Ostia Beach with the Family

Mom and Dad got back late last night, so today we all went as a family to the beach. It was very windy and rather chilly, so we didn’t do any swimming, just walking around. It was a very nice time just relaxing with the family.

But first. this is how we started our day… (you will probably see a lot of this little guy as he lives just below us)  


Teaching him bad manners…. Crazy boys!


Jakob taking a rest with Big Al.


On to the beach!

Ostia beach, Rome, Italy IMG_2394 Philly and Alex at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

Me and Alex looking at something interesting. I can’t remember what.

Mom at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

Mom enjoying the waves

Ostia beach, Rome, Italy IMG_2462

To be perfectly honest, this picture wasn’t SUPPOSED to look like this. Gus was digging in the sand…. Andrew saw a piece of wood….. I had a camera…. It just happened…. I am not sure Augustin actually knows we took this picture. We’re sneaky like that. 🙂

Andrew doing a handstand at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

Andrew doing a handstand!

On the Rocks at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy


A cool picture of Alex. However, after I took that picture (I may have not warned him there was an enormous wave coming. I wanted a good picture…) His expression changed to….

Alex at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

(actual picture, I continued snapping as he jumped down, his back soaking wet.)

Dad at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

A nice picture of Dad.

kids at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

The four kids. Unfortunately at this point our camera lenses were coated in water and salt.

Philly at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

Me, no that is not a horn sprouting, that is a wild lock o’ hair!

Mom and Alex at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy 

Mom and Alex

The boys at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

The three boys (again, wind, salt and mist made for a hard time capturing photos)

 Philly at Ostia beach, Rome, Italy

Me again.

The three boys also went across the street at some point during the day and have this gem to show for what they do in their free time! gelato



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Making Mozzarella di Bufala

We went to a little cheese and meat shop to watch how they make Mozzarella di Bufala on the recommendation of one of our friends here. Mozzarella di Bufala is made of the milk from water buffalo that generally are raised in the Campania region of Italy.


The milk arrives already curdled at this shop. Before they get it, the Buffalo milk is curdled and then strained into the mass you see above.


The curd is then cut into pieces and ground up.


After it is removed from the grinder, it is tossed around to loosen up the curd that is now in small pieces.


Boiling water is then added to melt the curds down and make them pliable.


After that the mixture is then strained of most of its water while still allowing little pockets of flavorful milk mixture to form in the mozzarella.


The cheese continues to be stretched and pulled by one guy while the other two prepare the next step.


A piece of Mozzarella about the size of a man’s head is pulled off and taken over to a brine of cold water.


With one man pulling, the other man quickly shapes balls about the size of a baby’s head until the original large piece is almost done. The little bit remaining is thrown back in to heat back up until it is pliable. This is continued until that entire vat is empty. Then they start all over again.


As you can see Mozzarella isn’t the only cheese that this shop makes. But it is certainly our favorite.


If you are interested in reading more about Mozzarella di Bufala, this site is very informative and interesting.


*The pictures were taken with an iPhone mainly through a glass door, I am sorry they aren’t very high quality…


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The Three Musketeers (or Stooges) on their own

The three boys went into Rome on their own while I went around with a friend of ours and her adorable baby, Jakob.  Jakob

Jakob getting ready to eat

Jakob in Rome, Italy

Sleepy boy

The boys went to the Liberation Museum which was the Prison and headquarters used during the Nazi occupation in Rome. (Sept. 11, 1943 – June 4, 1944)

Liberation Museum in Rome, Italy

Entrance to the Museum.

Cell number 1 in the Liberation Museum, Rome, Italy

Cell No. 1

Letter in the Liberation Museum, Rome, Italy Letter in the Liberation Museum, Rome, Italy

Various official Nazi documents.

Second Lieutenant A. Paladini, condemned to die, written in the Liberation Museum, Rome, Italy

Writing in the wall reading “Lieutenant A. Paladini sentenced to die.” Arrigo Paladini was born in Rome and after getting involved in some resistance work was caught by the Gestapo on May 4, 1944. He was tortured until June 4th, 1944 when he happened to escape while on his way to be shot.

Calendar from a prisoner of the Nazis in the Liberation Museum, Rome, Italy


A calendar on the wall from one of the inmates.

British flag carved in the wall in Nazi prison that is now the Liberation Museum, Rome, Italy

A British flag also carved into the wall.

"Courage Mama" in bread in the Liberation Museum, Rome, Italy IMG_0562

A sign reading “the bread of Ignazio Vian with his final farewell to his family” Ignazio Vian was in Torino, Italy, on a mission when he was arrested by the Fascists. He was tortured repeatedly but would not give any information about the resistant forces. He tried to commit suicide in prison so that he couldn’t be forced, in a moment of weakness, to reveal anything he knew, but the attempt failed. He was later “tried” and hung.


After the museum the boys went to the Janiculum Hill where a howitzer is fired off everyday at noon.

Howitzer on the Janiculum in Rome, Italy

Getting ready!!

The view from the Janiculum in Rome, Italy

Andrew enjoying the view

Janiculum hill, Rome, Italy

Alex enjoying the view

The boys then walked to the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument and went to the top to look around Rome.

View of Rome from the Vittorio Emanuele (Vittoriano, and Altare della Patria [Altar of the Fatherland])

In the background the Colosseum and in the foreground the church San Giuseppe dei Falegnami (St. Joseph’s of the Carpenters)

View of Rome from the Vittorio Emanuele (Vittoriano, and Altare della Patria [Altar of the Fatherland])

Colosseum from the Vittorio Emanuele Monument

Gelato from Old Bridge.


No explanation needed….. 😀


I, on the other hand…. Spent most of my day like this.

Philly with Jakob




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Villa Borghese

Saturday we wandered around Rome a little and then met up with a friend of ours. Together we walked up to Villa Borghese and hung out there. It was a nice change of pace to be around all that greenery and fountains after hustling and bustling center city.

Fontana della famiglia dei Satiri, or Fonte Gaia in Villa Borghese

Gus… Being Gus…


Pond in Villa Borghese, Rome, ItalyPond in Villa Borghese, Rome, Italy 

The lake inside the gardens


De Piante family and Alby in front of the pond in Villa Borghese, Rome, Italy.

Photo without Andrew


De Piante family and Alby in front of the pond in Villa Borghese, Rome, Italy.

Photo WITH Andrew!


Il Pincio with Alby.


We walked with our friend to his bus stop and on the way there we watched a bunch of street performers. It was fascinating to see the various ways they could contort their bodies.

Breakdancers and street performers in Rome, Italy Street performer and dancer in Rome, Italy.


Later that evening we went back to Villa Borghese to try and get into the Borghese Gallery and Museum. It was supposed to be free because it was a promotional night at the museum. Turns out that you had to make a reservation. They had left that out of the promotional banners etc. so when we got there we were told we couldn’t get in. However, as we were sitting by a fountain being depressed another group of people came up asking for directions and they hadn’t known either. It made us feel better that we weren’t the only ones… 😉 We did get a few nice pictures of the actual building and of a nearby fountain at night.

Borghese Gallery and Museum, Rome, Italy.Fountain in Villa Borghese, Rome, Italy.Fountain in Villa Borghese in Rome, Italy.






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Piazza del Popolo and il Pincio

The kids are still going strong on their own! On Friday we walked around Piazza del Popolo and people watched there. Then we headed up to the Pincio which is a hill that lies to the north of the Quirinal and overlooks Campus Martius.  Piazza del Popolo, Rome, Italy Lion in Piazza del Popolo

Andrew sitting on one of the water shooting lions in the Piazza.


Il Pincio, Rome, Italy Il Pincio, Rome, Italy

The view from il Pincio.



Three boys fooling around on some little pillars/columns


IMG_0498  IMG_0492

How we arrived at the above picture of Alex, Andrew and Augustin standing.


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Kids on their own

Today Mom and Dad left early for Vienna. But the kids went in to Rome on their own and did a little site seeing. We went to the Colosseum, and its surrounding area, the Bocca della Verità, (the Mouth of Truth – Gus didn’t do so well there…. 🙂 ), and Trevi Fountain. We went to grab a kebab for lunch shortly afterwards and went to Old Bridge. Again. After that we headed to St. Peter’s to try and actually get in this time. We spent most of our time there, then we went home and ate.  

Colosseum, Rome, Italy Arch of Constantine in Rome, Italyin front of the Colosseum in Rome Italy IMG_0261 Bocca della Verita Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy Trevi Fountain Rome ItalyTrevi Fountain, Rome, ItalyOld Bridge GelatoGelato in RomeGelato in RomeSt. Peter's, Rome, ItalySt. Peter's in Rome, Italy


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St. Peter’s, Old Bridge, and Castel Sant’ Angelo

Yesterday we went to St. Peter’s (which was open only to some specific people to see the pope) When Andrew (who was ahead of the rest of us at that point) saw that St. Peter’s was closed he sent Alex a text saying “St. P’s is closed, Old Bridge?” to which Alex promptly called back and said “meet you there in about 5 minutes”. In our opinion Old Bridge is the best gelato shop in Rome. It is also conveniently located quite close to St. Peter’s.  

Mom and dad waiting for the train at Casal Bernocchi - Centro Giano St. Peter's, Rome, Italy Castel Sant Angelo, Rome, Italy Alex and Augustin in front of Castel Sant' Angelo in Rome, Italy

After that we went down to the Spanish steps area. The boys went to look at the Ferrari store, Mom and Dad went and rested a bit on the Spanish Steps, while I window-shopped along the Via dei Condotti which is home to stores such as Armani, Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton.

Via Dei Condotti, luxury shop street near the Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy

Family-ish picture on the Spanish Steps.



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First day in Rome!

We got in at roughly 9:00 a.m. local time (3:00 a.m. Charlotte Time). We had a friend of a friend pick us up in a tour bus and went to where we will be staying.

After getting settled in some of us went across the street to a bakery where we used to go almost every day when we lived here. They now are a small restaurant and also sell sweets. When we were here we got to become very good friends with the owner. We ordered some pizza and some mozzarella for an early lunch. 

Pizza Rome eating

Alex eating some pizza and relaxing a little.

Later that day we went on a small trip into Rome. we hit the cell phone store, then went to St. Mary Major and the Colosseum. 


Setting up the phones



St. Mary Major


Colosseum in Rome 

Colosseum in Rome


The Colosseum.


After we spent the day in Rome we went to our baker friend’s restaurant for dinner. We started off with a mixed cheese and cured meat platter starring Mozzarella di Bufala with some Rosemary Flatbread. 



Mozzarella di Bufala, mixed meats, prosciutto

Rosemary Flatbread




After that he brought us out some ricotta made fresh that day at a nearby store with some honey drizzled over top. Even those of us who weren’t big ricotta fans were converted.


Ricotta with Honey




The next thing we ate was Bucatini all’Amatriciana. This was such an incredible dish Alex was quite literally at a loss for words. 🙂




The meal was finished off by a sampling of bitters and some of their extensive bakery options.

Sampler basket of biscotti and other biscuits IMG_0399 IMG_0398 IMG_0404 IMG_0397

Dessert barPastries



And to finish the post off…. A picture of the family.




Also, for those of you coming to this area or if you live nearby, the restaurant/bakery is called Antchi Sapori and is located at Via Giuditta Rissone, 11/13, 00127, Roma, Italia.


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Welcome to our blog.

We’re going back to Italy. This is the first time we’re all going back since we left on January 7, 2009, after having lived in Rome for 2 years.

It’s a special place, and we would like to share it with you.

Come join us, Together in Italy.

The De Piante Family 

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