HeartRome

My life and times in the eternal city and beyond

HeartRome takes on the world

If you asked me about 20 years ago what I wanted to be when I grew up , I would’ve confidently answered: “I want to be a journalist”. I was about 15 years old.

I spent the next 20 years (not growing up, but) getting 2 degrees and building a career in Melbourne. I achieved quite a lot in a short time, working as a policy adviser for the Victorian Government, managing major campaigns and events for the Premier during the Commonwealth Games and Sir Bob Geldof’s visit to Australia, working in the community sector and starting my own PR & Event Management company. (Tiring just writing about it!)

Looking back now, it seems I may have just come full circle. I guess every experience and opportunity in life leads you to where you’re meant to be.

While I have no formal training in journalism, writing has been my passion for over two decades.

Upon deciding to move to Rome, countless people told me, you won’t find a job. There is no work in Italy.

And for the most part this is right.

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Unemployment continues to rise.
Work here (and especially the well paid kind) is hard to come by. Qualified young Italians with their university degree in hand will often be found working as waiters or as shop assistants.

So I accepted pretty early on that I wouldn’t be able to just “find” a job or develop my business in Italy, particularly in this current economic climate. And for all my, “As long as I’m living in Rome, I don’t care what I do, I’d be happy to do just anything”, I knew I would have to do something fulfilling.

So, I didn’t look for work. I created it.

When I started my blog it was just a way to keep family and friends back in Australia updated on my Rome happenings. Let’s see where it takes me, I thought.

I firmly believe that if you are passionate about things in life, good things will come to you, but truthfully, I never expected it to take off like it has.

This blog – thanks to every single one of you reading or following – is now being read in over 120 countries. I have made contact with so many wonderful people and it has given me a voice here in Rome – to talk about all the things I love in life.

It has led to so many opportunities and it is satisfying and extremely rewarding to know that whatever fruits are born from it are completely my own.

Through my blog and social media presence in the travel and gastronomy sector, I was able to engage my first business client in Rome – Eating Italy Food Tours.

This role has enabled me to further grow in a sector that I love and (and am obsessed) about. And it’s the kind of role that presents you with one of those life moments – you know the one where you almost have to pinch yourself to see if it’s for real.

Working in this field in Rome means I live and breathe food and food history… and eat (a lot) too! And I write about the things I love most.

Over the European summer this year I was asked to write two articles for the EasyJet Airways travel blog.

The first was about my foodie weekend in Paris Saint Germain and the second about my summer island escape to Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

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My blog posts have also featured in some local English online magazines including this recent one in Wanted in Rome.

But one of my biggest personal achievements to date? The absolute crowning moment for HeartRome?

Being appointed as the Rome correspondent and local expert for 10Best – the online travel pages of USA Today!

I’m not sure if I have had a prouder moment than when I saw my profile live on their site. You can check me out here.

I am currently working (day and night!) on writing content and articles for them and I will repost them here as they are published.

Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart for all the well wishes and congratulatory phone calls from family, friends and even people I have never met.

I am happy, proud and humbled by your love and support and will never take it for granted. Cliche as it sounds, it’s just a dream come true. So in closing, find what you absolutely love in life, and if you can… do it.

I hope to see you all in Roma soon!

Signing off from Trastevere,
Baci Maria

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