A guest post by Annemarie a.k.a. @TravelingAnna


It isn’t difficult to become inspired by Italy. From the beautiful people, amazing food, and fantastic architecture, it’s a rare person who isn’t charmed. However, my trip, 26 years in the making, brought tears to be eyes for a different reason. To me, my Rome getaway meant my life had come full circle.

My grandfather stowed away on a boat from Italy to come to America. My family made a life in New York and I grew up learning to speak Italian, cook Italian, grow vegetables, and sing songs. It was amazing. But for my family, the trip from Italy was for progress, and vacations lounging on the Roman countryside were not possible.

This year, after jaunts to Brussels, France, Germany, and many more, I finally got the opportunity to visit Rome. Of course my breathe was taken away by the shops, the meals, the history, but on more than one occasion, my eye wandered to a random family, or an old woman feeding stray cats, or a group of children eating pizza on a stoop, and I remembered how amazing my family was, and everything they had gone through. And because of that, I was able to spend time in Italy, not wondering how I would reach a new country, but enjoying myself, enjoying the culture, and soaking in the experience.

While I absolutely love that everyone who visits Rome finds him or herself in a state of enchantment, I find it difficult to explain the sort of inspiration I felt during my (too) short time there. I’m lucky to be able to travel, but I’m ridiculously lucky to be able to experience the land of my heritage in a leisurely and blessed way.

Search for hotels in Rome.

About this week’s guest writer
Annemarie Dooling is a travel writer based in New York. “I grew up in New York City, finding my way around Union Square before most kids could order their own meals. My family came over on a boat from Italy, and although being raised by a single mother and non-English speaking grandparents was hard, I loved having backyard vegetable gardens, fresh wine, and playing bocce with my grandfather.” Visit Annemarie’s blog: Frill Seeker Diary or follow her on  Twitter.

Read other ‘Places That Inspire’ posts:

9 Responses

  • Thanks for all the comments and thanks for posting, Keith. Cheers!

  • Hi Dave & Deb,
    Thanks for your comment. Italy is absolutely enchanting! 🙂 Btw, loved your Cinque Terre 5-village-hike post!


  • Beautiful post. We were just in Italy for a short time in Cinque Terre and cannot wait to go back and explore more of the country. It is an enchanting place.

  • Wonderful post! I studied abroad during college in Rome and it was the best time of my life!

  • Just like most European cities, Rome has its own, unique identity that it shares with no other. It’s almost like you can feel the past in the air when you’re walking through the streets — like you can sense who came before you and all the momentous events in human history that took place on these hallowed grounds. Part of it, I think, is that you can’t walk more than a few blocks without running into a major building excavated from a thousand years ago or a central sculpture/fountain built by Michelangelo or Bernini. It’s a paradise for those who love history, food, art, beauty, or just people.

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