The Book

It’s a nice place to visit but would you really want to live there? That’s the question I pose in my book, My Home Sweet Home: Living (and Loving) in the Eternal City after spending something like 40 years in what many have called the Eternal City. I’m not going anywhere soon, so my own personal answer would have to be “yes”. But it is definitely a “yes….. but”, as this is not a place for everyone. I was born and bred in New York City, in comparison to which Rome – despite the magnificent vestiges of its glorious history − can often seem like a backwater.

I moved to Rome after finishing graduate school and then became a journalist, first for American and Canadian news organs and then for a prestigious Italian daily. I wrote this book partly because it was a fun thing to do. But also to describe what life is really like in the Italian capital, a place to which tourists flock in droves without really having much idea of where they are and sometimes what they are seeing. To sum it up, Rome is intriguing, intoxicating and frequently (very frequently) infuriating.

Over the centuries, millions of foreigners have travelled to Italy, but relatively few have decided to stay on for the rest of their lives, unless they are married and have put down family roots. Rome (and indeed much of Italy) attracts “northerners” because of its laidback life-style, its generally wonderful climate, its food and wine, and its celebrated architecture and artworks. But not all visitors form points north can adapt to a place where daily life is disorganized, chaotic and often incomprehensible.


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