In my final schooling years whilst studying Ancient History, my fascination with ancient Rome was indeed one the most powerful memories of those school years. My teacher displayed slide upon slide of her travels and I was hooked by the ancient ruins and the Roman strength, power and ability to create some of the most incredible buildings of all time.

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Photo taken in the back streets of Trastevere Rome. Photo by Carmen Darwin

Twenty-five years ago I made my first journey here and my passion for Italy was further fueled. For the past few years it has been ignited…I have yearned for it, the tastes, the smells, the imperfections of the buildings and streets indeed the flavour of life that is Italy. Finding it difficult to understand why I feel my heart belongs here, it doesn’t take me long once I get here to understand why…it’s the authenticity that I love.


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Doorways and Vines. The Streets of Trastevere Rome. Photo by Carmen Darwin

Food and homes are my love and my life’s work, so after reuniting with my sister and brother-in-law, we set out on the Eating Italy Food Tour of the area of Trastevere where we were staying in a beautiful Roman apartment surrounded by restaurants, tattorias and bottega’s.

We ate our way through the ancient stone streets and stopped off at Spirit Di Vino where we savoured an aperitif and drank wine in the ancient cellar, thought to be a hundred years older than the Colosseum. Wow. This was something else.

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We drank wine in a cellar which dates back to pre-colosseum days. Extraordinary experience.


1. Your home should reflect who you are, where you’ve been and what you’ve collected.

The apartment we are staying on is filled with antique treasures, art, books, sculptures.  It distinctly tells us about who owns this place.

2. Your home does not need to be perfect but loved and cared for.

Things here in Rome are a little rumbled, worn, faded, and the imperfection is charming. But it’s about the pride, the love for what they do that shines through. Trying hard to be good at what they cook, prepare and serve with less concern about the look of the building.

3. It’s about the people inside, not the building.

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Romans love their Mama’s and their family. The Innocenti biscuit store in Trastevere has been trading in Trastevere , its mouth-watering biscotti since 1920. Antica Caciara, the store selling cured meats, salami and cheese have been there since the 1900’s as the 92 year old grandmother sat and took the customers mother at the door, we were warmed by the love here.

Wow, what a load of joy in one place. I shall be back soon Italy.

At the time of posting this in September 2015, I am preparing for the Design & Lifestyle Tour in Florence, Italy for 2015.



Until next time, feel free to share.

Love your home and those within it,

Carmen x