HeartRome

My life and times in the eternal city and beyond

Latest Posts

The HeartRome 50 dining highlights of 2016

This was one of the hardest pieces I’ve had to put together all year. How does one wrap up a year of dining experiences when it seems that whether it’s been for work or pleasure, food has been the one constant!  From Michelin stars in Paris, Rome, Capri, San Sebastián, Modena, Bilbao and Verona to trattorias, pizzerias, cafes, street food carts, pubs and gelaterias, here are the 50 highlights of

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Arrivederci Roma 2016

It’s that time of year again.  For weeks before my annual pilgrimage home to Melbourne for Christmas and summer holidays, I always put this post on numerous to-do lists. As though it’s a burden; another thing to do before I fly out. How will I find the time to write it and select photos? What if I run out of time?  And then somehow, it just comes together.  Because just

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Santo: Trastevere’s cool new Cocktail Bar & Bistrot

I always thought that the corner of Trastevere down the hill from Gianicolo, just off Piazza San Cosimato and right behind the basilica of Santa Maria was a bit of dead space. Not anymore.  You now turn on to this section of Via della Paglia and see Santo. Cocktail bar slash bistro, it’s the latest in stylish bars with a decent food offering to hit the Rome dining scene. The first

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15 things you learn and see on a Vatican tour

Recently I took a tour with Walks of Italy. They are one of my fave Rome and Italy tour operators because their philosophy is very small groups with extremely competent and knowledgeable guides.  We chose The Complete Vatican Tour with Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica and Jowita our guide was just wonderful. When we saw the crowds and tourists snaking around the Vatican walls, I knew we’d

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Waraku & 6 other Japanese restaurants in Rome

Last week I had dinner in a yoga studio. As in, I didn’t go to yoga (I don’t do yoga!) and bring a sandwich in my backpack (I don’t really do backpacks either!).  I mean, I ate at Waraku – a Japanese cultural association that acts as a restaurant too and cooks up what is probably the most authentic cuisine outside of Tokyo on this side of the world.A couple

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Rome’s Secret Garden in Trastevere: the Botanical Gardens

There’s always something to do or see or experience in Rome. For when you’re looking to spend a morning or afternoon away from the crowds or the hustle and bustle of the city, head to the oasis that is, Rome’s Botanical Gardens.  You won’t believe you’re in the heart of Trastevere – it’s a really short walk from the bustling commercial part of the neighborhood. You’ll also be surprised at

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Where to eat in Modena when you can’t get a reservation at Osteria Francescana

Ok so if you’re off to Modena and had your heart set on dining at the number one restaurant in the world, Massimo Bottura’s, Osteria Francescana but couldn’t get a reservation, you’re not alone. Bookings here are hard to come by and while Francescana has been famous for years now, the world’s eyes remain fixated on this place since the June announcement of the World’s 50 Best. I was lucky

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24 Hours in Turin

My sister has spent the year with me in Rome and I couldn’t let her leave without a visit to my favourite northern city.  Turin or Torino is the capital of Piemonte. And the long held common perception of this region as the “ugly, industrial north” is a load of crap. Well not technically because, yes – industry is a big deal and has been historically (a little thing called

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Noma: The night I flew to Copenhagen for dinner with strangers

Have you ever done something crazy? Like really crazy?  This is the story of an Australian girl in Rome and an English girl in Amsterdam who meet in Copenhagen to make their foodie dreams come true.  When I met Vicky Hampton – the brainchild behind the incredible foodie site Amsterdam Foodie – a few years ago, I just knew good things would happen to me.  And by good things I mean

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6 things I did in Edinburgh

I finally, finally got around to experiencing a little more of the UK than London! This year I visited parts of Devon and even Bath which I thoroughly enjoyed. This time, it was Scotland. Edinburgh really impressed me. It’s just charming at every turn. The architecture, the old and the new, the hills and imposing Edinburgh castle and the Scots. Now there’s a people who really know how to turn

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