Friday, February 22, 2013

The Best of the Blogs: Rome and Beyond

I’m excited to announce a new feature on the blog: This Week in Rome. Every weekend, I will be linking to my favorite articles, blog posts, videos and other goodies found on the Internets that week. Although I’m calling it This Week in Rome, and I expect the majority of items I post will be about this lovely city’o’mine, it will not be limited to Rome, but may include anything from around Italy and the world that I think would be of interested to my readers.

Now you all know how good I am at keeping up with my weekly posts! You’ll recall my weekly bi-yearly history posts I dash out every Monday whenever I can find the time. But this is going to be different! I can no longer keep these gems to myself. When I read something fascinating, or hilarious, or spot-on true, I’ve just got to share it with you beloved bloglings, and this is where I plan to do it.

Before this feature is officially unveiled at the end of next week, I’d like to take this opportunity to sing the praises of just a few of my very favorite blogs, although there are many more wonderful ones out there. They are all on my blogroll, but a list of names often do not do justice to the uniqueness of each, so I want to give you a little taste of them here, as they are sure to show up often on my weekly review posts.

So, in no particular order:

Patricia Thomas is a foreign correspondent for Associated Press Television News, and one of the few foreign journalists with accredited access to the Vatican. Although her blog covers many fascinating news stories, it is also a chronicle of her life as a mamma in Italy, raising three children with her Italian husband, juggling her career and family life in a land where being a mamma comes with some enormous expectations.

If you’re interested in delving into the complex psyche of the average Italian, this blog is the perfect primer. Shelley Ruelle has called Rome home for over a decade, and in that time has garnered a keen understanding of the workings of the Italian mind. She blogs about everything from Italian politics to Roman culture to the random absurdities of life in Italy, all with a refreshing dose of honesty and plenty of hilarious commentary.

This is the perfect blog for people who are planning a trip to Rome and want all the insider advice and tricks. Amanda Ruggeri is an indefatigable writer who will fill you in on all of Rome’s best kept secrets, and make sure you don’t fall into any of the many dreaded tourist traps this lovely city so helpfully provides. She’s got her finger on Rome’s pulse, and doesn’t miss any of the most important cultural events that hit the city.

There is one question I get more than any other from friends, friends of friends, clients, and anyone I have ever come into contact with, who is planning a trip to Rome: Where should I eat? And my response is invariable: ask Katie Parla. Katie is a certified sommelier and holds a Masters in Italian Gastronomic Culture, so it’s safe to say she knows what she’s talking about. She has spent the last 10 years exploring Rome’s culinary jungle, her taste is impeccable and she tells it like it is. She blogs about every gastronomic option in the city, from greasy street food to Michelin-starred excellence, from craft beer to organic wine, from traditional Roman cuisine to authentic Ethiopian, Korean or Indian, and everything in between.

Diario di una Studentessa Matta (Diary of a Mad Student)
Melissa Muldoon may not be an Italian resident, but this linguistically gifted American woman has mastered the Italian language more than many of us who live here full time. After falling in love with this undeniably gorgeous language during her many trips to Italy, she decided to perfect it by regular blogging… IN ITALIAN! To be honest, I don’t know how she does it. I have a hard enough time stringing together a coherent sentence in my native tongue. If you’d like to improve your own Italian skills, reading is one of the best ways, so hop over to her blog to read her musings about Italy, all in Dante’s glorious Tuscan.

When I feel like laughing until I practically burst a spleen, all the while nodding my head in emphatic agreement, and crying with gratitude that there is somebody out there who has the same gripes and 
frustrations with life in Italy, but is able to express them with hysterical and beautifully crafted prose, I visit this site. Elizabeth Petrosian lives with her family near Florence and writes about all aspects of life in Italy, with side-splitting hilarity and not a grain of sugar-coating. Her most priceless posts tell of the antics of her almost unbelievably horrid in-laws.

There are quite a lot of us American expats living in Rome and blogging about the craziness that such a life entails. But what if the shoe were on the other foot? Laura is Italian, born and raised in Rome, with an American husband and two half-and-half kids. They live in LA and Laura blogs in Italian about the things that madden or bewilder her as an Italian expat in the US. For example, why does her doctor not acknowledge the dangers of colpo d’aria, why are her American friends so shocked when she tells her little boy, “Se non te stai zitto, t'ammazzo di botte!” (I’ll beat you to death if you don't shut up), and why, God, why, are there no bidets in America?!

Check out these amazing blogs; I promise you won’t be disappointed! I only hope that after you’ve discovered them, you’ll still have time to visit my little blog! Stay tuned for my upcoming This Week in Rome feature, to be inaugurated next weekend.

What other exceptional Rome or Italy blogs do you love?

All images are copyright of the authors of the respective blogs.
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