As we prepare to say goodbye to 2022 it’s not hard to think – what the hell happened? Some normality after 2-3 years of havoc. Another year over. Another year wiser. Where did the time go?
Travel came back for most of the world with a vengeance and Italy was inundated by a ferocious wave of tourism. Much needed but also quite confronting. The next years will still see a lot of flux which the luxury travel sector still not back to pre pandemic levels and with China slowly reopening. One thing’s for sure – Italy remains a destination of choice for people around the world.
My year was filled with travel. My family finally made it back to Italy after being locked down in Melbourne for some of the world’s longest lockdowns and my sister spent a few months with me. For work and for pleasure, this year I visited: the Dolomites, Lucca, Florence, Milan, Abruzzo, Puglia, Ischia, Capri, Genoa, Gaeta, Palermo, Ibiza, Marseille, Valencia, Lake Como, Naples and I think that’s it.
It was filled with dining, new hotel openings, productive and unforgettable time with colleagues and friends, new experiences, old ones too and a whole lot of love. It’s the year I worked on updating and completely revamping my first book: I Heart Rome. It now has a new food guide, some new stories, a new look… and even a new title: The Eternal City. But the same roman recipes are in there and it’s on sale across the globe on 28 February. (Advance copies here: https://heartrome.bigcartel.com and pre orders online here: https://www.amazon.com/Eternal-City-Recipes-stories-Rome/dp/1922754277).
It’s also been a hard and long year. A year of loss. An unforgettable year. And as always, I stop to reflect and share some thoughts with you.
I’ve not written much on the blog this year. I will try to more next year but we’ll see how that goes. You can always keep update with my tips across the various press outlets I write for and on social media.
As I look back on 2022, I feel so many things.
It’s hard to ignore the problems the world is currently facing. There has been so much loss and devastation. Some more than others. A war rages too. Climate change is confronting us all. But through these adversity, the one thing that gives you hope, are glimmers of life. Stories of humanity. And you can find them everywhere.
I have immense pride as I continue to celebrate the release of my second book, How to be Italian. And the imminent release of The Eternal City! I am truly humbled and it all feels so surreal. I can’t thank you enough for your encouragement and support.
I’ve loved, lost, gained, laughed, cried, grown, changed, feared, hoped, struggled and thrived. Importantly, I’ve lived. And here’s a look back at some of the highlights:
- [ ] How to be Italian sold out in multiple markets including USA and Australia and continues to sell strongly worldwide
- [ ] I gave two lectures to American university students in Rome on How to be Italian to help them navigate the Italian working environment for their study internships
- [ ] Incredible global press coverage for my books in Washington Post, Grazia Italy, Italy Magazine, Frommer’s, Sydney Morning Herald and more
- [ ] Multiple press trips from Florence to Lake Como, Lucca to Milan
- [ ] Contributing for the first time to Food and Wine Italia
- [ ] Being interviewed by Grazia Italia – multiple glossy pages covering me and my Italy story
- [ ] Wining and dining in some of Australia’s and Italy’s best restaurants
- [ ] Profiled as an Australian living overseas by The Age / Sydney Morning Herald
- [ ] Spending quality time with my family during an epic and two year long overdue trip across Italy – Lake Como, Dolomites, Modena, Abruzzo, Puglia, Ischia and Capri
- [ ] Visiting the Dolomites for the first time and being completely blown away (and staying in a penthouse at Forestis!)
- [ ] Being interviewed for a number of press outlets and podcasts including Sunday Times and CNN
- [ ] Dozens or articles published on USA Today online about food and travel on Rome and beyond
- [ ] Staying in some of Italy’s best hotels on press assignment
- [ ] Press bylines in CNN, Signature Luxury Travel & Lifestyle, Fodor’s and more
- [ ] Growth across all social media platforms with now more than 45,000 lovers of food, travel and Italy coming along the HeartRome journey
For all of this and more, I am proud and thankful.
Your reflection will look and feel different to mine. And that’s the beauty of it all. Each of our years and experiences are different. But the important thing is – we lived. I hope you’ll look back and I’m sure you’ll find at least something to smile about.
I wish you all a safe and happy new year. May 2023 be one of hope, promise and prosperity for us all.
Love to each and every one of you and thank you from the depths of my heart for following along.
Signing off from Melbourne (with half of my heart always in Rome) for the last time this year,