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7 Pictures You Need to Take in Rome

7 Pictures You Need to Take in Rome

7 Pictures You Need to Take in Rome

I have lived in Rome for over a decade and still, I literally stop and gasp at its beauty. Don't mistake me for starry-eyed expat entranced by ochre buildings that glow in warm Roman light or the charm of a flirty Ciao. I am well aware that this is a city legendary for its chaos and dysfunction but I choose to focus on the pretty. Take my advice and do the same., Whether you are here for a week or a lifetime, it really does make daily life here worth the challenges. One thing that keeps me focused on the positives in snapping pictures of my adopted home. My phone and multiple hard drives are full of thousands and thousands of images. I recently noticed there were some places and things that I had more shots of than others. To help you narrow things down the next time you are out with your camera, here is my advice for the 7 pictures you need to take in Rome. 


La Vendemmia {The Wine Harvest on the Island of Ponza}

La Vendemmia {The Wine Harvest on the Island of Ponza}

La Vendemmia {The Wine Harvest on the Island of Ponza}

I wake up three nights in a row to loud crashes of thunder and electric bolts of lightning that feel like they are landing just under my window. I like the drama even though each violent shudder probably means another change of my plans. I had returned to Ponza to help with la vendemmia, the annual wine harvest. It seems the wine harvest is subject to the whims of the weather, much like life on this island that sits in the Tyrrhenian Sea midway between Rome and Naples. 


Lunch in the Castelli Romani {Hosteria Amedeo}

Where to Eat in the Castelli Romani

Where to Eat in the Castelli Romani

Just outside of Rome is a series of cool, green, villages that are collectively referred to as the Castelli Romani. Here you will find volcanic lakes and Roman ruins and miles of vineyards that produce DOC wines. 

Earlier this summer I was invited to lunch at Hosteria Amedeo, in the town of Monte Porzio Catone. Winding through the country roads it is difficult to imagine that this bucolic setting is only about an hour away from Rome. 


August in Rome - 2018 Edition

August in Rome

August in Rome

August in Rome is a strange month. The city is still crowded, but virtually all of the Romans have left. Italians traditionally head to the sea for at least a few days of summer vacation but I happen to love staying in town. We do spend weekends at the beach or in the country, but most of the month finds us enjoying the empty piazzas and quiet streets, plotting a September getaway.  

If you are in Rome this August, click on over to my updated post for information on where to eat and what's open in town. 


City Guide: New Orleans {What to Do and Where to Eat, Drink and Shop}

New Orleans Travel Guide 2018

A long long time ago I used to spend a lot of time in New Orleans. Before I was married, before the storm, before children.

I went with a high school best pal, tagging along to a conference my father was attending. We stayed at the Hotel Monteleone, thought we were sophisticated eating dinner at Brennan’s, drank hurricanes at Pat O Brien's with rock stars and behaved about as responsibly as you would expect two 17 years old in New Orleans to behave.

For a few years when we were newlyweds, Mark's project in Niger was managed by Tulane University. We came for work meetings and to see friends in graduate school and spent late nights at Cafe Brasil and the Spotted Cat.

And then somehow, tragically, twenty years went by without a single day in New Orleans. I often say it is a place I am always homesick for even though I have never lived there. For part of Noah’s graduation celebration, we decided to show him this town we both love so very much. If you love Italy, particularly places like Rome, Naples, and Venice then you will love New Orleans. So start planning your visit with my guide that is full of my advice on what to do and where to eat, drink and shop in New Orleans.


Da Gino al Parlamento {Eat Like a Roman}

Da Gino al Parlamento, Restaurants in Rome

The friends that an only child make can become more like a family member. When Noah was younger there were always kids in the house playing music, spending holidays and having late night chats with me in the kitchen. These kids are now all young adults beginning their own adventures and scattered about in far-flung corners of the world like Bangkok, Seoul, Geneva, London, and Austin. Luckily, like family, they keep in touch, come home to visit and invite you to lunch.

Given the choice, I will (almost) always pick a simple traditional restaurant over a newer flashier one, so I was thrilled to try Noah’s pal Rolando’s suggestion, Da Gino.