Your Fairytale Italian Wedding Dress

When I was getting married I still lived in England, so naturally I started my search for a dress there, but with no success. When one of the bridal boutique managers asked me what look I was after, and I replied ‘Baroque’, she looked deflated and said that the UK tendency that year was towards smooth lines and minimal. We were both disappointed. Me because I realised that finding my dream dress was going to be harder than I though, and she because she wasn’t going to make a sale – not from me anyway.

So, I waited until I’d actually moved to Italy and began my mission to find the most stressful dress of my life, in and around Rome. To my great relief I was spoilt for choice. Italians do ‘fancy’ so well that I could have bought 3 or 4 dresses quite easily and my husband-to-be also had success with his attire.

Well, our 10th wedding anniversary has been and gone but I felt inspired to list out some of the places that have beautiful ornate wedding gowns for all budgets in the hope that it will help take some of the stress out and increase the divertimento!

A number of bridal atelier are by appointment only but most people in the fashion world speak English nowadays so language shouldn’t be a barrier. Another great place to start is at the Wedding Fair – Roma Sposa. It’s a huge deal with stands for wedding gowns, menswear, limos and wedding car hire, wedding venues, the dreaded “bomboniere” plus a host of other things for your special day.

I should explain, if you don’t already know, bomboniere are gifts (usually of value) that the “bride and groom-to-be” give to the most important members of family or close friends. We almost went insane trying to find something that we actually wanted to give – but that’s another story.

This year (18 – 21 October, 2018) the Roma Sposa event has moved from the Fiera di Rome to EUR’s Palazzo dei Congressi and looks set to be one of the best editions yet.

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If you have access to a car you might want to head out of the city to some of the mega-bridal stores in the suburbs. The dresses are no less worthy and because these stores are basically warehouses you get a huge choice at both ends of the price scale. I liked Radiosa (especially since they carry the Spanish Pronovias line) about 30 minutes from Rome in Aprilia. It has everything you could possibly need: gowns, accessories, footwear, outfits for the mother of the bride, groom’s department, etc. Then there’s Davino Sposa in Ciampino town which offers outlet prices on some of its stock.

In Rome centre, try smaller boutiques such as The Woman in White, Elvira Gramano, Marsil Alta Moda, Alessandro Angelozzi, Miriam Pieralisi…

So that’s it. Short & sweet. Best of luck!

Haute Cuisine out of Rome

Haute Cuisine, or in Italian ‘Alta Cucina‘ can be found in the provinces around Rome, in the Lazio region, but some are easier to stumble upon than others. However, when it comes to winkling-out great food, I am like a pig with truffles – I seem to have a natural instinct for these things! And apart from the food having to be good I also take into account attractiveness, ambience and service. Continue reading “Haute Cuisine out of Rome”

Gluten-free out of Rome

I had a friend visit me in Rome recently who happens to have Celiac disease. As it happens it was pretty easy to find places to take her, and a lot she found by herself having consulted websites such as and (the latter only covers Rome).

So what is the situation out of Rome….in the sleepy little towns and villages?  Continue reading “Gluten-free out of Rome”

Picturesque Roads in North Lazio

OK, so you’ve decided to ‘self-drive’ and go exploring further out of Rome into the wilderness of the unspoiled Lazio countryside….but, which are the best routes?…the prettiest drives?…and should you head north, or east, or south? Certainly not west, as that would take you into the Sea! Continue reading “Picturesque Roads in North Lazio”

Best Beach Destinations from Rome

Over 300 km of coastline (including the islands) offer the holidaymaker or day-tripper, varied natural landscapes, full of history, in an explosion of intoxicating Mediterranean charm. Lazio’s beaches have different characteristics but are all beautiful and many are awarded for their water quality and services offered, and well worth a stop on your journey. Continue reading “Best Beach Destinations from Rome”

Road Trips: Lakes (part I – volcanic)

used to think that the famous Lake District in Cumbria, England had the most lakes per region (13 in all), followed by the area in north Italy with their great lakes Garda, Como and Maggiore, which often get bunched together, however they are each in different regions. Lake Garda is in Veneto,  Como in Lombardy and Maggiore in Piedmont. In actual fact Lazio takes third place in Italy, with an incredible 21 lakes in a region which is almost half the size of Piedmont (who have 25). Due to volcanic activity thousands of years ago there are several clumps of crater lakes throughout Lazio. Bolsena, Vico, Bracciano and Martignano are all within 90 minutes or less, of each other; Albano and Nemi are neighbouring lakes. Continue reading “Road Trips: Lakes (part I – volcanic)”

Spring into Summer

Finally the sun has appeared! It’s March and will soon be time to set the clocks forward! Spring is a wonderful time to visit Italy. It’s quieter, the temperature is perfect for sightseeing on foot – and you start to feel that wonderful atmosphere of anticipation for when we can all escape the city at weekends and enjoy “La Dolce Vita” as the Italians do. It might not quite be the same as it was for Fellini but Italian habits die hard. Continue reading “Spring into Summer”

Christmas in a Medieval Borgo

This Christmas has been a bit different! Rather than the usual Rome or back home in England, I have spent it tucked away in a medieval village about an hour from Rome. I hadn’t known what to expect but it has been quite magical. There are Christmas lights literally everywhere, plus two trees and a large angel made out of fairy-lights. The great thing about a small place like this is that you constantly bump into people you know, exchanging Christmas greetings and good cheer (mulled wine). Continue reading “Christmas in a Medieval Borgo”