HeartRome

My life and times in the eternal city and beyond

Tag italy

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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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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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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Osteria Francescana: The day I ate at the world’s number 1 restaurant (& interviewed the chef too!)

Modena is famous for many things. Pavarotti was born here. Its balsamic vinegar. It’s home to Ferrari, Maserati and Lamborghini. But I went to Modena for one thing – one thing alone, to dine at the current #1 restaurant in the world, Osteria Francescana. I’d been wanting to dine here for years and when in June this year, the restaurant jumped from #2 to #1 in the world (according to

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Where to eat & drink in Gallipoli (in Italy!)

Many of my Australian followers, upon hearing I was traveling to Gallipoli, thought of the Turkey one (Australia and Gallipoli, Turkey have a long and quite emotional history and connection). I did the same thing about 10 years ago when a friend first told me about it. She said to me: it’s all white buildings and amazing beaches. It’s the south of the south; where all the Italians spend their

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The photos that show you another another side of Tuscany: Monte Argentario

Someone mentions Tuscany and what do you think ok? Renaissance and over crowded Florence. Rolling hills and scenes from Under the Tuscan Sun. Chianti wine.  But what if I told you there was such a thing as a Tuscan archipelago, quaint fishing villages and islands surrounded by waters that rival the Caribbean? And I’m not kidding!  Monte Argentario is a promontory that stretches out into the Tyrennian Sea. Connected to

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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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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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5 years in Rome 

Last year I was interviewed by the lovely Enrica Barberis, an Italian journalism student at Rome’s John Cabot University. 5 years ago today, I moved to Rome and I couldn’t think of a more fitting post to mark the occasion. I hope you enjoy. Lots of love from Rome! Signing off from Trastevere Baci, Maria Going against the flow and feeling at home in Rome By Enrica Barberis Rome – Maria

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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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