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A Winter Wonderland in the Eternal City

As someone who was born and raised in Southern California, I must admit that I am intrigued by the beauty of snowfall. When I learned that there was a rare snowfall yesterday in Rome (the heaviest they’ve seen in 6 years), I knew I had to share some of the beautiful images of the Eternal City draped in winter white. Doesn’t this historic city look lovely? Just when you thought Rome couldn’t get any more beautiful…

The snow is falling
The traffic is crawling
The world looks all calm and bright
If only for a moment everything looks pure under the freshly fallen snow and the glow emitted by the first snowfall of the season
My mood is happy I hope it lasts all season and throughout the new year too.  –Ann M. Johnson

Statue of St. Peter

St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican

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The Spanish Steps

Piazza del Popolo

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The Roman Forum

The Colosseum

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The Trevi Fountain

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Fit for a {Principessa}

I have been learning Italian for a few years on and off as a hobby as opposed to serious study. Like many tourists to Italy, I started with a few basic phrases thinking it would be fun and a great way to immerse myself in the culture. I do not claim be proficient in the language by any stretch of the imagination but I know enough not to get myself into trouble…although I did have an argument with a gelato server for giving me the wrong flavor and I had to firmly point out to a cashier several times at the train station that he gave me the wrong change.

A few months ago I subscribed to the Italian version of Marie Claire Maison magazine. The current issue features the home of twenty-seven-year-old Princess Antea Brugnoni Alliata, her husband Maro Kinloch Herbertson (owner of the silk fashion accessories brand “Kinloch”), and their three children. A year ago the couple decided to move to Rome while maintaining their 17th-century Sicilian palace, Villa Valguarnera. Their new residence is decorated in shades of blues and greens with the most amazing wallpaper. It turns out that the couple recently debuted their own new wallpaper company,  Roi Du Lac at Maison & Objet. Thier home seems to be a wonderful showcase of their new line, wouldn’t you agree? (You can learn more about the inspiration behind their new company here).  From the limited photos, I can already tell that thier new home in Rome is definitely fit for a Principessa…

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The Tribute to Carla Fendi

Carla Fendi was one of five sisters who ran Fendi and transformed it into a luxury goods empire until it sold to LVMH in 1999. She remained honorary president until her death early this morning. In 2012, Architectural Digest published the photos of her eclectic flat situated in a palazzo in the heart of Rome. In honor of Carla Fendi, let’s revisit the place that was once her beautiful home. You can read more about it here. Also, another great article about a night on the town with the legendary lady entitled “Carla Fendi’s Rome” can be found here.

Preservation of the Spanish Steps in Rome

Mr. B and I have traveled to Italy on several occasions and while we have both been to Rome, surprisingly its never been together. With talk about traveling to Italy in our future we might just hold off visiting Rome until the renovation of the Spanish Steps are complete, which is estimated for Spring 2016.  The beautiful, iconic marble staircase that connects the Piazza di Spagna to the Trinita dei Monti church at the top of the staircase closed this month for renovation and restoration.

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A magical place in Rome during the evening.

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Above and below – Spring is an especially lovely time of the year to visit the Spanish Steps.  They are graced with beautiful flowers that add to the charm of this wonderful public space.

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The restoration and preservation project is being spearheaded by one of Rome’s top luxury jewelry brands, Bulgari.  Bulgari Group chief executive officer Jean-Christophe Babin has stated:

“Rome’s rich archaeological, artistic and architectural heritage has always been an inexhaustible source of inspiration for our collections. The extraordinary patronage of a monument which represents the heart of our story is yet another expression of the indissoluble bond between Bulgari and the Eternal City.”

The Spanish Steps by Frederick Childe Hassam, 1897.

The Spanish Steps play an important cultural role in the heart of Rome and serves as an important gathering place for tourists and locals alike.  Taking a seat on one of the steps is a quintessentially Roman experience that can provide a restful retreat after hours of walking through the Eternal City. Trust me on this one! Find a spot anywhere on the steps and enjoy life parade before your eyes. Take a picture of your friends and family from the fountain at the Piazza di Spagna looking up to the steps and it is literally a “where’s waldo” moment.

Not surprisingly, the fashion industry has taken note of the Spanish Steps and has continually used it for photoshoots and even fashion shows. Talk about the ultimate runway!

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harpers bazaar

Above – Harpers Bazaar

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Above – Marte Mei Van Haaster as photographed by Tom Craig. Vogue Russia – September 2012 issue. Via

Celebrating the Magic of Rome | Vogue Japan August 2015

Above and below – Celebrating the Magic of Rome – Vogue Japan – August 2015

However, I am particularly enamoured with the black and white photos from the 1950’s featuring life and fashion of the time.  Not surprisingly, the Spanish Steps have also served as a backdrop for the film industry during the 50’s (up through current day). Here is a round up of a few photographs taken during that era.

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Above – Circa 1952.

Above -  Model Anita Ekberg Via

Above –  Anita Ekberg. Via

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Above – Audrey Hepburn with her dog while shooting the film “A Nun’s Story”. Circa 1958.

Above - Audrey Hepburn photographed with Yorkshire Terrier, Mr. Famous and her mother, the Baroness Ella Van Heemstra. Circa 1959.

Above – Audrey Hepburn photographed with Yorkshire Terrier, Mr. Famous and her mother, the Baroness Ella Van Heemstra. Circa 1959.