July in Rome can be very hot, and some days you just cannot face cooking. “Let’s pop up the hill for pizza!” I said. And off we went. Just up the road, here is Fontana di Carlotta with the Scalinata degli Innamorati, the stairs of lovers. Possibly because they are usually quite dark, but there are often teenagers sitting there chatting in the evenings. Fontana di Carlotta: not so glamourous, but it is said that three sips of the fountain water brings good luck to couples. Carlotta was possibly the innkeeper of a 16th century inn, serving pilgrims en route to the Basilica San Paolo Fuora Mura south of here. Garbata Ostella (well-liked hostel, or was the innkeeper “garbata e bella” (well-liked and beautiful?) Regardless, it is now Garbatella. A cat we met on the way up the stairs. Garbatella is our neighbourhood in Rome. Built in the late 1920s/early 1930s, a Borgata Giardino with inspiration from the garden city movement in the UK, developed by the Istituto Case Popolari to provide affordable housing. Now we live just across the road from old Garbatella, which is lovely. People are really friendly too, as are the cats. Alberto Sordi (famous film star) was raised in Garbatella. This is on Via Rubino, ambling towards Piazza Eurosia. Just around the corner from Piazza Eurosia there is a small dusty park, which is usually busy in the evening with families. There, on Via delle sette Chiese 101/B you’ll find Mi Garba la Pizza, an excellent pizza a taglio. No tables inside (it is tiny) but they have tables outside in the summer, which is great. Families, birthday parties, and good pizza. Pizza a taglio (by the slice): the mozzarella and anchovy one looked interesting, but we went for the freshly made margherita. We even got a table (maybe a World Cup game was on); normally we take our box of pizza and find a bench to enjoy pizza and people-watching. Grandparents, kids, dog owners, nuns, office workers on their way home. No tourists, this is strictly a local experience. Dessert? Why not? And conveniently down the same street is the gelateria Angels, easy to spot with pink lights and people eating gelato; they also have some tables outside (often not the case in Rome). Here is the biscuit & chocolate gelato section (slightly tacky, but popular) and it is certainly good gelato. Then we strolled down the hill and were soon home, after a nice little evening stroll. A lovely reminder of the many good sides of living here.