Read the reviews

These are just some of the 45 reviews I have so far had on Amazon: 27 five stars, 10 four stars, 46 three stars, 1 two stars and 2 one stars, both because of complaints about the font when I first put the book online back in July, 2013 The overwhelming number of reviews are favorable, often glowingly so. Several of the three-star reviews are judgemental in nature, taking issue with the fact that during the decades I talk about I, a single woman,  had a number of affairs often with men who were married. No one has challenged the depth of my knowledge about Italy and Rome.

5.0 out of 5 stars  This is an honest, lively, and often humorous account of living among Italians., January 10, 2014

Having lived in Rome myself (for three years and elsewhere in Italy for another three), I know Sari Gilbert and really looked forward to this book. Ms. Gilbert knows and loves Rome– she would hardly have spent her adult life there otherwise– but she has remained American through-and-through and brings that perspective to her assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of Italians. I can’t imagine a better introduction to Rome than this– a first-hand account with lots of illuminating and often amusing anecdotes. It is the most perceptive analysis of the Italian way of life–social, political, and cultural– that I have read since Luigi Barzini’s The Italians fifty years ago.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read about Italy and Italians, August 16, 2013
Beguiling, infuriating, intoxicating: this is what Italy is really like, written by someone who has lived it from the inside while still being able to write about it from the outside. Ever wondered what it would be like to wake up every morning surrounded by a cast of Roman characters straight out of Fellini? To fall in love with not one Italian, but many, again and again? Sari Gilbert is the ultimate insider-outsider, a journalist who knows what’s really going on and has a wonderful ability to describe what it looks like, smells like, feels like, to live like a Roman. As good on Italian food as on Italian politics and politicians, this is the book to take with you if you’re going to be on holiday in Italy, thinking about a holiday in Italy, or just dreaming about it.
5.0 out of 5 stars outside insider, January 9, 2014

Sari Gilbert brings a unique vision to these stories: the outsider’s distance plus the do-it-yourselfer’s hard-won knowledge of life as it is really lived in this extraordinary city. Her stories cover a range of diverse subjects–from the details of dealing with bureaucracy to the dispiriting politics of the nation as a whole. A journalist, Gilbert offers considered analysis wrung from knowledge both wide and deep. A stunning writer, she amuses us as she enlightens us–no mean feat, but one that is all too rare. A giant Thumbs Up–a custom begun in ancient Rome–to this witty, perceptive, highly clarifying book.
 5.0 out of 5  stars         Italy unveiled, October 23, 2013
By Neko
Sari Gilbert knows Italy like the back of her hand and has woven a fascinating portrait. The country, its people – neighbours, colleagues, the mighty and the rest. Not forgetting a lifelong devotion to in depth study of Italian men, morals and manners …! There is no aspect of italian life that she has not described, analysed, And decrypted with affection humour and lucidity. If you want to know what Italian life is like from the inside you should read her book !
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read, January 10, 2014

If I were the author, I probably would not have been as honest as Sari Gilbert about my personal life. But her willingness to do so makes it clear that she is also being honest and open about her discoveries regarding the nature of Italian society – in both its positive and negative aspects. Many of us, blinded by the beauties of the Italian countryside, its cities and its artworks, tend to forget that this is a country where normal people (not tourists) live their daily lives. Gilbert makes it clear that for them it is not always easy. I have been to Italy several times, but her book will give me a new perspective and more insight the next time I visit.
4.0 out of 5 stars My Home Sweet Rome, September 22, 2013
Like Sari Gilbert, I’ve spent a serious chunk of my adult life in Rome. And I’ve probably read every book ever written about being an ex-pat in the Eternal City. What I like about My Home Sweet Rome is that the author manages to eloquently convey both the magical and the exasperating aspects of life in Italy. In true memoir fashion, she reminisces about the colorful (and oh-so authentic!) denizens of her beloved Trastevere, she patiently unravels the complicated political evolution of the past four decades, and she allows us to eavesdrop on the emotional vicissitudes of her love affairs. All this adds up to the real story of what life in Rome is like, as seen through the eyes of someone who came here from a country where things are more apt to actually “be” what they “seem.” I found My Home Sweet Rome to be a thoroughly enjoyable read that kept me chuckling, musing, shaking my head in exasperated agreement, and reminding me why I just can’t get Rome out of my blood, after all these years.
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and informative, January 14, 2014
almare2 (Long Branch, NJ United States)
I am an American who spends a lot of time in Italy (Rome and Abruzzo) each year and is planning to emigrate there. I found this book both enjoyable and informative, and I recommend it to anyone who travels to or just wants to know more about that beautiful but sometimes exasperating country.
5.0 out of 5 stars What a woman! What a story!, April 2, 2014
Like many, I’ve dreamed of working in Rome, meeting the most fascinating people in the city, immersing myself in its daily rhythms. Over forty years as a journalist in Rome, Sari Gilbert has done it all, and her memoir reads like a Hollywood script. Her experiences—personal as well as professional—are vast; her observations unflinching; her insights keen.
Sari’s was the path most of us couldn’t or didn’t take. So happy that she allows us to follow her footsteps and vicariously experience a sweet (and sometimes less so) Roman life.
5.0 out of 5 stars Italy revealed – Behind closed doors and more…., March 17, 2014

I love Italy and all things Italian. I have spent time in Italy, travelling, tasting the wine and enjoying the cuisine, always wondering what is really going on behind closed doors. Sari Gilbert’s ”My Home Sweet Rome” has opened some of those doors with her rendering of an American who has lived in Rome for the past forty years. But this is not just the story of an American ex-pat living the good life. Gilbert is a journalist and former correspondent for ”The Washington Post”, who met and mixed with a wide swath of Italian society, from the political elite to her local barista. Her adventures, both sexual and professional, are played out against the background of recent Italian history, a roller coaster ride of high and sometimes low drama, always interesting. I found Sari Gilbert to be a bold writer and I suspect an even bolder woman. She writes honestly of what it means to be a single woman living outside the comfort of her native country and doing it successfully. Along the way we get to experience the beauty of Italy’s complicated and multi-faceted culture.

5.0 out of 5 stars Go for it, Sari!, October 10, 2013
First of all, I must declare an interest: I have known Sari since the early 1970s, as a colleague and friend. But I have to say, until reading this book, there was lots that I didn’t know! It is a truly remarkable memoir, unfolding Sari’s unique perspective on Italian life, gained through her several intimate relationships with Italian men – wittily and tellingly recounted here. But there is much more than the loving element: her take on the political and social history of this fascinating country – where I spent only about 17 years compared to her more than four decades – is full of valuable insights. How else are we to understand the Berlusconi drama/melodrama/tragedy/farce? I would recommend this book both to any young woman contemplating a love affair with an Italian man – and any young journalist or diplomat about to be posted to Rome. And , of course, all lovers of the bel pae
4.0 out of 5 stars Life in Italy …. Why enjoy a simple song when it can be made into an Opera. !, March 15, 2014
Syd (Southern Maine,USA)
Political situations mixed with Great humor .. Enjoyed the book immensely having lived in Italy and I could relate to the author’s opinions and thoughts of her life in this complicated country ! Made me laugh out loud !
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye Opening and Fun reading, February 7, 2014
Eye opening and informative. Anyone who thinks the United States is a mess ( and it is), this will open your eyes to how they ” do it ” in other places.Very readable. Very FUN.
4.0 out of 5 stars Loved the book, January 26, 2014
What great insight this author has about Italy, Rome and living there. A few spots of detail about Italy’s history were a little boring…but I could never wait to see what else she talked about. Sharon
5.0 out of 5 stars A person with two cultures has two souls, January 21, 2014
It must be a strain and perhaps even a form of suffering, as well as a source of joy and discovery, to spend your adult life in a foreign country, which is one reason I love reading books by people who have done this. Having lived in Italy for so long, Gilbert commands two perspectives, not just as an American and naturalized Italian, but also as observer and participant in what is essentially a life experiment that few of us would dare undertake.
As a journalist, Gilbert casts a cold eye on the Italian politics of the day, and while many expatriates and exiles tend to rage at the supposed failures of their adopted countries, her book is remarkable for its equanimity and tact.
You should read this book to get a flavor of how uplifting, exciting and bright Italy and its inhabitants used to be before they fell into the current state of terminal moral and material decline. You should also read it as a manual for how to live, how to be accepting, open, curious, exploratory and non-judgmental. I commend the author for her autobiographical honesty and historical observation, and recommend this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Living as an Expat Myself, January 19, 2014
I have lived in Baja for 11 years now and one of my favorite genres of literature is books about other Americans living outside their own country. Sara Gilbert brings alive the joys and challenges of living in Rome from the glorious food to the challenges of paying bills by standing in line at the Post Office. To add to the charm of the story, she lives there as a journalist of some note. What a great Sunday read this has been. Author of a practical guide to living in Baja……My Gold Coast—Baja
4.0 out of 5 stars Rome as it really was, November 11, 2013
As one would expect from a seasoned journalist, a well written, interesting read, a personal peek into the past with titillating descriptions of adventurous day to day life (and love life) of a young, independent woman living in Roma in the 70s-80s-90s.
Thanks Sari for your insights into Italy’s politics in those years: that part of life was always just a mystery to me . I was there in Rome at the same time (and like you, still living here) too but in a parallel world so we have yet to meet. Very true to life, not just another starry-eyed, dolce vita type of book. Brava !
5.0 out of 5 stars Take a journey with Sari, veteran jounalist, August 29, 2013
Sari Gilbert went to Rome 40 years ago, became a journalist and made Rome her residence. In this book she uses her literary skill and cleverly shares and describes Italian politics, the trade unions, the Mafia and the eventual violence. She personalizes the journey by sharing her experience living in picturesque Trastevere which lies in old Rome – on the other side of the Tiber. She tempts the palate by describing delicious meals, be it in fine dining or the casual experience of the trattoria. The writing evokes imagery of cobbled streets and vine covered medieval buildings and piazzas while satisfying any intellectual curiosity you may have of the history of the area. Her political explanations, and history reminders, clears the way for understanding Italy and its people and makes the book such an enjoyable and learning experience. Suffice to say – I didn’t want it to end.