Spending Valentines day at Castelli Romani

Pretty much like last year’s Valentine’s day, this year was a pretty simple affair. Regardless, Cart and I had a very nice day.

The initial plan was to head out to the Mount Terminillo to see the snow but the weather in Rome has been rather bad, hence we headed to Castelli Romani instead.

It was interesting going through the roads. There were layers of snow everywhere. Since we were outside of Rome, it was colder and more prone to snow.

Castelli Romani Snow

By the time we reached there, the main roads were closed and I saw a number of traffic police wardens giving fines and towing vehicles away. And then I saw a number of booths being set up. It looked as if there was a market about to start.

I was very curious by this point of time. What was going on?

But there was no time to stop and investigate as we both did not want to be late for lunch. Italians are very iffy about their food times. If you go to a restaurant at 3.30 pm or later for lunch, big chances is that you’ll be turned away.

Anyhow, we headed to Trattoria dei Cacciotori. And much like the last time that we were there, there was an interesting display that we saw, the first thing that we entered the place.

Trattoria dei Cacciotori

We were lucky that even with the large amount of patrons in the trattoria, we had a table. It was really crowded. The waiters were running around serving the patrons, some looked quite tired.

Rinaz and her mini-hat

Here I am posing with my mini-hat that I bought while in Singapore. I’m wearing it now since its the last few days of Carnevale.

Cart Camwhoring

Eventually, our food arrived and it was interesting to see how our table was decorated. With the red flower shaped place mat, and the heart shaped napkin holder.

Trattoria dei Cacciotori

I was admiring the napkin holder and that’s when I saw some words printed behind it. Rubato alla Trattoria dei Cacciotori. And I asked Cartcart what Rubato meant.

Trattoria dei Cacciotori

And he replied, “Stolen from

We had a good laugh out of that.

Soonafter our food arrived. I had my beloved Piccantine ai funghi porcini and Cart had his Ravioli.

Piccantine ai funghi porcini

And then Cart had his artichoke while I had my verdure cotte in the background.

Artichoke and Passata Verdure

Cart absolutely LOVES artichoke and he’d buy 6 pieces of fresh artichoke at one go in the market. For one week he’d make fried artichoke, artichoke in fritata, pasta with artichoke – basically every dish he could think of using artichokes.

Initially I wanted tiramisu but since they ran out of it, I settled for this Torta Della Nonna. It was good! I loved the lemon cream in my cake.

Torta Della Nonna

And Cart had Creme Caramel.

Panna Cotta

We left the trattoria after having our espresso and thats when I saw what was going on. The booths were fully set up and there were loads of people in costumes walking around. There was a carnevale festival going on!


Its not as festive as the ones in Rio De Janeiro but it was still very cheery and happy anyway. I loved looking at the different colours which was in contrast to the cold chilly afternoon.

Everyone was having fun, smiling and playing with each other. There were heaps of confetti pieces everywhere. On the floor, on people, being strewn in the air.


And there were so many people wearing costumes both young and old. I spotted out this group of costumers wearing a Cleopatra outfit, an ancient Roman soldier, a princess and Pinocchio.


There were also several cute outfits that I spotted out, like a really adorable Hello Kitty baby! Daphne would love that!

This is Po from the Teletubbies. By the way, it’s interesting to note that the Italian version of Teletubbies, speak properly, not in baby language.


Here is a cute little chicken.


And this is a fake looking Minnie and Mickey mouse.


And there were countless of kids throwing confetti and spraying foam from cans.


These kids are having fun spraying it on their friends. Their cheeks a bright pink from all the running around. There was one boy who made a foam beard on himself even. He looked like a young Santa Claus.

I saw a couple of policemen confiscating the foam cans from a couple of kids and pulling out the nozzle so that it doesn’t function any more. The ironic thing is that there was a small booth selling it just next to the policemen. So is it illegal or no?

Anyhow, there were also a few sideshows. Cart and I spotted a small parade band, a South American musical performances and this acrobatic act.


Cart and Rinaz

We later drove to Nemi just for a quick look see since it was along the way. Cart feared that it would be like during the Ferragosto period and would have absolutely no space for parking.

Fortunately, it was fine, and we found a spot at the entrance.

I was still fascinated by the stacks of snow everywhere. The different seasons is something interesting to see. The same spot looking different at different times of the year.

Snow in Nemi

Lake Nemi is still as pretty as the last time that we’ve been there. I liked looking down to see the different buildings and farms which is built in a concentric manner around the lake and the cars going by the roads. They were so tiny from down there! Like the size of ants.


Having a bit of time before it was completely dark, we walked up to an area where you could see the lake better.


It was really nice to see the area decorated with valentine’s day decorations. There were balloons and pinks at every turn and corner.

We walked down the bridge and thats when I saw a familliar face. Its the same kitty I saw the last time we were here with Jerrick!

Kitty Nemi

Its impossible to take a clear shot of the cat since she’s always moving and wriggling. And she is still as claw-y as ever. Here she is molesting my chest and clawing my coat

But it was probably because of the cold. I’m tempted to just kidnap her but she looks well fed and taken cared of, so I’m sure that she belongs to someone.

Anyhow, it was getting darker and colder, so we went to seek refuge into a little bar called Locanda lo specchio di Diana.

While this bar has excellent strawberry and strawberry cakes, we were here more for the hot chocolate instead since we were still full from our lunch.

Locanda lo specchio di Diana

What was interesting about this place is that they had speciality hot chocolates. I had the orange and cinammon flavoured one and I liked it very much.

Rinaz drinking cioccolata calda a Locanda lo specchio di Diana

While Cart had his with chilli.

I tried a bit but I didn’t like it that much. It was a tad bit too hot and a little strange for me.

Anyhow see what the hot chocolate did to Cart.

First it made him, “Woah this is very hot!”

Cart at Locanda lo specchio di Diana

Then he was like, “Urgh! This burning feeling, but I’ll be macho”

Cart at Locanda lo specchio di Diana

And then he’s like, “Oh please, it’s not hot at all!”

Cart at Locanda lo specchio di Diana

And finally he’s all Giles-like, “See, I’m a man!”

Cart at Locanda lo specchio di Diana

We left Nemi pretty much tired from all the walking, but it was such a nice day experiencing and seeing all the sights and sounds together. I really enjoyed Cart’s company 🙂

Oh and before I end this post, check out the hat I bought from the festival.  So cute!

Rinaz hat

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9 Replies to “Spending Valentines day at Castelli Romani”

  1. Another 5 minutes of pleasant break from working… hey by the way I am not one of those employees wasting their work time on internet… the company I work for it’s mine (and of my partner in business) and as we are through kind of weird period full of sometimes hard decisions to be taken, I like to de-stress thinking about something else, and your blog is the ideal… anyway… again a perfect picture of a S.Valentine’s day with humour and class… that week-end, me bad boy I left the family to go skiing in Switzerland… no flowers for wife the 14th feb (which anyway also reminds me that my mom is dead that day … so…)… but I will recover and take flowers home tonite… if you blame the roman cold, just think that I spent 3 days at temperatures that never went above -10C°… tons of snow off-course… I heard about Terminillo… one of my favourite skiing place nearby, as still familiar and not invaded by rude masses (except sunday off-course)… you food lovers will surely like a small restaurant on the pistes where I went last week, but I forgot the name and will let you know first time I go back there (maybe saturday…). While I was skiing in the cold, my wife Stefania and son Kien (3years old) went to dinner with all vietnam related friends to cheer the TET Lunar New Year’s eve in a Chinese restaurant in Via Ostiense… more than 20 people, Viet roman residents, italian with Viet adopted children (like us) and young italo-viet adopted long time ago (one friend of ours 35 yrs old has been adopted while war was still goin’ on)… I missed it… but I had chinese food anyway in switzerland sunday nite… ciao…
    PS tomorrow will have long talks about your beautiful country as I meet the MD of the Chamber of Commerce for South East Asia in Rome… who knows maybe a biz opportunity will arise from that… enjoy. Paolo

  2. Mmm, hot chocolate with cinnamon sounds good right about now! Hahaha, Adam, BE A MAN, DO THE RIGHT THING! Chocolate and chilli sounds weird, though, but hey, different strokes for different folks, right?

    I wish I could fit into that Po outfit! ^_^/

  3. hey! ur hat is so cute! 🙂 i love it. i wish i could pull it off. haha. but i think i’ll stick to my caps and berets.

    looks like u had an awesome valentine’s day out.

    btw, 2 days ago, i saw chinese acrobatic acts doing similar things as the SA one that u saw! this older girl was bouncing a smaller girl on her feet. haha. they went from the sitting position (as the one in ur photo) to a standing (feet to feet) position like, effortlessly! haha.

    i think i’m also quite immune to acrobatic acts, tho. nothing much impresses me, knowing that the Chinese are capable of ANYTHING! lol.

    the cafe (?) or sitting area that was decorated with hearts is pretty. and i can’t believe u saw the same kitty! haha! that’s weird and awesome at the same time. u ought to bring the kitty home. haha…

    love ur hat in the last pic. u look really cute in it too! 😉

  4. Geri

    Thanks … How did your Vday go? 🙂


    Hohoho! I hope that you seek penance from your wife then! Go all the way with flowers, chocolate and ahem … jewellery 😛

    By the way, I’ve been to Terminillo in September. But since its summer, there wasnt any snow, but the temperature there was cooler than the city center, which was a welcome respite.

    Hopefully when the weather gets better, Cart and I will be visiting there. Maybe with some friends 🙂

    Chinese restaurant in Ostiense? This sounds interesting! Maybe its time for a little investigation! I’ve yet to find really good Chinese food 😛

    I hope that your meeting goes well, do let me know how it goes!


    Ehm … I doubt that they make it for anyone above 12 years.

    Daphne Maia

    I think you’d look cute with hats too 😀

    Anyway, I think that the kitty was a resident there, seeing how its so well taken cared of, and it looks well fed, so I’m sure that it belongs to someone living there.

    Oh, and speaking of kitty … I saw a number of babies in Hello Kitty costumes! Its just too bad that I wasnt fast and stealthy enough. I really didnt want to get bashed by Italian parents for taking pics of their kids -_-

  5. We do not celebrate V Day as Mr and his ex had decided when they were together that they would never do it (what has it got to do with me, right?).

    Anyway, I do not believe in paying extra for roses and whatever just because it’s V Day.

    Your hat is really cute and suited you. And Hub just had artichokes this evening, he loves them too. I, on the other hand, never eat them.

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