A day trip to York

This year I have decided to visit the UK more, and York was my first port of call.

I know there’s a lot to uncover aside from my usual spots of choice, so I’m trying to see the most possible this year by applying the rule that it has to be someplace that I have never been before (within a reasonable budget and distance from London and of course holiday permitting, lol). Therefore, last Saturday,  I’ve hopped on a train and headed to my chosen destination for the day.

A train ticket from London to York costs around £50 return (a bit cheaper if pre-booked in advance) and it takes roughly an hour and 50 minutes to get there, so it’s a good place to choose even if you are just looking for day trips.

Once arrived there, and since I had only 6 hours to spend in the city, I made a plan to see at least the most famous tourist attractions.

What to do

At 11 am my train arrived at the station and I started my day visiting the York Minster.

 

York
York. Photo By Roman In Londo

Dominating the City there’s York Minster Cathedral  (Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York), one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe. The ticket costs £10 plus £5 more if you are willing to climb the 257 steps to get to the top (which I obviously did). The day was lovely, sunny and the view from the top was grand so I’m glad I’ve made the effort. However, it made me realize how actually unfit am I gave that it took me a while to regain my breath once on top.

View from the top. Photo by Roman In London

A prize for the courageous climbers is a badge of the Cathedral reading *I made it to the top*.

If you’re travelling with a partner you should stop for a kiss by the Heart of Yorkshire stained-glass window, as legend says if you do you’ll stay together forever 🙂

Walk the walls. Definitely, a must if you go to York,  is a walk on the walls. It takes circa 90 minutes and the view is breathtaking, especially around this time of year.

 

Photo by Roman In London

Stroll around the Shambles. The narrow cobbled streets that surround the Minster are hard to resist and full of nice shops and bars, in the late 14th century The Shambles housed a street full of butchers shops, today you will find sweet stores, antique and jewellery shops, tea rooms etc.

GhostTour. One of the quirky traits of this City is its reputation of being one of the most haunted cities in Europe, so if you fancy the idea of a Ghost Tour you’ll have an array of options to choose from.

I have finished my day sipping a tea in a lovely tea/coffee shop called the Vanilla Cafe (pictures below) its old-fashioned interior decor has captured my attention and the tasty almond cake I had has proven it to be a good choice. The Betty’s Café is also another option and has the reputation for being York’s most famous tea spot (with the queues to match),

Vanilla Cafe. Photo By Roman In London
The Vanilla Cafe’. Photo by Roman In London

York has definitely a lot more to offer though: with influences from the Romans, Vikings, Normans, Tudors, and Victorians, you’ve got a whole snapshot of history in one city. All of which has made it one of my favourite UK city break destinations and (perhaps next year) I’ll definitely head back to see more of it!

 

 

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Santa Severa: one of Rome’s prettiest beach

A beach close to Rome, with clear water, a medieval castle, and some Roman ruins: why not?

Santa Severa, even though is not really a destination widely considered by foreign tourists, is in my humble opinion, a proper hidden gem that’s worth to visit especially if travelling during the summer months. If you need a break from the heat of the City, you might be surprised to hear how easy and close is to slip into the clean Mediterranean waters.

Santa Severa, amongst other destinations by the sea, is only 50 km from Rome.

The beach that surrounds the Castle is free, which is quite rare given the fact that in Italy most of the beaches are taken over by private owners (Stabilimenti).

Santa Severa. Photo By Roman In London

Named after its homonymous martyr, is believed to have been an ancient Roman port under the name of Pyrgi. Like its bigger neighbour Santa Marinella, it was a popular summer resort for the Romans as well as a fishing settlement supplying fish to the mainland towns and Rome itself. The outline of the Roman settlement is still visible, if you walk around the borgo (walled village) you will notice that the Roman-era foundations are made of massive cyclopean masonry. On top of this, the medieval borgo walls were built, from smaller stones, covered in plaster. Inside the walls, there is a small museum, a church and some small artsy shops.

Santa Severa. Photo By Roman In London

Here is the castle’s official website, where you can also pre-purchase the entry ticket: http://www.regione.lazio.it/santasevera/

Santa Severa. Photo by Roman In London

How to get there from Rome: https://www.rome2rio.com/it/s/Roma/Santa-Severa

Santa Severa is about 45 minutes away by train from either Termini or Trastevere station. The train ticket costs about €5, but access to the beach is totally free.

 

 

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Your guide to planning a road trip in the UK

I truly believe that a road trip is an incredible way to see a country, that feeling you get when ahead of you there’s nothing but miles of empty road, adventure and freedom.

Travelling by car will also allow you to see places your eyes would have only dreamed of if the medium of choice was to travel via plane or train instead.  One of the best things about this wonderful country is the vast amount of diverse sights and landscapes that stretch the length and breadth of the island.

Having said that, a road trip requires many things to take into account in order to avoid unexpected surprises. So, here is my guide to planning a trip in the UK:

1.If renting a car, plan in advance your beginning and ending destination

It is generally cheaper to pick-up and drop-off a rental car from the same destination, so it is worth planning accordingly.

2. Use your Phone GPS rather than renting one   

If you don’t have cellular data, you can preload a route on Google Maps when you have wifi and use the location service to follow the route.

3.Know the rules of the road

If travelling from abroad just a reminder that in the UK they drive on the left side of the road and signs are in miles per hour for speed and miles for distance.

4. If crossing the isles…

Don’t forget about the ferry services when travelling between the mainland UK, Ireland, and Northern Ireland. There are convenient ferry services from a few different ports, including:

  • Holyhead, Wales to Dublin, Ireland
  • Cardiff, Wales to Waterford, Ireland
  • Belfast, Northern Ireland to Liverpool, England

5. If driving your own car get MOT testing

Make sure you are driving safely and that your car had a MOT test prior departure. Repairing fails also can end up costing a fortune, also MOT from professionals ensures that no aspect is overlooked and it also helps in overcoming penalties or fines.

Some good and cheap MOT service providers in London are DAT Tyre, Motnearme.

Or if you prefer going locally, many local councils have their own MOT testing stations for their own vehicles, such as buses or vans.

(This post was written in collaboration with DAT Tyre)
Lake District. Photo Courtesy: Telegraph

 

Lake District
Lake District. Photo Courtesy: Telegraph

 

 

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This is what an Italian Easter meal Looks like

colomba pasquale

If you’ve ever wondered what a typical Italian Easter meal looks like, you are in the right place. This article will guide you through the best bits of the Roman Culinary tradition.

A carefully chosen, well-mixed types of starters, mains and second main courses will be on the menu from early in the morning to fill you up until you really don’t need anything else (aside from dozing off). Might worth to note that each Region has its own peculiarities in terms of traditions, but we will find out what these traditions are in Rome, my hometown.

Easter in Rome: breakfast

Breakfast has been linked to Italian culinary traditions for centuries, however, the Easter breakfast might actually surprise you. The day will start with a meal consisting of unusual ingredients, on the table on Easter Sunday in Rome, in fact, you will not find either a brioche nor a cappuccino, but boiled eggs, offal, quiches, dove, salami, pizza pasqualina (a type of sweet and sour cheese bread) the ubiquitous chocolate, Easter pizza and  finally a nice frittata with either artichokes or spinach.

It may sound as a “challenging” meal to start the day with, however, this reflects ancient Christian tradition of celebrating the end of the pre-Easter fasting with all kinds of good things.

Easter in Rome: Lunch

For those who survived the breakfast, a round of starters, mains and second mains will be there on the table for the second round of glorious tastiness. Pasta, quiche, asparagus and the irreplaceable lamb with roasted potatoes.

The Roasted Lamb belongs to the Lazio culinary tradition and is the typical dish of the Easter period.
As per tradition, this is cooked with rosemary, garlic and a glass of wine, however, lamb can be offered in three (and equally tasty) variants: agnello alla cacciatora, agnello alla romana (full browned in garlic, olive oil, chopped ham  and roasted potatoes), or lamb chops.

Note: Lamb should be eaten with your hands, you don’t want to spoil the taste!

After the meal, each one gets its own easter egg full of surprises.

 

Buona Pasqua!    from…

A Roman In London

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My trip to India: Part 1 – PEOPLE

I have visited India a while ago, however, I do believe that it’s one of those trips that you’ll always remember and this is why I’ve decided to share my experience with you in case you’ll ever want to go, are already thinking to or simply interested in the matter.

I’ve divided my Indian Tales into 3 parts: People, Landscapes and Nature, and this one is dedicated to People. Because there’s so much to say (and see) in India, our Tour guide mentioned that at least 5 trips are needed in order to get an understanding of what it is really like their culture. I totally agree.

And here is what impressed me about their culture

  1. Their dedication to crafts and art. Intensely colourful, delicately ornate and immensely varied India’s produces such a wide array of crafts and these are incredibly inexpensive: textiles, carpets, fabrics, paintings, leatherware, jewellery etc. If you’ll be travelling on a tour like I did they will surely make you aware that you see the most of it.
  2. Their dedication to Religion: four out of five Indians are Hindus, and Hinduism permeates every aspect of their life from the daily life up to politics. After Hinduism, Muslims are the largest religious group followed by the more recently established Sikh faith. The latter was founded in reaction to the caste laws and observances of Hinduism and is now growing at a large scale. Other professed religions are Jain, Buddhism, Christianity or the Zoroastrian.
  3. Their Music. India is home to a staggering variety of musical traditions, ranging from the archaic styles of Hindu devotional chanting or the more modern and contemporary Bollywood‘s huge treasury of film songs or theatre shows. A MUST SEE if you go there.
  4. Their amazing food. Indian food has a truly deserved reputation of being one of the world’s great cuisines. You can find everything there: from the stereotyped curries to amazing sweets. Food culture varies from region to region but particularly from the North to the South. North Indian food is the style which is generally found in Restaurants abroad and is characterised by its rich meat and vegetable dishes in thick tomato, onion and yogurt-based sauces accompanied by bread. South Indian Food is almost exclusively vegetarian with spicy chilli and coconut flavours and lots of rice. All served either in its natural state or made into large dosa, iddli and uttapam.
  5. Tea is a whole chapter itself :). Had my first taste of proper Chai there and absolutely loved ALL their teas.Tea is usually made by putting tea leaves, milk and water in a pan usually with ginger and cardamom.
  6. Their clothing. Indian are very conservative about the way they dress. I couldn’t resist buying one of the silk sari (picture below) however from the way they were giggling at me I have the slight suspicion I might have wore it in the wrong way… There’s a whole procedure needed to wear a sari which I was aware of but perhaps I came to the conclusion that I was just looking funny in it!
    The traditional Sari is a female garment that consists of a drape varying from five to nine yards in length and two to four feet (60 cm to 1.20 m) in breadth that is typically wrapped around the waist, with one end draped over the shoulder, baring the midriff. There are various styles of sari draping, the most common being the Nivi style, which originated in Andhra Pradesh. The sari is usually worn over a petticoat, with a fitted upper garment commonly called a blouse (ravike in South India and choli elsewhere). The blouse has short sleeves and is usually cropped at the midriff. The sari is associated with grace and is widely regarded as a symbol of grace in cultures of the Indian subcontinent.’Aside from the above what really impressed me about the people there is their strong empathy and lust for life. Always ready to welcome you with a smile, regardless of their situation. Some of them struggle to live decent lives but their beliefs their hard-core sense of responsibilities makes them capable of all the beautyness I was able to see when I got there. I tried to capture the feelings through my camera, however you should really visit to get a sense of what I’m talking about.
People portrait India
People Portrait India. Photo by Roman In London
Photo by Roman In London

 

Photo By Roman In London

 

Photo By Roman In London

 

Photo by Roman In London

 

Photo By Roman In London

 

Photo by Roman In London

 

Photo by Roman in London

 

Food Market. Photo By Roman In London

 

Photo By Roman In London

 

 

Photo by Roman In London

 

Woman in a village, India. Photo By Roman In London

 

City Centre. Photo by Roman In London

 

Woman at a food market. Photo By Roman In London

 

Photo by Roman In London

 

Photo By Roman In London

 

Photo by Roman In London

 

 

Photo by Roman In London

 

At the Taj Mahal.

 

Photo by Roman In London

 

people portrait india
People Portrait India Snake . Photo by Roman In London

 

And that’s it! Hope you have enjoyed the first chapter.. stay tuned for the second!

 

A Roman In London

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A day at the Museum of Modern Art in Rome | GNAM

GNAM is the acronym for Galleria Nazionale D’Arte Moderna (National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art of Rome) and is located in Via delle Belle Arti in Rome.

The Cesare Bazzani-designed neo-classical building is known as Palazzo delle Belle Arti (Palace of Fine Arts) and it was completed in 1915.

 

 

Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art “GNAM” Time is out of Joint Exhibitions. Photo by Roman in London

 

Amongst all the paintings and sculptures of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, you can also find artists of the likes of Antonio Canova, Giorgio de Chirico, Amedeo Modigliani, Giacomo Manzù. The museum also holds some works by foreign artists, among them Braque, Calder, Cézanne, Degas, Duchamp, Giacometti, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Monet, Jackson Pollock, Rodin, and Van Gogh.

 

Cafe’ at the Museum. Photo by Roman In London

 

Suit
Details. Photo By Roman In London

 

Business suit
Details. Photo by Roman in London

 

Sneakers
Details. Shoes

 

 

Museum of modern and contemporary art in Rome
Details. Photo by Roman In London

 

I was very impressed by the exterior of the building and the dialogue between modern and classic also highlighted by the current exhibition theme Time Is Out Of Joint – that is displaying classical Roman statues with modern and contemporary pieces of art.

 

Photo by Andrea Castellani

This a  selection of some of the things I’ve seen that grabbed my attention.

Hall of the Museum. Photo by Roman in London

 

 

Sculpture
Photo by Roman In London

 

Joan Miro’. Photo by Roman in London

 

Photo by Roman in London

 

Self-portrait “suspended” Sam Taylor Wood #getaway #romaninrome #art #gnam #galleriaartemoderna #roma

Un post condiviso da Giulia (@giulia_a_roman_in_london) in data:

hall of the museum
Photo by Roman In London

 

Door
Details. Photo by Roman In London

Hope you have enjoyed it, in case you’d like to visit it, here are the info.

Information:

Address: Viale delle Belle Arti, 131, 00197 Roma, Italy
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 8:30 am to 7:30 pm
Last admission 45 minutes before closing

Closures Every Monday, 1st of January, 1st of May, 25th of December

Phone: +39 06 322981
Founded: 1883

 

 

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A Weekend in Rome

When it comes to travelling to my hometown every excuse is a good excuse, really 🙂

A Weekend, a whole week or even a fortnight, regardless of the amount of time I spend there, every time never really seems to be enough. On the other hand, I can’t really complain, Italy is only a couple of hours flight away from London and offers a plethora of opportunities and places to go depending on the season.

My favourite, though, is…

Spending a Weekend in Rome

Sunset nearby Largo di Torre Argentina. Photo by Roman in London

Here remnants of the Empire meet Renaissance masterpieces, cobbled piazzas and wonderful churches, it’s all thrown in with an increasingly cool contemporary art, food and drinks scene.

But since you’d need an actual eternity to see everything in the Eternal City, I’ve shared with you some pictures I’ve taken while walking around Central. It took me a couple of hours (with something like 300 stops to take pictures) to walk from Piazza del Popolo to Largo Argentina.

During this short walk, you can see the major landmarks: Piazza del Popolo, via Del Corso, Piazza Di Spagna and the famous ‘steps’, Pantheon, Galleria Colonna, Fontana di Trevi, Piazza del Parlamento, Altare della Patria and Largo Argentina.

History is around every corner of Rome. From the Pantheon and the piazzas to Vatican City’s Sistine Chapel, the ‘Eternal City’ is one of the world’s most historically significant destinations.

In fact, in Rome, classical ruins and early Christian places of worship stand just next to Renaissance palazzos and Baroque fountains, but also to great – and contemporary – neighbourhood trattorias, quirky shops and a crowded aperitivo scene. Happy hour for us is a way to meet with friends, have a glass of wine (or two) and eat some starters from the buffet.

The city’s mild Mediterranean climate is another persuasive reason to visit (aside from December – February that can get a bit chilly there too).

Piazza del Popolo. Photo by Roman in London

 

 

A private Courtyard in central Rome. Photo by Roman In London

 

 

Via del Corso. Photo by Roman in London

 

 

Corner of Via di Gesu’ e Maria. Photo by Roman in London

 

 


 

 

Details of a post box. Photo by Roman In London

 

Bakery Sign. Photo by Roman In London

 

Private Courtyard. Photo by Roman in London

 

Old Metropolitan Cinema. Photo by Roman in London

 

 

Piazza Navona. Photo By Roman In London

 

“M’hai provocato e mo me te magno!” #hometime #romanholidays #romaninrome #getaway

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Some information:

Visitor passes

The Roma Pass (romapass.it) discount card, currently priced at €36 (three day) or €28 (two day) and available online or from tourist information offices, gives free entry to two museums of your choice and reductions for many others, plus unlimited use of citywide public transport.

International dialling codes

0039 06 for Rome numbers from abroad
06 from inside Italy
00 to get an international line

 

A Roman In London

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36 Hours in Bilbao

bilbao

 

Bilbao, in the heart of the Basque Country in Northern Spain, has become more and more famous through the years with the opening of the Guggenheim in 1977. Aside from its notorious titanium-clad museum, Bilbao is also well renown for its fine gastronomy. Food is, apparently, a religion in the Basque Country. Art & Food, do we need anything else?

We stayed at the NH hoteles a hop away from the centre, a very convenient and a short walk and we were able to reach the top attractions within a maximun of 30 minutes walk.

 

 

 

Bilbao
Photo by Roman in London

This is Frank Gehry’s masterpiece.  Stunning from the outside but also houses some of the finest art in Spain. The entrance is guarded by a Puppy made of flowers, a creation of the American artist Keff Koons which has become practically, the mascot of the City.

 

Guggenheim. Photo by Roman in London

 

 

Guggenheim. Photo by Roman in London

The interior of the Guggenheim is just as amazing as the exterior, where the contours are made of fish like titanium scales.

 

Richard Serra’s ‘The Matter of Time’ Guggenheim. Photo by Roman in London

Richard Serra’s ‘The Matter of Time’ is made from 1,000 tons of weathered steel and is designed for visitors to move around and through each piece.

 

Photo by Roman in London

Coming from London we were delighted to find a ‘warmish’ almost spring couple of days of sun.

 

Guggenheim. Photo by Roman in London

 

 

Roman in London

 

The food is amazing, many places to eat and Micheline’s starred restaurants but no tapas here, Pintxos instead. Fine, delicate but epic in taste. I’ve tried the classic montadillo con jamon serrano and queso, chorizo and tortilla as I’m a creature of habit..but there’s a lot more that tempted my palate so I’ve basically spent most of the 36 hours bar crawling between pintxos cafe’, a ritual known as a txikiteo which involves lots of pintxos with your kuadrilla (group of friends) and xakoli, the local white or rosé wine.

 

A bar at Plaza Nueva. Pintxos. Photo by Roman in London

 

Street art. Photo by Roman in London

 

Bilbao architecture. Photo by Roman in London

Once, an industrial City, now it’s 19th Century facades have been renovated and give colours and add prettiness to the City. The Gran Via is a mix of old and new and there are lots of green areas.

 

Bilbao architecture. Photo by Roman in London

 

 

Bilbao architecture. Photo by Roman in London

 

 

Bilbao architecture. Photo by Roman in London

 

Bilbao at night from Mount Arxanda. Photo by Roman in London

As a conclusion of the trip I recommend taking the Funicular to Mount Arxanda as the view is breathtakingly beautiful. From Bilbao to the middle of nature.

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Oslo: a perfect winter break

 

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View from the Opera House. Photo credit Roman in London

 

If you are looking for some ideas on where to get to for a short winter break, don’t look any further as I have some advice for you. Oslo, in fact, is a perfect place for a winter getaway.

Although is very well known for being quite expensive (and yes, I can confirm that it is) you can still manage to avoid spending a fortune. I spent a total of £75 for both plane tickets (Ryanair) and accommodation (Airbnb). However, I did spend roughly the same amount for breakfast grocery shopping at the local supermarket…

When I got there last January though, the atmosphere was absolutely magical and definitely worth it. The City was covered by a sheet of white snow that made me feel cosy and festive even though the Christmas season was over.

Street arts, culture, and a picturesque landscape make Oslo a unique place to visit. Easily explorable by foot, a good start is to visit the Fjord on the waterfront, where the Opera House is located. The Opera House is the home of the Norwegian Opera and Ballet and it is a truly amazing structure made of granite, marble, and ice and it resembles two blocks of ice.

 

 

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Snøhetta’s landmark. Opera House. Photo credit Roman in London#

 

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Opera House. Photo credit Roman in London

 

 

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Opera House. Photo credit Roman in London

 

For a cultural day, you can start by comparing modern and traditional Norwegian art and architecture, visiting the newly reopened Kunstnernes Hus, an artist-run space. Then walk down the hill to the Norwegian National Gallery  to see the work of Edvard Munch where The Scream is on display.

 

 

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National Gallery. Photo by Roman in London

 

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The Scream, Edward Munch. Photo by Roman in London

 

Una foto pubblicata da Giulia (@giulia_romaninlondon) in data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What to pack for your summer holiday

packing list
by Roman in London

Whatever your plans are for this summer, it’s always good to be wardrobe ready for every occasion. This is my list of staple items for this summer 2016.

1.The hat is from LOTUS FOEDORA By Janessa Leone

2. The swimwear is from bikini.com

3. The watch is Larsson and Jenkins

4. The dress is from TOPSHOP

5. Adidas Stan Smith

6. Zara Multicolor Pompom Embellished Leather Sandals

7. Trousers from Finery London

Hope you like it!

 

 

 

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