Thanks to blogging, and all that has happened since – and perhaps thanks to – that fortunate night when I wrote my first post, a lot has changed in my life. Through blogging and my activity on the social media, I have
- changed careers, transforming my graphic design and showbiz past into a sweet memory. Now I'm relying on a steady income, and doing exactly what I love: writing about food and life in Italy
- I have published 370 posts to date on AO+P alone, which gain a good average of daily pageviews (despite long periods of laziness)
- positively improved my life pattern, which now includes plenty of playtime
- as recipe tester and restaurant reviewer, I have upped my weight by several hundred pounds (working on reducing those figures)
- as a food docent, I take foodies around Rome on delicious walking tours of my city
- I have written scores of articles, guest posts and features on other websites other than my own
- I have a column on a great online magazine
- I was hired to write 2 guide books, and a travel handbook
- I have written 2 manuscripts, working on a third
- launched the Roma Every Day photoblog, the Forchettine blog and the Rome City Guide for Kids blog
- garnered 2950 followers on Twitter
- connected with 1400+ Facebook friends, and 7300 following my public updates
- I recently purchased a second hand DSLR camera and a smartphone, through which I am learning the rudiments of photography
- received press mentions on, and was interviewed by, some of Italy's major newspapers and international web platforms
- starred in a web series in which I interview celebrity chefs
- above all, I have built wonderful connections with hundreds of fellow bloggers, readers, fans and followers
This will probably happen in the company of my son, the inspiring muse behind all my food and lifestyle writing. Had it not been for his extraordinary eating requests, and his extensive naps, I never would have started blogging in the first place.
Barring rain, I will be spending Jan. 24 outdoors and then seated at a table, eating spaghetti aglio olio e peperoncino, as a tribute to the luck this long and unpronounceable recipe name has brought me.
Although the best spaghetti AO+P are the ones made at home, in the old grubby frying pan with the good olive oil, young garlic and the chili peppers from Calabria, I won't be cooking it on this blog's birthday, though. When I say "day off" I mean it. I'll decide where to dine on perfectly slippery, spicy, garlicky spaghetti on the day, with only a lazy stroll between me and the eatery's doorstep.
There are good trattorie that occasionally make this dish, but since it is one of those homestyle fixes everyone knows how to prepare (even Italian men!), it's hardly ever a restaurant menu item. Good thing is no trattoria or other informal osteria will ever raise eyebrows if you ask for a plate of AO+P, they might not even charge you for it.
This is just a small list of places where I can usually score some good Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino in Rome. Feel free to add names.
- Da Lucia – Vicolo del Mattonato 2/B – Tel. 065803601 (Trasevere)
- Da Giovanni – Via della Lungara, 41/A – Tel. 066861514 (Trastevere)
- Da Francesco – Piazza del Fico, 29 – Tel. 066864009 (Navona)
- Agustarello a Testaccio – Via G. Branca, 98/100 – Tel. 065746585 (Testaccio)
- Lo Scopettaro – Lungotevere Testaccio, 7 – Tel. 065757912 (Testaccio)
- Da Roberto – Via della Magliana, 763 – Tel. 066550662 (Portuense)
- Trattoria Ponte Mollo – Via Tor di Quinto, 11 – Tel. 063333608 (Flaminio)
- Hostaria Da Edmondo – Circonvallazione Clodia, 90 – Tel. 063701272 (Prati)
- Dar Pallaro – Largo del Pallaro, 13 – Tel. 0668801488 (Campo de' Fiori)
- La Capanna – Piazza Dante, 23 – Tel. 06730369 (Esquilino)
- Pommidoro – Piazza dei Sanniti, 44 – Tel. 064452692 (San Lorenzo)
- Cul de Sac – Piazza Pasquino, 73 – Tel. 0668801094 (Navona)
- Buccone – Via di Ripetta, 19 – Tel. 063612154 (Piazza del Popolo)
- Armando al Pantheon – Salita dei Crescenzi, 31 – Tel. 0668803034 (Pantheon)
- Li Rioni a Santiquattro – Via Dei Santi Quattro, 24 – Tel. 0670450605 (Testaccio)
- Fontanella al 30 – Via del Pigneto, 30 – Tel. 0670613871 (Pigneto)
- Osteria La Quercia – Piazza della Quercia 23, – Tel. 068300932 (Campo de' Fiori)
Happy Birthday, Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino!