HeartRome: Food & travel tips service for Rome, Italy and beyond
I have some real exciting news for you. I’ll start off by saying this: Traveling through a city when you know someone who lives there or being guided with tips and advice by someone truly in the know really makes for the best holiday experience. Wouldn’t you agree?
So I am now making my services and time available to you.
I remember the time a good friend took me around Vienna for a couple of days and when another contact sent me a list of all the places I should eat at in Madrid. They helped to create some of the most memorable experiences. Because having access to local in-the-know is your ticket to getting under a city’s skin; a way to having a seamless and thoroughly authentic experience.Through my work and especially via social media, I am asked daily about: Where to eat in Rome? Where can I buy x in Rome? Should I choose the Cinque Terre or Amalfi Coast? What’s Sicily like? Would you recommend Sardegna in October? Is Naples safe? Where should I stay in Puglia? What are the best food and wine experiences in Italy? Should I stay in an apartment or hotel? Would you recommend driving in Italy? After Italy, where should we go? Do you know any boutique B&Bs in Florence? I could go on for days. What’s the best time to visit the Vatican?
As you know, as an Australian living in Rome I’ve been writing this blog for almost 7 years. In that time, I have forged a very successful career in the food, travel and lifestyle space working in culinary tourism, writing and editing for major international publications like USA Today, CNN and The Telegraph. I have collaborated digitally with Condé Nast Traveler numerous times and worked on prominent guide books like Fodor’s and the Rough Guide (the 2018 Italy edition I worked on by reviewing over 200 hotels, restaurants and bars will be out soon). I have collaborated with tourism boards including Oslo, Paris and London and worked with many major brands and organizations including Etihad Airways, EasyJet, Google, Dubai One TV, Instagram, Italian Government and the Presidential Palace, MasterCard and Slow Tourism to name a few.
I’ve collaborated with hotel groups like the luxury Italian Baglioni, Rocco Forte, Starhotels, Hilton, Pullman, Starwood & Marriott, Accor, Leading Hotels of the World and many more.
Travel the world!
I have travelled extensively over the last 20 years. Having almost set foot on every continent, I’ve visited over 40 countries and have lived in two. I’ve sailed the French Riviera, seen the Giza pyramids by night, navigated through the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, visited the Kremlin in Moscow and the ballet in St Petersburg. I’ve taken high tea in London, sipped cocktails on Manhattan rooftops, eaten street food roadside in Hong Kong and swam in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Dubai.
In Italy, I have travelled to 16 of the 20 regions (the other 4 are on my bucket list) from the home of wine and truffles in Piemonte to the mountains in Abruzzo, beaches of Sicily, sparkling turquoise coves of Sardegna and to the Trulli houses in Puglia. I’ve experienced the country by air, train, bus, car and boat.
I’ve taken day trips, excursions and tours, boat sailing days (public and private) and visited more islands in Italy than I knew existed (aside from the popular Capri, Ischia, but the Aeolian islands of Lipari, Volcano and Stromboli, the pontine island of Ponza, the Tremiti Islanda in Puglia, the Egadi Islands including Favignana in Sicily and islands off the coast of Tuscany. I’ve done truffle hunting, wine tasting, pasta making, seen how Parmigiano Reggiano, Balsamic Vinegar or even ceramics and Murano glass is made. You name it!
Additionally, I know the travel sector well at an industry level having delivered speeches on travel trends at international travel fairs and attended as a participant to travel blogger and Italian travel trade fairs.Eat the world!
On the dining front, while living in Italy I’ve dined and reviewed somewhere over 300 restaurants. I’ve participated in many industry events including Taste of Rome and Identità Golose Milano and interviewed some of the best chefs in the world including Massimo Bottura. On that note, I’ve dined at some of the world’s top restaurants (in the World’s 50 Best or the Michelin Guide) from San Sebastián and Bilbao to Paris, Copenhagen, New York and London. I’ve eaten at Noma and Osteria Francescana and many other restaurants who boast 3 Michelin Stars or who’ve held the mantle for #1 in the world. One of the highlights of my career to date was interviewing Massimo Bottura of Osteria Francescana in 2016 for USA Today in the year it was named #1 (after lazy 14 courses with wines to match!).I’ve also made it my mission to find the best places to eat when I travel and while in Rome – and that doesn’t mean they’re always fancy… local family run places, pizzerias, trattorias and cool, casual cafes are also majorly my thing.
I’m sure you also know that I’ve recently become an author. My book, I Heart Rome is a love letter to the eternal city. It contains 70 recipes and stories about all the food heroes I’ve met on this amazing journey. Here in Italy it made national headlines in La Repubblica and RAI News and internationally in the Huffington Post (you can find out where to buy it right here).
So you could say…
All this to say, I’ve developed what you could call ‘some expertise’ in the field of my dreams!
I’m not a travel agent or tour operator but I can work with you in a consultancy capacity to guarantee you access to some of the best food and travel experiences of your life!
Hi, this is Maria! How can I help you?
Just some of the things I can help or do for you:
- Consultancy advice about where, when and how to travel (Italy and Europe)
- General insider tips on travel around Italy
- Help with dining reservations from your local restaurants and bars to fine dining and Michelin Star establishments
- Put together an eating itinerary for Rome and other cities on request – including must eats and where you should eat them
- Ideas on things to do (or not to do!) like activities
- Get you discount codes with some local tour operators – think Vatican Museums, the Colosseum after dark or a walking food tour – in fact I have contacts and suppliers in many places across Italy
- Organise to have lunch or dinner with you while you’re in town
- Help you organise transport services
- Give you a list of the best hotels for your budget and needs
How it works?
My time is just as valuable as anyone’s. I charge an hourly rate that will be supplied to you during a free 15 minute consultation. During this chat let’s call it, we would talk about what your needs are, if and how I can help and what the cost would be. A range of packages are available depending on how little or much advice and assistance you’re after.
You can just relax
There are so many things you need to do to plan and book your trip. But imagine having an insider on hand (via Skype call, WhatsApp) for any questions and just to pick their brain on the how, what, where and who of it all?
How you pay?
Payments can be made by direct international bank transfer or even simpler, via PayPal.
For any questions or more info, you can contact me via the contact form on my website or email email@example.com.
Signing off from Trastevere,