A couple of weeks ago, I returned to Italy. After my last impression of Rome, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew, however, that this trip would be different.

For one, I was going with my friend Toe who speaks Italian. So I didn’t have to get lost in translation. He ordered my food and asked all the questions I needed. It was great!

Secondly, we were going to see more than just Rome. Toe’s family has an apartment just outside the city walls in Rome, but they also have an olive farm, in a city called Castelnuovo di Farfa, about half an hour away.

The Olive Farm, par moi

What I discovered was that Italy is beautiful. It really does have character, and it starts the minute you leave Rome. The entire time in the Sabine* (the area where the olive farm is) was like a scene from a bad romantic comedy. There was a traffic jam with sheep. There were narrow winding roads lined with olive trees. There was a part where we had to get out of the car and push.

Traffic jam, par moi

We explored the ruins of a Roman bridge. We went to a town that was about two streets big, and set entirely on a cliff. We sat in the sun. We got a tour (in Italian only!) of the Olive Oil Museum (including modern art inspired by olive oil!)

The Olive Oil Museum, par moi

And, inevitably, everything shut for two hours in the afternoon. It was slow, peaceful and quiet.

Peach blossom, by me

We spent a few days in Rome, too, and I still don’t love it. Next time, I’d rather just stay at the olive farm.

*The Sabine is the area from the early Roman myth of the Rape of the Sabines! How cool is that? I bought a children’s book in Italian about it.


  • By Eleni, April 19, 2010 @ 12:51 am

    A museum dedicated to olive oil? Were there samples to try?

    And you found a children’s book about the Rape of the Sabine Women? Funny.

    Sounds like a lovely trip. I’d love to go some day–I need a friend who speaks Italian.

  • By Hezabelle, April 19, 2010 @ 9:39 am

    There were no samples.. but there was a special device that turned the sound of olive oil dripping into music.

  • By Rachel Cotterill, April 19, 2010 @ 10:44 am

    Love the sound of the olive oil museum - cool :) If you find yourself in Rome again, the Roman city of Ostia is a great day-trip.

  • By Chandra, April 19, 2010 @ 11:13 am

    well I’m glad you are finding parts of Italy that you love! It really is a nice country :)

  • By Christine Sweeton *The Chris*, April 20, 2010 @ 3:09 pm


  • By Dad, April 20, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

    First even a bad romantic is made much better by putting it in Italy or Greece. You’re so busy looking at the scenery, you don’t notice the acting.
    And second, I was in a sheep traffic jam in England once. The all came charging towards the car and if one hadn’t veered off, they all would have run over the car.

  • By Amber from Girl with the Red Hair, April 23, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

    I wish we had more time to visit the countryside when there! To be honest, Rome is one of the cities I’m looking forward to the LEAST on our trip. I’ve just heard it’s SO overwhelming!

Other Links to this Post

  1. Hezabelle » Venezia — April 26, 2010 @ 6:04 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment