Arrivederci Roma for 2013. HeartRome is Melbourne-bound

Departures always make me reflect.

And especially when I leave Rome it gets me thinking of the year gone by. What I’ve experienced. What I’ve achieved.

Again for me it’s been another jam-packed year of work, travel, new life, cultural and dining experiences, love gained, love lost, learning and discovering new things, and sharing it all with some amazing people in the city I’ve come to call home.

I fly out of Rome today and while I will miss it terribly, what awaits me in Australia makes my heart sing. My friends, beautiful family, my gorgeous nephew and hopefully some summer heat. I will spend Christmas in Melbourne and New Years in the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef and will blog while I can throughout.

But writing from Rome, for the last time this year, I wish you the happiest of holidays and thank each and every one of you for reading, commenting, or shouting out on social media. I’m truly humbled by your following and support. May your 2014 be filled with peace, good fortune and laughter.

Here’s a look back at my 2013 in photos:

20131127-192354.jpgLooking through the Knights of Malta keyhole in Aventino

20131127-192414.jpgGoing into the Basilica of San Giovanni for the first time (tour guided by a special friend)

20131127-192404.jpgExperiencing Carnevale in Rome (and eating lots of frappe)

20131127-192459.jpgGoing to many exhibitions including one in honour of Alberto Sordi at the Vittoriano

20131127-192435.jpgVisiting Treviglio in the province of Bergamo (near Milan) where one of my friends lives

20131127-192445.jpgBeing interviewed by Australian news ABC on the announcement of Pope Francis

20131127-192522.jpgAnother year older in Roma, celebrated with friends at Residenza della Ripetta

20131127-192534.jpgExploring the city and finding beauty and inspiration daily

20131127-192509.jpgA little shopping every now and then

20131127-192425.jpgTrawling through the vintage stalls at the historic market, Porta Portese

20131127-192555.jpgSpending the day at Villa Torlonia, the beautiful park in north Rome and former residence of Mussolini

20131127-192544.jpgFine dining at some of Rome’s best restaurants including the 3 Michelin starred, La Pergola

20131127-192611.jpgGoing to Santa Marinella beach for the first time

20131127-192624.jpgEnjoying many concerts – local international artists including Roman singer Renato Zero

20131127-192635.jpgA weekend of truffle and salumi eating in Norcia, Umbria

20131127-192644.jpgMeeting La Pergola’s Heinz Beck and eating the weekend away at Eataly for the 2013 Rome Food & Wine Festival

Knowing you have special friends when they ‘landscape’ your balcony with plants and herbs for your birthday

Trying the truly roman Trapizzino – Stefano Calegari of 00100’s famed street food invention

Spending a weekend in Paris’ Saint Germain and writing about it for EasyJet Holidays travel blog
You can read my guest post here.

An endless number of aperitivi like this one at Panella

Meeting the ‘Michelangelo of pizza’, Rome’s best pizza / bread maker Gabriele Bonci at a special food event hosted at Eataly

Learning how to fillet fish at a seafood master course

Cooking up a meal in someone’s home at a Rome supper club event

Getting cultured at a range of art events including the annual summer studio openings of Villa Massimo (the German Academy in Rome)

Attending the inaugural Street Food Festival at Eataly

Experiencing the quintessential Roman beach experience that is Fregene

Spending some summer days at the Grand Hotel Gianicolo pool

Attending another Bon Jovi concert – and my first outside Australia – in Milan

Cocktails at the Terrazza Aperol in Piazza Duomo in Milan

Work research in an infinity pool in the Tuscan countryside

Having gelato one too many times (if that’s at all possible)

Enjoying many a meal at one of my favourite trattorie in Trastevere, Da Enzo (and enjoying a marscapone mousse with wild strawberries)

Sunning it up across south Italy with my sister and a friend

Overdosing on jamon in Barcelona

Hosting my mum and dad for the second time since living here

Pasta making under the Tuscan sun

Tasting plates from Rome’s best chefs at the Taste Festival held at the Auditorium

Visiting Castel Sant’Angelo for the first time with my sister.. And at night!

Spending weekends at my home away from Rome, the ever beautiful Gaeta in south Lazio

Going to the ballet at Teatro dell’Opera

Hosting many a dinner party at home for friends

Meeting Bruno Mars after his concert in Assago (near milan)

Research trip to Civitavecchia for my first 10Best, USA Today assignment

Continuing my Nobu world tour and dining at the Milan restaurant housed in the Giorgio Armani building

Meeting the man who has literally written the soundtrack for my life in Rome, Antonello Venditti

Gaining VIP entry to the Vatican Museums including an after hours visit to the Sistine Chapel thanks to Walks of Italy

Growing my blog and engaging readers in over 120 countries

Attending industry events like the launch of Rome culinary guide, I Cento Roma

Driving in Rome for the first time

Visiting family and eating arrosticini in Abruzzo

Work hard, play hard. Treating myself to a facial, massage and lunch at the Hotel de Russie

Channeling La Dolce Vita with Bellini cocktail at the famous Harry’s Bar on Via Veneto

Going with my beautiful friends to the Stadio Olimpico to see a Roma match (Daje Roma!!!)

Meeting so many amazing people through my blog and social media, like luxury travel blogger Mrs O Around the World

Expanding my cucina romana repertoire to include tripe and coda alla vaccinara (oxtail) served here with gnocchi

Picking olives in northern Lazio as part of a farm-to-table tour with Italy Food Roots

Trying out new places and cuisines, like Cuban (yum!)

Seeing a little Caravaggio at the Galleria Villa Borghese

Catching a flick at MAXII for the Rome International Film Festival

Dancing in the shadow of the Colosseum and a experiencing an aperitivo like no other on board Rome Tram Tracks

Enjoying moments with friends, new and old

Beautifully making my two worlds collide

Holidaying in the USA

Living, eating and breathing Eating Italy Food Tours

Spending precious time with my family in Hawaii, especially my gorgeous nephew

Weekend with friends in Prague

Welcoming many special friends to my home

Walking the streets of Rome and loving (almost) every minute

Still loving Rome like the first time we met

Kicking off another holiday season with friends

So on that note, goodbye Rome for 2013. Goodbye my friends, my love, my Roman life. Until we meet again.

My other home awaits!

Signing off from Trastevere
(for the last time this year: Melbourne bound)
Baci, Maria

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