In 2010 I went to Rome for the very first time. I’d been to Italy many times but never Rome. This was the view from my hotel, the Marriott Grand Flora, at the top of Via Veneto.
I was hooked as soon as my feet touched the ground. The smell, the chatter, the atmosphere.
I remember standing on the banks of the Tiber with Castel Sant’angelo behind me, looking across the bridge towards the city, gasping for breath. It was almost too much to take in. I couldn’t even lift my arms to take a photo. I glanced at my husband, who stood next to me, and saw he felt it too.

Rome isn’t just a trip, it’s an experience, its something you feel.


Cappuccino and the Rooftops of Rome!

DSC02995Thou shalt only drink cappuccino or any milky form of coffee in the morning, and never after a meal.


The first time I tasted Cappuccino was in the early seventies. My mum and crazy aunt took me to Italy, Rimini to be precise. It was one of those package tours that were so popular in England back then. We stayed in the Hotel President, by Piazza Tripoli and just a couple of blocks from the beach. I’d dreamed of visiting Italy for as long as I can remember. Not sure why, but it was (and still is an obsession) of mine.

I’m at home in italy, it soothes my soul.

Now, even though I live in the US, I return as often as possible and have travelled from north to south. I have favorite cities and towns of course. Breakfast at Hotel Vittorio on the banks of Lake Garda is wonderful. An ice-cold glass of champagne overlooking the Amalfi Coast in the Beautiful Hotel Villa Maria is heavenly. Tasting wine at one of the many Tuscan Vineyards with good friends is amazing.

However, one of the most exciting, exhilarating places to drink Cappuccino, is on the rooftop of the beautiful Marriott Hotel ‘Grand Flora’ at the top of Via Veneto in Rome! One cup is not enough as you sit and anticipate the day ahead. I never tire of it and I never will.


Hooked on Sunsets – Roman Wall and Gardens Borghese


This was taken in 2010 on our first trip to Rome. We stayed in the Hotel Grand Flora at the top of Via Veneto and this was the view from our window.

The colors are so beautiful on this lazy hazy evening.

Roma – Anticipation

Three weeks from now I will be re-discovering Rome. The anticipation is overwhelming. Its been five years since my last trip to Italy. Memories of happy times and wonderful people flood back, particularly in the Grand Hotel Flora. Can’t wait to check in. I’m sure the staff will have changed, but the charm will still be there.

The excellent staff

The excellent staff


In 2010 I visited Rome for the first time and was completely overwhelmed by its history and its beauty. I’ve visited Italy several times over the years, its my favorite place in the world, but Rome was different. I inhaled the atmosphere and never wanted to leave. That was five years ago.

I am going back to Italy this year and it’s going to be a fantastic event. As well as spending a few days in Rome, we’re renting a villa in Tuscany with friends, visiting Milan for the first time, re-visiting Lake Garda and spending a few days in Ravello. The anticipation is exciting. I can hardly wait.

Can't wait to people watch!

Can’t wait to people watch!

I’ve replaced my header with a photo taken on my last visit. It’s the old Roman wall and we were lucky enough to look out at it from our hotel ‘Grand Flora’ on Via Veneto. Can’t wait to return to it. The staff was wonderful and they added to a fantastic vacation.

Getting Lost in Rome

I had to re-blog Elena’s story because it was so entertaining and reminded me of the time I got lost in Rome. It was August 2011 and probably my third night in the city. My husband and I enjoyed a lovely meal in Campo De Fiori, a lovely vibrant, but small square just south of Piazza Navona.

Campo De Fiori

Campo De Fiori

We enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine and watch life the Italian way. Oh how I wish I were there right now. After a lovely leisurely meal I decided I didn’t want to rush back to the hotel, but maybe shop a little and take photos. Knowing my husband didn’t enjoy shopping , I told him I’d meet him back at the hotel. We were staying at the wonderful Hotel Grand Flora, located on Via Vittorio Veneto. The hotel, and the staff were amazing. I will return. 

Hotel Grand Flora - Rome

Hotel Grand Flora – Rome

It was growing dark when he left me. I wandered along the cobbled streets, drinking in the atmosphere. Shopping wasn’t an option as it seemed the little shops in that area closed early, so I took photos, people watched, and got completely LOST! After an hour of walking up and down small streets and alleyways, I got a little perturbed. Why couldn’t I find my way. It was a beautiful city, but I was tired and wanted to continue my sightseeing in daylight. As I walked along a street lined with Government buildings I was relieved to see the Polizia in their lovely Alfa Romeo parked at the side of the road.



Photography is my hobby, but I didn’t want to risk upsetting these guys, especially as I wanted their help, so I borrowed this photo from Google. It was much darker in my adventure. I do know a little Italian, but it escaped my brain when I most needed it. “Excuse me, I’m lost,” I said “I’m looking for Hotel Grand Flora on Via Vittorio Veneto.”

“Oh lady you are really lost, but I tell you how to get there.” I wish I could have recorded the directions, they were priceless. He would say walk to ….some road  which I couldn’t understand, and then he would clap his hands and say “Stop! Turn right,” and so it went on. Well obviously the well-meant directions didn’t work for me. A little further along the road, I stopped some people and asked them for directions. They were German tourists! Eventually I found my way back to the hotel, it really wasn’t far, I’d just been walking in circles. I didn’t even make it to my room, just sat at a table on the sidewalk and ordered a glass of wine. You thought this story was over didn’t you!!!! WRONG!

Funny Polizia
Funny Polizia

The following day I was wandering around, the way us tourists do, snapping photos and generally enjoying myself. I was on the lovely notorious street Via Dei Condotti when I spied a Alfa Romeo coming towards me. Owned one once, love them, and am very jealous that the Italian Police get to use them every day. You guessed it, I stepped into the middle of the road and snapped the above photo. The car pulled up next to me. Damn, I’m in trouble for taking his photo, I thought to myself. He rolled down his window looked me in the eye and said,

“Hey Lady, You still Lost?”


I laughed long and hard as I watched him drive away with a big smile on his face. I think I’d made his day! He certainly made mine.

I love to travel, take photos and I love to write.

My first full length novel is now available on amazon. The e-book should be there tomorrow. The book is about a young British Army wife and her adventures in Germany. Give it a try.

Dead of July_Cover_in-template



Totally Italy

Italy is on my mind every day. It’s been that way as long as I can remember. I dream of Rome. As I sit and drink my morning tea, I look at the digital photo display on my wall and a statue from the Vatican Museum looks back at me, followed by a sidewalk cafe in the Trastevere district. I wish I was there right now. 

This is the view from the bedroom window of the Marriott ‘Grand Flora’ on Via Veneto in Rome. This was the view we woke up to for the ten days we stayed there. I didn’t want to leave.





This is what I call ‘totally Italy’. An everyday scene of Nuns, motorcycles, scooters, potted shrubs and the hustle bustle of everyday life Italian style.







And then there is ‘Coliseum’.








The beauty of the Vatican Museum.








Sidewalk Cafe’s.








A candle lit dinner at the end of the day whilst watching the glamour of Via Veneto in the evening.







And finally watching the fishermen in Fiumicino on the evening before we flew home.

These photographs do not display the beauty of Italy, but the essence of it.

Arrivederci Roma. I will be back.






My next blog will show you Italy’s breathtaking beauty as we traveled from Rome to Sorrento. It can’t capture the atmosphere, but it will capture your heart.