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ARCHIVES TWO

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MEET THE ROMANS: Rick Breco + Lisa Tucci + Rosa Manocchio + Diane Epstein + John Nolan +
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ARCHIVES ONE: Lynn Apple + Elizabeth Abbot +Yvonne Fisher + Kathleen Ann Morris +Rebecca Spitzmiller +
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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
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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

Megan Fitzgerald, an American expat, lives in Rome with her husband and English bulldog. Although she was born and grew up in the U.S., her fascination for other cultures and travel has led her to living and working in visiting over more than countries. Megan and her husband chose to move to Rome three years ago, having fallen in love with Italy's culture, weather, food and lifestyle. Megan's desire to be able to live and work where she chooses, along with her expertise in personal branding and career and business development, led her to forming her own company Career by Choice. Now, having designed a rewarding portable business, she works with professionals and entrepreneurs from all over the world, helping her clients to build careers or businesses that fit an international, mobile lifestyle. Megan is active in community service, donating a percentage of her own income to fund programs fighting AIDS, TB and malaria, and she actively supports entrepreneurs in developing countries through micro loans.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
Its incredible beauty, architecture and celebration of aesthetics. I get incredibly inspired just walking around the streets.

Has your experience of coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
Honestly, as I work with most of my clients virtually (by phone or computer) and I often travel for work, where I am living does not affect my work life very much. It mostly affects my personal life. However, I can say that it is nice to work outside on the terrace with my laptop on a fall evening in Rome.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
That's very hard to say because there are so many amazing things to see....Trevi Fountain is a really majestic site.

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
Villa Borghese or Piazza del Popolo with my husband and bulldog.

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
My husband took me out for my birthday to Vivendo [the restaurant at the St. Regis Grand Hotel]. We had an incredible meal. Afterwards we walked around Piazza della Repubblica and then down Via Veneto to Piazza Venezia. Although it was late, we ended up walking home because it was such a beautiful night. The streets were alive wth lights and people. It was a magical evening.

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
I can say that getting certain things done - particularly dealing with the questura [the state police handle immigration and naturalization] can be quite challenging and can wear out even the most patient person at times.

What is your favourite restaurant?
Again, another hard question. Sicilia in Bocca has great sicilian food. [two locations—in Prati at Via Emilio Faà di Bruno, 26 and near Tor di Quinto at Via Flaminia, 390] I always take guests and friends who are visiting there.

How would someone from abroad benefit by coming to Rome for a few years?
I believe it is a powerful thing to see how important relationships are in Italy. Time is meant for spending with people. Meals are not just about eating good food, they are about conversation. In many cultures, this is far from the case. This focus shows up in all sorts of ways. I love the fact that when I go to a store or the market I am always greeted with a hello. They remember what I like to buy and let me know about what they think might interest me. People whom I don't know greet me on the street. I have great conversations with strangers. I can't think of anywhere else in the world where I have had someone strike up a conversation on a street corner waiting for the light to change and ended up talking for so long that it was several light changes before I actually made it across the street.

When is the best time to visit?
Mid-spring or mid-fall.

Jonathan Turner was born in Sydney, Australia. He attended Oxford University on a scholarship (but for only one day), and immediately decided to learn about the fine arts in a less structured environment, first in Amsterdam, then Paris. Almost by mistake, he came to Rome in 1983 on a holiday, and since then, Rome has been his home, though he moves between Amsterdam, Bangkok, New York and Sydney. His work as an international art curator, writer and critic, takes him around the globe. He has organized more than 150 solo and group exhibitions in international museums and galleries. Jonathan's involvement in the contemporary art scene is multi-faceted. He has collaborated with Manifesta (the European biennial of contemporary art, the seventh edition of which takes place until November 2 in Bolzano, Trento, Rovereto and Fortezza), and he has frequently worked at the Venice Biennale. He is the founding director of the Jet Foundation for Inter-Continental Art, a non-profit organization based on the promotion of art events around the world, and he is the founding advisor to RipArte Art Fair in Rome. He has been awarded the prestigious A.B.O. prize as best independent curator and critic for his work in Italy in 2006. He has been European Editor for such Australian magazines as Interior Architecture, Black + White and Blue, and he is a long-time Rome correspondent for ARTnews, New York and Tableau Fine Arts magazine in the Netherlands.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
Rome is a city for the senses. It looks wonderful, it sounds human, the food tastes fresh, the sun feels good on your skin. The city still offers up brand new surprises. You can walk down the same street every day, and one afternoon, at a certain moment, the sun hits a window or a wall and you see a different beauty for the first time. This is magic. I still get around town on my bicycle, which in the early days of pot-holes, uneven cobblestones and bag-snatchers, was an uncommon and fairly stupid mode of transport. But as a result, I now know the streets very well. And you can talk to anyone — a kid playing football, dustman, young businesswoman parking her Alfa, dubious shaved guy, housewife — and everyone talks back to you. I am not a shy person, but in some cities, it can be hard to find out anything about fascinating local drama. Not in Rome. Here, ask a question on any corner, and you are given your very own personal short story, usually with a brilliant punchline thrown in for good measure.

Has your experience of coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
My first proper job in Rome was in the mid-1980s as the art critic for the now-defunct English daily newspaper The International Courier. It was a hands-on, unusual experience, in an editorial office that was a hotbed of subterfuge, magnificent ego battles and colourful surrealism. Yet for me, a young Australian biking around to all the exhibitions I could visit, it was total freedom, and a marvelous education in Italian politics. This led to offers of work from such American magazines as HG, Conde Nast Traveler, and ARTnews, for whom I have been a roving correspondent since 1985. From my work as art critic, grew a frustration with the quality of many shows I was seeing. So in 1993, I organized a group exhibition called "Double Dutch" together with the Netherlands Ministry of Culture, at Sala 1, to prove to myself that it wasn't impossible. The next year, as a further test, I conceived and organised an event called "L'Ottobre degli Olandesi", 12 simultaneous solo shows by 12 contemporary Dutch artists in 12 Roman galleries. This spirit of collaboration has characterized my work ever since.
At the same time, I have worked as critic or curator for many years with established Italian artists - PierPaolo Calzolari, Enzo Cucchi, Nino Longobardi, Maurizio Mochetti, Luigi Ontani, Mimmo Paladino, Gianni Piacentino - plus I've been involved in several early exhibitions with Roman artists of my generation, who are now internationally renowned - Matteo Basile, Paolo Canevari, Luana Perilli, Cristiano Pintaldi, Daniele Puppi, Oliviero Rainaldi, Franco Silvestro.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
Don't plan too much. Walk around town, go in to any building that looks inviting, and generally get lost in the smaller streets.

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
Sitting on my terrace in Trastevere, having a big barbecue on my vintage Sears & Roebuck grill. It's about the most relaxing place I know. And I also find the clubs a good place to catch up with friends. I have a long association with Muccassassina [Friday nights], the Gay Village and Gorgeous at Alpheus [via del Commercio 36 in the Ostiense district]. At the moment, one of my favourite places to spend early Sunday morning is sitting on the steps in the courtyard at Club 69. Definitely not for everyone, but hey, that's Rome.

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
There are so many, but one moment stands out. I was in the kitchen cooking at about nine o'clock one night many years ago, when I heard a strange humming, throbbing sound coming from the skies. So I went up on to my terrace, and the Goodyear blimp was hovering what seemed only just a few meters above my plants. It had all these colored lights flashing at the base (I think they were advertising slogans but the zeppelin was simply too close to read the words) and it was like I was being engulfed in a sci-fi scene from Blade Runner, as though the ancient city was suddenly the spectacular site of Close Encounters.

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
Rome is a sponge. Sometimes, it absorbs energy, creativity and innovation — often, it thrives on a form of intellectual theft. It is a continual challenge to get paid, everybody always owes you money. If you are a plumber, you demand cash in advance, if you are a curator, people assume you must do it as a hobby. I think if you can succeed in Rome, then basically you can work anywhere. As a city, it demands excellence though you are rarely given credit for it. But then again, I suppose that is understandable. So many people come through Rome; so many people take away strong memories, that Rome is allowed to be the demanding despot now and then. At the moment, it is wallowing in a superficial phase of hyper-PR and celebrity-obsession, with a definite layer of uncertainty and fear, but so is the rest of the planet.

What is your favorite restaurant?
I am not a big fan of formal restaurants, so there is a series of noisy trattorias around town where I usually meet up with friends and visitors. But Pierluigi in Piazza de Ricci (near Campo de'Fiori) has been my second kitchen for more than a decade.

How would someone coming from abroad benefit by coming to Rome for a few years?
Apart from all the obvious reasons, on a contemporary level, Rome is going through what could be seen as a renaissance. It is not an open-air museum, but a hi-tech metropolis, as long as you know where to look. Everybody comes through Rome. After decades of torpor, there is an authentic boom underway, particularly in the cultural scene. There are new buildings designed by Richard Meier, Renzo Piano, Zaha Hadid, Pickering-Lazzarini, Garofalo & Miura, Massimiliano Fuksas, Carlo Aymonino, Odile Decq, Rem Koolhaas and the other hotshots of international architecture (sensibly constructed on the margins of the old city). The music scene is vibrant too — big or small, superstar or independent, it seems that every good singer or band passes through Rome. Valentino may have stepped down from his role as flagship fashion designer, but younger designers such as Grimaldi Giardina are hot on his heels. There are three new museums of contemporary art, and a plethora of active art galleries. Over the past few years, alongside such important Roman stalwarts as L'Attico, Il Ponte Contemporanea, Pio Monti, Oredaria, Volume, S.A.L.E.S. and Alessandra and Valentina Bonomo, high quality, newer galleries have opened spaces in the capital including Lipanjepuntin, Lorcan O'Neill, Magazzino d'Arte Moderna, Trisorio, 1/9 Unosunove, VM21, z2o/Sara Zanin and the mighty Gagosian.

When is the best time to visit?
Anytime, really. Most people prefer spring and autumn, but I love Rome in mid-August, when the asphalt is sticky and the streets are empty, or on New year's Eve, when the entire sky explodes with fireworks, or any time that the local football or national football team wins, and the city become truly jubilant.

Ann Joyce (aka Contessa Bracci-Devoti) was raised in both Chicago and San Francisco, where her family?s Public Relations offices were located. While attending Arizona State University, she worked on humanitarian projects with Native Americans on their reservations and studied to be a social worker and community organizer. After gaining experience in marketing and public relations in the U.S., she moved to Rome where she married her Italian husband and formed her own Public Relations and Event Planning firm. Her clients included show business personalities, political campaigns, hotels and non-profit organizations. Ann has been with the FAO (the UN food and agriculture organization) since 2002, assisting the office of the Director of Emergency Operations. She recently acted as a volunteer press liaison for the High Level Conference on World Food Security, where more than 1,500 accredited journalists were in attendance, together with many world leaders. Ann lives with her family in Rome and spends weekends at her home in the medieval village of Tuscania.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
Rome is seductive; everywhere you turn it lures you in. Especially, "Rome by Night" as they say. . . since it?s really the only time you can experience it at it?s best. No traffic, quiet streets, so many artistically-lit ancient ruins. It?s a city for lovers and I love it!

Has coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
I'm not sure if it has enhanced my work experience since whenever you take yourself outside of your given sphere of doing business you take a risk or even a loss since many things don?t translate. There is a lot of adjusting to do when comparing the American work ethic and the Italian style of life, which are in direct contrast at times. You must be prepared to accept less in exchange for the joy of living in the "Bel Paese".

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
Appia Antica at sunset, the Pantheon in the early morning, the Trevi Fountain in the middle of the night, St. Peter?s off-season, the view from the Giannicalo anytime, warm pizza bianca in the morning . . .

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
I drive north on the Cassia to my husband's project the "Le Pozze" Terme di San Sisto and soak in the hot springs, completely surrounded by Roman ruins and scenic countryside. It?s a beauty treatment for body and soul that is frequented by many Romans who follow this age old ritual for "benessere" [well-being].

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
The first week I was in Rome I headed for the Vatican, of course, and found myself in a splendid side chapel where mass was being held. After kneeling down to say a prayer, I felt a rush of warm tears flowing down my face. I couldn?t stop. I was so moved by the overwhelming atmosphere of St. Peter?s Basilica and my first experience of being in a place I had dreamed about my whole life, I couldn?t help myself. It was magical and I will never forget it.

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
I would like to remove all the TV aerials on the roof tops of the buildings in Rome since they ruin the view and there is hardly any need for them anymore since the invention of the dish.

What is your favorite restaurant in Rome?
The best is my own dining room at home where my son "Chef Carlo" prepares us a gourmet meal!

In your opinion, how does a foreigner benefit from the experience of living in Rome?
Rome offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and reflect on 3000 years of history. Study, play and grow. Drink the wonderful wines and learn how to eat properly using seasonal ingredients and traditional dishes made in creative new ways.

What's the best time of the year to visit Rome?
August although beastly hot sometimes can be a real treat. The Italians are at their best, on vacation, tan and well-dressed and the streets are uncrowded. Parks are filled with outdoor concerts and many of the best restaurants remain open and are more relaxed. The tomatoes are at their best too!

 

Elisabeth Giansiracusa grew up in San José, California. She studied Italian, French, and Romance Linguistics at the University of Washington, then continued her studies, doing graduate work in Comparative Literature at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1981, she began her Italian adventure, moving to Florence with her husband, and, eight years later, to Rome. After raising two children here, and many years of university teaching in Italian Studies at several American university programs in Florence and Rome, she has reinvented herself as a sort of Jill-of-all-Trades: specialized guide, translator, editor, cultural facilitator. Her walking tours through Rome reflect her interest in the synergy between past and present. She has translated and edited numerous books and articles on Italian culture and she is the co-author of In giro per la letteratura: leggere e scrivere nei corsi intermedi d?italiano, an intermediate language text that has been adopted by several universities and high schools in the United States.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
The very nature of the city itself — its age, wisdom, resilience.

Has living in Rome enhanced your work experience?
Almost all of my professional life has depended on and been nurtured by adapting to life in Rome and Italy at large.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
Apart from the major cultural sites of the various ages of Rome, I?d recommend a late afternoon pause in just about any of the historical piazzas or parks. Watch the colors change as the sun sets, the birds feed in the evening breezes, and more....

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
If I?m at home, out onto my terrace which looks out over the Parco dell?Insugherata and toward the foothills of the Apennines, Monte Soratte, and the Via Cassia north into Etruscan country. Or I go to one of the parks for a stroll.

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
I suppose the most memorable experiences have to be welcoming my children into life in Rome.

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
Oh, like any urban center, there's the noise, traffic, impatience, and at times, the weather, the heat in summer and the narrow streets clogged with traffic. That?s not the fault of Rome, but of our inordinate love of cars.

What is your favourite restaurant?
This is a tough one. If I can pick only one, I?d have to say our local trattoria for its neighbourly "accoglienza"?, local ingredients, and unprepossessing identity: L?Osteriacarina [Via Ottavio Assarotti 36, near Via Trionfale, Monte Mario, tel 06.3381208].

How would someone from abroad benefit by coming to Rome for a few years?
I think life as a foreigner anywhere in the world is educational, enriching, life-changing, humbling. I suppose most would choose Rome for its cultural heritage, but I think it might be interesting to consider Rome also as a ?personal challenge? — at least for most Northern Europeans and Americans for whom the slower pace of life, apparent chaos, more philosophical attitude to progress, and abiding interest in the so-called smaller joys of everyday life have not been lost to competition, ambition, and the pursuit of organization.

When is the best time to visit?
Anytime other than the height of summer, though in a way , Rome in August regains its more human and humane dimensions.

Romina Power was born in Los Angeles, the eldest daughter of the well known actors Tyrone Power and Linda Christian. She was taken to live in Rome when a young girl and, after attending college in England, came back to act in more than fifteen Italian language films. During this period, she bought a guitar and began composing and singing. She was married to the famous Italian singer Al Bano, with whom she had four children, and together they formed a successful singing duo. Her her great passion these days is painting, perhaps inspired by Balthus, the late avant-garde French painter whom she befriended when he was in residence at the Villa Medici in Rome. She directed the film "Upaya" with Axel Schmidt and Usha Tripathi, filmed in India, and is contemplating a film about her iconic father. "I never went to college," she told us. "Just a few years of boarding school, first Marymount in Mexico and in Rome, then Cobham Hall in England. But I speak four languages: Italian, English, French and Spanish. She now has a house in Arizona and an olive grove in Puglia.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
The fact that wherever you go there is some element of beauty, history and chaos.

Has living in Rome enhanced your work experience?
I guess so, since I began working here the age of fourteen, I have lived in the eternal city twice in my lifetime for seven years each time. First in the sixties, then from 1999 till 2007.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
Looking at the city from the top of the Giannicolo hill.

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
To my house.

What is the most memorable thing that happened to you in Rome?
I suppose it was meeting the man who would become the father of my children, then the birth of my two eldest children, and the meeting with mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II.

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
The way people were MUCH nicer in the sixties and the traffic was less then.

What is your favourite restaurant?
There are many. It depends on what I feel like eating. I like Take Sushi [Viale di Trastevere 4] or Zen [Via degli Scipioni 243 in the Prati district], for sushi, Checco er carrettiere [Via Benedetta, 10-13, Trastevere] for typical Roman dishes, " Da Baffetto" for pizza, "Babington's " for tea [in the Piazza di Spagna]. Hotel de Russie for cocktails [Via del Babuino near Piazza del Popolo]. No matter what happens in Rome or in Italy, whether there is a government or not, at lunch time and dinner time everything will be perfect. and i hope they never allow Starbucks to open in Italy. It would be the end of all the little caffe's with their already perfect cappuccinos.

How would someone coming from abroad benefit by living in Rome for a few years?
It depends what they are looking for and what their interests are and if they can afford it . Rome is not so inexpensive anymore.

When is the best time to visit?
Either in the spring — April, May — or the fall — September, October.

Wendy Auslebrook was born in Victoria, Australia of Scottish, English and Chinese ancestry. She graduated with a degree in Home Economics and taught cooking and nutrition, moving into food styling, recipes and creative writing. She has collaborated professionally in Australia and Italy as a food consultant, advising industries. After meeting her Italian writer husband, in Melbourne she moved to Rome, beginning her culinary journey in Italy.A long-time active member of Slow Food, she also collaborates with Living Italy's food and wine tours in the Umbrian countryside, where she can share her passion with discerning foodie tourists, introducing them to the local culinary traditions. In Rome she gives Thai/Vietnamese/Australian fusion cooking lessons on request. Wendy wasnPresident of the Professional Women' Association in Rome for four years, and works with Women's International Networking, keeping in tourch with Rome's expatriate community. When not cooking, Wendy creates exquisite costume jewellery from semiprecious gemstones, silver and porcelain, which she exhibits at the flea market uner the arches at Piazza Augusto Imperatore on Sunday morning as well as selling to private clients.
Wendy divides her time between Rome and Umbria, where she lives mostly in the countryside overlooking the medieval town of Bevagna. She enjoys sharing recipes with the local women. She says that it is always a two-way learning process, and they go crazy over her "foreign" cakes. She appeared on Italy's most highly rated television cooking program, "La prova del Cuoco" in 2004 presenting one of her favorite desserts.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
The unique beauty of the various periods of architecture and the sheer delight of not knowing what will be around the next corner. The Italians have a spontaneous approach to life and they like to make new friends. T

Has your experience of coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
In terms of meeting some very interesting international people I would say yes, but economically no. It's another world from Australia and the salaries are much lower here.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
The only way to see and experience the historical center of Rome is to move around on foot. Then all one's five senses are stimulated. Seeing Rome by night, it's fun driving in the car, especially near the Roman forum area. Then there are the piazza: Piazza Mincio and its surrounding buildings built in the early 1900s, the fascinating style of architecture in the neighbourhood of Coppedè. Don't miss the Galleria Borghese for its sculptures by Bernini and Canova. I love mosaics and therefore two of my favourite churches are Santa Maria Maggiore and San Clemente. The views of Rome from the Gianicolo hill are unforgettable. The Ghetto has some fascinating Roman structures. I've come to realize that you need a lifetime to discover Rome. For me, it's the most amazing city in the world!

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
My husband and I enjoy listening to music, poetry and theatrical performances at Teatro Arciliuto [near Piazza Navona]. We walk in the Villa Borghese and end with an aperitif at the Hotel de Russie, down near Pizza del Popolo [via del Babunino].

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
When Pope Benedict XVI was elected in 2005. We were with some French visitors at the church of St Agnese in Piazza Navona. Then all of a sudden the bells starting tolling loudly all around Rome. It was the calling to ascend on Pizza San Pietro in front of St Peter's to witness the announcement. Well we left the church and started following the crowds, running through the streets to Saint Peter's. It was such an atmosphere of excitement and curiosity. Any direction I looked I saw people running and we almost collided with one another at the intersections. We made it in time and when the cardinal made the announcement, the crowd fell silent. They were disappointed with the appointment of the controversial Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
More than anything the bureaucracy and queues at the post office.. It takes so long to accomplish simple tasks. And let's not forget the traffic chaos!

What is your favourite restaurant?
We tend to eat out less these days. The standard of restaurant food in Rome has declined over the years and besides we eat better at home. Rome has some excellent food markets and it is a pleasure to shop fresh. We are very attentive to our health and diet. But when we eat out we often meet friends at Il Nuovo San Marco [Via Olevano Romano, 195 near via Prenestina], as they make a delicious pizza. We've recently discovered a lovely little place called Osteria del Pegno [Vicolo di Montevecchio, 8] near the Teatro Arciliuto. Great food and prices!

In your opinion,someone how would someone from abroad benefit by living in Rome for a few years?
One must accept the good with the bad. I think the main benefit is to live amongst the wonderful food and culture. Rome has become more international and there is so much choice of what to see and do.

When is the best time to visit?
Spring or autumn. Never in summer when it?s hot! The light that falls on the eternal city in autumn is really beautiful.

 

Gaby Ford, Artistic Director of The English Theatre of Rome, is one of eight siblings. Her father was a Professor of Greek Myths and teacher of Shakespeare and her mother, a Professor of Communication Arts, also wrote lyrics for Broadway. Her grandmother was among the first women to graduate from Hunter College, New York. Gany was raised in Long Island, studied drama at SUNY Purchase and won a scholarship to study with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company. On a whim she answered an ad for a dancing instructor in Italy, coming here in 1983. She also acted in various comedies in Italy before following her dream to start her own theatre group. The English Theatre of Rome was born in 1996, with productions each season at the Teatro l’Arciluto, near Piazza Navona. In 2008, the company celebrated their twelfth season and sixty-fifth production. The sInternational American Club of Rome honored Gaby for her ’outstanding contribution to culture in the community’ and she was selected by the worldwide FAWCO group as one of their ’outstanding women’. In addition to directing her theater company, she acts in films and TV, and coaches actors.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
The fact that right around the corner there’s a chunk of a 2,000 year-old building waiting to give you a time perspective.

Has your experience of coming to Rome enhanced your work?
Not enhanced, my concept of work had to be altered drastically to remain here.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
My favourite Museums are Palazzo Massimo [Largo di Villa Peretti 1], which has the best preserved frescoes, giving me a sense of just how resplendent a Roman home was. The other is the Exhibition of ‘Gods & Machines’ at the first Roman power station, in Via Ostiense 106, where the juxtapositions of fine ancient sculpture set against 18th century machinery is mesmerising. There is never anyone there... A hidden treasure!

Where do you go to Rome to chill out?
My terrace.

What was the most memorable thing that happened to you in Rome?
Producing ‘A Broad Abroad’ and I will come to tell you why!

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
The Kafkaen order of moving from A to B.

What is your favourite restaurant?
Ristorante Monte Arci, Via Castelfidardo 33 [near Stazione Termini]. Scrumptious wood baked fresh fish.

In your opinion, does a foreigner benefit from the experience of living in Rome?
The intestines and the brain are the first two organs of the body to benefit from a Roman experience.

When is the best time to visit?
When your currency can compete with the Euro!

 

Fiamma Arditi, a well-known international journalist was born in Naples. She got her degree in film criticism at the university in Milan, which eventually led her to divide her life between New York and Rome, where, in her words, one expands towards the sky and the other expands along the Tiber river. She is an acute observer of modern art and collaborates with her husband Sandro Manzo, owner of ?Il Gabbiano? art gallery in Rome, writing texts for catalogues, as well as articles for Ars magazine, l?Europeo, l?Unità and La Stampa. Her book l?Altra America, is a series of interviews with well-known America artists centered on the question "can art in all its forms fill the gap between the US and the rest of the world?". She is a counsellor to the observer delegation to the UN, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and she is deeply involved in the problem of refugees and human rights. This passion has inspired her to organize the ?Without Borders? International Film Festival held in Rome in July, 2008, at the Casa del Cinema, with 20 selected works on film from all over the world, dedicated to the understanding of the parallel realities in our increasingly complex but smaller world.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
Walking down the little side streets of Old Rome late at night when you can hear the sound of your steps on the sanpietrini [cobblestones], crossing the bridges of the Tiber and seeing the reflections of the churches, the palazzos and the Castel Sant?Angelo shimmering in the water.

Has your experience of living in Rome enhanced your work experience?
I haven?t yet learned to understand the ?yes? that Romans always tell you, only to decide what is going to really happen all at the last minute.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
I would say again, walking and lifting your eyes upward to see the roof tops, the mythical terraces, the new Baroque and the eternal seagulls flying around and never going away.

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
To my home with the air conditioning and lots of little white candles lit all over the house, fluttering here and there.

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
One Sunday morning in June, under a blue sky, sunshine at midday in a quiet clinic when my daughter Giulia was born!

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
As much as I enjoy tourists, in Rome there are too many driving around in huge buses creating havoc with the traffic. It would be better if they all walked everywhere.

What is your favourite restaurant?
Otello on Via della Croce [near the Spanish Steps], in the courtyard of an old Roman palace run by a family of women, all sisters, nieces, grandchildren, kindly welcoming their clients with gentleness and smiles. I could suggest the fried alici and zucchini to start, the pasta dishes are all delicious. Also ?La Campana, the oldest trattoria in Rome run by the same family since 1400! In Vicolo della Campana [via di Monte Brianzo, between Piazza Navona and the river].

How would someone coming from abroad benefit by coming to Rome for a few years?
Whoever comes to Rome remains enchanted with the historical stratification and it is also a contagiously cheerful city, transmiting energy, colour, and tastes. It fills the senses.

When is the best time to visit?
Rome to me is a city to visit all year round, but be prepared that from June to August you will be in torrid heat. Someone should do a map showing all the places in the shade at the various times, so you can schedule your day.

 

Milton Gendel was born in New York City He could certainly be named the doyen of the modern day ’Romans’, having come here just after the end of World War II on a Fulbright grant. His destination should have been China, but with the Communist takeover he chose Italy, instead. He later became a consultant for cultural and international relations for Olivetti and Alitalia.
Currently he is Consulting Editor for Art in America, a Member of the Memmo Foundation and was a former member of the Scholars Committee of the Tiber Island History Museum as well as its International Coordinator,organizing the first exhibition of Jackson Pollack's work in Rome. He edited Illustrated History of Italy and the 25-volume series Wonders of Man for Newsweek and Mondadori, and is an Honorary member of the Society of Fellows of the American Academy in Rome.
In addition to his work as a writer and editor, he an internationally respectedphotographer with a private archive that is testimony to 50 years of fashionable Italian cultural life. His photographic work has been exhibited widely including Trinity Fine Art and the Malborough Gallery in London, Il Segno, Il Ponte and Galleria Francesca Antonacci in Rome, Borozzi in Venice, Museo Civico di Gibellina and Verdura New York.
Moving from one interesting abode to another, he lived in Piazza Mattei, overlooking the Tortoise Fountain, with his wife, Monica Incisa, the well-known illustrator.


What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
The walls. Itself!

Has your experience of coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
Of course.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
The Capitoline hill, the Campidoglio, hub of the city’s 2,000 year-old history, where, at one time I could drive my car around the statue of Marcus Aurelius.

Where do you go in Rome to relax and chill out?
To Palazzo Doria, viewing the courtyard garden.

What is your favourite restaurant?
Il Buco and the Café Doria (in the Palazzo Doria Pamphili, Via della Gatta).

What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
Meeting Monica, my wife.

In your opinion, how does a foreigner benefit from the experience of living in Rome?
Becoming stoic.

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?.
Blocking the center of the city for visiting notables.

Nina Gardner was born in Santa Monica, California, graduated cum laude from Harvard University, and received a Law degree from Columbia University. As her mother was American of Venetian origin, and her father was U.S. Ambassdor in Rome in the late 1970s, she had an early introduction to Italian, which was drilled into her by her grandparents during summer vacations. Nina was the director of Interconnect Legal Consultants in Prague before joining the United Nations, where she was a political officer in Zagreb and later, in Vukovar, on the Slovenia-Croatia border. In 2000, she founded Strategy International, a consulting firm specializing in projects of Corporate Social Responsibility and public policy. In the past fifteen years, she has founded three professional women's associations: Forum Zen in Prague in 1995; the DIRE (Donne Italiane Rete Europea) in Paris in 2006; and more recently, Corrente Rosa, here in Italy in 2007.

Her Italian husband has had a career with the Foreign Ministry, serving as Ambassador to the Czech Republic, Croatia and to OECD in Paris. Nina followed happily along, juggling children and professional duties. In September, 2008, her family will leave their home in Rome for Washington, DC, where her husband will open Italian energy provider ENEL's Washington office, and Nina will work full-time on the Obama campaign, while their ten year-old son, Laurence, is looking forward to showing American kids how soccer is really played.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
The light, the stones.

Has your experience of coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
Not at all. Unfortunately, unless one is into culture or history, Rome is not a place for professional growth — not to mention major glass ceiling issues.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
A picnic on the Appia Antica.

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
Villa Celimontana to listen to jazz on summer nights.

What is your favourite restaurant?
Renato e Luisa near Largo Argentina — inventive menu, fair prices, never let us down.

What's the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
Organizing an "Americans in Italy for Obama" rally at Trajan's forum on a glorious Saturday in April — and having to go to the questura (police station) to get the permesso for a manifestazione pacifica. ... and, back in 1978, organizing a toga party for my New York high school classmates on the Palatine. Those were the days!

In your opinion, how does a foreigner benefit from the experience of living in Rome?
After four years of Kafkaen bureaucracy in Prague, complemented by the Byzantine bureaucracy in Rome I've learned how to fight bureaucracy!

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?

The lack of reliable public transportation


Susan Doull was born and grew up in Chicago. She did a BA and MA in the History of Art at Wellesley College and the University of Toronto respectively. In addition to raising children, she has been involved in international banking, real estate and hotels in America, Canada, France and Italy. Her husband, Adrian Doull, was born and raised in Durban, South Africa. He read for the the Bar in London and spent 20 years with Anglo American Group, becoming Chief Operating Officer of the Group's businesses in North America. The two met in Toronto and married in New York and between them, raised five children. They now have four grandchildren.
Giving up careers in New York, they bought and restored the beautiful Chateau de Remaisnil in Picardy, France where they began a 15-year adventure running a 20-bedroom luxury establishment, serving the best food and wine. Adrian got busy in Paris, heading the European business of CERA, a leading energy research and consulting firm. Putting all their multi talents together they are now involved in travel, tourismand vacation properties in Italy, helping clients find the perfect holiday rental.Adrian is just completing a book about the European Natural Gas Industry and it's relationship with Russia.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?

The winter sky, when it's crystal blue, and contrasts crisply with the ochre ranges of the architecture . I love everything Baroque.

Has your experience of coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
It has enhanced my personal experience. Romans are more concerned with the fuzzy parts of life, and less concerned about the details. If you like sharp corners, neat details, and tight schedules, plan to adjust, or stay away.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
If they can get in, the Refectory at the Trinita del Monte at the top of the Spanish Steps for its beautiful frescoes. If not , the Church of San Ignazio for its fake frescoed cupola by Andrea del Pozzo, who was a witty master of trompe l'oeil.

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?

Sermoneta, a half hour a way by train where we have our own house, and two others which we rent out. It's a medieval village that feels like a time warp. The air is redolent with orange blossoms and jasmine now; there are frequent musical performances in the streets, and everyone is a neighbour to everyone else.

What's the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
In my first year here, I was walking by the Prime Minister's offices at the Palazzo Chigi in Piazza Colonna. The handsome guards on duty, smartly uniformed and at attention, were approached by two very pretty and flirtatous girls who requested of them something I could not hear. I watched in amazement as both of the guards lay down their military arms, while one draped his loving arms around each of the girls, and the other took their camera, stood back, and shot a photo. Then they switched. The girls thanked them and sauntered away. Only in Rome.

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?

Not much, we just feel so priviledged to be here that any inconvenience is a price worth paying.

What is your favourite restaurant in Rome?
Il Gabriello at 51 Via Vittoria [between Piazza di Spagna and Piazza del Popolo. tel 06 6994 0810] is one of them. It's cozy and welcoming, with spashy art painted by the owner's brother who goes by the cute name of B.Zarro They clearly care about the quality of their food and always make you feel at home.

How does a foreigner benefit from living in Rome?
Hopefully they might learn from the Romans that personal time counts, too. "Piano, piano", they say. That is why Rome wasn't built in a day.

When is the best time to visit?

Any time. I even love the hot summer which slows you down and creates a rhythm all its own.



Maureen B. Fant grew up in Manhattan, and spent time in Rome as a college junior at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies, where she first tasted spaghetti alla carbonara. As a graduate student in Classical Studies and Archaeology at the University of Michigan, she developed parallel interests in Latin funerary inscriptions and Italian cooking. The former led to her work tracking down sources for women's lives for the book Women's Life in Greece and Rome (coauthored with the distinguished classicist Mary R. Lefkowitz). The latter found even broader application after she moved to Rome in 1979 and the two paths began to converge.

Today she is a respected food writer, specializing in the food of Rome. Her first cookbook was the Rome volume of the Williams-Sonoma Foods of the World series. Her other works include Dictionary of Italian Cuisine (with Howard M. Isaacs) and Trattorias of Rome, Florence, and Venice, a great guide to where to eat what. Maureen enjoyed writing for the column "Choice Tables" in the New York Times travel section, helping many a traveler find the right place to eat in Italy. Editing, writing, translating, and cooking keep Maureen busy in Rome. She also teaches, guides, organizes gastronomic events, does research, and offers hands-on cooking lessons in her home near the Colosseum, preceded by shopping at the Testaccio market to find what's in season. She shares her life in Rome with Franco Fillipi, a professor of transportation engineering.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
I've been here so long that I've been through many phases of captivation, and I confess a great deal of the charm wore off years
ago. However, the one thing that never changes is my feeling about the sheer heart-wrenching beauty of Rome. I can be storming along the street practically kicking tires and muttering to myself about the impossibility of getting things done in this town, starting with walking in a straight line down a street, and then I'll turn a corner and there will be a wall or a fountain or a house that will just stop me in my tracks and remind me of why it's worth it to put up with all the rest. I would also have to say the light, even in the rain.

Has coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?

Depends what you mean by enhanced. I certainly wouldn't advise an ambitious young person to come here without a very specific reason, and every day I see ways in which I would have achieved more had I stayed in my own country. And yet, I've carved out a working life for myself that I never would have been able to elsewhere. All the work I do today is practically inextricable from the language and culture of Rome, whether we're talking about teaching Roman cooking or reviewing restaurants or translating archaeology or collecting documents for women's lives in antiquity. And living here gives me a priceless edge over people who do similar work elsewhere and just come here to visit.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
Though I cannot bear what the neighborhood has become, the Pantheon is the building that best captures what ancient Roman architecture must have felt like. Otherwise, I just tell people they have to come back. There's so much here, and I have no patience for people who think they're only going to come here once and have to see the top ten now or never more. Maybe the not-to-miss should just be the throwing of the coin in the Trevi Fountain so they'll come back for the rest someday. But let's say there are a few things in Rome (a few!) that you have to be acquainted with in order to deserve a place in Western civilization. In no particular order: St. Peter's, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the panorama from the Janiculum, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, the Spanish Steps, the Tiber Island, the Ghetto, Michelangelo's Moses in San Pietro in Vincoli, Santa Maria Maggiore, San Giovanni in Laterano, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Campo de' Fiori and Piazza Farnese, and so many more.

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
I'm a New Yorker. I window shop, and the streets around Piazza di Spagna still do it for me — for now.

What's most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
Meeting Franco, of course!

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
Is there anything that doesn't? Rome annoys me in so many ways every day. (As I said, I'm a New Yorker. I'm easily annoyed.) The important thing is that there are compensations. And one of the great rewards of sticking it out here is learning the moves so that what used to seem an insurmountable obstacle to quality of life becomes a game
The one common complaint I don't share is the traffic. I have managed to organize my life so I almost never have to sit in a car at rush hour. But I am particularly annoyed by conditions for pedestrians. I have fractured my foot on the sidewalk on via del Corso. And the failure to repaint faded zebra crossings, or just erase them, is nothing short of criminal.

What's your favorite restaurant in Rome?

Does a mother have a favorite child? Maybe, but she's not likely to admit it. I'm going to pass on that. I have a list on my web site [www.maureenbfant.com] of restaurants Franco and I like and go to. The favorite depends on what I need for a specific occasion. In general, your favorite restaurant should be your neighborhood trattoria, but it's no more use recommending it to somebody else than you would recommend a date with your eccentric cousin. You and your trattoria understand each other; strangers might not get it.

In your opinion, does a foreigner benefit from the experience of living in Rome?
Of course. First, anybody benefits from foreign experience anywhere. But also, I believe Western civilization is worth keeping alive, and the more people who see Rome, the better its chances.

What's the best time of year to visit Rome?
Any time is fine. This is Caput Mundi, for heaven's sake. I have no time for people who worry about whether it's going rain or be hot. This is a climate without extremes, except for a spell every summer when the air just doesn't move. But you never know if that will be in July or in August, and in any case, it's probably worse elsewhere. England in the heat is much harder to take. However, let us say, the fewest tourists are about in November, January, and February. In general, the light is most thrilling in December. The weather is best in October. The crowds start to build around Easter and don't quit till November. The food is best in winter and spring.

 

Brando CrespiBrando Crespi is the son of an Italian Count and an American mother who was one of the beauties of Rome's "Dolce Vita" era. Contessa Rodolfo Crespi (Consuelo), the editor of Italian Vogue editor, was routinely on the best-dressed lists. So her son, Brando, enjoyed the best of growing up in Rome. After studying Anthropology in Washington D.C., he moved to Los Angeles where he launched Rodeo Drive and the Hard Rock Café in the late '70s and early '80s and opened the first Fendi and Versace stores in LA. He represented the communication, marketing, franchising and licensing needs of Ermeneglido Zegna, Pratesi, Ferragamo, Krizia, Biagiotti, Idea Como and other top Italian and French luxury companies in the US. Leaving Rome for Paris, he was the Creative Director of Habitat, asa well as a consultant in business development to Armani and L'Oreal. In 1997, he returned to Rome to give his children a taste of their Italian heritage. His entrepreneurial background serves his dedication to social environmental work in Europe, China and the Americas. He is co-founder of Pro-Natura International, a Franco-Brazilian NGO, developing sustainability strategies in nearly 40 countries. Recently, he completed a study for Nomisma, one of Italy's top Think Tanks, on the geo-strategic implications of Global Warming. Brando currently heads Innovi, which is partly a strategic consulting company, (clients include Proctor &Gamble, L'Oreal, Armani, STMicroelectronics), and partly a loose network of entrepreneurs, scientists, environmentalists and assorted mavericks devoted to nurturing and sometimes investing in projects promoting a post-carbon world.

What is the most captivating thing for you about Rome?
Generations of Romans (and talented foreigners such as Michelangelo) adding layers of beauty to the beauty created by past
generations.

Has coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
Rome is not about work (except if you are a bureaucrat or a politician or both). Rome is about BEING!

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
The galleria Borghese, which is a perfectly-sized museum, and a guided walk through Roma Vecchia!

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
I walk, walk, walk. I stop for coffee at the Bar Farnese and admire the goings on and the view of the Palazzo!

What's the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
Being brought into a "private" catacomb by a Vatican curator!

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?

The "energy stagnation". Innovation and dynamism are now antithetical to the Roman experience

What's your favourite restaurant in Rome?
La Taverna degli Amici as I love Piazza Margana [Piazza Margana 37, near Teatro Marcello, tel 06 699 20637]

In your opinion, does a foreigner benefit from the experience of living in Rome?
To understand the absurdity of cultural hubris — we had our empire and have lived well without one for 1500 years! I will also add the realisation that our souls need to be nurtured by a daily dose of beauty!

What's the best time of year to visit Rome?

August 14 to the 16th. [During the national Feragosto holiday when most of the country is on vacation] Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir knew that, and always came at that time to live Rome emptied of traffic and Romans.

Robert Brodie Booth, eclectic writer, dubbing director, translator for the Italian Film Industry, also worked for the English theatre in London. As his father was a British Army officer, Robert grew up in South East Asia, Sri Lanka and Egypt, while going to boarding schools in England. During the Second World War, his father liberated a village near Naples and took over the house of a Fascist aristocrat who had four daughters, one of whom he married. Robert came to Rome at the end of the crazy 1960's from London on holiday, and never left! His Neapolitan mother gave him his flamboyant flair and love of Italy and all things Italian, including his beautiful wife. He has worked on many films in Italy and abroad. He wrote the screenplay 'Run For Your Life', directed by Terence Young and starring David Carradine, and has collaborated with Michelangelo Antonioni, Franco Zeffirelli, Clive Donner, and others. His mentor was Robert Bolt, the double Oscar winning scriptwriter of 'Dr.Zhivago' and 'Lawrence of Arabia', who, finding Robert's writing brilliantly funny and optimistic, encouraged him to keep on writing and never give up. He is currently collaborating on a film about Ernest Hemmingway, to be shot in Cuba and South America.
Most recently, he co-wrote '12 Noon, My beautiful Gordana' for Gabrielle Tana, the producer of the soon to be released film 'The Duchess' starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes. His book and subsquent screenplay 'Jump Start', will soon be released simultaneously. The story, packed with colorful people, takes place in Rome, one of the main characters being a dog (Jump).

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
The atmosphere in the streets, the color of the buildings, the voices, my morning cappuccino and cornetto, sitting at a pavement
café, the sense of village, chatting...

Has your experience of living in Rome enhanced your work experience?
No. Working in Rome is not the greatest. I recharge my creative work batteries abroad. Too many formalities, too much
bureaucracy, and getting paid is frequently a painful process.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?

The food, seeing the sights, simply walking around, enjoying the cafe society ...

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
The Vineria in Campo de' Fiori. I've been going there for thirty-four years (the only wine bar I frequent to unwind), makes me feel like I own a little of the place, that I'm in my own living room. I've known the family all these years, and it feels like it.

Do you have a memory of the most memorable thing that happened to you in Rome?

Falling in love...

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
The bad manners...

What's your favorite restaurant in Rome?
Teatro di Pompeo [Grotto del Teatro di Pompeo, Via Del Biscione 73/74, near Campo de' Fiori. tel 06 688 03686.] Like the Vineria, I've been going there for years. This is one of those times when familiarity does not breed contempt.

How would someone coming from abroad would benefit by coming to Rome for a few years?
Anywhere new is good for the soul. The atmosphere in the center of Rome is unique. It is very possibly the most beautiful city
in the world. It teaches you to keep your eyes open wherever else you might go, and to take nothing at face value.

When is the best time of year to visit?

Avoid July and August, when it just gets too crowded and too hot.



BOBBY MCDUFFIE was born into a musical family in the state of Georgia, USA, and attended the Juilliard School in NYC, where he studied the violin. He has been a soloist with most of the major orchestras of the world.This season he will perform the premiere of The American Four Seasons, a new work written for him by Philip Glass. Five years ago, he met the love of his life, a 1735 Guarneri del Gesu violin know as the Ladenburg, whose list of players has included the 19th-century virtuosos Nocolo Paganini and Ludwig Spohr — and now Bobby McDuffie.
Bobby is currently a professor at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. His belief that extraordinary string students deserve an extraordinary college experience led him to founding The Robert McDuffie Center for Strings on the Macon campus. These 26 students are also invited to study at the Rome Chamber Music Festival, an annual two week-long event, which Bobby co-founded in 2003, and for which he serves as Artistic Director. After spending a sabbatical year in Rome in 2002, he discovered a true passion for the city he calls the most beautiful in the world.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
It's what you don't see, but are about to. The layers of mystery and history right below your feet, or just around the corner — the a hidden ruin from Imperial times, a small church with seductive frescoes. I would much rather be surprised by Rome than told what to expect by a tour guide.

Has your experience of having lived in Rome enhanced your work experience?
Living in Rome taught me that anything is possible when making music. My world opened up for me in Rome, and it's much more exciting for me to expect the unexpected in music.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
Go to the top of the Janiuculum Hill twice a day — once in the morning, and then as the sun is setting over Rome. Watching the light gently placed on the city is one of the most transforming experiences you will ever have.


Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
I suggest sitting outstide at the Caffé Farnese, drinking prosecco and marveling at the Palazzo Farnese, one of the Rome's most beautiful palaces.

What's the most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
When my family lived here, six years ago, every Friday I played American baseball with my then eight year-old son in the Circus Maxiumus. You don't lose your American identity here, but you know that your life is being enriched by your surroundings.

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
What annoys me about Rome also excites me. It's the functional anarchy of the city. At the end of the day, there's a great sense of relief and accomplishment — and excitement about the next day.

Which are your favorite restaurants in Rome?
If I had only three meals to eat in Rome, they would be at Due Ladroni [Piazza Nicosia, 24, historic center, tel 06 689 6299] for the mozzarella, at Da Cesare [Via Crescenzio 13, Prati district, tel 06 686 1227] for the spaghetti alla vongole, and at the restaurant Cacio e Pepe in Testaccio [Via Avezzana, 11 tel 06 321 7268].

How does a foreigner benefit from living in Rome?
For me, the benefit of living in Rome is the sense of magic and surprise around almost every corner ... mostly beauty, and sometimes frustration, but it all adds up to a fulfilling experience.

When is the best time to visit Rome?

Obviously, you want to be in Rome for the Chamber Music Festival in June. But if you can't make it then, May and October are the other great months.

Sydney and Michael Cresci met in New York, where Michael was born to Italian parents. Sydney, who father was a naval attaché for the American Embassy in London, grew up in Bavaria, Sweden and even on a sailboat on the island of Elba. (The Crescis are pictured here with the boat's captain.) Moving around the world, she became multilingual, and when she finished school, she began a long career managing elaborate trips across the globe. In 2001, the Crescis took a family sabatical to Rome, to help their son perfect his language skills with the experience of living in a new country. Their love of Italy, and especially Rome, was born, and they've been spending as much time here as possible ever since. These days, Michael is busy with his real estate business in San Francisco. Sydney is the founder of www.makeachangejourneys.com, a firm devoted to luxurious travel experiences with a twist. For instance, guests might be joined on a Mediterranean cruise by a group of motivational speakers and authors.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
Everything! The whole Roman experience, the light, the attitude of the people.

Has the fact of comiing so frequently to Rome enhanced your work experience?
We have been coming to Rome for 12 years in a row plus living here for a year It's been entirely positive, wonderful.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
We would say not to miss the Villa Borghese in the early morning (our
favorite) or the Pincio in the morning and early evening, the Borghese Museum, Via Veneto of course! And Via Gulia,
Prati on the other side of the Tiber where there is a beautiful white building that houses the food market in Via Cola di Rienzo. Further down near the Trionfale, we love the flower market every Tuesday morning. [see our markets page] And no one should miss Piazza di Spagna. That's just a start!!!!!!

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
Villa Borghese

What's the most memorable thing that happened to you in Rome?
Just being there!

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
The traffic and the noise

What´s your favorite restaurant in Rome?
Ciampini [Piazza Trinità dei Monti on the Pincio] and the Mirabella [Il Mirabelle at the Hotel Splendide Royal, Via Veneto district]. The buffet in the Excelsior Hotel [Via Veneto].

Do you have friends in Rome?
Lots, including the parents of friends of our son and his teachers when he was at school there. Among others,the artist Augosto Ranocchi from whom we bought a painting to hang in our New York apartment.

How does a foreigner benefit from living in Rome?
By being given the opportunity to see life from a new perspective, and to experinece the glorious Roman way of life.

When is the best time to visit Rome?
The fall.

 

Yasmine Ergas was born in Geneva and grew up in Rome. Although she was Educated in England, Italy and the USA, Rome shaped her in ways that no other city ever could. At heart, she will always be a Roman with a passion for New York. She divides her time between the two cities, where she and her husband, a bona fide New Yorker, raise, and have been raised by (her words!) their daughter. Yasmine holds degrees in Sociology from the Universities of Sussex and Rome and a J.D. from Columbia University. Currently, she is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of International and Public Affairs and Associate Director of Columbia University's Center for the Study of Human Rights. A practicing lawyer and social scientist, she has served as the gender coordinator of the Millenium Villages Project, acted as a consultant to private corporations and been active in several nonprofit organizations and worked with major law firms. Her research interests focus on international law and domestic public policy, the redefinition of national sovereignty and the intersections of corporate law, international law and human rights. Her essays have been translated into several languages including Portuguese, Japanese, French and German.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
My life there, my friends, and, of course, the sheer vitality. Also, the colors. I see the world through terracotta-colored lenses.

Has your experience of having lived and grown up in Rome enhanced your work experience?
It's helped make me who I am. Mostly, it arouses a lot of envy and many appreciative glances. I suppose it also taught me patience and the virtue of enthusiasm.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
Walking, walking, and more walking. Make sure to see the Fountain of the Tortoises and the facade of the Ara Coeli. I love marrons glacées, so I would say not to miss the ones at the Cafe' Sant'Eustachio [Piazza Sant'Eustachio near Piazza Navona] or if you are adventurous – those made by the real specialist, at a small store in Via Paolo Emilio [in the Prati district].

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
To lunch with my friend Renée.

What's the most memorable thing that happened to you in Rome?
Growing up?

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
Too much shlock (as the New Yorkers say). Also, the loss of some of my once-upon-a-time favorite places, like the Deutsche Grammafon store on Via Frattina where you could listen to Vivaldi in wood-panelled booths.

What´s your favorite restaurant in Rome?
'
Gusto for pizza [in Piazza August Imperatore]. Fortunato al Pantheon for politician-watching. Camponeschi [in Piazza Farnese] for outrageously expensive excellent cuisine.

How does a foreigner benefit from living in Rome?
Forget "wine, women and song" even in its newer version of "wine, cheese and political scandals" and learn to live like a Roman. Remeber to pack sweaters for indoor wear in the winter, and buy fans for the summer.

When do you think the best time of the year would be good to visit?
Spring or Fall. Or August you and every other tourist can share tales of summer heat and enjoy the amazing offerings of the "Roman Summer" shows. [The "Estate Romana" a festival of open-air activities that extends from late June to mid-August.]


Alan Ovson, actor, educator, entrepreneur and theologian is the founder of Ovson Communications Group. A speaker in the fields of communications, negotiation and change, he develops practical step-by-step techniques and interacts with participants, encouranging them to think beyond the familiar. One of Alan’s main themes is ‘Humor is serious business’… get people to share a laugh together and you can get them to think and work together at a deeper level. His group offers a three-day workshop, "Coaching and Mentoring for Managers." Alan loves Italy, and especially Rome where he and his wife Susan Cole come regularly to do a bit of shopping and wander around enjoying the food and atmosphere they find so relaxing compared to their high-speed lifestyle in San Francisco.

How many times have you been to Rome?
I think that I was really born in Rome and have never left. My soul is there but my body is somewhere else.

What do you really like about the city?
All roads lead to Rome — adventure, history, culture, science, art, people, food. I love Rome because it's a city that's easy to walk in, and I love to walk. There's always something to see or do, and if I am too tired to do anything, just sitting and people watching works.

Does your experience of coming here enhance your work?
The experience of living in Rome widened my horizon about western civilization and how to think about life. Anything that broadens your understanding of the world is a good thing.

What annoys you the most about Rome?
The traffic.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
You can't help become aware that life has gone on here for thousands of years. You can see it everywhere.

What would the one thing you would tell a visitor not to miss?
The opportunity to meet Italians and go to someone’s home and have a real Italian meal with real Italians. Wow, what a concept!

What’s your favourite restaurant?
I don't have a favorite because there are so many places to eat a luxurious meal, or just have a simple one, or even a fantastic pizza.

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
There are a number of fantastic parks, like the Villa Borghese, where you could spend hours walking. If you're there, the museum on the grounds is not to be missed.

What's the most memorable experience you've had in Rome?
New Year's Eve on the terrace of our friend's house near the Piazza del Popolo watching the fireworks.

Do you have friends in Rome?
Many. And one of them offers dinners in her wonderful house. Both she and her husband are great cooks and she even has a friend who offers cooking lessons. A great opportunity.

Would you like to come and live here for a bit?
I have lived in Italy and can't wait for the opportunity to live there again.

What's the best time of year to visit Rome?
I have visited Italy in every season and each season has its positives and negatives. If you get a change to go to Italy, don't worry about the season, anytime in wonderful.

 

Nicole Franchini, born in Chicago to an Italian father and an American mother, felt the need to find her Italian roots. After graduating with a BA degree at Hobart & William Smith Colleges and the Sorbonne, Paris, she worked for four years in marketing with l'Oréal in NYC; in the Press Office for Krizia in Milan, and eventually started her own travel company, Hidden Treasures of Italy, here in Rome. Now in it's 21st year, the company is going strong. While building her travel business, Franchini's pioneer spirit led her to search out the people taking the first steps in the hospitality business in rural Italy, the phenomenon known as "Agriturismo"In the course of learning about and developing Italian tourism, she became a writer and researcher for the Karen Brown Travel Guides, and author of one of the most popular books in the series, "Karen Brown's Italy B&Bs: Exceptional Places to Stay." Her work on the guidebooks takes her all over the country, while she hunts for the most charming accommodations, with the unforgettable scenery, savory meals and warm hospitality. Franchini and her husband have a lovely home just outside Rome in the rolling hills of Torri in Sabina, where they enjoy their own wine and olive production whenever they can get away from the city, where their two daughters are in high school.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
The fact that I am living in my father's native city and, during his yearly visit, going to all of his old haunts (many of which still
exist!) and hearing his stories of the post-war period, the challenge of rebuilding the city, the marvelous Dolce Vita period, and a city with very little traffic!

Has coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
I am now in direct daily contact with all the hotels in my guides and, as a consultant, I can concentrate on their immediate marketing needs in an area which is ever-evolving.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
Palazzo Massimo alle Terme (the hanging mosaic floors and the frescoed dining room of Livia on the top floor)
Galleria Borghese (Bernini's statue of Apollo and Daphne)
Galleria Doria Pamphilj (an exquisite collection in an historic palazzo where the original family still resides! This is Rome in a
nutshell).

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?

Any of the above places. I love to be surrounded by history.

What's most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
I received an invitation to the annual Fourth of July at the American Ambassador's residence. The receiving line was a parade of Italy's most renowned personalities and the contrast of formal dress with American picnic fare was very amusing.

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?
Just taking a simple walk becomes an ordeal and requires all of your attention. The biggest danger here is crossing the street! Romans are incorrigible at the wheel.

What's your favorite restaurant in Rome?
My favorite trattoria with the best carbonara pasta ever: Da Enzo, in Trastevere [Via dei Vascellari, 29]

In your opinion, how does a foreigner benefit from the experience of living in Rome?
Any experience away from home broadens one's horizons, but Rome in particular, being such a crazy city logistically, gives one practice in patience and extreme flexibility. One has to constantly let go of preconceptions in order to deal with it all and see through to the real beauty of the city with all its marvelous secrets.

What's the best time of year to visit Rome?
November, when the tourist crowds have let up. I love the off- season in any city. Rome has the advantage of mild winter weather with so many outdoor attractions between the architecture, piazzas, fountains, parks, it can be visited at any time of the year.

 

Sally Sontheimer found herself catapulted into Italian life when she met her husband. Originally from Oklahoma, with a Masters in Forestry, she moved to Rome where she began working on conservation issues. It was while working at the F.A.O. that she wrote her first book about the crucial role women play in managing natural resources. The couple inherited a lovely family home near Siena, that soon lent itself to Sally's passion for gardening. The decided to open the villa as a retreat, offering workshops on writing skills and yoga classes Today, Sally is busy raising her two children and writing a memoir about her 22 years in Italy.

What is the most captivating thing about Rome for you?
The sense of mystery under the rubble you find everywhere you turn in this city.

Has coming to Rome enhanced your work experience?
Why not? It gave me a good story to write.

What would you tell a visitor not to miss in Rome?
The three layers of St.Clemente: the Roman, early Christian, and Medieval and Baroque all together right there. And St Stefano in Rotondo another one of the early Christian churches.

Where do you go in Rome to chill out?
My yoga class just around the corner from my house.

What's most memorable thing that has happened to you in Rome?
Just before I got married I was peering in the window at Bulgari in Via Condotti and I saw a pair of black pearl earings that I thought were beautiful. My husband offered them to me and I turned him down!

Is there something that annoys you about Rome?

If all the Romans were courteous, Rome would be heaven!

What's your favourite restaurant in Rome?
Well, you know because I eat Italian food all the time, I like to go to Jaipur [Via San Francesco a Ripa, Trastevere] to eat Indian.

In your opinion, how does a foreigner benefit from the experience of living in Rome?
You certainly learn to live with different belief systems, accept them and integrate them into your own. You learn compassion, too.

What's the best time of year to visit Rome?
Springtime, when Rome is green and the air smells sweet!

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In Rome Now Travel Guide: Profiles