Somewhere in Italy

californians figuring out life in italy one day at a time

first days living in rome

Jan 26, 2019

WELCOME TO ROMEFiumicino Airport

We’re here! We’ve arrived!

The reality of us living in Rome is still sinking in. Jaime had to go to work the morning after we arrived, but is off until Monday so it’s felt like a vacation having him home every day to explore the city.

The first night we arrived in Rome, it took over three hours from the time we landed to the time we checked into our hotel. Exhausted and starved, we unpacked a few things and headed out to eat our first Italian dinner at 09:00 pm. You know what they say, when in Rome! At the recommendation of the front desk, we took a 10-minute stroll down a few blocks to Ambasciata D’Abruzzo. We started with their house starters: bruschetta with tomatoes, rice ball, meat and veggie ball, ricotta sheep cheese, potatoes gâteau, and a selection of “Abruzzo” cold cuts. Sounds like a lot, but it was just enough for us to have a taste of each. For dinner, we had a creamy pasta with truffles, pasta with lobster, and of course, a bottle of Chianti Classico. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to get some rest and prepare for our first official day in the Eternal City.

COLD CUT MEATSCold cuts at Ambasciata D’Abruzzo

truffle pastaTruffle pasta 


Trying to remember the time difference from Rome and California, Jaime programmed both times on the lock screen of his phone. At 02:30 am I woke up to Jaime showering and asked him why he was up. Jaime glanced at his phone and saw 05:30. Planning to wake up at 06:30 am anyway. Right away, we realized he looked at the 05:30 pm California time. Anxious for his first day at the work and the dogs’ arrival, neither of us could fall back asleep. We both left the hotel around 08:00 am and he went on his way to Naples and I went to the airport to retrieve the dogs from customs.



Other than Jaime checking in with his chain of command and me picking up the dogs (YAY), the day was rather uneventful. When we got home, we both crashed and then ordered sushi delivery for dinner. At least we confirmed the sushi in Rome is legit.


We woke up early, FaceTimed some family, and headed out for the day right as the sun was rising. Before noon, we had walked 8 miles, visited Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and the Campo de’ Fiori market. Trevi Fountain and Pantheon lived up to everything you’ve ever heard about them: grand, beautiful, unbelievable. Campo de Fiori had amazing oils, spices, pastas, dried goods, cheeses, fresh produce, and various other items. Once we’re settled, I can’t wait to fill our home with items from the market. Although winter weather here is cold (mid 30s to low 50s), it’s not tourist season and very easy to see all that Rome has to offer without being a crowded city. We would highly recommend coming out during this month if you have the proper wear to get through the cold.

Trevi Fountain


pantheon domePantheon

campo de fioriCampo de’ Fiori

We stopped by a pizza take out window and shared two pizza sandwiches: mozzarella with salami and mozzarella with tomato and oregano seasoning. Both were delicious, crispy on the outside and perfectly soft and melty on the inside.

pizza sandwichTomato and mozzarella pizza sandwich

We returned to the hotel for a quick nap and then headed back out to indulge in some Roman pasta. We had a late lunch at Roscioli’s, a restaurant native to Rome and highly recommended by travelers and critics. Roscioli’s also has a bakery and a coffee shop all within a block of one another. For lunch, we started with burrata with semi sun-dried tomatoes and ordered two of the most well known Roman dishes, la carbonara (spaghetti-like pasta with egg, pork jowl, and cheese) and cacio e pepe (spaghetti-like pasta with cheese and pepper). Burrata and pasta were delicious, but it’s going to take some getting used to true al dente pasta.


Started the day with another early morning and headed out an hour before sunrise. We headed back to Roscioli’s, but this time stopped at their bakery for some breakfast pizza. We shared pizza rossa (red pizza which has a fresh tomato sauce, red garlic, and oregano) and pizza patate (potato pizza which has no sauce, very thinly sliced potatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary). Both were delicious and were worth the hour walk from our hotel. 

roscioli bakeryPizza rossa and pizza patate

On our walk to the Colosseum, we stopped at a coffee shop for due cappuccini. In Italy, you can order coffee to have at the bar or to have at a table. The mentality here is that coffee should be affordable to everyone, so have it at the bar and enjoy it for €1,00-€1,50. If you order coffee to have at a table, expect to pay up to three times as much as the bar prices. Italian espresso is amazing, smooth, not bitter, and tastes delicious with brown sugar (a normal practice here in the city).

cappuciniDue cappucini (two cappuccinos)

From the coffee shop to the Colosseum, we walked by Museo Sacrario delle Bandiere delle Forze Armate al Vittoriano (the memorial museum of armed forces) and the Roman Forum. The ruins they have protected and preserved are unreal. There is no American history that amounts to the history found in Rome. We didn’t do a tour of the Colosseum today, but it is grand as it is beautiful. The mere thought of the work put into creating it and the history that revolves around it really blew us away. There is a reason it is one of the most popular, if not the most popular, sightseeing attractions in the country. 

Museo Sacrario delle Bandiere delle Forze Armate al VittorianoMuseo Sacrario delle Bandiere delle Forze Armate al Vittoriano

roman forumRoman Forum

rome colosseumColosseum

After getting a little lost in the city, we ended up in Trastavere, a funky and bohemian area known for their restaurants and bars. We stopped by Suppli to have more pizza and because the pizza from our breakfast was so good, we had the same pizzas again (pizza rosso and pizza patate). We were exhausted from the 12 miles walked on Thursday and the 8 miles we had walked up to that point, so we took a taxi back to our place. Still adjusting to the jetlag, we slept most of the late afternoon and woke up right in time for a very, very late dinner. Around 1130pm, we headed to La Pariolina to have our last pizzas of the day. Jaime had a margherita pizza and I had a pizza with fresh tomato sauce, cherry tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella.

la pariolinaTop is a margharita pizza and bottom is a cherry tomato, mozzarella, and basil pizza.

There is no such thing as too much pizza. The first few days in Rome have been nothing short of amazing and we’re excited to see what the future brings.

J + J


  1. Irma

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful memories with us

  2. Carlos Gomez

    Jopordapan. I am very excited for you and Jaime. I am
    Glad you both and the dogs made it safe. We will miss you but will wait for when you return. And we will celebrate this new adventure. Wish you the best, praying for a great experience.

  3. Keith I

    AMAZING job, Jordan! In just a few days you’ve covered quite a bit. You’re going to be like Julia Child, just in Italy 🙂

  4. louis maldonado

    I think you kids are going to have an event of a life time. love you guys

  5. Brad

    Looks like way too much food! I haven’t had a really good bottle of Chianti Classico Riserva for years. Do they sell what we call ‘Super Tuscan’s there, or maybe that’s an American wine term? Maybe someday I’ll get out there. Enjoy yourselves! Keep the cool photos coming…

  6. Leslie

    Hey Jordan & Jaime! Sounds so wonderful. I feel like I am reliving my honeymoon trip through your blog!!

    We plan to come visit in 2020, if that’s okay.

    Love & hugs!

  7. Christian

    Hope you guys are both having a good time.

    Could you please name and label your figures and references them in your paragraphs.

    Love you both


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