It’s quite easy to live in Rome (or even visit) and get lazy or complacent. You find one piazza you love and that’s as far as you venture. You taste one heavenly gelato flavour and you’re inclined to go back there every time. But I’ve run into countless expats who have lived here for many years and still don’t know all the secrets this city holds. So I urge you to cast an eye over one of these insider blogs on the Eternal City and make sure you are truly living Rome to the fullest. I’ve been living and writing here for a long time and yet there is always some recommendation of a little boutique or trattoria that surprises me in this city. The following blogs are our top choice, whether you’re an expat seeking inspiration or a visitor looking to explore like a local.
American local girl Amanda Ruggeri knows Rome and Italy like few other expats. She writes for magazines and newspapers all around the world and recently published an ebook The Revealed Rome Handbook: Tips and Tricks for Exploring the Eternal City. She also does consultations on planning your holiday in Rome via Skype.
Another American, Katie Parla tours, lectures and is passionate about food and wine. She says her objective is to “get people talking about what they are eating and why they are eating it” and she certainly succeeds, having even created a super cool App for foodies – “the essential guide to dining, drinking and food shopping in Rome”.
A very simple but seductive blog created by Maddie DeWitt, Rebekah Junkermeier and Sam Alberts, who have backgrounds in photography, history and food. These guys seem to specialise in helping expats understand this city rather than focusing on tourists, although they do offer a list of day trips.
Gillian is extremely knowledgeable on this city and has an app to prove it: Rome for expats. Her blog feels very personal and less like a guidebook (which can feel patronising for those of us who have lived here a while and don’t need to be told where Piazza Navona is) and more like someone you become best friends with who inspires you to live this city to the fullest.
Rachel McCombie studied Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, so as well as getting great suggestions of how to spend your time in Rome whether short term or long term, she also gives you some fascinating background on all these places you’re familiar with. Far from being overly academic, her genuine love for this city combined with interesting facts and personal advice is a pleasure to read.
This California girl is hilarious. If you’re struggling to adapt to life here and you’re craving a friend who knows this city well then this is the girl with whom you can start a real relationship (that is, you stalk her and she has no idea you exist because you’re too lazy to post comments). Worth checking out this photographer/freelancer/Italophile.
They’re not aaaaaall Americani. This site offers lots of help for the flaneuring Frenchie from how to find a job to accommodation. Or as they put it: Tout pour ceux qui veulent visiter, découvrir, s’installer ou travailler à Rome… Gastronomie, mode de vie, culture, histoire, fashion, insolite… Vous saurez tout sur Rome et la culture italienne à travers le regard de Français expatriés à Rome.
Irene de Vette says “I cook, I drink, I eat and I wonder” and she does all these things exceptionally well. Her writing style is very much like a diary entry and her recipes are not just restricted to Italian cuisine, although you definitely feel that this is a foodie who knows Rome well from a gastronomic perspective. She offers everything from ‘food for one’ to ‘food for health’… and even though we’re all foodies here who isn’t trying to lose a few kilos from that margherita attack you had last night?
How many of your friends says “Oooh you’re so lucky, I would love to live in Rome!” and then ask to help plan their Tuscan/Amalfi Coast wedding in 2014? These guys have a wedding photography business and their blog is quite handy for inspiration for anyone looking to get married Italian style.
This blog is written by me. Full disclosure. I write about restaurants that you can take visiting friends to that will leave them in tears of envy crying “I can’t believe you live here!”, cozy places to go when it’s raining, where to find the best hairdresser, sexy ideas for dates, top spots for poetic picnics. The company that employs me is a tour company so it is a little geared towards first-timers in Rome but they’re great in that they don’t restrict me whatsoever so all places referenced are genuinely fabulous personal favourites.
This one is more of a community, run by the inimitable Patrizia, who is tireless in bringing expats together in this city. It offers everything from legal advice to accommodation to upcoming events, like their famous aperitivi where Italians and expats mingle after Italian/English lessons. A great source to keep updated on social outings for those fresh off the plane.