HeartRome

My life and times in the eternal city and beyond

Category Travel Italy

Salina – the mountainous green heart of Sicily’s Aeolian Islands

There’s Italy, then there’s Sicily. And there’s Sicily and then there are the Aeolian islands (le isole Eolie). I’ve spent more than 5 summers on the islands and dozens more on the Sicilian ‘mainland’ and I just can’t get enough. The fusion of cultures, the architecture, the people, the landscape, the food. And the desserts. Almonds, pistacchio, ricotta, lemon. I could go on. I’d been to Salina before (hell I

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See Naples and Die: A day trip from Rome with Casa Mia Food & Wine

Here are just some of the ways you could spend an hour in Rome: Lining up to enter St Peter’s Basilica or the Vatican Museums Walking through the lush green of Villa Borghese Shopping along Via del Corso Or… you could simply hop on a fast train and be drinking a coffee straight up in the famous Caffe Mexico, amidst the bustling chaotic beauty that is Napoli. That’s right, in

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Abruzzo Food & Travel: Cooking with Rosy

Stories like Rosy’s warm my heart. Maybe because we are both Abruzzese. Or because we are both very tied to our families. Perhaps it’s because we grew up in a household where gatherings around the table were the norm. Or even because we have a passion for food. For traditions. And for storytelling. Maybe because we both had the courage in life to say “This is what I love doing,

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Easter in Abruzzo & La Madonna che Scappa

If you don’t follow me anywhere on social media, haven’t read this blog before or have been living under a rock – newsflash: my Italian family heritage is Abruzzese. And not my great great grandparents or my grandparents (even though surprise surprise – they are from Abruzzo too!) I’m talking: my parents – both of them, born in Abruzzo. In a tiny town called Prezza in the mountains of L’Aquila

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Capri: A Guide to Italy’s VIP Island

The island made famous decades ago by icons and celebrities like Bridget Bardot and Jackie O certainly hasn’t lost its VIP feel and style. Capri is truly the playground of Italy and the world’s rich and famous. Here, taxis take the form of luxury convertibles, days are spent aboard private boats and luxury yachts and evenings in the Piazzetta are made for people watching. As you sip on a cocktail,

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HeartRome Wins! 2016 Italy Magazine Travel Blog of the Year! 

Thank you, thank you, thank you! For every person who voted for HeartRome in the 2016 Italy Magazine Blog Awards.  Thanks to every one of your votes, your likes, comments and shares on social media, this moment was possible. Congratulations to all the other winners and finalists – as always, I’m in wonderful company and you can check out who they are right here.  Taking out the title of Best

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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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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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