Maritozzo! Maritozzo

Maritozzo is a decadent pastry that is typically found in almost every bar and pasticceria in Rome.

The name maritozzo is an amalgam of marito (husband) and ozzo (dear little). Essentially made of a sweet roll made with yeast and eggs, which is split and then stuffed with fresh whipped cream, it’s deceptive simple looks belie its deliciousness. Maritozzo

It’s a hearty pastry, costing about 2.50 euro on average. And two of my favourite places for maritozzo is at il Cornettone or at Cecere. But be careful though, with all that cream, they can be rather fattening. Indeed, I did gain a lot of kilos eating this!

Pechino express in Singapore! Pechino Express There is a reality TV game show in Italy called Pechino Express. This show is kind of like The Amazing Race but with the route focusing on Asia and the contestants have to hitch-hike and look for lodgings without paying money all throughout the competition. Pechino Express Being Singaporean, I enjoy watching this show because of the familiar elements and also of the cultural shock that the contestants face with challenges in communication as well as navigating in places which are strange to them. It was interesting for me to see the techniques that the contestants use, some begged, some bartered, some flirted … suffice to say, you’d have to have very thick skin to survive in this competition. Pechino Express Last week, the contestants were in Malaysia – Penang, Cameron Highlands, Kuala Lumpur and Larkin. I had a lot of fun with Cart, with us excitedly trying to spot out the places that we’ve already been to like the Tea Plantation where we stopped for some scones. Pechino Express (Eva is one of the funniest contestant there, openly gawking at how good looking the men were) Something interesting to note while the contestants were on the Kuala Lumpur monorail is the prohibition signs. ‘No eating’, ‘No Smoking’, ‘No Littering’ was the standard but there was also a ‘No Kissing’ sign. Asians are quite reserved naturally, so I was quite surprised to see the sign so outright. Pechino Express I thought the challenge that they did while in Larkin was a little off – according to the host, the contestants has to eat and finish the different ‘Typical Malaysian food’ before heading off to the next stop. Pechino Express Chicken feet was something common I guess, and cow lung, even boiled frogs but as far as I know, Bull Testicle isn’t commonly found in food chains in Malaysia. Pechino Express (And according to the host, is very hard) What I admire about the contestants is their tenacity in pushing on to the next challenge and it was always gratifying to see so many kind hearted people willing to host them in their houses for the night. Pechino Express So when they reached Singapore, I thought for sure that they would have a hard time. Singapore, being a metropolitan city with a fast paced life, I didn’t think that there would be many who were kind. And their first challenge there was to find a place to shower and change into their fancy outfits. Pechino Express To my surprise, while most hesitated for a while, practically everyone was willing to share their homes to the contestants when asked. There wasn’t that much airtime in Singapore though, as they basically went to Raffles Hotels and drink the Singapore Sling as a challenge and then had to rush off to to Indonesia after that. Some might think that Singapore is too small to have many challenges, but I think there are a lot more ideas that we can come out with. Pechino Express Nevertheless, if you’re interested you could watch the show in full from the Rai 2 website. It’s in Italian, but even if you didn’t understand the language, it’s still interesting to see the different sceneries :-)

The Singapore leg starts at about the 88.00 point. Another 2 more episodes to go till the finale! :-)

Romics Comicon at Fiera di Roma 2014

Cart and I were at Romics last weekend. In a nutshell, Romics is a convention dedicating to comics, animations and videogames. Originally I didn’t plan to go there as we’ve already been there some years back and at 9 euro, I thought that the entrance fee was a bit steep. Romics Roma 2014

But Cart had a lot of past editions of comics that he wanted to get to complete his collection. We had a friend who was managing a stand plus we had friends who were doing cosplay themselves so we went there in the end to give them support. Romics Roma 2014

As cosplayers pay only 5 euro to enter, I wanted to cosplay as Pharell Williams with his giant hat but I didn’t have much time to make one.  But I put on a mini top hat in the hopes that I could get the discount. I didn’t get one in the end. Romics Roma 2014

(Do you like the Tardis I found?)

When we reached Fiera di Roma, it was really tough to find parking. We were lucky that we managed to find one. When we finally entered the exhibition hall, there were so many people, that it was hard to walk around.

Cart went straight to the comics section. Romics Roma 2014

See how serious he is about comics? He even has a list of the editions that he missed. In the end, he got so many that he was given a huge shopping bag to fit them all in.

Speaking of comics, I got for myself a comic-book because it looked hilarious and good for light reading. I only realised later that I’ve already watched a couple of the videos that the author made on youtube.

I’m not sure if everyone would appreciate it, because Sio is a specific type of humour, here is one of his strips : Romics Roma 2014

  • I am a thief and I’m going to steal your money!
  • Oh no! I beg of you, don’t do it!
  • Bah! Ok.
  • Thanks for not stealing my money.
  • You’re welcome.
  • Shall we go eat a margherita pizza?
  • Ok.

As we went around the hall, there were a lot of interesting things to see like figurines : Romics Roma 2014 Romics Roma 2014

Cardcaptor Sakura is an anime I used to watch together with my family in Singapore. Romics Roma 2014

I love the Breaking Bad one. Speaking of which, I’d love a Los Pollos t-shirt. Romics Roma 2014

There were also various displays such as the ones that does Zombie make-up on you. Romics Roma 2014

You could choose where to have it done, on your hand or on your face. Romics Roma 2014

There was a Kit car from Knight rider which speaks in Italian. Romics Roma 2014

There was also the author who made a comic book about the life of Elio – a very popular musical group in Italy. Romics Roma 2014 Romics Roma 2014

A display of some of some noted Italian illustrators, and there was a corner where you could play games. Romics Roma 2014

I used to spend ages at the arcade as a kid. Romics Roma 2014

Nowadays I guess people prefer to play games at home (unless it’s ingress) Romics Roma 2014 Romics Roma 2014

This game looks interesting.

Of course, a comicon wouldn’t be complete without the cosplayers. For some reason, being there made me feel as if I was in the airport scene from Fifth Element with all those incredible costumes. Romics Roma 2014

This guy’s devices were incredible with the flashing led lights and the scanner actually opens and closes! Romics Roma 2014

30 years already? Romics Roma 2014 Romics Roma 2014

I don’t play minecraft, but this costume was so cheerful :-) Romics Roma 2014 Romics Roma 2014 Romics Roma 2014

Doesn’t he look so much like Petyr Baelish? Romics Roma 2014

This particular cosplayer here was amazing as his ENTIRE family was in this RPG inspired costume – his wife, even their two small children. Romics Roma 2014

Despite the human crunch, I had a pleasant day in the end seeing all the fantastic and incredible costumes. :-)


It’s been months since this video went viral. There is another parody with a catchy jingle, but I find this original one more amusing.

The subject in topic is about Italy’s Prime Minister, Mattteo Renzi while he was giving a speech in English about Digital Revolution in Venice.

At 39 years old, he’s the youngest ever Prime Minister for Italy which is a huge accomplishment. Nevertheless, it gets a little uncomfortable to hear the speech in its entirety.

Suffice to say, the video became popular very quickly and I find myself saying, “NAU IS DE TAIM OF LUNCH” when it’s time for a meal.

Naturally I was inspired enough to change my instant messaging avatar to this one. A genius!

First Steampunk Festival in Rome

Ex mattatoio is a place in Testaccio which used to be a slaughterhouse but has been converted in the 70s into a cultural association building. There are always interesting events held here, like open air movies, music festivals and more. Steamfest Roma 2014

Cart and I were there last weekend for the first ever Steamfest event in Rome. Steampunk, in a nutshell is a genre of science fiction meets British-Victorian era fashion. Think HG Wells or Jules Verne. Steamfest Roma 2014

We reached there in the late afternoon and there was quite a turnout. I enjoyed looking at the fantastic costumes that many of the participants were wearing. I think takes a lot of love and dedication in creating these outfits, not to mention also time and money to find the perfect fit. Steamfest Roma 2014

With the gazometro in the background, it gives a nice touch to the whole steampunk feel and I’ll bet that there were a lot of fantastic pictures being taken. Steamfest Roma 2014

Apart from admiring the different costumes, there were also booths where steampunk outfits and accessories were sold. It wasn’t that expensive and it was tempting to get a costume for myself! Steamfest Roma 2014

Apart from that, there were a lot of sideshows that I saw from our programme sheet, like,”Fighting lessons for Gentlemen”, “Cavern of horrors” as well as others. I really like how sheet was decorated. Steamfest Roma 2014

The highlight of the show was probably the burlesque by Sweety J, the winner of the reality TV show, “Lady Burlesque“. Unfortunately the timing clashed with a dinner appointment with our friends and we’d have to give it a pass so I guess this would have to do for now.

(Not very safe for work)

Anyhow here are some of the costumes that Cart and I snapped : Steamfest Roma 2014 Steamfest Roma 2014

She’s so cute! Steamfest Roma 2014

Futuristic fortune teller from the past Steamfest Roma 2014

Another cute one! Steamfest Roma 2014 Steamfest Roma 2014

This explorer outfit was one of the more unique ones that we’ve seen. Steamfest Roma 2014

Not sure if you could see it in the picture, but the photographer in there incorporated his iPhone on the sleeve of his costume. Steamfest Roma 2014 Steamfest Roma 2014 Steamfest Roma 2014 Steamfest Roma 2014 Steamfest Roma 2014

I had fun going to my first Steamfest! So many interesting things to see and do. Thank you organizers! And I am definitely looking forward to the next one :-)

Sidenote : If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy my post about Rome’s Comic Convention.

Diary of a Singaporean now living in Rome, Italy