HOME +WEATHER + FOOD & DRINK + SHOPPING +
ARTS & CULTURE + MOVIES + FUN + SERVICES + BEAUTY +
HEALTH & FITNESS
+ KIDS + SURVIVAL GUIDE + BLOG +
HOTELS & LODGING
+ EXCHANGE RATES + WEEKEND GETAWAYS + LANGUAGE SCHOOLS + ABOUT US + MEET THE ROMANS
+ ADVERTISE WITH US
+ ROME READING LIST + ROME PLAYLISTS


ARCHIVES ONE

Site Map

MEET THE ROMANS: Rick Breco + Lisa Tucci + Rosa Manocchio + Diane Epstein + John Nolan +
Jeanettte Montgomery Barron + Chen Clarke + Amii Stewart + Rochelle Cheever + Vincenzo Racana


ARCHIVES ONE: Lynn Apple +
Elizabeth Abbot +Yvonne Fisher + Kathleen Ann Morris +Rebecca Spitzmiller +
Mike Applebaum + Gail Milissa Grant + Laura Ellen Antinucci + Rudhra Kapur+ Yuko Tesshi + Pascale Ferry
+ Elaine O'Reilly

ARCHIVES TWO: Sally Sontheimer+ Nicole Franchini + Alan Ovson + Yasmin Ergas + Sydney and Michael Cresci + Bobby McDuffie+ Robert Brodie Booth + Brando Crespi + Maureen B. Fant + Susan Doull + Nina Gardener + Milton Gendel +Fiamma Arditi + Wendy Auslebrook + Romina Power+ Elisabeth Giansiracusa + Ann Joyce + Jonathan Turner +
Megan Fitzgerald

Interactive Rome Map

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to live in Rome, or if you live in Rome and wonder what life is like for your fellow expatriates, you'll enjoy meeting a few of the people who have succesfully settled in the Eternal City.
by Renée Finch

Elaine O'Reilly was born and grew up in Durban, South Africa, moving to Rome in the mid 1960s. After teaching English for several years, she began writing didactic materials. During the 1970s and '80s, she co-authored a number of innovative self-study courses which were published as far afield as Latin-America and China. For cable television, she wrote a highly successful English course for children. Many of her works for Longman, now Pearson, are still used together with CDs in language schools all over the world. Elaine now runs the Open Door Bookshop, in Via della Lungaretta in Trastevere, together with her Italian partner Lavinia. This Roman landmark is a mecca to foreigners living in Rome or passing through, and to Italians, as well. Following the philosophy of the name of the bookshop, they cordially welcome all book lovers. On offer are books, old and new, in English, Italian, French, German and Spanish. There is a catalogue on-line and a search service for anyone looking for a hard-to-find favorite. They keep their shelves well stocked by buying books from various sources, and welcome books from all individuals whose own shelves have become too crowded. Elaine has raised her daughter here in Rome. Sabina now has a riding school and has made Elaine grandmother to a little boy.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
Its indescribable beauty and wonderful, graceful age. I arrived here in 1964 on the 15th of August without knowing about the holiday exodus and the city was utterly deserted. I couldn?t believe the emptiness of the streets and the piazzas, those incredible, silent buildings steeped in sunshine. It was all so unexpectedly accessible. I walked and walked and walked and fell totally in love with that summer ease that Rome has, the seductive, voluptuous, look-at-me of everything from the loftiest basilica to the most whimsical fountain. And it was all so old! Coming from South Africa, I don?t think I?d ever seen a building older than the colonial neo-classical Town Hall in Durban. The art critic, Robert Hughes quotes a New Yorker writing in 1845 about the impact of the splendors of Europe: ?It is as though we had always lived in a world where our eyes, though open, saw but a blank, and were then brought into another, where they were saluted by grace and beauty.? That?s how it was for me. And I still love Rome in August.

Has living in Rome enhanced your work experience?
Enhanced it! It actually provided me with a series of work experiences I might never have had otherwise. Coming here with a somewhat scrappy education, I had no idea of what I wanted to do, except stay forever! So I began teaching English, and then went on to writing self-access material for Longman Educational. I was very lucky in also being published by major publishers here in Italy. Now I have come full circle to spending my days among books, which have been my passion ever since my mum taught me to read.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
The Empress Livia?s sunken garden chamber at Palazzo Massimo. The stunning frescoes of a magical garden with trees flowers, song-birds were moved from her villa at Prima Porta. It is the most enchanting, heart-lifting thing I have ever seen. And the Fontana delle Tartarughe in Piazza Mattei, which should be seen late at night when there?s no one around and the limbs of those lovely bronze boys and the turtles scrambling over the edge of the upper basin of the fountain will seem to have been created exclusively for your own private delight.

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
I take my dog Isabel and head for the trees. It used to be Villa Pamphili which is enormous and one never tires of all it has to offer. But now that I live out of the center, it?s anywhere where there are woods. Or I try to see my daughter ride her bay mare. It settles me to watch these two beautiful creatures working in such harmony.

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
Having a baby here. My daughter, Sabina. I lived in Trastevere then (a very different Trastevere from the raucous main drag it is now). The old ladies in black who sat out on wooden chairs in my street were unbelievably helpful and kind. Bus conductors (they had them in those days) would offer to hold my bundle of baby while I fumbled for my bus fare. Romans are at their nicest with small children.

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?

I?ve lived here for so long now and I feel that the city has given me so much that the few things that do get on my nerves are not worth mentioning.

What is your favourite restaurant?
I love Da Enzo in Via dei Vascellari (Trastevere), the food is good and varied and a meal there is still affordable. For a special treat we go to La Gensola, a Sicilian restaurant in Via della Gensola (Trastevere) that serves marvelous pastas and fish and vegetables that only the Sicilians seem able to cook with such imagination and to such delicious perfection.

How would someone from abroad benefit by coming to Rome for a few years?

Perhaps like me, they would learn tolerance by living and working in a totally different culture, where the rhythms of life are in some ways easier than what one is used to, but often much more difficult and perplexing. And learning another language is also a great, mind-broadening experience.

When is the best time to visit?
I would say late October when the city is settling down after a long hot summer, the bulk of the tourists have gone home: the trees are changing and the light is mellower...but any time is good except maybe for tourist peak times.


Carole Andrè-Smith is a French-American-Italian architect and landscape designer based in Rome. She remembers spending her childhood running through the backlot sets of Rome’s legendary Cinecittà Studios while her French actress mother made films during the heady days of “La Dolce Vita”. Like her mother, Andrè-Smith became an actress and appeared in more than 50 films such as Visconti’s “Death in Venice” and Fellini’s “Satyricon”. She became famous throughout Europe as “La Perla di Labuan” in “Sandokan”, one of Italy’s best-loved TV series. After studying management at Harvard Business School and completing her architecture degree at La Sapienza University in Rome, Andrè-Smith specialised in landscape design and restoration work. With her company  “Architectonic”, which has offices in both Rome and Beverly Hills, she designs new gardens and restores old ones. While researching an article on the Fascist “Rationalist” architecture of Cinecittà Studios, she uncovered secret documents signed by Mussolini. She has continued her involvement in the film world by becoming a member of the Board of Directors of Cinecittà Studios, by co-ordinating “Art-Fund”, a charity dedicated to the rescue of important scripts and cultural objects from the world of entertainment, and to giving assistance to disadvantaged industry professionals.

What is most captivating about Rome for you?
The taste of fresh vegetables! I just have to say this because as I answer these questions I am biting down on the most exquisitely tasty, crunchy fennel prepared in the “pinzimonio” style (break off fresh fennel stalk and dip into virgin olive oil mixed with salt and balsamic vinegar). Phenomenal! I often travel from Italy to California for my architecture business and what I always miss is the authentically natural taste of the Italian local produce. Some types of vegetables can’t even be found outside of Italy such as “agretti” (a type of seasonal deep-green frond-like vegetable) or “puntarelle” (a long white bean sprout-type vegetable which is delicious served with an anchovy dressing). And, as far as captivating goes, the Colosseum isn’t bad either.

Has coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
Living and working in Rome is the equivalent of receiving a PhD in lateral thinking, problem solving, crisis management and alternative plan negotiation.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
I would suggest visiting all the different cinema locations that have been featured in films over the years. For example, just near Piazza Barberini, Vittorio de Sica used Via del Traforo for an important scene in “The Bicycle Thief” (in which the main character chases after the thief). Via Veneto 66 is where Giulietta Masina visits a nightclub in Fellini’s “Nights of Cabiria”. Giulio Agricola, near Cinecittà Studios, even has it’s own mini  “Walk of Fame” featuring the stars of Italian cinema, and the nearby San Giovanni Bosco church is where Fellini shot the opening scenes of “La Dolce Vita”. The Parco degli Acquedotti , which Pasolini used as a backdrop to “Mama Roma”is also in the neighborhood.

Where do you go to chill out?
I find the terrace of Castel Sant Angelo is magical as the golden sun sets on the Eternal City.  From there, you have an extraordinary vista of the many cupolas and can admire the amber light shining through the stained glass windows. I also enjoy strolling around the lake at the Villa Borghese. Another special thing to do is to visit the Borghese Gallery Aviary, when they hold the “Tea with Butterflies” (usually in May). Exotic butterflies fly around freely among the restored frescoes while you enjoy a cup of tea.

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
I would have to say the birth of my son. I highly recommend Rome as a place to bring up children. Italian kids are great and they love their Mamma! For me that means having an Italian husband, but I guess that is not one of the questions on this list!

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
The usual things — the noise, chaos and dirt. But an especially irritating thing is the ingrained lack of respect for tradition. You would think that in a country as ancient as this one , respect would be synonymous with the culture. The English have their red buses and black taxis; New York has yellow cabs, and the logos used by institutions are usually the original ones with only minor alterations. But not here.  For example, the color of buses — blue, orange and silver. The design is mixed and has monthly add-on flavors. Taxis change every few years – green, black, yellow, white. The Commune di Roma’s logo and signage change nearly every time a new mayor takes office!

What is your favorite restaurant?
 “Il Moro” near the Trevi Fountain [Trattoria Al Moro, Vicolo Delle Bollette 13, tel 06 699 40736]. It’s an intimate, typically Roman, family-run place with excellent food. The waiters are like part of the family and it is reassuring to see the same familiar faces year after year. It was a favourite haunt of Fellini, who had a pasta dish (“La Dolce Vita”) named after him — tagliolini with tiny calamari in a tomato sauce. Fellini cast the owner of the restaurant, Mario Romagnoli, to play Trimalcione in his film “Satyricon” and listed him on the credits as “Il Moro”. Instead of reciting numbers which would later be dubbed with dialogue, Romagnoli recited the menu from his restaurant.

How would someone from abroad benefit by coming to Rome for a few years?
I completed my specialization in Architecture and Restoration in Rome and I couldn’t imagine studying these subjects anywhere else. There are some studies that are best completed by actually touching the surrounding environment and even experiencing the sounds. The play of light at different times of the day and night just cannot be captured in photographs or films as effectively as being here.  Being on site is unbeatable.

When is the best time to visit?
Spring — being a garden-lover I can only encourage people to see the city in full bloom. The Spanish Steps, which were built in 1723-25, decorated with azaleas (usually from the 20th of April for about three weeks) is a unique and extravagant sight. This tradition of decorating the steps started in 1936, for no other reason than to create a beautiful vista. Which other place in the world decorates one of its historic monuments with 600 pots of flowers? What a show!!

 

Pascale Ferry was born in Lyon, France. She did her schooling there and got a degree in Letters and English Literature at the university. The first stop on her career path was Paris, where she spent ten years as beauty editor of an important magazine. One of the people she met and interviewed was the Japanese shiatsu maestro Yamasaki. Thus began a lifelong passion for this healing method and for the Eastern philosophy of life in general. While in Paris, she met her Italian husband, moved to Rome and raised her two children. Pascale has worked for Unimed (Mediterranean Universities Union) and the magazine Rive, dealing with Mediterranean culture, organizing intercultural events in the Middle East. Her love of all things Japanese helped launch a beautiful Italian-Japanese space in Rome, where photographic shows are shared with a sushi restaurant and a garden tea room. Pascal has a diploma from IGEA, ’Arti per la Salute’, the shiatsu school in Rome, and is a practising master of the Masunaga technique. She continues her studies and encounters with various teachers from around the world.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
The perfect nonchalance of Roman people towards their antiquity, the lively marketplaces, and the word ‘condonno’, meaning an administrative or institutional forgiveness. Very looked for in Rome.

Has coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
Sure, since I followed a three-year course in Shiatsu here, but it took time. The first years were sometimes difficult.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
A cool beer in the bar garden of the Villa Medici around 7 p.m., after a warm day, in the shade of the Medicean palace with a light wind blowing (ponentino, literally in Italian, the light west wind, coming in from the sea).

Where do you go to chill out?
OUT of Rome!

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
One year after my arrival, I read a book by a famous French writer, Julien Gracq, titled ‘Autour des sept collines’, ‘Around the seven hills’, so that I could understand them, and since he was both very critical and very interested in Rome, I felt a secret complicity with him and wrote him a letter, which I was able to send through his editor. You must know that he was the type never to give an interview. He was always published in the prestigious Pleiade editions and quoted in the top literature books. However, after a few weeks, one day, which happened to be my birthday, I received a handwritten answer from him, thanking me for my letter and comment. Ten lines written in such a perfect way. I felt so honored! Rome was our common ‘object of resentment’ as Racine wrote, but it was also an object of fascination since he wrote a book about it … and I have been living here for 16 years.

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
Traffic, cars and the administration, which sometimes you can’t avoid.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Bruni in Via Germanico 58. [Tuscan cuisine in the Prati district]

How would someone from abroad benefit by coming to Rome for a few years?
Forget making comparisons with your own country, and enjoy the town, learn the language and watch [Italian] films with Alberto Sordi.

When is the best time to visit?
April, May, October, I suppose we all agree.

 

Yuko Tesshi, was born in Gifu, called the umbilicus of Japan, the only province not on the sea. Her father was a Buddhist priest, so she grew up in a temple, which is still her home in Japan. As the priesthood is hereditary, her grandfather was also a priest. Her family followed the custom of wearing kimonos and practiced a traditional Japanese lifestyle. When her school studies were over, she went to University in Tokyo to study art, design and fashion management using modern technology, as was the custom. But she yearned to learn to draw by hand, so she came to Rome to study and to work. One evening, when she went to a party wearing her kimono (by now not so usual in Japan), everyone complimented her on the beauty of the cloth. There and then she decided to start her own business, and went back to Japan to search for fabrics. There she met an elderly gentleman, once a supplier of textiles to her mother, who was closing his business. He offered to give Yuko some of his stock, and with that she launched her Studio Giochi di Seta (silk games) in Via Monterone. She makes her own accessories, shirts, beautiful dresses and jackets from antique and new silk and cotton. Her label for women is Orihime, (Weaving Princess Star) from the famous Japanese fable. Her men?s line is Ryoma, the name of her favourite Samurai, known to have led Japan into the modern world. She likes to play with words, pointing out that if you subtract the "y" from Ryoma, you get Roma!

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
My morning coffee, either at the Bar or at home.

Has your stay in Rome enhanced your work experience?
While you are dealing with the chaos, you learn to become more flexible. The necessity of controlling each step of any production or work relationship teaches you patience.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
The architecture of the area Coppedè in Rome often not known to visitors. [In northern Rome near Piazza Buenos Aires]

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
I go to do kick boxing.

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
We have very cold light in Japan and crossing the Tiber for the first time in the evening and seeing the warm golden reflection of the lights on the water, with St.Peter?s as a background, was magical.

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
Once one has said goodbye after dinner and the evening is over, everyone lingers on talking another half an hour. And then, the brusque manner of the city people here — slamming doors, talking loudly, bumping into you in the street.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Arturo in Via Aurelia Antica 413. From fish to pizza; everything first quality and delicious.

How would someone from abroad benefit by coming to Rome for a few years?
Well, breaking one's own habits always helps one to live anywhere in the world. Rome, therefore, is a good school for this. The great social freedom in the city is a pleasure.

When is the best time to visit?
August when Rome becomes peaceful and quiet again.

 

Rudhra Kapur, a fashion designer with his own label, Cerfontaine, is a true world citizen. Born in Mumbai to an Anglo-Indian father and a Franco-German mother, he grew up travelling through India and Europe until his teens, when he was sent to school in the Himalayas. He initiated his creative studies at the Camden Art Centre, London, and the Paris Academy of Fashion Design and Technology, London followed by a brief, intensive course at the National Fashion Institute in New York, where he acquired knowledge of American design systems. After a stay in Paris, he returned to Mumbai to open his first venture, Gallery Rudhra. After joining his father’s textile empire, he travelled widely, working with leading fashion houses throughout the world. Five years ago, he relocated to Rome. He has created a new brand here, using his mother's maiden name, Cerfontaine. His studio, on in Via dei Gracchi, in the Prati district, is headquarters for his fashion

creations for men and women.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
The quality of life, together with its architecture and mysticism. It is certainly the most beautiful city to live in aesthetically.

Has your experience of coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
It has taught me a lot about self-reliance and tolerance due to its casual attitude on the professional level, and I have also learned to practice discretion regarding my personal achievements.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
The Pantheon, Fontana di Trevi, Campo dei Fiori, Trastevere and my shop in Prati.

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
To the beach.

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
It has captivated my soul, and with this, my all

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?.
The claustrophobic traffic and social narcissism, plus the verbal diarrhea.
.
What is your favourite restaurant?
Focaccio, Via della Pace (near Piazza Navona) and Peccato di Vino in Via Propezio (Prati).

How would someone from abroad benefit by coming to Rome for a few years?
The city of Rome, unlike most large cities of our times, still bears a large sense of humanity and enjoyment in life — eating, napping, flirting. An easy go-lucky life style in general, together with a relatively wonderful climate.

When is the best time to visit?
Spring

 

Laura Ellen Antinucci grew up in Rome, where her father was employed with the Goodyear Tire Company. She completed her last year of high school and attended college back in the USA, earning a B.S. in psychology from Union College, Schenectady, New York and a masters degree in Educational Psychology at New York University. In 1980, after completing her studies, she returned to Rome, married and raised four children. Her interest in the field of maternity and breastfeeding has led her to become a lactation consultant for the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. She was a La Leche League leader for 10 years and has collaborated with the Centro Studi Yoga Roma for more than 20 years, conducting their pre-natal and post-natal courses. Laura has worked with the Public Health Agency for Lazio, participated in a project in coordination with Unicef, and collaborated with 17 public hospitals in Lazio, helping them to become "Baby Friendly". She speaks at workshops and conferences to health care workers and lay breastfeeding counselors. She is the co-author of articles and booklets on breastfeeding. Her other activities, include translation and home visits for women postpartum.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
The historical center and it's works of art, "real" Romani, and the food! And I have enjoyed learning more about Italian culture through my work.

Has living in Rome enhanced your work experience?
Not really. It's pretty wild trying to do home visits in this traffic, and parking — aiuto!

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
The peep hole at the Giardino degli Aranci- from this garden there is a beautiful view of the center of Rome and of church of Santa Sabina.

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
Villa Ada, Villaggio dei Pescatori (Fregene), Lake Bracciano, home (in the Parco di Veio), jazz clubs, Parco della Musica — the Porta di Roma shopping center when I desperately need A/C!

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
I had my first communion when I was 13, along with my brother who was 12, and after the ceremony, our family took us for a walk around the city, all dressed up. People asked me if I was a bride!

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?.
I know this will sound like a cliché', but the TRAFFIC, the smog, the difficulty of finding parking and the garbage situation...
.
What is your favourite restaurant?
George's [Via Marche 7 at Via Veneto, Roma, tel 06 4208 4575, elegant restaurant and piano bar] and Le Colline Emiliane near Piazza Barberini [Via Avignonesi 22 tel 06 481 7538, classic Bolognese cuisine].

How would someone from abroad benefit by coming to Rome for a few years?
Try to become immersed in the culture as much as possible....shop at the mercati, learn how to cook the local foods, learn to speak Italian, take personalized tours, hang out with the Romans, help your children meet Italian kids (try the parks...the Italian playgroup!).

When is the best time to visit?
I recommend May-June and September-October


Paula Pivato O'Neill was born in Bilbao, Spain, where her father was Vice Consul at the American Embassy. When Paula was four years-old, the family moved to Rome, where Paula attended international schools. She graduated with a degree in Interior Design from the CSIA Institute in Lugano, Switzerland, then did her graduate work back in Rome, earning a degree in Decor, Interiors and Stage Design. She began her professional life designing interiors for villas in Saudi Arabia, furniture for the interior design store WAMA, and working as the production manager for the International company Vivai del Sud. She moved for a time to San Francisco, where she representated Italian design firms, and formed her own company I.D.E.A., an acronym for Italian Design Associates, dedicated to promoting contemporary Italian furniture design throughout North America. In 1990, she returned to Rome, as design manager for Fendi, creating enivornments for the label's worldwide boutiques, and its shops within larger stores. Paula now lives just outside Rome in Trevignano, on Lake Bracciano, where she continues her design projects for companies in Italy and the United States. Recent work has included designs for the watchmakers Hausmann & Co on Via Condotti in Rome and the historic flagship store of Patek Philippe in Geneva.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
If I must pick only one unique thing about Rome, I would say the light. The light that reflects on the historical buildings along the Tiber river, the orange sunset hitting the statues on the church facades, when the city below is already in the dark. The light that reminds you what season it is and that Rome was once part of an empire.

Has coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
Yes, indeed, my taste for proportions, colors and styles is something I definitely picked up by growing up in Rome and having an Italian mother who was born in Rome, but grew up in Venice.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
An open air market, listening to people talking about everyday life and asking you about yours.
A casual lunch in any trattoria (where there are no tourists) or a gelato in a busy bar in a downtown piazza, and last but not least, the Roman Forum!

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
The historic center, walking through the narrow streets, chatting with the store owners and bartenders as I sip my aperitivo while sitting at a sidewalk table and watching the people stroll by.

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
I was an actress (at the age of 7) in a movie with Maurice Chevalier and Jane Mansfield. Being with the troupe at Cinecittà and in the most beautiful piazzas, I experimented the Dolce Vita!

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
Searching for parking endlessly! The boldness of drivers and the impoliteness of people when standing in a queue. Arrogance.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Perilli, in Testaccio [Ristorante Trattoria Perilli, Via Marmorata 39, tel 06 574 2415], where they make the best pasta alla carbonara!

How would someone coming from abroad benefit by coming to Rome for a few years?
I think it would be therapeutic, like when you have a child; everything is unexpected, creative and improvised and you must learn to be flexible again. An anti-age treatment. (But only for a few years!)

When is the best time to visit?
When you have time, money and a yen for Roman ruins!

 

 

Gail Milissa Grant was born in St. Louis, Missouri on the cusp of the civil rights movement of the 1950s. She is the daughter of Mildred and David M. Grant, a prominent civil rights attorney and activist. At Washington University, she earned a B.A.in Art History and Archaeology, then remained in Washington DC as assistant Professor of Art and Architectural History at Howard University. She later worked as a foreign service officer with the U.S. Information Agency, managing international cultural and educational exchange programs in Norway, France and Brazil, and winning awards for meritorious service in her field. In 2001, the day after she retired from the Foreign Service, Milissa relocated to Rome to join television set designer Gaetano Castelli, who is now her husband. She has recently published a family memoir, "?At the Elbows of My Elders", recounting the private lives and political passion of black St. Louis during the first half of the 20th century.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?

There are so many things that captivate me here. Living in an outdoor museum is exhilarating.The light is the most compelling. It has a quality I have seen no where else in the world. I love its brightness, but also how it caresses everything it touches, even when the sun is at its most brilliant in the middle of summer.

Has your experience of coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
Rome provided me with the time and space to finish my first book, although it took me longer than expected. As John Lennon once said, "Your life happens while you are planning to do something else," and I got sidetracked a lot because of life's "passages".

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
The food! No, seriously, there is so much to see and experience. Clearly, all the best-known monuments, the Colosseum, etc. I love to take visitors to look at the huge maps on the Viale dei Fori Imperiali of how the Roman Empire expanded, which really show the enormity of it.

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
Again there are so many ideal spots to chill. I have one above me — our lovely rooftop terrace which overlooks Trinità dei Monti. I also love to go to La Buvette on Via Vittoria [near Piazza del Popolo] — our breakfast hangout — any time of the day. And I love the rooftop bar at the Hotel Forum [Via Tor de' Conti, 25-30], although it's pricey and not open all year long. I am still searching, however, for that perfect outdoor café.

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
I spent my junior year in college in Perugia at the Università per Stranieri. The very first time I visited Rome, I fell in love with the city and could never shake that feeling. I dreamed about coming back here one day but never imagined that it would happen. Rome made me DREAM LARGE!

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
There are many things; I wish the streets were cleaner and the sampietrini [cobblestones] were better maintained, and that I had an elevator where I lived. But all in all, these are minor inconveniences for living in one of the most awesome cities on the planet in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I once experienced a shade of the Stendhal syndrome when I was in Milan. I had just seen [Da Vinci's] The Last Supper, came back to the office (I was working at the US Consulate at the time) and just broke down. So, I can handle the "annoyances" given all the wonderment to be found here.

What is your favourite restaurant?

Just too many to mention. For excellent and inexpensive Roman fare, Lilli Ristorante can't be beat [Via di Tor di Nona 23, near Piazza Navona, tel 06 686 1916 ].

How would someone from abroad benefit by coming to Rome for a few years?
Spending a few years in Rome would be ideal for someone who really wanted to plunge into Italian culture. There are so many things to do, classes to take and countryside jaunts to make. Milan, Florence, Naples, Bologna and Venice are only a few hours away by train. Plus there are so many hidden gems: Foligno for the 'Quintana' — the re-enactment of a medieval joust that takes place in June— is just a couple of hours away in Umbria. And in nearby Spello, the festival of flower street painting takes place that same weekend.

When is the best time to visit?

Anytime except the summer months. It is just too hot (even though the sun does caress you) to be able to really enjoy all the monuments and museums. The crowds can be overwhelming during that season.

 

Mike Applebaum, trumpeter, composer, arranger and teacher, was born in Chicago and raised in New York. He graduated from the Eastman School of Music in 1977 where, as a member of the Eastman Jazz Ensemble he performed with many celebrated guests such as Randy Brecker, Stan Getz, Bill Evans, Bill Watrous and Lew Soloff. In Rochester, he played with Isaac Hayes, The Temptations, and regularly with the Rochester Philharmonic and Chuck Mangione. He was a member of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchesta until 1983, when he moved to Rome, where he has performed as first solo trumpet with the International Chamber Orchestra, Centro Italiano della Musica Antica, Camerata Strumentale di Santa Cecilia, Orchestra Sinfonica del Friuli Venezia Giulia, and currently, with the Roma Sinfonietta and the Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma. He leads jazz bands including the Roma Jazz Ensemble and the television/radio orchestras of the RAI and Mediaset channels. He has toured in Europe with Gil Evans, Bobby Brookmeyer, and Zucchero Fornaciari. As an arranger he has worked in television, theatre, and in the studio with recording artists Gloria Gaynor, Thelma Houston, Pino Daniele, Zucchero, Giorgia, and with Alex Britti at the 2003 Sanremo Song Festival. His studio work includes recordings with scores of singer-songwriters, on hundreds of albums and movie soundtracks, working with composers such as Ennio Morricone and Nicola Piovani. In recent years, he has toured Europe with Natalie Cole . Mike teaches privately and holds trumpet masterclasses and clinics throughout Italy, and is currently professor of Jazz Arranging and director of the Jazz Orchestra at the Conservatory of Music in L'Aquila.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
Its extraordinary beauty. The more I travel around the world, the more I realize that I'm living in perhaps the most beautiful city on the planet. Of course, Rome has its ugly modern suburban areas, but on the whole, it's wonderful.

Has your experience of coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
Yes, it has. I feel like I've been able to grow as a musician, partly because of the artistic environment that surrounds me. And I would include the rest of Europe in this statement.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
Well, it's endless, you could never visit everything, but if you had only a few days I would suggest the Roman Forums and Colosseum area and the Vatican City and its museums.

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
I love to take walks in the center late at night in the summer, when there's almost no one on the streets. The city is well-lit at night, and it's just magical. Of course, I don't get to do this very often, but it's very relaxing.

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
Well, in January of 1986 it snowed here for two weeks! The city was totally unprepared for heavy snow, and it was amazing to see it come to a complete stop!

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
La maleducazione al volante, that is, the general discourtesy you find among drivers when getting around town here in a car. Very infantile and egotistical behavior at the wheel is the norm! And pedestrians are not respected at all when they're trying to cross the streets.

What is your favourite restaurant?
I don't have one because I love food from around the whole world. I'm always interested in trying new things.

How would someone from abroad benefit by coming to Rome for a few years?
Well, the culture, obviously. Art, architecture, history, ancient ruins of many cultures, music, theatre, literature, etc. Italy contains about 60% of the world's great art treasures, and that alone makes it worth living here for a while.

When is the best time to visit?
For those who want to see Italy's treasures, the weather is best from late March to early May, and then from September to late October. The summer is really hot, but that could be okay for a seaside vacation. The islands are all fantastic for that. Winter is mild in Rome, also good for a vacation.



Rebecca Spitzmiller grew up in Cincinnati Ohio and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After undergraduate work in Art Education at Florida Atlantic University, she went on to get a degree in law at Nova Southeastern University. In 1984, during a study abroad course on German comparative law in Heidelberg, she took a weekend sidetrip to Florence where she met her Italian husband. The next year, she moved to Rome and began working with international exchange organizations and teaching law. She is now a research professor at the Università degli Studi di Roma Tre, and teaches at the American University of Rome and the Scuola Superiore della Pubblica Amministrazione of Italy's Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri. At Roma Tre, Rebecca has coached the Jessup International Moot Court Competition, in which her teams have won several national championships and then gone on to compete internationally in Washington D.C. She has also served as of-counsel with civil and commercial litigation firms in Rome. Recent research involves comparative aspects of legal authority relating to health care in Europe, and methodology on teaching law to Italian students in English. Her numerous published works address the legal and logistical procedures Italian students must follow to work abroad, specifically in the United States. In her spare time, she paints in oil and acrylic and has exhibited in the US and Italy.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
The scene that unfolds before you in hundreds of places, transporting you to another era: standing on the Campidoglio overlooking the Imperial Forum, inside the Pantheon, in front of Saint Peter's or from atop its cupola, the list is endless.

Has coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
It's opened doors simply because I am American, and therefore a native English speaker.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
Crypta Balbi, near Largo Argentina. You will have this excellent museum mostly to yourself while discovering the secrets unearthed in this place in over two millennia of history.

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
Villa Ada, the former hunting grounds of the king is in my neighborhood. Within five minutes from my super-urban apartment, I can breathe fresh air while strolling, running, or riding a bike (rented there) with Briciola, my Golden Retriever.

What is the most memorable thing that happened to you in Rome?
Showing my parents the city on their first trip here in 1985; seeing it through their eyes.

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
Mostly the graffiti and litter; I wish we could rally to solve this problem.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Adriana's Terrace, Via del Babuino: great food at reasonable prices on a spacious rooftop terrace in the heart of the city.

How would someone from abroad benefit by coming to Rome for a few years?
Apart from learning the language and culture, they would learn a lot about themselves, and their own culture — good and bad.

When is the best time to visit?
August. The city is yours!


Kathleen Ann Morris is the stage name of Kelly Armah, who grew up in Illinois, USA. Her passion for dance was born with her, and she began her professional career at the age of 18 with "Dance Machine", a company based in Los Angeles. In Italy, Kelly taught at the International Dance Centre in Rome and the Renato Greco School of Dance in Pescara, as well as participating as a choreographer and dancer with Roberta Garrison and the Everyday Company. Back in New York, she began intensive studies at the Cunningham Studio and with Elaine Summers of the Judson Dance theatre. Some of her choreographic works include "Changes" for Epicentro Dance Company, "Dance" at Teatro Euclide and "Pieces of Africa" at the Teatro Centrale di Napoli. She opened the Epicentro School of music and dance in Mentana in 1994. Kelly is an Angel Therapy practitioner, trained and certified by Doreen Virtue. She organizes seminars during the year as well as conducting private sessions.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
The blending of old and new. The historic center of Rome bustles with modern technology...much of which isn't working, but that is part of the charm as well as a nuisance!

Has your experience of coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
I thrive on city's unique energy. It absolutely effects my work, as it does my daily life. I now live in the countryside, so I can relax and connect with nature during the weekends.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
The coffee at Tazza d'oro near the Pantheon. (see our It's All About the Coffee page)

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
I enjoy the Casa del Jazz and Alexanderplatz as well as other music and dance venues.
(see our music and Mellow Evenings pages)

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
There are so many memories, but performing in Piazza del Popolo was definitely a highlight!

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
The fact that American driving licenses are not valid here annoys me to no end.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Well, it is difficult to find a bad Italian restaurant. One of my favourite fish places is Cesare near Piazza Cavour [Via Crescenzio, 13, tel 06 686 1227] , it's pricey, but it has great service and white jackets on the waiters. It is also fun to go to Piazza Vittorio and eat ethnic food. You can leave the country without leaving the city!

How would someone coming benefit from coming to Rome for a few years?
Anyone would benefit by living in Rome for a few years. It has everything you could ask for in a large cosmopolitan city, plus it is full of Italians! I have lived in many countries, many cities, and chose to stay here. That sums it up!

When is the best time to visit?
Every season has its highlights, but I would go with spring. All the blossoms, the birds, the air, it is truly magical here in Rome.

 

Yvonne Fisher studied the clarinet at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, where she was a student of Stanley Hasty. After taking her degree, she perfected her studies at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, with Karl Leister in Florence and with Vincenzo Mariozzi and with William Smith in Rome. She played with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra in Washington, D.C., and taught at the Young People?s Orchestra there. She has lived in Rome since 1983, ì with her husband, who is also a musician, and her two children. She continues to perform throughout Italy and playing with the Orchestra of Lviv and other organizations. The Rai 3 has published her compositions and she teaches clarinet and ensemble in several private and public schools including the Scuola Populare di Musica di Testaccio.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
Rome is a very beautiful city. I enjoy it's mild climate and the sun shine.

Has your experience of coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
I find that my musical experiences have been varied and interesting — more so than in the States.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
I would tell them not to miss anything — the art, the architecture, the food.

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
I work a lot. When I can, I like to spend time with friends maybe going to a restaurant or a concert.

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
There have been so many that I can't think of one in particular. Maybe playing at a reception for the Prince of Monaco or meeting Roberto Benigni at a recording session.

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
The bus service.

What is your favourite restaurant?
I like different types of food. For Italian food maybe one close to home, Il Vecchio Galeone.

How would someone coming from abroad benefit by living in Rome for a few years?
It's always good to get a different perspective on the way people live and experience life.

When is the best time to visit?
I think that September is a good month.

 


Elizabeth Abbot
came to Rome from New England (USA) 25 years ago with the idea of teaching for just one year, and has been here ever since, along with her husband and "third culture" children. After working in international development, international education and directing the Italian office of a global cultural exchange organization, she discovered the field of cross-cultural communications. Now as a professional Expat Coach and Cross-Cultural Trainer, Elizabeth uses her creativity, knowledge and experience to help people living and working abroad. She believes that you can be yourself, while successfully crossing cultures . In addition to coaching, she trains, speaks, consults, conducts orientations and writes about anything from a cross-cultural perspective.
What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?

When I return from a trip, I am always struck, yet again, by the sheer beauty of the city and its monuments. Then, there is daily life, which captivates with its challenges.




Has your experience of coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
?Resourceful? was the number one attribute others indicated for me in a 360° assessment. This is a difficult city to thrive in as a
professional, and I have certainly developed resourcefulness. To make your way you must be able to solve problems in original ways, seek out creative options, leverage ambiguity and uncertainty and, above all, be persistent.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
The Contarelli Chapel in the San Luigi dei Francesi church with its Caravaggio paintings and the view over the city from the Janiculum hill in the afternoon light. I recently discovered the bar in the Chiostro del Bramante on Via della Pace just behind Piazza Navona — a lovely and quiet oasis amidst the city?s noise and activity.

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
Our terrace in Monteverde Vecchio. I also love the nearby Villa Pamphili and often take a run through its archways of umbrella pines.

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
Giving birth to my children in the middle of the Tiber river on the Isola Tiberina [at the Fatebenefratelli hospital] and showing each of them their new home from the window. They have been Roman citizens from the start.

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?

Only one thing? The time and mental energy it takes to get simple things done. In the end, managing uncertainty and ambiguity is the most difficult part of living in Rome. The answer to many questions is ?Boh? because there is never only one answer and choosing among the various possible responses depends on factors that are often unclear and, once clear, they change. The most effective stress-reducing strategy is repeating the mantra, ?Pazienza, maybe I will figure this out tomorrow.?

What is your favourite restaurant?

We lived just up from da Luigi in Piazza Sforza Cesarini for many years and we enjoy returning "home" for a good Roman meal.

How would someone coming from abroad benefit by coming to Rome for a few years?
You would return home full of new resources, alternative perspectives on life balance, the role of relationships to get business done, flexible time frames that put relationships first, the importance of a good meal in the scheme of things, and strategies for finding a balance between substance and appearance in order to make the world a nicer place.

When is the best time to visit?

Springtime, to enjoy wedding parties being photographed against the backdrop of the city. They always make me smile.

 


Lynn Apple
grew up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, and became a certified lactation consultant at the Hopital de Poissy in France, Infermiére Puéricultrice. For the past 25 years, she has been a childbirth educator and breastfeeding specialist, working in hospitals in France, Israel and the USA. After settling in Rome in 2007 with her husband George, and their three children, she created the website RomeMama.com, with her partner, Rachel Jarvis. The site aims to provide English-speaking mothers, living in Rome, a means to relate to one another, sharing support, creating a community spirit, and providing useful information.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
I love the colors of Rome...the deep green of the parasol pines, the warm pastels of the buildings and their rooftops, the magnificent marble of the fountains, the brilliant blue sky....topped by the warmth of the sun in a wonderful Mediterranean climate!

Has your experience of coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
Yes it has. The creation of RomeMama is my first experience in developing a web site. It's very different than the approach I have had in the past with mothers and babies, and it's been a very positive experience.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
The Colosseum... what an extraordinary place!

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
The Borghese Gardens.... I love the fountains, the trees, and the air. It's great to see all the people there just having a good time.

What's the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
Shortly before we moved to Rome, my husband and I came for a weekend to find an apartment. We were trying to figure out how to get where we needed to go, so we asked someone for help with directions ...we were nowhere in the vicinity of where we needed to be...the person was very nice but completely flustered ...that's when we learned that Italians really do say "Mamma Mia!"

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
I am annoyed with how reckless and inconsiderate people can be with their motorinos and cars.

What is your favorite restaurant?

My favorite place is Santa Lucia [Via di tor sanguigna 2 near Piazza Navona, tel 06 688 02427]. The food is good and it has a lovely outdoor space. In the spring when the wisteria is in bloom the atmosphere is magical.

How would someone coming from abroad benefit by coming to Rome for a few years?
I think that living in a culture different from your own offers many opportunities for personal growth...it's also a lot of fun!

When is the best time to visit?
I would say the spring, early summer or fall are all very nice.

Back to home page

In Rome Now Travel Guide: Profiles