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.
Federica is an Italian-American globetrotter with a gigantic crush on Rome. She has been travelling the world since birth and has lived in NYC, Tehran, Rome, Houston, Istanbul, London and Budapest. She writes about how to live la Dolce Vita around the world (without breaking the bank)!
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.
Since 2006, What a Life Tours has been offering some of the best tours of Rome and the Vatican around. The website’s blog is also an incredible source of information on all things Rome, from what to look for in the Eternal City’s famous art, to how to navigate its streets and piazzas. They have also started going in big on Italy’s incredible food, which makes the perfect complement to the country’s history and culture. If it is in Rome and worth knowing about or doing, then What a Life Tours has you covered.
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.