Letter from the Editor
I can admit I don’t exactly have the best memory, but I remember my first trip to Rome as vividly as if it was yesterday. On the way from Fiumicino Airport to our rented apartment (this was pre-AirBnB), my parents, my sister, and I were squished into a little taxi. As the streets became narrower and more difficult to navigate, the driver kept uttering “mamma mia!”
I couldn’t believe Italians actually say that in real life, not just in the movies! (Spoiler alert: I’ve learned some rather more colorful Italian expressions since then.)
We were staying in a tiny apartment on a cobblestoned street near Piazza Navona and none of us could figure out how to use the stovetop moka pot, so we went to Caffè della Pace for cappuccinos every morning instead. I loved everything about that cafe—the marble-topped tables, the heavy wooden furniture, the antique cash register. I remember the exact moment—strolling down Via della Pace, observing the elegant Italians swathed in white linen, fascinated by the language and how it sounded like little operas all around me—that I had a revelation. I just have to learn this language and come here to live.
I’m certainly not the first or last American to fall in love with Italy. If you’re reading this, maybe you fell in love with Italy too. Maybe you live here or are dreaming of your next Italian vacation.
I’ve lived here permanently since 2019—so yes, I lived here through the pandemic. Before that, I lived here for two years between college and graduate school. And in the intervening years, I tried to visit as often as I possibly could. I may not have been born and raised here, but I’m pretty sure my soul is Italian. And thanks to my job as a freelance journalist, I know Rome better than some Romans.
I write about Italy for many publications and will continue to do so. This newsletter will be different. It will be a bit more personal (though sometimes I write personal essays for traditional media outlets, and I will link to them when I do). It will be a bit more niche and granular, by devoting more space to places and people that might just get a passing mention in my articles. It will tell the stories behind the stories I write for magazines like Travel + Leisure, AFAR, Fodor’s, Hemispheres, and others. I will bring to it the perspective of a seasoned journalist with a decade of experience in the field as well as an American living in Italy and navigating daily life here. I hope it will entertain, inform, and enlighten you. I will send out a new newsletter every Thursday. I’m excited to have a more direct connection to you, my readers, and I very much look forward to hearing what you have to say about it.
I decided to call this newsletter The New Roman Times as a play on Times New Roman (I am a writer after all) and as an allusion to newspapers like the New York Times and the Times of London. It certainly won’t be published with the same frequency as those papers, but my aim is to write about people, places, and things in Rome and beyond that matter to Romans and anyone who loves Rome. That might mean an in depth feature about an under-the-radar place like the Sacro Bosco di Bomarzo, a 15th-century Mannerist park filled with larger-than-life stone sculptures an hour from Rome. Or an interview with a local business owner or artist who you might meet on a future trip to Italy. Or the story behind a dish I ate during my travels and instructions for how to make it at home. But I also want to know what you’re most interested in reading about, so don’t hesitate to get in touch and tell me.
Every newsletter will end with a section of links to things I’ve published or read. Since this is the first one, I’m pulling some of my favorite stories from my archives.
In one of my most personal features yet, I wrote about honeymooning in Sicily with my husband Marco for the February 2022 issue of Hemispheres.
My editor at The Points Guy asked me to write about the reasons why I moved to Italy.
For my first article as Nuvo’s Rome correspondent, I wrote about the under-the-radar island paradise for Roman vacationers.
I also loved writing this story about visiting Capri in the fall for Nuvo.
I’m a huge fan of Italian films, so I loved writing this cinema lover’s guide to Rome for AFAR. If you come to Rome and want to meet up, I will bring you to some of these places.
Thanks for subscribing and welcome to The New Roman Times!