Looking back on 2012, I realize that it was a big year for me in Rome. I married my Italian fiancée and became an Italian resident, visited exotic foreign destinations like Paris, Malaysia, Amsterdam and Vatican City (hey – it’s technically a country!) and ate a lifetime’s worth of Mozzarella del Buffalo. In April, I wrote and performed an original piece in the English Theatre of Rome’s annual monologue show, and in November I was savagely murdered in a locally-filmed horror movie.
I’m excited about lots of things in 2013. Aside from the normal reasons to love Rome, here are five personal reasons, in no particular order, that I’m looking forward to the next year.
Day-tripping around Italy
I’ve recently discovered how easy it is to get around by bus in Italy. Not only does it sometimes cost less than traveling by train, but you get better views of the gorgeous Italian countryside.
I recently went to the city of Pescara with a friend for the day. It cost less than €30 (return) and was a great day out of the city. For example, ARPA buses depart from Stazione Tiburtina almost hourly to cities and small towns in the mountainous Abruzzo region. It is not usually necessary to book in advance (unless it’s the high season). It was brilliant to leave the frenetic pace of Rome for a day, and in 2013, it is something I would like to do more often.
Learning to cook
I’m lucky that my husband is amazing in the kitchen. He can whip up a three-course meal in the time it takes me boil an egg. So in 2013, I’ve decided to finally turn the tables and learn to cook.
There are several popular classes held in the city (in English) throughout the year, many of which include a tour of local produce markets beforehand. A really popular (and fairly inexpensive) choice I am considering is “Cooking Classes in Rome.” Classes are held weekly in the heart of Trastevere and are conducted by Chef Andrea Consoli. Wish me luck!
My tickets have been purchased and I’m really excited about seeing West London folk rock artists Mumford and Sons in mid-March. Although tickets are sold out for my concert, 2013 will see lots of international acts, including Lana Del Ray and Depeche Mode.
Big concert events like “Rock in Roma” in June will rock the Eternal City, and feature acts like Iggy and The Stooges, Toto, Green Day and loads more.
Rome’s Jazz Festival
The Roma Jazz Festival is held every year in November and consistently features leading international and Italian Jazz artists. The Jazz festival usually takes place at the Auditorium Parco Della Musica, near the stunning Villa Borghese. I missed it last year (boo!) – so I’m going to make a real effort to get tickets early next year.
Getting my Italian driver’s license
Finally, my full immersion into the Italian culture will be complete in early 2013 when I finally obtain my Italian drivers license. I’m half-way through the process, and frankly, it’s a roller coaster of terror every time I get behind the wheel and onto a Roman street.
My husband is helping me perfect the hand gestures necessary to drive in this city. I still need to work on my “parking in impossible spaces” skills. But I know it will be worth it the first time I take a Vespa out for a spin around the Roman Forum…