The pungent scent of mimosa and the telltale trace of powdered sugar that cascades down the front of anyone eating “frappe al forno” define Rome’s abbreviated winter. Balconies are lined with bright pink, red and white cyclamen plants and the grass remains an uninspiring turf-green. Buds are forming on indigenous trees and the smell of wood-burning pizza ovens permeates the air. January and February are the only months when Rome is filled only with Romans. The rest of the year it sacrifices itself to everyone else. But during its gloriously un-punishing winter, Rome is real.