Arrivederci Roma 2015

2015. Another year in Rome said and done for me.

As I sat down to write this post, like always, I felt a wave of emotion.

It’s always sad to say goodbye to my adopted city, but what awaits in Melbourne very much outweighs the melancholy. It’s been a trying few months for me in Rome with some (not serious) health issues and a grueling work and travel schedule. So I can’t wait to go home and see my family and friends.

Life this year for me has been full of many unforgettable moments, laughter, tears, new friends, family time, love gained, love lost. I continue to grow and learn and have challenged myself both personally and professionally. I continue to give it my all.

One of my Instagram followers recently mentioned she couldn’t wait to read my annual, “Arrivederci Rome” post and it truly warmed my heart. I hope that if anything, it makes you reflect on your year gone by as well. The things you did, the things you didn’t do; the latter which should never make you fret – for around the corner there’s a tomorrow and while we are fortunate enough to see the sun set and rise each day let’s all remember that hope lives. Especially in these trying times.

I hope you think constantly about your own dreams and what you can do to realise them.

Because this is truly what I’ve been doing for the last 4 years. And what I’ve loved most has been the honour and the privilege of being able to share it with all of you.

Thank you as always – blog followers, social media (you now total over 12,000!) for coming along for the ride!

Happy holidays to each and every one of you from Rome.

To my Rome, my infinite love – I will miss you as always. Until we meet again. Arrivederci Roma.

Melbourne – it’s time to clock on!

And so without further ado, here’s my 2015 in Rome in pictures.

For the last time this year…

Signing off from Trastevere,
Baci Maria
Touching snow in the hilltop towns of my Abruzzo.

Having mum be just one of the girls!

Eating my way through Madrid with Madrid Food Tours.
Coming home to Rome with mum was truly the best medicine. And working with Flytographer was such an awesome experience!
Coming home to Rome with mum was truly the best medicine. And working with Flytographer was such an awesome experience!


Visiting stunning Seville for the first time.
Walking through St Peter’s Basilica for the first time in over 10 years. A site to be seen for believers and non-believers.
Having my very own photo shoot through the streets of Rome with travel photography professionals, Flytographer


My Italian TV dreams came true when I met Vinicio Marchioni (‘Er Freddo’ from Romanzo Criminale).
Seeing my friends perform in the amazing Because We Can Can-Can Musical in Gaeta.
Having gelato in Rome with my gorgeous friend Sophie from Wonderful Wanderings.
Many plates of carbonara were had!
Being pampered as a guest at Rome’s new Baglioni Spa by Caschera.
Two Melbourne girls in Rome! Eating with the lovely Paola of Italy on My Mind.
I died and went to chocolate heaven on the Eating Prague Food Tour (all for work of course!)
The most unexpected travel surprise for 2015 – Turin! I left my heart in this city and can’t wait to spend more time here.
It’s not every day you get to hunt for truffles in Alba (Piemonte).
Hanging out with Aussie girls in Rome - always special!
Hanging out with Aussie girls in Rome – always special!
Drinking Barolo in Barolo (Piemonte)!
Looking out to Via Veneto on my birthday – that’s how I spent the day, thanks to Brunello Lounge and Restaurant at Rome’s luxurious Baglioni Hotel.
Moments like these with my Trastevere girls.
Moments like these with my Trastevere girls.
Celebrating another year older (and wiser?) in Rome with much loved friends.
It was so much fun taking an 8 week cooking course.
Dinners at home with friends. Food, love, laughter and memories.
I ate my way through Amsterdam’s Jordaan neighbourhood and rode along the canals too.. It was a hard day at the office with Eating Amsterdam
Visiting Bergamo Alta for the day gave me just a taste. I’d love to explore the Lombardy region more in 2016.
And with all the hype, Milan World Expo came and went…but I was a part of it!
Getting to know so many young and talented Roman chefs this year – from Francesca Barreca and Marco Baccanelli of Mazzo in Centocelle to Marco Martini of the Michelin starred Stazione di Posta. It was another great year of dining for me! (Photo taken at Mazzo)
Being invited to speak (in Italian!) at the Travel Blogger Destination Italy Conference day in Rome.
Drinking DOCG Cesanese in lush green landscape of Lazio’s Ciociaria.
Taking what was probably the first Abbot selfie in the world with blogger friends on the #AmazingCiociaria blog tour.
The feeling of finding love again. I’ve loved and lost in Rome in 2015 but still believe that the universe has us all where we’re supposed to be!
I fulfilled another lifelong dream this year and started taking singing lessons! In this historic place… behind Rome’s MACRO museum (once home to the largest slaughterhouse in Europe).
I got to have cocktails on the rooftop of Florence’s Grand Hotel Minerva with these stunners: Georgette of Girl in Florence and Nardia of Lost in Florence
When it was time to pamper and disconnect xanax online price from the world, I spent a Saturday afternoon here and there at the Hotel De Russie’s Jardin Cafe and luxurious day spa.
Piemonte took the lead in my list of favourite regions in Italy – especially for food (here’s some gorgonzola, lard and pears in Lake Orta)
My search for Rome’s best cocktails took me to the Jerry Thomas Speakeasy
Many a hot July weekend (Rome experience the hottest summer in decades this year) was spent lounging about the OS Club Swimming Pool.
Sunny afternoons relaxing with friends in my ‘hood! (and loving the old school tables at Trastevere’s San Calisto bar)
Seeing a concert or two (including Buena Vista Social Club) at Auditorium, Parco della Musica.
Uncovering Sicily’s Agrigento on a blog tour.. It was a tough couple of days with these ladies – what with all the cannoli and granita!
You know it’s summer in Rome when the stands pop up along the Tiber. The four seasons are so distinct around here..
One of my crowning moments came this year, when I was hosted for dinner at the Hotel Hassler’s Michelin starred, Imago` (oh and sat on the terrace where Audrey Hepburn casually did too many years ago!)
I was invited to moderate a session about food and wine at the annual Turin Epiurean Capital. Such an honour!
A host of special visitors this year, including my little cousin!
Watching the opera, Madame Butterfly under the stars at the Terme di Caracalla.
Being a model for Studio Accanto around Rome and showing off gorgeous handmade bags and accessories.
Cooling down during the Roman heatwave at the Grand Hotel Gianicolo swimming pool.
Catching a sunset from the top floor of the Scuderie del Quirinale museum.
Learning how to make ‘spaghetti alla chittara’ with Welcome to Sulmona in my beloved Abruzzo.
Visiting the town where my parents’ were born (Prezza, AQ) together with them!
I reviewed about 40 restaurants in Rome this year for a special project which I can’t reveal just yet. But lots of menus were read!
Visiting Genoa for the first time (Boccadasse to be precise!)
Spending time with my dad this summer!
Celebrating 4 years in Rome and being constantly surrounded by love!
Cruising the Mediterranean with my parents. Oh and swimming in the cruise ships’ infinity pool!
Thanks to friends, always discovering new things in Rome like the Fountain of Books
Seeing Roma play at the Stadio Olimpico (and on this day witnessing Francesco Totti’s 300th goal!)
Another year at the Taste of Rome festival and posing for pics with Michelin star chef, Francesco Apreda.
Eating more than enough clams (if that’s even possible!) on the seaside, this time in Gaeta.
Thanks to my mum’s love for Elvis, fulfilling a life-long dream and visiting Graceland, Memphis.
Witnessing a super traffic jam in Trastevere! My taxi driver got out of the car and with the help of passersby, lifted a car out of the way!
Having my parents in Rome was hands-down one of the highlights of my 2015! Here we were admiring the view of the Colosseum at Aroma, Palazzo Manfredi.
Gelato with a view! Had a few of those too!
Spending some quality face-to-face with my awesome Eating Europe colleagues.
“I’m walking in Memphis!”
Having a Grasshopper cocktail in New Orleans – only in the bar where the cocktail was first created!
Adding Miami and NYC to my Nobu World Tour (which also includes, Melbourne, Dubai, Las Vegas, London, Milan and Budapest!)
Chichen Itza in Mexico looked like this!
Special moments with my sister in NYC. Love them almost equally!
Hanging out on NYC rooftops with my friend and sister. I always feel as though I’m in the centre of the universe in New York. It makes you feel alive!
Rolling on the river.. Steam boat riding the mighty Mississippi in New Orleans.
Learning how to match wine and food. Which meant eating lots of food and drinking lots of wine. Thanks to Eating Italy’s new Italian Food and Wine Journey.
Having the chef send out a tiramisu made especially for you. Yes, thanks!
Seeing the newly restored Trevi Fountain took my breath away. If at all possible, it seems bigger and is even more stunning!
Eating my way through the streets of Rome!
Experiencing ‘Viaggi nei Fori’ and seeing the Forum of Augustus, the Roman and Imperial Forum all lit up and after dark. One of the true highlights of my year!
Walking past this sort of beauty is a regular occurrence for me in Rome, but nevertheless in my list of highlights!
Being surrounded by the beauty of Trastevere every day!
Seeing the first of Christmas in Rome. This is the grand entrance of the luxury Hotel St Regis.
Many new dining experiences this year. This was at Antica Pesa and me scanning the wine encyclopedia!
Surrounded by my Trastevere family at all times, including Stefania at Biscottificio Innocenti.
Putting up my annual Christmas decorations and saying Arrivederci Roma for 2015
Putting up my annual Christmas decorations and saying Arrivederci Roma for 2015


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