Rome based Food and Travel Writer connecting with Il Papiro
IN HER OWN WORDS
Tell me a little bit about yourself…
My name is Maria Pasquale and I was born to Italian parents in Melbourne. My family is from a small town in Aquila province, Abruzzo. My formal background is in History, Political Science and Public Policy (University of Melbourne) and I worked for many years as a policy adviser and then communications manager for the Victorian Government. After some years in the corporate sector, in 2009 I opened my own events and PR company and since 2011 I’ve lived in Rome. I still run my company and do strategic consultancy work for a number of brands in the hospitality and luxury travel space. And I’ve managed to forge another path in something I’ve always been extremely passionate about - writing and storytelling. I am the founder of the award-winning blog, HeartRome which I’m proud to say now has readers in over 100 countries and a 40,000+ highly engaged social media following. I wrote my first book, I Heart Rome in 2017 (Smith Street Books) and my second, How to be Italian will be released internationally in October 2021. I am the Rome correspondent for 10Best, USA Today and write regularly for CNN, Fodor’s, The Telegraph and some Condé Nast publications.
What inspires your Italian connection?
My paternal grandparents never emigrated to Australia so my family has always had this unbreakable to tie to the country. I grew up in two worlds. Italy is an indescribable feeling and once it’s in you, it’s permanent. It teases, thrills and frustrates at the same time and has essentially been the love of my life. Always will be.
Favourite Italian moment or place?
So hard to choose. Rome for obvious reasons - the history, the architecture, the people, the food, the chaos, the monuments and above all the light. But I also love Sicily. All of it, but especially the spellbinding Aeolian islands. Oh and the contagious energy of Palermo and even Naples. Le Langhe in Piemonte. See? It’s too hard, so I’ll stop here.
"Italy is an indescribable feeling and once it’s in you, it’s permanent."
First Il Papiro memory?
Feeling the warmth and energy of Italy in Melbourne - walking in and meeting the lovely Romina for the first time. We also shared a glass of Italian bubbly, so that made it all the more special!
Favourite Il Papiro Product?
The paper. The intrinsic, colourful designs are symbolic of artisan treasures that Italy works so hard to protect.
Share something you loveSweets. Anything with sugar. I can’t eat a meal without having dessert and my famous catch cry has become - dessert is a separate stomach. I can be full, but there’s always room for dessert. In Rome, my favourite desserts are the mascarpone mousse with fragoline (alpine strawberries) at Da Enzo trattoria or the decadent mini gourmet maritozzi by Michelin star chef, Riccardo di Giacinto.
Maria Pasquale is an Italian-Australian food and travel writer based in Rome. Author of I Heart Rome and founder of the award-winning blog HeartRome, her adventures can be followed on Instagram @heartrome.