When in Rome: Olives, Allora and few other points.

Today is a rainy and windy day in Rome. The city is getting ready for the winter as the calendars are moving towards November. I am checking my notes and photographs while listening the voice of rain. This week, Allora’ became my favourite word with its sweet sound. It is something that Italians use a lot in their daily life. You can hear it in the grocery store, in streets while walking or in metro. Depending on the case, it basically means ‘so’ ‘you know’ ‘then’ or ‘I see’. For the moment, I am really enjoying to hear charming sound of Italian language in my daily environment. Hopefully I will be able to speak more soon.

As I said in the previous post, I study Agribusiness management at Rome Business School. The most remarkable thing from last week was from the instructor at History of European Agriculture class. When he learned that I am from Cyprus, he said that in ancient Rome, Olive oil in Cyprus was being used for cosmetics and medicine only. For cooking, they were using the olive oil in other parts of the empire. I made a quick google search to support what he said, but I could not reach something related to that information.  I took my note, will investigate further because what he said is interesting.

October is the time for harvesting in olive gardens. Back home, some are being picked up from the tree while they are still green in order to make çakistez, a delicious meze (appetizer, side dish). While others are being picked up, when they are completely black in order to produce olive oil. Olives has special place in my heart, because I earned my first money when I was 14 years old through selling çakistez in the street.  That was half made by me, half by my grandmother with her recipe.

a plate of çakistez, ready to eat.


I was quite surprised to taste olive oil even while eating some pizza, previously this week in a restaurant in Rome. It looks like, olive oil occupies a bigger place in the life of Italians. I am eager to learn more about olive industry here in Italy, during my one year adventure.

Let’s get back to life in Rome. This week, I was in search of a beautiful café for coffee and studying purposes. I have two nice spots on my list so far. First one is Library Coffee Bohemian, a place for a joyful evening of conservation and coffee. Second one is La casetta café, a place for quicker coffee experience. If anyone would like to try them, They are close to Cavour metro station on Line B. I could also suggest Pompi Tiramisu for tiramisu lovers which is situated at Via della Croce, 82. I was able to taste their lovely dessert, thanks to my dear friend Çağıl from school.

While I am writing this, I am also drafting the to do’s list for the next week. Apparently, I have to find a barber, a new hair dresser here in Rome. This is quite challenging, because the relationship of a man with his hairdresser is something quite long and strong. If you go to one barber, you go to him for 10-20 years. When I consider the low use of English in Rome, this is getting more challenging as I may have to describe how I want my hair cut through body language or some photos. I will definitely share my experience here, once I go to one of them.

On the other hand, it was quite hard to return back to home on Friday, after the welcoming party of Rome Business School because of general strike on public transportation. Although, I do not know much about why it is happening in Italy, I am very much familiar to this general strikes from Cyprus. In my island, it was mainly at education, teachers were striking once in a while (not anymore, thankfully!). There was a year that we did not go to school for a month because of that.

There is no doubt that, studying abroad could be hard and challenging. Everyday could be a new story in an environment where you do not know much or you do not know the language. But it is essential to expand your knowledge, learn about new ideas and continue to your personal and professional life more strongly than before. It makes you more aware of your weaknesses and strengths.  This week, while searching for something else, I came across with an article called ‘Why İnnovators should study the rise and fall of Venetian Empire’. The following quotes that I will take from the article explains the importance of exploring new horizons much clearly. They are also related with what I was trying to say above about studying abroad. It is obvious that, the pace of change is faster than ever before. It is quite hard to catch that by sticking only to the routine status quo of life. Therefore, the only way to move forward is by reading, traveling and learning from different people, culture and events. Never stop doing that.

Enjoy this two quotes from Harvard Business Review. I wish you a great week ahead.

‘…But, like a lot of successful entities, Venice reached a point where it focused more on exploitation than exploration: Venetian traders followed existing paths to success. Entrepreneurs chose not to move away from traditional pathways. Established practices and preferences became more popular than exploration and speculation…’

‘…What’s the lesson for entrepreneurs and innovators today? The stronger the assumption that the future will function as today does, the greater the gravitational force of the status quo. Organizations set in their ways slow down and never strive for new horizons. They are doomed to wither…’


Why İnnovators should study the rise and fall of Venetian Empire.





  1. Hey Ali! It is nice to hear about the olives. Now I want to try the çakistez, even having no idea of how to pronounce it! haha.
    By the way, thanks for the coffee tips and I really wanna try a real tiramisu.
    See you!


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