HeartRome

My life and times in the eternal city and beyond

Tag wine

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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Materia Cafe: Where design and good food collide

When I walked into Materia Cafe I felt as though I’d landed into one of those cool hipster cafes in Melbourne’s Collingwood. In fact it could have been Williamsburg in Brooklyn or Shoreditch in London. You get the drift. Hipsters rejoice! I do love the classic style you find around Rome, but when design spaces like Materia come on to the scene – and I mean not just a hanging

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Rimessa Roscioli: Wine tasting in the heart of Rome 

Anyone who knows anything about food and wine in Rome will tell you that the Roscioli brand name is synonymous with quality. There’s the salumeria / wine bar and restaurant, the bakery (Antico Forno Roscioli) where you can get some of the best pizza bianca in town (FYI their recipe is in my book!), Roscioli Caffe for a quick sweet, coffee or lunch and Rimessa Roscioli – the brainchild of

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Amarone nights in Rome 

Unless you’re an Italian wine aficionado, I will forgive you for not knowing Amarone. This red, rich and dry wine is produced in north Italy, mainly in the Valpolicella area, in the province of Verona (Veneto). In 1990 it gained DOC quality status (with many later promoted to DOCG), which kicked off its export as wine of choice around the world.  This week, I had the pleasure of sitting through

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Where to buy I Heart Rome – the book

Excited doesn’t even begin to describe it! I have my debut book, I Heart Rome (published by Smith Street Books) in my hot hands and I’ll let you in on a little secret. It’s gorgeous (if I say so myself!) Here are some more sneak peak pictures and the book description: “Rome begs to be uncovered at every turn. Through authentic local stories, recipes and glorious photos, I Heart Rome takes

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Rome’s secret garden & new summer hotspot 

I love summer in Rome. There is so much to do that it can even get slightly overwhelming! From outdoor cinema, live music in many parks, opera at the Baths of Caracalla, various festivals and events, the list goes on and on and on.  To kick off the season, last week in the Guido Reni district, an old industrial site by the MAXXI (Rome’s 21st century art museum) Hotel Butterfly

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Caffe` Propaganda V 2.0

I always liked Caffe` Propaganda. Quite simply, it’s centrally located, cool and fun and has a great vibe. I’ve eaten and drank here many times and it really hasn’t ever disappointed. Owned by entrepreneurs Maurizio Bistocchi, Daniele Quattrini and Edoardo Caracciolo, the place has just had a revamp. According to them, the philosophy behind their new format is avant-garde; in fact they’ve created an entire menu named Hotel Avantguardia which

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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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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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