Fourth Slide

Third Slide

Second image

First slide

3.11.2020

How you can help Italy during the Coronavirus lockdown

How you can help Italy during the Coronavirus lockdown

How you can help Italy during the Coronavirus lockdown

People in the United States are waking up to the news about a containment zone in New York State. I know how you feel. Here in Italy, we are weeks ahead of you. Just last week Rome was very quiet but the thinking was if you can come visit, please do. Things changed quickly.

On Saturday I flew to London for a travel conference. I see now in retrospect that I was cavalier about how serious this virus and its knock-on effects were. I woke up in the middle of the night to the news about severe restrictions in Lombardy and the Veneto. It soon progressed into the declaration of a complete nationwide lockdown. On Facebook the other day I talked about how we like to make fun of Italy and the general chaos of everyday life here but make no mistake, when it comes to a crisis you want the Italians making the plan. Italy has been extremely organized in its response.

My time in London had a surreal quality. My pal Agnes put it best. I too felt like I was a few episodes ahead on a television show wanting to shout at everyone to stand a meter apart and to stop touching everything. I canceled my meetings and got one of the very last flights from London to Rome.

When I landed, Fiumicino airport and Termini train station were almost empty. My street which is normally very busy and full of people in wine bars and restaurants was shuttered and silent at 9pm on Tuesday evening. Mark is teleworking from the guest room. We have all been asked to stay at home only leaving (alone) to grocery shop or take walks. We must keep at least a meter away from each other and everything shuts at 6pm. This article explains why doing this is so important in containing the effects of the virus.

Your plans have probably been dramatically altered too but 
while we wait, there is plenty that you can do to help Italy during the Coronovirus lockdown. 

2.20.2020

The best swimming pool in Capri - La Canzone del Mare



The best swimming pool in Capri - La Canzone del Mare

The best swimming pool in Capri - La Canzone del Mare

So here’s the thing about Capri. It is actually pretty difficult to go to the beach. Most of the island action happens in the Piazzetta which doesn’t even have a sea view. Despite what many travel writers claim, there are no sand beaches in Capri. There are pebbly coves and slabs of rocks where umbrellas and sunbeds are perched above a blue and emerald sea. Most of the best spots to swim can only be reached by boat. There is another option that rarely gets talked about though. I have a favorite swimming pool in Capri that I can't wait to share with you.

Before I get to that another important thing to know about Capri is to be prepared to walk. Even if you have booked a five-star hotel or villa. Capri is a pedestrian town. To get to the beach, the boat you booked for an island cruise, and that fancy sunset cocktail overlooking the Faraglioni, you will be getting your steps in. Things are a little bit different over on the other side of the island Anacapri, but that’s for another time.

1.29.2020

Instagram Guide to the Best Coffee in Rome



Over on my Instagram account, I have been posting a series of mini-guides to my favorite places in Rome and Venice. They have been a big hit.

I can only use 2,200 characters in an Instagram caption so I thought I would expand the guides over here on my blog. Let's start with my very first post. Keep reading for my guide to the best coffee in Rome.

11.15.2019

London City Guide; The Best things to Eat, See and Do in London

London City Guide; The Best things to Eat, See and Do in London

London City Guide; The Best things to Eat, See and Do in London

I wrote a mini London city guide on my Instagram but I couldn't include everything there so I have expanded the guide here on my blog. You will find my personalized selection of the best things to eat, see, and do in London.

London is many things for me. It has been home, a place to transit through on my way to other homes in Niamey, Harare or Rome, sometimes the city was a torment with its dark winters and the exasperating Piccadilly line, but more than anything London has always been a place to return to. 

London is the place where I made my very first list for a traveling friend. Now here is one for you. It includes places I have been going to since I was a child and places I discovered last week. Bookmark it and share it with your traveling friends.

10.16.2019

Life in a Modern Rome

Roman Forum with murmuration

The Eternal City has changed in the more than a dozen years since I first moved here. A lot. Some things are arguably worse now, like public transportation what with buses bursting into flames and months of closed metro stations, not to mention the endless delays of the Metro C line. Compared to my first years in Rome when it was near impossible to find out when a shop or restaurant was open so many things are easier now. From apps on my phone, I can summon taxis and tacos, book seats at the movies an on a train. 

Fellow ex-pats (yes I use that word to describe myself, unlike just about everyone else I know here I am in Italy as a guest of the Foreign Ministry and will have to leave when my husband’s job here is finished) and immigrants wring their hands at the invasion of all of this non-Italian culture. I am not worried. The first of the Erasmus kids are in their 30’s now and have seen the world, tried new foods, learned new languages and most importantly, come home. Like Italians with their confident adoption of English words like business and selfie with no fear about the loss of their language, I have little doubt that the local bar will survive the opening of the long-rumored Starbucks and no one is completely abandoning their leisurely Sunday lunches at the beach because of a delivery taco on a Saturday night.

I still eat more Amatriciana than sushi and the Pantheon still makes me gasp when I walk by but here are a few new-ish things that make life in Rome just a little bit easier. 

9.23.2019

Discover the Countryside Near Rome

Easy Farm visits Near Rome Agriturismo Colle Tocci

Easy Farm visits Near Rome Torrino dei Gelsi

When we first moved to Rome we made a decision about how we would spend our time here. Instead of using Rome as a base to explore Europe's great cities we chose instead to stick close to home. In our first years, we drove to charming hill towns and soaked in sulfury hot springs. We explored beaches in summer and deepest winter and found places to eat on country roads and next to volcanic lakes. Nothing was more than a two-hour drive and we rarely left the region of Lazio. 

After a few years, we got busy with life and found favorite places that we returned to over and over. Our exploring deepened instead of widened. 

When I got the invitation from Italy Indeed to join a Camera di Commercio di Roma endeavour to highlight some of Lazio’s lesser-known places I was thrilled to ignite that exploring spark again.

When you are planning your visit to Rome, consider adding a day or two to your trip and do some of your own exploring in the Lazio countryside.