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 CLICK here for thing's you'll LOVE about ROME - 4k gif
CLICK here for things you'll HATE about ROME - 4k gifCLICK here for things you'll need HELP with in ROME - 4k gif

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                                                                                   Romebuddy logo - if it hasn't downloaded yet, don't worry, you're not missing much - 9k gif

              a roman holiday…     not the same as living there.

Rome is certainly as pretty as a postcard, prettier in fact, but what’s it like under the makeup?
What does Rome look like first thing in the morning?
Sunlit piazzas filled with pretty gypsy girls selling flowers?
Or sidewalks strewn with McDonalds cartons, used syringes and condoms?

The answer is both. tries to balance the beauty of Rome with the beast, and as such, we hope it will help to soften the blow of culture-shock that long-term visitors from the USA or Britain may experience.

When we first moved to Italy to live, we combed the Internet looking for practical information for foreigners staying in Italy… and found none...
Romebuddy website was thus created to fill this gap in world knowledge, to tell prospective long-term visitors or serious tourists in Rome what the travel agents either can't, or won't tell you...

What makes Rome Rome?
Sunshine, scooters and winding cobbled streets.
Rome is still everything you've always imagined it to be.

There are of course many other excellent websites detailing information on the best hotels and restaurants in Rome, or telling you what bus to take to the Coliseum, or how much a taxi costs, and we have indeed provided links to some of these fine resources. There are also websites gushing with praise and enthusiasm for the architectural and historical delights which await the tourist in Italy’s old cities. But little of this kind of information imparts any inkling of what it is really like for the British or American trying to settle into Italian life.


We will freely admit that at worst, Romebuddy is nothing more nor less than the bigoted ramblings of a xenophobic old Brit who is stranded in Rome. And thus we may exhibit in our words some tell-tale signs of expatriate isolationism. But though we certainly miss our cups of tea, baked beans, steak and kidney pie, treacle sponge pudding and custard, beer and fish and chips, we would not dream of retreating to some all-English gated-community ghetto, thus separating ourselves completely from Italian culture and community, (as is the sad custom of many Brits who have chosen to settle in the Mediterranean countries on the strength of nothing more than an improvement in the weather).

On the contrary, we adore Rome and aim to become more, rather than less integrated in it’s warm and generous society.

Italians in party mood

But this is not the same thing as sacrificing our native patriotism, or casting away as dross the manners and aspirations taught to us on our mother’s knee. It is true that we British lack spontaneity and warmth, yet not so much warmth that we forget our childhood vows to wait our turn in a queue, to not drop litter, and to be kind to animals, all of which qualities we have found to be somewhat lacking in Romans. Thus it is our aim, in our small way, by some sort of social osmosis, to infuse as much of the best of Britishness into Italy as we in turn would take on board ourselves of the best of Italian-ness.

You may well disagree with many of the sentiments expressed on the site, but if you do, by all means, let us know, as we would usually be most happy to post your contributions and thus present a balanced view. To such purpose we have provided ample email links for your feedback on any topic throughout the site.

One April, a couple of years ago now, having spent his first six months in Italy, the writer found himself unexpectedly back in the rolling countryside of England for a long weekend, and (knowing he had to return to Rome the following Monday), for the first time in his life understood the passion behind the poet’s famous words "Oh to be in England, now that spring is here."

Thus, to those whose visit to Italy is intended only as a holiday break of a week or two from grey-skied Britain, we say, come, enjoy, let Florence be your teacher and Rome be your playground; we present Romebuddy as yet another tour guide to this great old city of passion and power, and sincerely hope you will find something of use or amusement within its electronic pages.

But to those who may have to stay in Italy long enough to begin to feel a nagging ache for Cornish clotted-cream or thick-cut bitter marmalade (or, for our American cousins, sweet-potato or pecan pie), this website is dedicated. Before moving to Italy to live, I prided myself on being a pretty adaptable and cosmopolitan kind of chap. However, after living here a few months, the gravity of what I had done began to sink in and I realised that emigration can be a hard line to hoe for some people, not least myself. Some find it easy, but for those who do not, we at Romebuddy want you to know that you are not alone in your expatriate frustrations living in Rome. Let Romebuddy be your buddy in the trying months ahead...

Most of all we want you to enjoy living in Italy, and to come to look on Rome as a second home of liberty and opportunity, where your mind, body and spirit can focus, think, feel, fly free and engage in exciting pursuits and relationships which would never be possible back in our dreary, artless, rain-sodden Anglo-Saxon homelands.
In spite of it’s foibles and dubious eccentricities, Rome is still a fabulous town to live in...

...and Romebuddy knows all about it

I said don't click here

Technical notes for browsers of Romebuddy

We at Romebuddy shun such vulgarities of phrase as ‘Under Construction’, for we believe it unnecessary to state such a thing. Like all websites, we’re never happy with it ourselves, and are constantly updating and trying to improve the look and feel of the site, technically and aesthetically.

To see the site (and indeed any other website) at its best, and as we intended it to be seen, we strongly recommend you set your browser's default proportional font to Arial Narrow or Helvetica Condensed. Also, if you're using Internet Explorer 4, select either 'Hover' or 'Never' underline links, for a cleaner looking page. Sometimes we have not used coloured links, but this is the 21st century and we trust our visitors will by now be of sufficient Internet literacy to spot a likely link when they see one.

If you're using Windows 95, 98 or NT, set your Taskbar to the 'autohide' option. This will give you more screen space and prevent webpage frames from getting scrunched up too tightly.

As to the general look, you won’t find much 3D or animation on it, because we believe that too much of that stuff slows down the Web - To our way of thinking, a graphic ought to be pretty damn good to make a visitor wait two minutes while it loads - too often when it finally arrives, it’s a piece of crap, or some gaudy 3D clip-art button that you could see on a hundred other sites. Admittedly the quality of our graphics leave a lot to be desired, but we hope to improve this when the server can free up some more webspace for us.

So to many of you, Romebuddy Website might look a bit dull - But rest assured, when the Web speeds up more, we’ll dress up more. But not yet. Until then, we’ve tried to keep it cheerful with a lot of pretty colours.

However, in the event of some coloured text being illegible against a similarly coloured page background, visitors browsing with Internet Explorer 4 may override our colours by clicking ‘Internet Options’ on the ‘View’ menu, then ‘Accessibility’ on the ‘General’ tab and then clicking in the check-box marked ‘Ignore colours specified on Web pages’. All Web pages will then display perfectly legibly as black text on white background in the IE4 default setting, or whatever colours you specify, and should also print as black and white on a colour printer. If ‘Internet Options’ is not available on the ‘View’ menu when you wish to reset, restart the browser and click on ‘Internet Options on the ‘View’ menu before clicking anything else.

Our hypertext links are many and varied to aid your navigation, perhaps even a little convoluted, but if you get lost or something doesn’t load, go to the SiteMap and find your way out from there. For your convenience and continuity of display format, the Sitemap is designed to load only from pages displayed in the smaller frames. It is not enabled to load from the homepage or from any of the occasional full page or large frames on the site (such as this one), unless you browsing in the 'no frames' option.
The 'Back' and 'Next' buttons (on the navigation bar at the bottom of each page) will usually only function in cases where the subject in question is spread over two or more pages or where the context of the subject-matter of the page is considered by the WebMaster to be relevant and following from or leading to a subject on another page.
If there's no back-link enabled at all, there's probably a jolly good reason for it, but you can of course hit the 'Back' command on your browser to return to the previous page or where-ever. If you get completely lost and the links appear to be sending you round in illogical circles, simply hit the HomePage link which should be enabled on all pages. If it isn't, let us know. In fact let us know anyway if you have any suggestions to help us improve our site navigation. Phew! - That was a long-winded mouthful....
After all that, we just hope that you
enjoy your visit.

The 'BACK', 'NEXT' and 'SITEMAP' buttons are only occasionally enabled, depending where you are on the site.

Original photographs and articles property and copyright of
and Lake Photography©2000, except where otherwise stated or
blatantly obviously not our work. (for example, that nice piccy
of Audrey Hepburn on the scooters page)

Legal Disclaimer:
Not all opinions expressed or services advertised in or linked sites are necessarily endorsed or held by the webmaster or This Web site is not affiliated with any company or magazine excepting Lake Photography and RomeSpeak Italian Language Solutions. References to products or services are provided for your information only. The webmaster assumes no liability for the actions of any company, magazine or
person mentioned here. Any business transactions will be exclusively
between you and them. accepts no responsibility for
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