Erica Firpo

Correspondent

  • Rome, Italy, Europe

Erica Firpo writes about art, culture and travel for online and print publications such as The Huffington Post, New York Times, Globespotters, The Guardian, BBC Travel and Cathay Pacific’s Discovery Magazine. She is Luxe Guide’s Rome editor. With Rome as home base, she loves to travel the Mediterranean in search of contemporary art and culture as well as traces of the Ancient Roman Empire.

  • On March 22, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    What are the best local dishes in Rome?

    Photo courtesy of Eating Italy Food Tours Rome’s most beloved local dishes are the triumvirate of pastas: spaghetti alla carbonara— spaghetti with a sauce of pancetta (bacon), egg and pecorino cheese, the slightly piccante buccatini all’amatriciana- a long tube like pasta with a sauce of guanciale (cured pig cheek), tomato and pecorino cheese, and the simple and lovely caciopepe, pasta with grated pepper and pecorino cheese. 

    For main courses, Roma favorites are straccetti alla romana- thin strips of beef on a bed of arugula and shards of parmesan cheese, trippa alla romana- tripe cooked in a red sauce garnished with mint and pecorino cheese, and saltimbocca alla romana- thin medalions of veal and prosciutto garnished in sage and cooked in a light white wine.  What should not be missed are contorni (vegetables) to accompany the meal—two favorites are the seasonal carciofo alla romana- braised artichoke, carciofo alla giudia- fried artichoke and puntarelle- wild chicory spears in an olive oil, garlic and anchovy dressing.
  • On March 22, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    What are the best museums in Rome?

    Photo by Erica Firpo As every knows, Rome is an open air museums, so a meander around the city will almost always prove to be the very best museum visit one could have.  When the need to go indoors strikes, my list of Rome's best museums includes Galleria Nazionale Arte Moderna (GNAM), the national art gallery that is a literal walk through Italian art history from just before its mid-19th century unification to today. 

    The recently renovated Palazzo Barberini has truly beautiful collection of artwork from early Renaissance through early 19th century with pieces by Caravaggio, Raphael and Holbein. If the paintings are overwhelming, look up at the enormous ceiling in the main salon, decorated in frescoes by Pietro da Cortona.

    For the ancient, I cherish any visit to Palazzo Massimo, part of the National Museum of Rome ticket which includes entries into three other museums including Cripta Balbi.  Though every floor houses lovely antiquities, I usually head up to the 2nd floor to enjoy the 1st century BC frescoes.  And then I will walk downtown to Cripta Balbi, a multi-layered archeological site/museum which showcases all the layers of Rome's history from Repubblican through late Renaissance
  • On March 22, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    What are the best places for gelato in Rome?

    Photo by Nicolee Drake @Cucinadigitale The great gelato question always inspires a lively debate Rome.  I think labeling a gelateria as "best" is very pesonal.  As a faithful choco-holic, I have only two gelaterie that I frequent, especially when in need of fondente (dark chocolate): Ciampini at Piazza San Lorenzo in Lucina (just off of via del Corso) and Gelateria al Teatro off of Via dei Coronari near Piazza Navona.  Both make superb dark chocolate, and I am told their other flavors are heavenly as well, made from all natural products. 

    With Rome's recent gelateria-a-go-go, there are now many more spots to choose from.  A close friend swears by every unique flavor that Fatamorgana in the Monti neighborhood produces. My sister will never tire of the unending list of flavors Giolitti and Gelatera della Palma (Pantheon area). And  when chocolate is too much for me, my favorite fruit flavors are found at the tiny Corona in Largo Argentina. 
  • On March 22, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    What is the best time to visit Rome?

    Photo by Erica Firpo Rome is beautiful any time of the year, whether early Spring, late summer, fall or winter.  January and February are cold, quiet and romantic. The week leading up to Easter and following weeks tend to be more busy than usual with the celebration of the holiday- sometimes the tourist congestion can be a little overwhelming, especially those wanting to walk through the Vatican Museums.  July is when the mercury rises drastically, and with air conditioning not always providing a strong chill, this month can be infernal.  August is when many businesses close and several residents leave the city, offering an unusual calm.  The fall months are beautiful with life very active in the piazza and dining outdoors always an option. Christmas season is particularly lovely as the city is deocorated in holiday finery, whether window displays or charming church nativity scenes.
  • On March 22, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    What is public transportation like in Rome?

    Photo by Nicolee Drake @cucinadigitale Public transportation in Rome can often be equated to a game of roulette-- you never know what you will get, but sometimes it could be in your favor. ATAC, Rome's public transport system, courses throughout the city by tram, bus and metro, and is filled with passengers from all ages and walks of life. Bus stops are quite visible with bright yellow signs that pepper every street and each sign lists bus lines (by number and name) and their respective stops.

    The key to Rome's public transportation is patience, which is aided by consulting the ATAC webpage for ticket purchasing, arrival times and path configuration. On the site, you can enter in departure and destination address and ATAC will configure the appropriate methods of travel- bus, tram, metro and walking. In order to take part in Rome's  transport system, you must purchase a time integrated ticket (BIT) -  1 euro 50 gets a 100 minutes of travel,  6 euro for "daily" 24 hour ticket and long term visitors may look into monthly and yearly passes.

    Well known to Italy are its transit scioperi, public transportation strikes which can reduce any city to a crawl. These strikes are publicized well in advance (check ATAC, newspapers and websites), and though they can be frustrating, don't be daunted. When a strike shuts down transport, Rome is left wide open to pedestrians and bicycles.
  • On March 22, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    What is public transportation like in Rome?

    Photo by Nicolee Drake @cucinadigitale Public transportation in Rome can often be equated to a game of roulette-- you never know what you will get, but sometimes it could be in your favor. ATAC, Rome's public transport system, courses throughout the city by tram, bus and metro, and is filled with passengers from all ages and walks of life. Bus stops are quite visible with bright yellow signs that pepper every street and each sign lists bus lines (by number and name) and their respective stops.

    The key to Rome's public transportation is patience, which is aided by consulting the ATAC webpage for ticket purchasing, arrival times and path configuration. On the site, you can enter in departure and destination address and ATAC will configure the appropriate methods of travel- bus, tram, metro and walking. In order to take part in Rome's  transport system, you must purchase a time integrated ticket (BIT) -  1 euro 50 gets a 100 minutes of travel,  6 euro for "daily" 24 hour ticket and long term visitors may look into monthly and yearly passes.

    Well known to Italy are its transit scioperi, public transportation strikes which can reduce any city to a crawl. These strikes are publicized well in advance (check ATAC, newspapers and websites), and though they can be frustrating, don't be daunted. When a strike shuts down transport, Rome is left wide open to pedestrians and bicycles.
  • On March 22, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    What is public transportation like in Rome?

    Photo by Nicolee Drake @cucinadigitale Public transportation in Rome can often be equated to a game of roulette-- you never know what you will get, but sometimes it could be in your favor. ATAC, Rome's public transport system, courses throughout the city by tram, bus and metro, and is filled with passengers from all ages and walks of life. Bus stops are quite visible with bright yellow signs that pepper every street and each sign lists bus lines (by number and name) and their respective stops.

    The key to Rome's public transportation is patience, which is aided by consulting the ATAC webpage for ticket purchasing, arrival times and path configuration. On the site, you can enter in departure and destination address and ATAC will configure the appropriate methods of travel- bus, tram, metro and walking. In order to take part in Rome's  transport system, you must purchase a time integrated ticket (BIT) -  1 euro 50 gets a 100 minutes of travel,  6 euro for "daily" 24 hour ticket and long term visitors may look into monthly and yearly passes.

    Well known to Italy are its transit scioperi, public transportation strikes which can reduce any city to a crawl. These strikes are publicized well in advance (check ATAC, newspapers and websites), and though they can be frustrating, don't be daunted. When a strike shuts down transport, Rome is left wide open to pedestrians and bicycles.
  • On March 22, 2013
    Erica Firpo answered the question: Erica Firpo

    What is public transportation like in Rome?

    Photo by Nicolee Drake @cucinadigitale Public transportation in Rome can often be equated to a game of roulette-- you never know what you will get, but sometimes it will be in your favor. ATAC, Rome's public transport system, courses throughout the city by tram, bus and metro, and is filled with passengers from all ages and walks of life. Bus stops are quite visible with bright yellow signs that pepper every street and each sign lists bus lines (by number and name) and their respective stops.

    The key to Rome's public transportation is patience, which is aided by consulting the ATAC webpage for ticket purchasing, arrival times and path configuration. On the site, you can enter in departure and destination address and ATAC will configure the appropriate methods of travel- bus, tram, metro and walking. In order to take part in Rome's  transport system, you must purchase a time integrated ticket (BIT) -  1 euro 50 gets a 100 minutes of travel,  6 euro for "daily" 24 hour ticket and long term visitors may look into monthly and yearly passes.

    Well known to Italy are its transit scioperi, public transportation strikes which can reduce any city to a crawl. These strikes are publicized well in advance (check ATAC, newspapers and websites), and though they can be frustrating, don't be daunted. When a strike shuts down transport, Rome is left wide open to pedestrians and bicycles.
  • On March 22, 2013
    Erica Firpo is now following Hayley Bosch
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    Erica Firpo is now following Michelle Doucette
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    Erica Firpo is now following Tom Flournoy
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    Erica Firpo is now following Sarah Gleim
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    Erica Firpo is now following Jennifer Kester
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