It will be 10 years this summer since I came to live in Rome. I was born in the USA and then we lived in Geneva for nearly 13 years and finally came to Italy. I adore traveling and have been to many different parts of the world. My favorite place, apart from here, is West Africa.
I heard about Hosted Villas through a friend a couple of years ago and since then I’ve been Local Host for some of the Rome apartments. One of them is actually the first floor of a 19th century palazzo with superb grand rooms and beautiful décor that provides a real taste of living in Roman luxury.
I love meeting new people, and I’m always trying to find the best way to help our guests tune in to the local lifestyle and the local way of doing things, which is more leisurely than most North American visitors are used to - though they may find the speed of the city traffic alarming!
The Roman rhythm of life may seem slow at first but it’s really about enjoying every minute of the day, taking time over simple pleasures like meeting up with friends and family to chat over a coffee or drink in one of the city squares where there is always so much to see.
And I’ve noticed that often it’s doing something the way the locals do that people appreciate, even more than seeing the famous sights. A while ago when the soccer World Cup was on, some of our guests desperately wanted to see the final. The problem was that there were no cable TV sports channels in the house, so I arranged for the father and son to go to the local coffee bar to watch the match on a big screen TV with all the other neighborhood fans – it was definitely the highlight of their stay!
So I always encourage our guests to take some time off from the guidebook –there’s so much to enjoy just strolling through the city, finding the food markets, the museums, the parks, the neighborhood restaurants, the traces of history everywhere, as well as the boutiques with the latest fashions. And after all that, maybe ending the day going to a classic Italian movie – these are some of the many joys of doing as the Romans do!