Le Felizianerie – Eclectic Dining in the Shadow of the Vatican

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Le Felizianerie… a new find on my Roman dining circuit

I’ve spent a lot of time in Rome, and I have at least a half dozen restaurants there that I adore. But things happen: you can’t get a reservation, the place you love is closed, or in my case recently, I was staying in a part of the city that was far from my usual haunts. So I decided it was time to venture out and try a new place. With a little help from tripadvisor.com, I found a restaurant that got rave reviews, sounded really interesting and when I searched the map I discovered that it was literally a block from the apartment where I was staying. It was a chilly, rainy night, so a well-recommended restaurant just a stone’s throw from my place sounded like the perfect solution to my “Where do I eat tonight?” quandary. Off I went to a place called, Le Felizianerie.

This is a rather small, lively restaurant located less than a couple blocks from the Vatican Walls on Via Candia. As I arrived, several English-speaking folks were leaving and when I asked how they’d enjoyed their meal, they exuberantly described everything they’d tried and said that this had been their third visit in a week. That boded well. Inside, the décor was colorful and bright, and I was quickly greeted and seated at a perfect table by the window.

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The bright and cheery interior.

I’d read that the restaurant specialized in Italian with a bit of Asian fusion, and had trouble imagining just what that would look like. But one of the first things that caught my eye on the menu was the Salmon Teriyaki appetizer. I ordered it and it was both a visual work of art as well as one of the most delicious dishes I have ever tried. Beautiful chunks of teriyaki salmon were “decorated” with fresh ginger, lemon, olives, Asian cabbage, crispy oven-dried seaweed, and dabs of citrus mayo for dipping. It was refreshing, generously portioned and an almost startling mix of textures and flavors. A+!

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Salmon Teriyaki, Roman Style

One of my favorite pasta preparations is a typically Roman dish called  all’amatraciana, a slightly spicy and hearty sauce made from guanciale (a sort of bacon made from pork cheek), tomatoes, onion and pecorino cheese. I usually see it served with bucatini pasta, a very thick spaghetti noodle that I would never order on a first date or if wearing any clothes I treasure, as it is almost impossible to twirl the broad noodles around one’s fork without splattering sauce in all directions! Well, Le Felizianerie featured an amatraciana dish served with paccheri, a large tube-shaped pasta that captures sauces much more effectively. I ordered that, and I have to say that this was hands down the most delicious version of this dish that I’ve had anywhere in Italy.  Another A+.

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Best. Amatraciana. Ever.

I also had a refreshing glass of the house prosecco and though I was curious about dessert, I simply did not have room for it. But I’m not lamenting that decision, as I know that I’ll come back here on my next trip to Rome with a bigger appetite and ready to sample more from the menu of this great new find!  Check them out!  Buon Appetito!

 

A Successful “Bleisure” Trip to Italy

A relatively recent phenomenon that is becoming increasingly popular has been dubbed, “Bleisure Travel”: the combining of a business trip with leisure travel. Business travelers who have a few days of meetings or a conference to attend may schedule a few days of pleasure travel before or after having fulfilled their professional responsibilities. A couple of days in New York for meetings may be followed by a weekend to explore the city; a conference in Hawaii might provide the chance to spend a few leisurely days on Maui before heading home.

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A rainy night at Piazza Navona in Rome, my “bleisure” destination.

Read on!

Matt Goes Down Under: Australia

One of the greatest gifts of working in academia is being awarded a sabbatical. Every seven years, professors may apply for a sabbatical leave during which they work on some academic project and are released from all their other duties for a semester. In Spring of 2003 I was awarded my first sabbatical, and while I spent much of my time conducting a risk perception survey of people living close to the volcanic peaks of Vesuvius and Etna in Italy, I also took a Circum-Pacific trip in February and March to explore that part of the world for the first time. I bought a ticket that allowed me to fly in a big circle around the Pacific Rim for a couple of months, stopping as many times as I wanted-  so long as I did not reverse direction. I started in Thailand, then on to Bali, Australia and New Zealand, and finally to Tahiti. I’ve written about Tahiti in another blog post, but now I will share the details of my first trip to Australia, followed by a second chapter on New Zealand.

Matt Sydney Ferry

Cruising on Sydney Harbor

Let’s go Down Under!

North to Alaska: The Mother of All Roadtrips

I’m truly the king of road trips, having first driven cross country when I was 18. Since then I’ve made at least 30 round-trips from coast to coast. But by far my most ambitious journey was in summer of 2005 when I drove east from San Francisco to Boston via Texas, Tennessee, and Virginia. On the westward return trip, I drove as far west as Montana, took a sharp right turn and drove to Alaska before working my way back down the coast to California. During the trip I kept a detailed journal of my experience, and so ride along with me on an adventure to our most remote and northern state.

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A study in blue and green… en route to Alaska

Follow the north star and read on!

The Road Back Home: A Little Bumpy and Leading to an Unexpected Detour

After a wonderful Christmas holiday in New England, it was time to head back across country. It is always hard for me to say goodbye to so many friends there and return to the routine of another semester of teaching, but when I saw that a huge winter storm was barreling up the coast… not just ANY storm, mind you, but something called a “bomb cyclone”!

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Sometimes life takes us a little off-course…

-Let’s hit the road!>

No Place Like Home for the Holidays

The popular song, “No Place Like Home For the Holidays” was published in 1954 and was made famous by singer Perry Como in 1959.  The lyrics talk about our desire to be home for the holidays, especially at Christmas time:

I met a man who lives in Tennessee, and he was headin’ for
Pennsylvania and some homemade pumpkin pie.
From Pennsylvania folks are travelin’ down to Dixie’s sunny shore…
From Atlantic to Pacific…Gee, the traffic is terrific!
Oh there’s no place like home for the holidays,
‘Cause no matter how far away you roam,
If you want to be happy in a million ways,
For the holidays – you can’t beat home, sweet home…

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Read on!