Happy 2771st Birthday Rome!

Founded on 21 April in 753 BC, today is Rome’s 2771st birthday. Known in Italian as, ‘Il natale di Roma’.

To mark her birthday, I wanted to publish an excerpt from my book I Heart Rome. I wrote it with love, from the heart and with a lump in my throat. Because I’m one of those hopeless romantics. One of those people who cries at the end of a romantic comedy.

This excerpt tells of how the eternal city captivated me, made me fall in love and untimely stole my heart.

I Heart Rome (Smith Street Books / Rizzoli)

It took me almost 20 years to bite the bullet. I visited Rome over a dozen times in my 20s. Every time I left the city, I cried. I felt like I belonged in Rome and the pull eventually became too profound to ignore.

I loved the grandeur of her monuments, the ochre gold of the oldest walls I’d ever seen, the chaos and winding cobblestone streets that had touches of history at every turn. I couldn’t believe that a modern day bustling metropolis could sit in harmony with relics and ruins of the past. I loved meandering the streets and getting completely lost in them. It made me feel alive.

It was all of this that made me fall hopelessly in love with the eternal city and had me wondering: could a love affair last forever? Well, I wanted to find out.

And now I leave you with a poem and ode I wrote on the anniversary of my first year in the Eternal City – over 6 years ago.


You enrich me

You excite me

You frustrate me

You enlighten me

You make me happy

You anger me

You inspire me

You continue to impress me

You are beauty to me

You have helped me fulfill a lifelong dream

You sometimes disappoint me

You empower me

You scare me

You captivate me

You speak to my heart

You nourish my soul

You thrill me

You will remain a part of me forever

All my love my Rome

No – Rome isn’t perfect. It’s not an easy city to live in or navigate, especially if you don’t know it. Again, it’s not perfect. It’s Rome.

Happy 2771st Birthday you sexy old beauty you!

Signing off from Trastevere,

Baci Maria

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