I'm in love - with Rome. It started early, watching Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in 'Roman Holiday' and then there were all those years when I studied the history and culture of the ancient city. But there's nothing quite like spending time there to turn an affection into love!
In May this year I was lucky enough to spend a week in Rome. The intention was to do some research for future books, but to take it slow, getting over jetlag ready to attend a readers' festival in Paris. But instead of taking things slow I found myself out and about from early in the morning till late in the evening, revelling in this marvellous city.
Here are just a couple of the things that appealed:
1. The view from the hotel room. How could you not love that? Added to that was that it was right next to a big park and from the balcony I could hear birdsong.
2. Speaking of hotels, there was the rooftop terrace and bar and the chance to watch the sun go down over the city before heading out for dinner.
3. The unexpected finds when wandering around the city, like a piece of beautifully carved marble, ignored by everyone as too mundane.
4. When they do spectacular in Rome, they really do spectacular. Here's the ceiling of a corridor in the Vatican that was just stunning.
5. The food. Sigh. This lemon and saffron risotto that was one of the best lunches I've ever had!
6. The museums. Yes, I'm a nerd but I loved them. Here's one of my favourite things - a glorious Etruscan terracotta sarcophagus built for a loving couple.
7. The sheer theatre of the place. Where else would you find a couple of Roman soldiers hanging around the street ready for photo opportunities.
8. The early evening stroll (passeggiata) and the opportunity to relax at an outdoor cafe and watch the people go by. In case you're wondering, the bright orange drink is an Aperol Spritz, something I've only had in Italy.
I'm hoping to visit Rome again sometime but meanwhile I have hundreds of photos and a huge store of happy memories. Plus I'll be revisiting the city as I write some future stories.
Is there a place you visited on holiday that you can't wait to return to? I'd love to hear!
And if you want a touch of Italian goodness, Annie has a new romance out. BOUND TO THE ITALIAN BOSS is (you guessed it) an office romance set, not in Rome but in the beautiful north of Italy. It's the 3rd book in her HOT ITALIAN NIGHTS e-novella series. For more details, visit Annie's website, or you can buy it at the usual places. Here's the link to it at Amazon.