HeartRome

My life and times in the eternal city and beyond

Category Travel Italy

The three things I’d go back to Lecce for

Ok, so truth is, of course there are more than three.  It’s a beautiful, baroque-style architecture filled city in one of my favourite regions in Italy (for those of you who were about to leave my site for a quick Google search, I’m talking about Puglia). With a cool bar and restaurant scene, great shopping and strategically located to explore the broader region as you please, Lecce should be on

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5 reasons to take a cooking class in Capri

As long summer days turn into cooler Autumn nights, I start to think about what I could be cooking on evenings spent at home. A few tricks and tips come to mind from my wonderful cooking experience on Capri a month ago.  Through my friend and Capri expert Gillian McGuire (check out her blog here), I met Holly and Gianluca of Ristorante Michel’Angelo. And because of them, had some of

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A guide to Cefalù in Sicily

I’ve never met a part of Sicily I didn’t like!  Every city, region and country has a stereotype. Some characteristics for which they are just synonymous with – truth or not. When many people think or hear Sicily, some words that come to mind include arancino, cannolo siciliano, grantita & brioche, beach, mafia. In some way or another, each of these hold some of truth in the eclectic dynamic of Sicily..

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Under the Tuscan Sun, A quick guide to Siena

Well not really under the sun I have to say. On a mid-week break in May, as rain absolutely poured, I finally ticked Siena off my bucket list. I’ve visited many a medieval town and hamlet across Italy, so I’d convinced myself that it was ok that Siena hadn’t yet made the list. Now that I’ve been there – it is actually not ok! Located 70km south of Florence, the

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A week at sea: Cruising the Mediterranean

Big cruises aren’t my thing. I wouldn’t generally choose one as my first choice for summer travel. But last year I went on one with my parents. They wanted to explore the Mediterranean and had limited time so this was the perfect way to spend a week. With MSC Cruises we cruised for 7 nights from Civitavecchia through Palermo, Cagliari, Marseille, Valencia, Palma de Mallorca and Genoa. I have to

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5 things to add to your Verona to-do-list

I’m lucky enough to say that I’ve been to Verona three times in my life. But on the third time, it was (finally!) for more than just a day. Located in the Veneto region, it might not receive as much foot traffic as Venice but it certainly gets busy in high season and packs a punch with what it has to offer visitors.  People come to Verona to see and

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Putting Abruzzo on the map

As is the case around most of Abruzzo, the drive into the hamlets and towns of Chieti province can be a bumpy one. Many of the roads around here aren’t really taken care of. Many of the buildings look abandoned or are in need of repair and it’s as though life just keeps passing them by.  Abruzzo from an economic standpoint is one of Italy’s struggling regions. Yes, Italy has

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Italian Lakes and spa day: Sirmione

Thousands of visitors descend on Lake Garda daily especially in the warmer months and it’s not at all hard to understand why. This is Italy’s largest lake and the district evokes a magical sense of Italian dolce vita that’s different from the coast. Located in the province of Brescia, half hours drive from Verona and less than 2 hours from Milan, Sirmione is all you’d want in a lake town and

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The photos that will make you want to visit Chieti Province, Abruzzo right now

You know my parents were born in Abruzzzo right? It’s in my blood; it’s in my heart. And slowly it’s becoming a destination of choice for travellers to Italy who are looking to explore Italy that bit further beneath the surface. From UNESCO heritage sites, lakes, mountains, beach, it really offers it all as a destination (and it’s much cheaper than say a Tuscany or Puglia).  I recently explored the

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Florence: Exploring the Santa Croce Neighbourhood

In a city busting at the seams with tourists, it can be hard in Florence to find an area that seems authentically Florentine. In the heart of the centro storico, the Santa Croce neighbourhood is probably one of the most genuine left in the centre.  Here, you can still see daily glimpses of local Florence life. From the steps of the Santa Croce church which stands tall and proud in the

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