Hi everyone! Gosh, I wanted to post this last Friday, but was so busy running around Rome. Did you know that there is an English library here? To be honest, I didn’t feel like I was in Rome at all when I stepped inside.
Anyway, here’s the continuation and the last installation for My family in Rome series
As my family didn’t seem to be content from roaming around the week before, we agreed on going back to the open flea market in Porta Portese. So early in the morning, we dumped Cart (who’s not a morning person) and went on our own.
Because the roads there were closed for the open market, I couldn’t drive there directly (not that I would like to anyway as parking would be a nightmare) so I parked close to the nearest tram station and we took the number 8 to Porta Portese and we started roaming around.
The first stall that we saw was one that sold African items. My mum seemed transfixed looking at the colourful fabric decoration and bags. She even got for herself this traditional outfit and then valiantly started to bargain with the shop owner – a rather big and strong man. She’s very brave!
Either she has a lucky face or she’s very good at it (maybe both) and she got a really good deal in the end! I never tried to bargain myself … it’s just not in me, I guess
Later on, we went to a stall selling clothes at a cheap price. It was a mix of new and used items, and my mum got some tops for herself, at less than 5 euro each. You’ll get to see her modelling it towards the end of the day
We must have taken such a long time, because from this point onwards, Nazry decided to split up to go to the other side, so that he could look at the more rare and unusual things while I sticked around to babysit my parents
To be honest, it’s was infuriating then, seeing how my parent’s just got excited like little children in a candy shop. No, really. My dad kept wandering off, looking around at wallets, and belts, and bags and sandals (which he could get in a pasar malam in Singapore)
While my mum keeps buying scarves and tshirts. I could see it in their eyes, their inner monologue saying, “I want this! I want that!”
But reflecting back, it’s sort of cute when I think about it now. It’s nice to see your loved ones still have a child-like quality (as opposed to being completely jaded)
(If you’re wondering why I added this picture of a giraffe stool. I like giraffe prints and would like to collect more if I could)
As the time got close to the afternoon, we decided prior to regroup. It wasn’t easy to find each other in all the crowd and I was relieved when we managed to see each other in the end. Thank goodness for technology! I have no idea how tourists managed to go like this 20 years ago.
Anyway, he got for himself several old and rare postcards. And we were in a heavy discussion if they were actual photographs or paintings to look like Rome during the 60s. I forgot to take a picture of them though.
As we were hungry, I was wondering what we could eat for lunch. Maybe pasta? Cart should have been up, so he could cook us lunch! But we happened to be driving along the way, we did a quick stop to buy some kebabs.
The servers must have been glad to see us because immediately they sprang energetically when the four of us stepped in. Hehe.
Some Italian lesson! Pollo means chicken. Agnello means lamb. Vitello means veal. Manzo means beef and Pesce means fish. Some important words to know when you’re going to Italy :p
(Actually I think the most important phrase is Dov’e’ il bagno? Where is the toilet?)
Oh! As a sidenote, all these while when we’ve been eating out, my parents has been buying a little bit more extra … or saving the leftovers for breakfast! For me, after living in Rome for a while, it takes a little getting used to, eating savory things for breakfast all over again!
When we reached home, all of us had a lovely and easy lunch together. Cart had his falafel kebab, my mum and dad had a kebab each, my brother had a kebab plate.
And of course for dessert, I stopped by Cecere prior. One of my favourite pastry shop. I cannot go without my cream puff and maritozzo!
After lunch, we rested for a while, and then I had the tough decision of where to head to afterwards.
Do we go to Villa Adriana? Or perhaps somewhere out of Rome. Such a hard decision! But in the end, I decided to go to Ostia Antica. This is a place about 20 minutes drive from where we live and is somewhere that I’ve always wanted to go to.
Strangely, in all our years living here, we’ve never been there before (both Cart and I) so it should be interesting. Moreoever it was closer so we could spend more time there and less time commuting.
It took us about 15 minutes driving there and we reached a charming looking area. One of the thing that caught our eye was a castle. Thus we made a stop to explore.
To get inside, we had to enter a Piazza. And I think it’s so lovely here. So idyllic and tranquil, it feels like I’m transported back in time. It makes a wonderful location for wedding photoshoots I think.
Look at how fairy tale-ish the area looks like. This could even be a spot where you could do a role play for “The elves and the shoemaker”
And just by chance, indeed there was a wedding going on! There is a church right at the end. And there were loads of people wearing fancy outfits going in the church. I was raring to enter the place to have a better look, but the rest of the family didn’t seem to have a busybody bone like me
And here is the castle! While it looked rather modest, it is so charming and lovely. I would have loved to enter and see what it looked like inside!
Unfortunately, it was locked and opened for tour walks during wednesdays only. Oh well! Perhaps we’d be luckier the next time
And here is a random tri-coloured Roman cat – happy to get a cuddle.
After walking in the piazza, we then headed to the Ostia Antica Archeological site. It costs about 8 euro per person to enter. Kind of expensive, but it was something amazing to be seen.
The first thing you’ll see is this crackly road. Have you ever seen this sort of road before? Maybe in postcards?
Now I finally see the real thing! By the way, this used to be a solid road, but throughout the years, it eroded to look like this infamous scale-like road.
As Ostia Antia was relatively close to the sea, thus it became a place where a lot of trading and marketing was involved which attracted people to call it home and became a community.
Here are some of the things that we saw. Isn’t it impressive how well preserved the buildings are Considering that these are about 2 thousand years old – Older than the colosseum!
This was a thermal bath
If I’m not wrong, this was the housing area
This was the arena where wrestling was done
This was where the capitol building was
This was the communal water fountain
This is the remains of a temple
And this is the auditorium
And here is a random gecko
It’s so beautiful in here. Seriously breathtaking. Everywhere you go, is like a high fashion photoshoot location. See, even my dad looks modelesque here, even without trying.
It was nice to see everyone looking so interested and excited going around the area. Just look at how excited my mum looks as she goes climbing around this auditorium. She even imagined that she was a queen, giving her speech on top of this podium. Hehe.
As you can see, there were so much to see and roam and explore. It’s nice that we could walk in and out and up and down the builds.
And see the still intact mosaics
As a sidenote, there were a few interesting plantlife to be seen, apart from acorns and figs, Cart managed to sniff out (literally) wild rucola! It’s a strong and distinct smell.
After about an hour and a half roaming around the place, it was close to the closing time. But we only managed to walk through half of the area! Gosh, we walked quite a bit and yet didn’t see everything!
But oh well! I’d love to come back here again. Maybe next time, I’d find more photographer friends and we could have a high fashion photoshoot here
By the way, the tops that we are both wearing, costs less than 5 euro each. This pink top I’m wearing is a Mickey and Minnie Disney shirt, and I love it! I love bancarelle! Maybe I should write a blog post on the good ones in Rome
Random cat pics we spotted in the area! Gee, what a sour faced puss.
And a confused kitty.
Anyway, to end the day, and finally had a quick stop at the supermarket for some groceries for dinner. And at the same time, I guess my family could get some last minute keepsakes.
Nazry actually went crazy on buying coffee. He got for himself TWO large coffee makers, the 12 cups size cafettiere and 16 packs of coffee. Enough for him to last a year. Maybe even two! But It’s actually cheaper to get them in Italy. I remember when we were in Singapore, it costs almost 10 dollars for a quality pack of coffee.
I saw this for sale and thought that it could be interesting to eat. I didn’t like it too much though. Chilli and chocolate tastes a bit odd to me. I prefer the orange and chocolate combination.
Oh gosh. It’s their final day here. How did time pass by so quickly? It seems like I just blink an eye and a week just gone by.
Anyway, Cart took the day off to send them to the airport. And today, we pretty much just relaxed around the house, my family got their luggage ready and then we had a simple lunch at home.
As a finale, the last place that they visit, I took them to see Laghetto Eur. It’s not really a touristy place, but personally, I enjoy visiting this area anyway.
The passeggiata del Giappone is a big park surrounding a lake. Here you could see a lot of parents taking their children for a stroll, couples picnicking, buff men canoeing … And every now and then, there will be a bazaar or an event here.
I myself go jogging here regularly and I see familiar faces almost every time. It’s a nice place to go to for people watching.
Anyway, we walked to one end of the lake to see the ducks. While it was normal for the random person to throw small pieces of bread to the birds, there happened to be a guy who brought two black bin bags full of bread.
Soon, one corner of the lake was filled with floating bread. It looked so dirty-ish (although the birds and fishes and turtles will probably eat them all in the end) I think we were all just amazed at seeing all those wastage.
We continued walking and going for a stroll …
I just find it very relaxing just to be walking here. It’s not crowded and you could think better here. Maybe it’s just me?
At length, we walked to the other side of the lake … And there’s a McDougals here! I was joking if they wanted to eat here. Surprisingly, they thought that it was a good idea and went ahead! Ehm. Me and my big mouth!
Anyway, there wasn’t that much difference between here and the one in Singapore. The menu might be slightly different (like the McItaly)but the regulars like the Fillet-o-fish is the same.
(Meat isn’t halal here, but the fries and seafood are fried in vegetable oil if you trust to eat them)
Anyway, it’s a little bit different here cos I feel it’s slightly more posh. Something about a gazebo and a view of the lake makes it seems more high class, somehow
Oh, I just remembered, that my dad wanted a cappuccino (which is a breakfast drink). It was already late afternoon, so the man at the counter looked at me in surprise and I just shrugged my shoulders. The things I have to endure for my parents :p
Anyway, after our drinks, we then continued walking and of course … camwhored!
And then we walked to Giolitti which was at the other end of the lake. It’s a well known gelateria and there are a number of branches here in Rome. The servers all wear spiffy looking uniforms with vests and a bow tie.
There are a different range of gelato. And you could even have 3 flavours in one cone if you liked.
But I was more in the mood for frappe. Which is basically milkshake – part ice cream and part milk. I love frappes!
The only thing is, when tasting it, while it’s not bad, I think that the frappe that we had isn’t as nice as the one that we had in Millenium though. There are better gelateria in Rome.
Oh! As a sidenote, this is another top my mum got from a bancarella. Less than 4 euro, but she’s rocking the look!
After we had our dose of ice cream, then we went back home where we changed to our Baju Kurong. And by chance, each of us had a green baju kurong (even though they are in different shades) Cart still kept his and we went to have a quick photoshoot while it was still daylight.
As the day was still within the 30 days of Hari Raya, I guess it’s a family hari raya photo!
Don’t we all look so spiffy? I love this picture. But what would make it more complete is if my sister and other brother was here. Hopefully the next time
And then soon after that, it was time for us to head to the airport. And we played tetris with the luggage, trying to fit the bags at the back of Cart’s car.
While they were trying to fit the luggage, my mum took a chance to pose on my scooter. Haha!
AND! This is probably the last picture I have of my scooter with my left mirror intact. Someone STOLE my mirror! Unscrewed it right off! Urgh! Such a pain trying to do a safety check while on the road … I want to beat up the person who stole my mirror!
Ahem. Anyway, I really didn’t want my family to go. It really felt like the days just passed by so quickly. It’s like they didn’t even stayed here. It’s like, I blinked my eyes and they were gone. It’s so unfair! (Inserts an Aerosmith song)
By the way, we found out that both my parent’s didn’t maximize their luggage weight. They could have had more than 10kg to bring back to Singapore. Bring a bigger bag next time. Hehehe.
So while we were waiting for the plane, we stopped by at some duty free shops where I spotted this interesting looking speaker. This one, I definitely wont throw things at it!
We then stopped at a bar for a drink. And we chatted about their experiences here, their feelings and hopes. I was already feeling quite sad. Sigh! Oh! I just remembered, my mum was asking “Will you miss me?” Because I was a little heartbroken, I replied, “No!” even though I was. And she hugged me tightly and responded, “Well, I’ll miss you!”
(Sad emo Marina)
Anyway, this is the last coffee that they had in Rome.
And then it was time for them to board the plane. So we took a final picture together …
And this is the last scene of what I saw … my mum waving goodbye to us …
I do hope that they had a nice vacation and stay. And hopefully it will not be the last. I miss them already and hopefully will seem them soon, be it here or in Singapore.
And that’s the end of the series! Hope that you enjoyed reading so far as much as I enjoyed writing it out …
If you managed to read till the end, thanks for enduring close to 3k words today … here’s a kopi for you! You deserve it! Hehehe!