Flip Side/ ever been on the receiving end?
“Why is it so special? The snow globe sums up exactly why we love Italy: It’s serendipitous, just like snow at the beach in southern Italy.”
Bizarre travel rituals: I call it the Die Hard meditation: Whenever I get where I am going, I have to walk around barefoot. Or maybe I just don’t like shoes. In-flight relaxation regime: Solving the day’s crossword or sudoku before take-off. Always in carry-on: Red lipstick, moisturizer, notepad, thin-point Sharpie, and my severely myopic glasses.
“Chiming in from Rome, longtime resident Erica Firpo, city editor for Luxe City Guide Rome, notes that, as at Nonna Betta, most Italian waiters hand customers a slip with the price of the meal, without leaving a line for a customer to write in a tip. So patrons paying by credit card need to have small change to make the tip separately, which is different than the custom in the United States.”
La Befana is an old woman who looks like a witch who brings sweets to children during the epiphany (6 Jan),” says writer Erica Firpo, from Rome. Originally, the Befana brought sweets to the good children and only left charcoal for the naughty ones, in a similar tradition to Father Christmas, but this has evolved and now every child gets a sweet called carbone, a charcoal made of sugar. Usually depicted riding a broomstick and wearing a black shawl, it seems more like a scary Halloween story than Christmas tale.
Erica Firpo says she “grew up in Philadelphia, grew immature in Los Angeles, got culture in Venice, and got to business in Southeast Asia.” She’s a collector of things as well as words and information, got her writing start with The American Magazine talking about bringing pets on your travels, and she has authored or co-authored several books about Rome – including her self-published Little Black Book Rome and city guides for Luxe, National Geographic, and Fodors. Her newest book is Rome Select, published by Insight Guides.
Today’s special guest is Erica Firpo (@NileGuide) and the topic for the hour-long chat is Rome – anything and everything about traveling to Rome and living there as an expat. Erica’s personal blog is Moscerina and she is the Rome blogger for Nile Guide. Erica is both Italian and American. Her mother is from Rome. Erica and her husband Darius Arya, archaeologist and classics professor, and their children have been living full-time in Rome since 2003. Erica has also worked at the Guggenheim in Venice.
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Erica Firpo, co-author of “Rome: Little Black Book: A Dining and Entertainment Guide,” is an expert who went through a spell some years back when she ate gelato for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Chicagoan came to Rome in 2003 and began her gelato studies. I recently met her at Ciampini on the Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucino to find out about Italian ice cream.
Go to Orso 80, near Piazza Navona (Via dell’ Orso; 39-06-686-4904), for amazing fish. I also suggest Taverna Trilussa (Via del Politeama, 23; 39-06-581-8918) for a fun Roman night. Abundant servings. And my favorite? Santa Lucia (Largo Febo, 12; 39-06-6880-2427), for a romantic evening under the stars and trees.
The vibe Oh, hello, romance. Forget Florence and its room with a view: from its vantage point on the top floor of the Rome Cavalieri, itself perched atop one of Rome’s famous hills, La Pergola is the restaurant with a view – and possibly the most beautiful view in the world.