HeartRome

My life and times in the eternal city

Latest Posts

Quirinal Palace: 10 photos that will convince you add it to your Rome to-do list

I was recently invited on a behind-the-scenes visit of the Quirinale, the palace and home of the Italian President. A fun fact that will give you an indication of its size: it’s the 9th largest palace in the world and 20 times bigger than the White House! Located right in the heart of Rome, on the Quirinal Hill (one of the 7 hills of Rome), the palace has been home

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Living La Dolce Vita: What to do around Rome’s Via Veneto

It’s only natural that if you’re in the market for a little old-school and decadent dolce vita for your Roman Holiday, you’ll want to stay along the famed Via Veneto.  While this area of town is often touted by locals as one to be avoided for various reasons, it’s where the majority of the eternal city’s 5 star hotels are located. The area might not be buzzing at night like

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The “Italian” food you won’t find in Italy

Anyone who lives in Italy, has travelled through it extensively or taken slight notice of menus from region to region can tell you, that for the most part, the cuisine has been bastardised the world over. (Which, mind you, to a certain extent, is ok! In most countries where Italian migrants landed, they made do with whatever local produce was available.)  Yes – things like pizza and pasta are fair

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New York Food & Travel Guide… for when you’ve been before

New York. New York New York. Ol’ blue eyes sure got it in one when he sang: “…A city that never sleeps.”. Throw a borderline-insomniac-adrenalin freak like me into the mix and you can bet that the first time (and the second and third) I visited the big apple I hardly shut eye!     I’ve always said you feel like you’re in the centre of the universe when you’re in Manhattan. It

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8 Things to do in Florence 

Life and work recently took me back to Florence. The city of Michelangelo’s David and the Renaissance is so pretty with its ochre tones, picture perfect piazzas and narrow sidewalks. With so many things to do, it’s hard picking out a select few, but after this short trip, here are 8 unique and tried and tested things to do in lovely Firenze.  DO The Other Side of Florence Food Tour

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30 Places to Travel to in Italy in Summer

Ahh Italy in the summer time! Long hot days, the beach, cocktails under the warm night sky and it’s socially acceptable to eat more than one gelato a day. Sure, Italy can get quite crowded at this time of year, but I actually don’t care!  Growing up in Australia, I’ve always been a beach girl at heart and throughout the summer months in Italy, the smell of the sea and

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HeartRome Review: Marzapane

With its designer tones and clean wooden lines, sitting inside Rome’s Marzapane restaurants, you could be mistaken for thinking you’re dining somewhere else, perhaps in Scandinavia.  Alba Esteve Ruiz is a young Spanish chef. She trained in none other than El Celler de Can Roca, consistently named by many an illustrious guide, the best restaurant in the world. Her roman kitchen might not have been awarded accolades of the same

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Irene: Sassy Tuscan dining in the very heart of Florence

The first time I visited Florence I was in my early 20s. (I won’t say how long ago that was.) Traveling through Italy, I wanted to eat local and back then, Italian cuisine kind of meant this homogenous term, loosely defined by pizza and pasta. Those were the days when the term foodie wasn’t even part of the vocabulary and chefs like the celebrity ones of late weren’t household names.

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Seasonal dining. A Rome Review: Zest Bar & Restaurant, Radisson Blu Es.

Food in Italy is dictated by seasons. Whatever is fresh and in season is generally what you see on menus. In Rome, you don’t even have to know what month it is to easily work it out by walking past your local trattoria and seeing what’s on the board. For instance, I know it’s winter when I see puntarelle (locally grown endive) and spring and summer when I see eggplants

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Easter in Abruzzo: 72 hours of food

This weekend I spent Easter with my extended relatives in Abruzzo. My parents were both born in the small town of Prezza in the province of L’Aquila, located about a 2 hours drive from Rome. The town has a population of approximately 800 and is perched prettily against a mountain backdrop, surrounded by the national treasures of the Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo, Gran Sasso and Parco della Majella. I usually hop

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