Rome Sweet Rome – Rock in Roma 2014

Ariana Guesthouse, da Robertino, Italy, L'allegra Fattoria, Paolo Nutini, Rock in Roma, Roma, Rome

Ciao Roma! Oh it was soo great to take a flight to my home country!

It’s not a secret that I use to travel around to see a band or a deejay if they’re not in my hometown currently. Fact is, if I am warped by a certain beat/lyric/melody I can’t help it and I want to see as much as I can live to absorb the energy which that particular kind artist has to offer. For me, there’s no more perfect thing to combine concerts and trips together: I have the chance to attend concerts, see different cities (sometimes, Again!) and learn some more on my way.

This time was the turn to go out from my four walls and head to Rome, to attend the summer festival Rock in Roma. Chosen artist: the absolutely very talented Paolo Nutini. I discovered Paolo’s music in 2007, where I was passing through less happy days, so I was able to relief my pain by hearing his wonderful voice and discovering other huge artists. Ever since I tried to be there when he played in Switzerland, I think I was able to visit all his Swiss dates actually, wasn’t a problem if at the wonderful Montreux Jazz Festival or on a single concert here in Zurich. And: hell yeah, it’s totally worth it to hear this soulful babe live! You’ll notice that he’s a babe by hearing all the chicks around screaming like crazy 😉

I also have to admit, I’ve missed Mr. Nutini the last two years, even if I really was glad for him taking a break, he really deserved it after months, if not years, of touring around Europe. Since he’s back and in an amazing mood, I try to enjoy it as much as I can of course.

I like it most when he plays in small venues, like it was in a club called Backstage, in Munich, early this spring: in my opinion his voice fits in this kind of intimate places. At least, it touched me a lot emotionally to be a part of this kind of concerts.
What I love about Paolo Nutini, is his simplicity into telling stories. His songs have the power to touch me deeply and I can totally feel his lyrics. Other than his first album “These Streets”, which has more the acoustic touch, “Caustic Love” seems to be more grown up and has a bit of a Retro and Jazzy touch. Something that I call good old music. For me, it could become one of these studio albums that will be heared in many many years, without losing the charme.

Rock in Roma is held in an old hippodrome a little bit out of the city, which is used for different concerts and also as a farmer market during the week. The event starts in May, and has a headliner per week. As you all can imagine, the dimentions are pretty huge, so even if you are a “front rower”, your darling artist will be far far away from you ;).

The concert was very relaxed, Paolo seemed to be really happy to sing in Italy, since he’s half Italian. He also sang Lucio Dalla’s song “Caruso”, a classic in Italy for young and old. The atmosphere was a mid summernight’s dream: Rome has very warm temperatures this time of the year, so it was simply magical to have some wine, sit down on the grass and listen to this beautiful voice singing. In the actual tour he re-arranged some older songs so that they fit with the vibe of “Caustic Love” – so even up tempo songs like “Jenny Don’t Be Hasty” or “Funky Cigarette” have a laid back mood now. What can I say, the show ended and I didn’t recongnize that two hours were gone. I enjoyed every minute of it and would rewind it every day!

Being in Rome gave me the chance to refresh my mind into monumental history. I visited Rome two times already, but it’s always nice to stand in front of the Colosseum or in Vatican City, places of big stories and architectonically beautiful. Of course, Rome offers great food too! I wouldn’t leave the city without having a plate of Bucatini alla Matriciana or some Meat Balls in fresh tomato sauce. A must: a glass of Sambuca after dinner, then, wander around and make a stop in a gelateria to have some homemade ice for dessert (so good, this is summer for me!).

Lucky me, I was in a good period in Rome for exhibitions. At Palazzo Cipolla, I could experience the Andy Warhol Exibition, that will end on September 28th. It’s a great journey through all creative periods that Warhol had. Very interesting for me, because I’ve been studying art in Italy in my hometown, and Pop Art was, with Picasso’s Cubism, one of the things that impressed myself the most.

Photo: Courtesy of amointernet.it

Practical Infos:

Where to stay: Rome has plenty of hotels, but for my frequent traveller budget a bit too pricey. So we decided to take a room at the Ariana Guest House near Termini station. We had a big room with two beds, just nearby the kitchen where breakfast was served. Bathroom is shared with another room, not really a big deal. Another Plus: the owner Sergio is very friendly, gives you a good city overview and some tips.

Getting around: Termini station is a strategical position. Every Bus starts it’s journey from there and you can take both metro lines, A and B. In my case I bought a 3 days pass for 16 Euros, so I was able to get around with everything without bothering.

Rock in Roma: Tickets can be purchased on Ticketmaster, they are around 35 Euros. The venue can be reached by metro and bus. For the return journey I would reccomend to buy a ticket for a private bus on Eventi in Bus (website in italian), since every other public bus will be full of people. Price: 5 Euros, goes directly to Termini station.

Need a Cab?: Download the App Uber. I got lost once (yeah, it happens sometimes…). I ordered a cab in the middle of nowhere and got a driver that was wearing a suit in a chic Mercedes. It’s also only worth it for the VIP experience – and they are cheaper than a cab. 😉

Where to Eat: In the city centre, I tried the Ristorante da Robertino. I was there twice ’cause it’s good valued roman cuisine. They have a little cute patio outside, perfect for summer nights. The night of the concert we opted for L’allegra Fattoria: a typical italian restaurant, with a big outside terrace and genuine kitchen. It was in 20 minutes of walking distance from the hippodrome, totally perfect located!

Ristorante da Robertino
Ristorante da Robertino
Ristorante L’allegra Fattoria
Polpette (classic italian meatballs)

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