Johnnies in Rome

Rome, the first part. Very unedited, apologies.

What have I done in Rome so far… 

My first day I got here I knew basically one person on my flight and few others from a groupchat They were nice but I didn’t really stay with them once we got off the plane and were at the airport which I shouldve done because I got absolutely fucking ripped off by the taxi drivers… Do not let the first taxi guy who approaches you con you into taking a ride with one of his buddies. They’ll lead you down weird little halls to a different parking lot, put you into their Mercedes van and rip you the fuck off. 

Me and a girl I had a few classes with in Queens decided to go for it… the guy started the meter at $45, then lnce we were on the way started changing it and fucking with the directions so it whatever, one thing lead to another and the trip magically came to $160 Euros, go figure. The school told us it should only be 50-60 Euro. Then when we tried to give him less outside the building he started taking her bag back in the van and said “Ok we go back to airport” … whatever that means we didn’t want to find out so we paid the scumbag and cut our losses. 

That night was fun, I met a bunch of new friends, we went to a bar right down the street from our campus called Piccolo Diavolo. Thats our spot. Drinks are fairly cheap but the staff is all very friendly to college kids, the absolute best, and the bartender Florine might not come out much but it’s always nice to say hi at the end of the night and get some free shots. The other waitresses Alessia and Lisa are also the best, no matter how many wine glasses you shatter on the cobblestones outside. 

Apart from getting well associated with Italian wine … which doesn’t get you hungover (Yes I tested this out and can confirm) I tried Aperol Spritz, won’t be getting that again, and unfortunately introduced one of my new friends to Long Island Iced teas… something I certainly regret but am sure he is happy I did. 

After the juices were really flowing we for some reason decided to  walk to the Trevi Fountain. Don’t ask me why, well it was because we were with a bunch of girls who wanted to and well there ended up being probably close to 20 of us who drunkenly shlepped all the way there.

At the end of the day it was totally worth it, Trevi Fountain is beautiful, but the 20-30 minute walk which we have started to make a tradition out of has started to get old… when it’s like 2 AM at least. 

Another good spot we made it out to is called The Basement, a small bar located in Prati, in, well, a basement. Lots of American students there with pennants from schools on the wall, it could easily be mistaken for the sauna by how hot it gets but at the end of the day the 1 euro shots make it worth it. Excellent spot for a pregame. 

Another good bar for students is Scholars’ an irish style pub located more in central Rome, close to Via Del Corso. Fun time pretty good music, good change of scenery if you need a taste of an American bar. 

Another spot in Prati, very close to the Vatican is The Angry Pig, porchetta sandwich shop. The guy who runs it, Guido, is the fucking best. The exact guy you want making your sandwiches. Knows how to charm his customers for sure whether it be a free beer here and there, bottle of wine. Get on his good side, he’ll bless you whenever you come in. Even if its a piece of bread with the porchetta drippings while you’re waiting for your sandwich. I like the number 5 (cinque), Porchetta, sundried tomatoes, Nduja (sausage) and this isn’t on the menu but I add mozzarella to it. One of my friends asked him what his favorite was and he said that actually so I guess im going to have to get it every time. Honestly great food, fucking delicious, but you gotta go for the experience really. A hole in the wall shop with a view looking right at the Vatican walls. Oh… and Anthony Bourdain went to this place too. Don’t believe me? Look at the mirror on the right when you walk in, you’ll find a note amongst the rest that reads “AS SEEN ON TV ‘THE FOOD CHANNEL’ ANTHONY BOURDAIN” or just do what I do and ask Guido yourself … he had no idea who the fuck he was … “he come in say, I am Anthony Bourdain, I say I am Guido” alright i guess you had to be there. Electric nonetheless, it’s going to be hard to find a place I like more than this in my time here. And this is only porchetta sandwiches. 

Aside from that Rome of course has great food to offer. Pasta E Vino Osteria is a good spot, located right across from some ruins and pretty close to scholars too, the food is amazing and you can watch them make the fresh pasta right in front of you in the front window, although this isn’t really special in Rome. Some places have this and just end up being tourist traps. 

Pasta E Vino however I would say is not really. In a touristy area, the few times I’ve been the line hasn’t been terrible and the prices are also very fair so tough to go wrong there, and the food as I said before is fucking amazing, definitely give the Carbonara and antipast board a try, and the cheap fresh focaccia bread certainly doesnt hurt either. There’s definitely some tourists you’ll run into here but from what I’ve seen for the most part there are actual locals who eat here, so take that into account … you won’t be disappointed.