What You’ve Always Wanted To Know About Holiday Rental Agencies I

I found that working in a holiday rental agency was a fantastic way to get to know Italy and the local culture. My account from behind the scenes reveals what goes on behind closed doors, tells you what you need to know about the agency before you book your holiday …

Expat saves local community for Christmas

Last week, the entire financial problems in Testaccio were solved in less than 10 minutes. There was widespread debt and no money in community, until the visit of an American Tourist. Here’s what happened.

Why So Much Cash Is Used In Italy… And It Is A Good Thing

Why should you support the use of cash in Italy? Does that not mean that you are facilitating tax evasion? Not necessarily. Instead, overusing your credit card in Italy means to undermine their social fabric, and might hurt the local economy and culture. Here is why.

Some of Rome’s Best Pasticcerie

One of the things you don’t realize about Rome until you’ve left is the city’s (and the country’s) great tradition of pasticcerie.

Recent Articles:

Homeless Sleeping In Metro Stations Now


Compassion? The municipality of Rome has opened certain metropolitan stations* 24 hours a day until 10 January, so that Rome’s 4000-6000 homeless people can take refuge there from the icy cold that has held the capital in its grip over the last few weeks. … Continue Reading

Rome Winter Sales

A localised shop in Rome

The winter sales are imminent!

On 2 January, retailers will start discounting their items – increasingly as the weeks go on. What a wonderful time of year the sales are – for me anyway – I cannot wait to dig through the bargains to find a Dolce & Gabbana dress for 50 EUR , or a pair of Armani sunglasses for even less.

Sounds consumerist? … Continue Reading

Rental And Purchase Prices Testaccio

December 14, 2009 Property Rent/Buy No Comments

Further to our items on property prices in Rome centre, here the the first quarter 2009 details for Testaccio. Please see the previous post for rental and purchase prices in the Teatro Marcello area, here.

(More to come – stay tuned as we will combine these as they come out into a central post.) … Continue Reading

Best Bars in the World: Where to Have a Drink

December 14, 2009 Restaurants and Bars No Comments
Bar With View Of The Pantheon

With the subtitle to her article about best bars in the world (Associated Content, November 2009), K. K. Thornton just about sums up what might go through my head when another guest of mine arrives in Rome, armed with a detailed plan for every hour of the week: “Museums Are Not the Only Place to Absorb a City’s Culture”.

She writes … Continue Reading

Rental And Purchase Prices Teatro Marcello

December 11, 2009 Property Rent/Buy 1 Comment

Official statistics for purchase and rental prices as of the first quarter, 2009.

As with all property related statistics in all countries, these are to be read not as Gospel, but as another piece of information for the jigsaw.

The manipulation of statistics … Continue Reading

Google Launch Street View For Pompeii

December 5, 2009 News & Oddities No Comments

Google have launched street view for UNESCO world heritage sites, including Pompeii. Siena, San Gimignano and Urbino are also featured in Italy, along with Stonehenge and Kew Gardens (really!) in UK.

In addition to the usual photos from google, the system also includes a feature link in the top right hand corner … Continue Reading

Why I Love Piazza Navona On A Postcard

Piazza Navona by night

The vulgarity of the tourist-trap that has become Piazza Navona continues to irritate me. I love all the little streets surrounding Piazza Navona, but have resorted to avoiding the piazza itself in favour of daydreaming about its former atmosphere of quiet and majestic beauty.

But let me explain. … Continue Reading

Rock Star Berlusconi (Not For Musical Merit)

November 27, 2009 News & Oddities, Politics No Comments

Oh, for the love of God. Leave it to the italian version of Rolling Stone Magazine to come up with the simultaneously most shocking and entertaining cover in decades. It shows Prime Minister Berlusconi, whom they have named Rock Star Of The Year, intrepidly smiling while tearing to pieces … Continue Reading

The Incredulous Perugia Trial: Ideal vs Integrity


One of the most dramatic and internationally observed italian trials of this decade is finally coming to a close: Verdicts are expected in the first week of December.

American student Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito stand accused of brutally murdering British student Meredith Kercher … Continue Reading

Streets Of Rome: Anarchy, Primal Fears

November 24, 2009 Culture & People, Traffic No Comments
Small vehicle historic centre

The traffic situation in Italy, and especially in Rome and Naples, is notorious enough to frighten countless visitors from every part of the world. When confronted with the italian driving style, the incredible amount of traffic, and the poor state of most roads, many vow to avoid cars for the length of their visit, … Continue Reading

In Rome? Consider Going Home

Locals and visitors in Rome

With his excellent article about quality of life in Rome, Sebastian Cresswell-Turner (Telegraph, August 2003) has managed to thoroughly depress me. Several years after his article was published, his descriptions still ring true. To build a life in Rome is as difficult as ever, especially if you are a foreigner without family connections. … Continue Reading

New Drinking Habits For A New Generation

Young people on Piazza di S. Maria in Trastevere

As highlighted by several influential news services (last by the BBC in August 2009), Italy is battling a new problem: Drinking and randalising youths, touring the city centres, and drinking on the street. Italy was once better known for its refrained attitude to drinking, but the new phenomenon of binge drinking is rapidly growing among the younger generations. … Continue Reading

English Bookshops In Rome

November 20, 2009 Shops No Comments
A localised shop in Rome

There are a number of bookstores in Rome selling English books.

Some are large and modern, located in contemporary palazzi, with elevators and computer-clad information desks, making you feel as though you really are living in the 21st century. Others are tiny, occupying unlikely spaces in medieval buildings, … Continue Reading

New National Contemporary Arts Museum

November 19, 2009 News & Oddities No Comments
Church artwork Rome

The Associated Press (November 2009) reports that Italy is opening its first national museum for contemporary arts and architecture in a bid to shed its image as merely a keeper of a glorious artistic past. The museum, located in the residential neighborhood of Flaminio, was designed by Zaha Hadid, the Iraqi-born architect who was the first woman to win the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004. … Continue Reading

Ten Commandments of “Il Culto del Caffè”

November 17, 2009 Coffee, Food & Drink 1 Comment
People enjoying a coffee break

Rest assured that I will not stop writing about coffee any time soon. However, Lee Marshall has come up with coffee-related wisdom so deserving that I will hold back for once, and simply let you enjoy this gem, recently published by the Telegraph (September 2009): … Continue Reading

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Sneak Peek At Upcoming Articles

  • The Process of falling for Rome.
    30 November, 2012

    I never knew the minute I stepped off the train from Grosseto at Rome’s Termini station in late June 2012 that six month’s later I would be planning a move to the Eternal City.

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