Monti: Rome's cool, creative quarter

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Traveling to any major tourist destination can always be a stressful situation; weaving in and out of tourist traps, dodging vendors selling goods etc. But...in the middle of the mayhem in Rome, just a few blocks away from the Colosseum, there is a haven for locals and visitors alike...Monti! The streets here are so picturesque, it feels like walking into an Anthropology store in real life. Rows of buildings coloured in pastel shades and hanging vines, the smell of Jasmine flowers radiate off of every breeze...

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...Needless to say, I was completely enchanted by this neighbourhood. My husband and I spent much of our time wandering these winding streets. 

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If you're familiar with Italian customs, then you know about Aperitivo. If not, it's like Italian Happy hour, where drinks are often accompanied by free snacks or a buffet. Here in Monti, the locals gather around the Piazza della Madonna dei Monti with a beer or a wine from the bar across the square. It's an excellent place to gather with friends, or people watch if you're traveling solo. For those interested in a little more structure and more of something to eat, Aperitivo at Analema Cafe has an excellent buffet and a great atmosphere. 

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Have a little time before dinner? It's time to get that perfect "Roma Photograph". Trust me, it won't take long to find a picturesque spot. There's also Gelato right around the corner from the Piazza if it's hot and you need to cool down a little or if you're just in the mood for a tasty treat. Really, is there ever a bad time for Gelato? (No, the answer is no).

I scream, you scream, we all scream... for gelato?

A post shared by Deanna Forte Rule (@deannarule) on

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For dinner there are so many incredible places lining the streets. My husband and I chose to try Urbana 47 (recommended by the Roman Guy) on their Monti travel guide. It's trendy and delicious with rotating daily specials that will blow your mind. In addition to an excellent cocktail selection. 

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Be sure to take a stroll through Monti next time you're in Rome. I guarantee your stomach and Instagram feed will thank you.

New York, be my Valentine

Happy Valentine's Day

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So, it’s Valentine’s day…. and whilst the world embraces this commercialized holiday with red roses and chocolates or rather Instagram worthy spa weekends and design-your-own-jewellery, I want to go back to grassroots with a simple old-fashioned love letter, an ode if you will. But who will I address it to? New York City!

Haven’t you ever fallen in love with a place?

My recent trip to New York Fashion Week with Micro Macro was jam-packed with runway events. But in my off- schedule moments, taking a breath between shows, I got to spend time exploring the city and taking in the energy of the place. After decoding the public transport system, it seemed the city was full of open-ended possibility. From trawling through vintage stores to gazing upwards at the gargantuan towering buildings kissing the sky, I found myself in a new world.

The city is like a playground, alive with sound and movement. The activity and commotion on the streets allows for endless discovery. In New York people-watching is like a refined sport, you can get lost in it. I often thought about all the stories taking place across the city in any given moment, all the lives meshed together, tied with the common ground that they share. It's extraordinary.

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Although this was just a blip in time, the lively atmosphere of the city gave a lasting impression. The rush, the sounds, the people...New York, I love you.

Images by Ryo Nozaki