a roman holiday
...is not the same as living there.
Rome is certainly as pretty as a postcard, prettier in fact,
but whats 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
The answer is both. Romebuddy.com
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
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 Italys 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 its
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 mothers
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 poets 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...
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 its foibles and dubious eccentricities, Rome
is still a fabulous town to live in...
...and Romebuddy knows
all about it
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, were 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 wont 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, its 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, well dress up more. But not
yet. Until then, weve tried to keep it cheerful with a
lot of pretty colours.
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.
links are many and varied to aid your navigation, perhaps even
a little convoluted, but if you get lost or something doesnt
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
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
After all that, we just hope that you enjoy your visit.
and articles property and copyright of romebuddy.com
and Lake Photography©2000, except where otherwise stated
blatantly obviously not our work. (for example, that nice piccy
of Audrey Hepburn on the scooters page)
Not all opinions expressed or services advertised in romebuddy.com
or linked sites are necessarily endorsed or held by the webmaster
or romebuddy.com. 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. Romebuddy.com accepts no responsibility
actions, occurences, dissatisfaction or offence caused by or
resulting from advice herein given or products
and services referred to at romebuddy.com.