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Lunch with the Locals

I find the Tridente area of Rome a difficult one to find a quick, affordable and most importantly good bite to eat..and then friend at the British Council recently reminded me of this fantastic spot.


What to do in Naples {Beautiful Chaos}

Naples is much maligned, and it is indeed not for every taste. I will even admit to buying into the fear factor casually thrown about about - danger lurking at every corner and every interaction a scam.

This summer we actually thought about it. Three coups, one mutinyone stray bullet, over a decade of living in volatile african countries between us. We couldn't figure out what to be so afraid of, so south we went.


Mid-summer on the Amalfi Coast

Mid-summer on the Amalfi Coast

This summer we put the teenager on a plane to his grandmother's in Tennessee and escaped the stifling heat of Rome and headed south for a few days wandering the fabled Amalfi Coast. 

Here are the details of all the places we loved.


Coffee in Rome {Vero Food}

Coffee in Rome

Ok (American's - I am looking at you) expats. No more whining you miss Starbucks. 

Take out coffee and blueberry muffins have arrived in Rome. 


Spring Sunshine, Etruscan Mystery and Seaside Cocktails {Civita di Bagnoregio + Civitavecchia}

I am very slowly emerging from some very long, unpleasant, difficult dental work. A word of advice to long term expats. Don't put off your visits to the dentist during home leave trips.  I had a two week break between procedures and our son was off in spain for the weekend, so we hopped on the cassia bis to enjoy some familiar favorites and to check out a new spot or two.


24 hours in Istanbul

24 hours in Istanbul

We left Rome on the morning of the first real snowfall in 26 years! Missing all that fun and heading toward Cape Town for a week in the summer sunshine.

We had so little time, just over 24 hours, so this was a trip to hit the main spots and do what we like best which is wander and explore with only a vague idea of a plan in mind.


Three Best Kept Travel Secrets - Off Season delights

This Three Secrets game started by Katie at Tripbase is fun!  

Here are the Three Secrets I have to share with you. 

I have a friend here in Rome who says to me "you go to all the right all the wrong times!"  and he is right.  Italy in the summer can be chaotic, sweltering, and crowded.  Not exactly what you are looking for on your hard earned time off.  So, if you are looking for no lines, no umbrella wielding tour on for my advice.


Paper Junkies Rome

It's a world of email and facebook and twitter these days...but still, I love nothing more than wandering around a paper store and adding to my substantial collection of stationery.

Old School Tradition

You will find an outlet of this shop in most of Italy's major tourist  stops...collect matchboxes with local monuments...boxes of cards personalized with initials....marbled paper covered journals, boxes and picture frames.
Via del Pantheon 50

Sleek and Chic

From a Rome map bookmark to the chicest children's party invites....this
is my pick for hostess gifts...dinner party, wine and opera journals are always a much appreciated gesture.

Colorful Whimsy

More Parisan than Roman...this spot on the beautful silk banner lined, piano music filled (Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia - Rome's Julliard is here) Via Vittoria is packed with paper will also find  american boutique finds like Michelle Obama magnetic fashion dolls,  Anne Taintor snarky notepads, french tiny coloured pencils and notebooks, decorated folders and colorful metal boxes and pens and cards...
Via Vittoria 37

So much cooler than Staples

This is our families first stop for school supplies...notebooks,  binders, pens...but the selection doesn't stop there.  Gift wrap,  party supplies, Christmas decorations....cross the tiny alley and there are pens and glue and endless art supplies
Via della Croce 70

Minimalism amongst the baroque

Just around the corner from the frenzy of the Fontana di Trevi on the busy Via del Tritone is the Roman outpost of this Japanese chain.  Filled with tiny staplers and tape rolls...neat rows of highlighters zipped into translucent bags...folders, notebooks, photo corners...I adore this japanese temple of order. 
Via Del Tritone 199-200,


coffee, shoes, frescos and lunch

ack!  this has been languishing in the draft folder since thanksgiving....

Really....what more could a girl ask for on a sunny November day?