Ding, ding: Watch Out – Bike Coming Through!

It’s not hard to believe that the weather in Roma was beautiful on Friday. This city has been blessed with incredible spring weather, but how ironic is it that it’s currently chilly and damp outside?

Regardless, Kenz & I took Friday’s gorgeous temps as an indicator that the big guy in the sky wanted us to spend the day roamin’ around Rome (you’ve never heard that one before, have ya?).

First stop? Il Vaticano!

Take 1.

Hmm…let’s try that again (minus our stares of amazement at a rad girl in a hot pink hoodie getting her hair done).

Take 2. Ahh, much better.

We were planning on climbing the cupola of St. Peter’s, but with the numerous celebrations and events of Holy Week, we quickly found out it was closed for the day.

But…since we had already made it out alive from the massive, animalistic hodge podge of a security line, we decided to walk through St. Peter’s and the grottoes. Though we had done both before, you learn something new every time…and the monstrosity of St. Peter’s never ceases to amaze me.

Fortunately for us, our hunger pangs hit right when we were walking past DueCento Gradi Bread & Condiments. Not a bad coincidence, in my book.

Remember my meal there after the Papal Audience? (Click here for a refresher.) Tbm (tomato/basil/mozzarella, otherwise known as caprese). Layne would be so proud 🙂 (or jealous!)

It was Kenz’s first time at this heaven-sent sandwich shop.

Doesn’t she look happy?

This time around, I went with the Barberini: cooked ham, mozzarella cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a smear of artichoke sauce.

The ingredients and type & taste of the bread actually reminded me a lot of an American sub. Nothing like a little taste of home 🙂

The rest of the afternoon was spent dropping our jaws at the sight of a Segway tour:

Listening for audible English, so we could pop in and ask those folks for a photo, per favore!

And of course, an hour-long bike ride through Villa Borghese, Roma’s Central Park, in a way (i.e. my favorite place in the city).

We had tried to rent out bikes one time before (when I had that nagging heel injury and was limited to the type of exercise I could do). However, who would have thought you’d need either your driver’s license or your original passport? Heck no am I giving some park employee my passport! No offense to him, really; I wouldn’t trust anyone with that precious document at this point in the semester.

Driver’s licenses in tow, within minutes we were the proud owners of this bad boy:

How. Cool. Is. This.

Sure, we could have rented out mountain bikes for 3 hours for roughly the same price. But, honestly – a mere glimpse of this fine contraption won over our hearts.

The hour went by so quickly. Our (or maybe just my) strained hamstrings and sore butts told us the park employee hooked us up with the most difficult bike carriage of the lot.

No prob for us, though. We wanted a workout…and (numerous) hills later, we got one! (Sidenote: We also LOVED cruising down the downhills and dinging our bell…ding, ding: watch out – bike coming through!)

P.S. I have to thank Kenz for powering us through this workout. I may have slacked a little. (Hey, I was in the “steering & breaking” seat, people. I had HUGE responsibilities that, had I been too concerned with pedaling uphill, disasters could’ve definitely ensued!)

This view will never get old.

To repay Kenz for my, ahem, lack of leg muscles to power us through our bike ride, I introduced her to Frigidarium.

If any of you out there like gelato (Italy’s “ice cream,” though much creamier and lighter than the trusty, American stuff) and are planning on visiting Rome, gelato cannot get any better than this.

I first discovered this on Thursday night after our Church Crawl and dinner in the city (to commemorate Holy Week). Is it bad that I’m thankful I didn’t discover this earlier? Like my discovery of the life-changing chocolate cornettos (croissants) in the basement of my school, an earlier-in-the-semester discovery of Frigidarium could have been dangerous.

It’s also located steps from Piazza Navona, which I’ve told y’all before is my favorite of the piazzas in Roma. And I’m there all the time. How did I not know an amazing scoop (or 2!) of perfection was mere steps away from Four Rivers, Bernini’s masterpiece of a fountain?

I forgot to photograph my gelato cup on Thursday night, but I chose a scoop of Frigidarium (a deep yellow color with chunks of cookies swirled within) and a scoop of mint chocolate. While I truly love the taste and texture of gelato in comparison to ice cream, the one thing I miss is chunks of stuff in my ice cream: you know, the cookie dough chunks, rainbow sprinkles, fresh berries, and chocolate-covered pretzels that just make eating it that much more fun.

Maybe the reason I liked this particular gelateria so much is because of the ribbons of chocolate swirled throughout the mint flavor, and the cookie chunks present in the name-sake flavor.

Since I refrained from buying Frigidarium 2 days in a row, Kenz happily obliged when I asked her if I could snap a few photos of her gelato before (and as) she dug in:

She chose to get hers submerged in melted chocolate.

Her flavors of choice: Frigidarium (I told her I would leave if she didn’t choose it…kidding, of course!), Stracciatella/chocolate chip, and an intense chocolate flavor of a deep, rich brown color.

We’ve had a lot of gelato this semester, but please believe me when I tell you this stuff was. the. best.

Oh, and so was this:

My afternoon pick-me-up: Blood-orange Gatorade! Nevermind the 2,50 euro price. This could’ve been 10 and I still would’ve bought it 😉

(How sweet are those Nikes in the bottom right-hand corner?)

And I Ask You: Are you a biker? If so, what’s your style: racer, casual, person who sits on the second seat of a tandum bicycle and “pretends” to pedal?

Every time I bike, I always ask myself why I don’t do it more often. My little heel injury made it unwise to run for a few days, so in the meantime, I completed my cardio on the stationary bike and actually really enjoyed it…and I could definitely feel it in my legs for the next couple of days (especially after turning up the resistance!). But stationary bikes and cardio workouts aside, my favorite type of biking is casual biking for pure pleasure — especially in the woods and trails of the state park near my house.

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About ciaotochow

ciao to chow: initially created as a little spot on the web devoted to the "chow" I find while studying abroad in Rome. But really, ciao to chow is about my life: the day-to-day experiences, funny stories, moments of laughter, and the food...that continue to inspire me and make me grateful for each new day.
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7 Responses to Ding, ding: Watch Out – Bike Coming Through!

  1. Kenz says:

    such a good dayyy:) i will gladly be your guinea pig for frigidarium anyttttimeee:) roaming around Rome+ bike ride+sandwich+gelato=one heck of a fun day with you!

  2. MareMare says:

    I would take that gelato anytime, but I think I would enjoy the bike ride through the park even more — you know how much I love biking in Italy!! xxxooo

  3. Layne says:

    That bike is sweet! And as much as I don’t like ice cream, that gelato looks amaaaazing!! Twelve days, baby! :o)

  4. Julie (Roomz!) says:

    I’m a haus up the hill type of biker…as long as there’s gelato in store at the end of the tunnel. 🙂 I am drooling over the frigedarium as I’m writing this b-t-dubs!

  5. Andrew says:

    Is it true you’re coming home soon? Just in time, a new gelato store just opened up downtown. Not! Fill up on the gelato while you can.

  6. Natalie says:

    Ahahaha, I really enjoyed the first pic. And that lovely bike! See you this weekendddd 🙂

    Love,
    Natalie

  7. Pingback: I Ate…What?! | ciaotochow

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