in Rome. And some of the restaurants, gelaterias, and coffee shops are the best I've been to during my time in Italy. I like walking around Frascati at different times of the day because the town seems to change so much each time. The stores that are open in the morning never seem to be the same ones that are open in the evening. This also seems to change depending on the day of the week. And if you walk around Frascati during the Italian lunch time it becomes a total ghost town. Its hard to get much done in the afternoon between 1:00 and 4:30. Everything closes as people enjoy a long lunch.

Here are a few pictures of where I live.

This is a view of Frascati from the big park.

And a view of Rome from the park.

The view from our balcony.

The view from our bedroom window.

Walking the narrow streets of Frascati.

October 15, 2010

New Pet?

We came home today from a morning coffee and walk in Frascati to this little guy on our dinning room table. He was so cute and so unexpected. I'm not sure where he came from or how he got in but there he was just streached out on our new runner. We tried to rescue him but he scampered across the table, jumped, then belly flopped onto the floor. When we tried to shoo him outside he ran under a cabinet then into a crack between the base board and the floor. He hasn't been seen since. I hope he's ok! Then 5 minutes later we found his little buddy on the window sill of the bathroom.

I'm not sure how the one guy got in and until he makes another apearance I'm going to assume he's still around. So far he is known as Squishy Feet and Little Guy. Still working on his name.... He was very cute but I'm a little concerned that he though our apartment was a good place to find a meal.


Silly Things

Here are a few things I've found in Italy that seem a bit strange to me and I find myself asking "Whats the reasoning for that!?"

Sitting down to shower. This is the shower in our apartment and my first experience with one of these showers. I can tell you for a fact that showering like this is a lot of work and it is very hard to not get water all over the bathroom. This lasted a few days before we put a shower curtain up. Now we just need to mount the shower head to the wall.

Pointless lawn mower. The people who live in the apartment below us run this lawn mower about every other day if its not raining. I don't understand why! For one, they have to worlds smallest "lawn" and two, they run this self-propelled battery powered thing for hours when it would be quicker to just do it themselves. Finally, their grass doesn't grow that fast, they dont need to run it every other day. I'll admit the first time I saw it I laughed and ran for my camera. Now its actually a little annoying just because its loud. Still makes me giggle, though....

Car shelf. Ok, this one might make since if this person owns two cars and only has one space to put them. The reason it seems silly is just because it must be a lot of work shuffling cars around. Or if they really do only have one car then what is the point in lifting it. Its not like they can store stuff under it.

Anyway, there are many many cool things too. Once I get my internet connection figured out I'll be posting more pictures.


September 29, 2010


One of the coolest things about walking around Rome is that you never know what you are going to find. You could be walking down an alleyway then suddenly you are standing in a big square with a nice fountain. Or you will be driving along and you'll see an ancient ruin just there on the side of the road.  I have to say one of my favorite discovers has been some of the stores we've found while wandering the streets of Rome. The other day English Boy and I were on the hunt for gelato and coffee when we walked by a doorway and saw a store selling glassware.  Since we will soon be in a new apartment, we thought it might be cool to check it out. We went inside to found a huge three story, multi-roomed home design store!  I fell in love with what had to be the most expensive espresso cups in the world. I still don’t know the name of that store but I could tell it was unique and special.  From the outside it looked like nothing but an old building with bars on the windows.

Here is a picture from the alleyway. The store front is the door on the right and the two small windows.

And a view as you get closer...

Another store we had found that same day was a furniture store that looked like it consisted of only the window display. Then we walked in and it continued on for several more rooms and the whole length of the building.  I don't understand how the shopping works here. How does anyone know where to go? Or what store sells what? Is it all word of mouth or is there some directory that I haven't yet found? I can't wait to make some more awesome shopping discoveries.

September 27, 2010

Pictures from my first week

Here are a few pictures that seem very Italian to me.

 An artistic view of a fountain around the corner from the Spanish Steps.

Balconies and Vines
 I found these buildings down an alleyway while wandering Rome. I thought it was really cool how the vines covered the whole building.

Hill Towns
 This is a picture of one of the many hill towns outside of Rome. The streets here were very steep and sometimes barely big enough for a car. I can't imagine living there when it snows.

Rome and Surrounding towns
View from the hill towns of the area around Rome. It was pretty cloudy and rainy this day but I hear the view is amazing on a clear day.

Narrow and steep street in Rocca di Papa
 Like I said, snow on these streets!?

Old building
I love all the old buildings in Rome. Some of them are so pretty! This one seemed to glow from the sunlight as I walked up to it.  

Military, Nuns, and Tourists

Flashy Cars

The Trevi Fountain! It's my favorite place to people watch. There are so many tourists from all over the world all doing the same silly poses infront of the fountain. Then there are the guys walking around trying to sell stuff to the tourists.

September 24, 2010

Welcome to Roma

I have this memory from the sixth grade of my teacher having a discussion with the class about traveling abroad.  I can't tell you everything that she had said but what made the biggest impression on me was her description of Backpackers.  She told us about college students that would carry everything they needed for traveling in a single backpack. She explained that they would stay in hostels and travel as cheaply as possible. My teacher's description of hostels made the whole idea sound very unpleasant. I also remember thinking that there was no way I would ever get the chance to go to Europe.  Then fast forward to my time in college and there I was in Europe with a backpack jumping from city to city trying to see as much as possible. It was amazing and my most favorite city from that trip was Rome. My life has changed so much since that trip. I graduated from University, moved to Phoenix, lost my job, met an English boy,  moved to England for 4 months, then moved back in with my parents.

Well now I'm in Rome again with English boy and this time I want to write a blog about my experiences living here.  I'll be posting pictures, writing about my adventures, and keeping track of everything I learn along the way.  I hope to make this blog a travel journal for myself as much as for anyone interested in what its like to live in Italy. So if there is anything you want to hear about or pictures you want to see, just let me know!