Roman Holiday: Part I

This summer, after years of aspiring and longing, I finally had to opportunity to visit Rome, Italy. For a long weekend at the end of July, my friend Sam and I rented an apartment in the charming neighborhood of Trastevere. It's far from the historic center and filled with ivy-covered window boxes, winding cobblestone streets and charming outdoor restaurants. As per the suggestion of a very helpful student who happened to be spending his own summer in Rome, he hung around our neighborhood after dark to soak up the lively nightlife.

As per the recommendation of our reliable source, we had our first dinner at Freni e Frizioni, an apertivo bar. The bar scene was a bit chaotic, but the drinks were delicious as were the endless servings of fresh salads and food. Apertivo bars are apparently a distinctively Italian experience where you pay about six to eight euros for a flavorful cocktail, and with your receipt you're welcome to a diverse spread of appetizers and lite fare. During the day this location looks indistinct and forgotten with its heavy metal doors lowered, but we approached a scene of young, cool-looking Italians spilling out into a square and surrounding neighborhood streets.

We started each morning in a different nearby cafe with a cappuccino and chocolate pastry, where we planned that day's excursions. Don't worry, we didn't spend the whole trip wandering off the beaten path.

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