Chapter Two: Our Apartment in Rome


The Google map location of Via Ridolfino Venuti 21 (building indicated by red teardrop)

Our apartment in Rome that we occupied from Sept 1959 to June 1960 was on the second floor of a six story building. It contained nine marble floored rooms, was spacious enough for a foyer, a living room, a sitting room, a dining room, and a kitchen situated from the left end of the apartment to the grand entryway.

From the right end to the center were three bedrooms, and a bathroom. Fronted with five street facing windows, were rooms with classic European furniture as well as an extra empty room to store our collection of steamer trunks. Neither in suburb outskirts with individual unattached houses nor a location in the urban city center either, Via Ridolfino Venuti 21 is in fact, in a quiet, pleasant neighborhood.

The left end of Via Ridolfino Venuti 21, our nine room apartment in Rome as it appears today. This Google picture dates from 2022 showing substantial wear since 1959 when we resided there.


Getting an apartment made us official residents of Rome and and the true beginning of My Year in Italy. Putting in place the details of daily life follow. Getting set up for school, hiring a housekeeper/cook to shop for food, cook, and keep house. Meeting the neighbors. Navigating the neighborhood as children always do. Finding places to play and other children to play with are essential.

The Neighborhood
As children we had different priorities from our mother as well as tourists. For example, we didn’t need to know where the amenities of our life came from. Rather our lives revolved around making Italian neighborhood friends and finding fun things to do.

Real Italian not American Life Abroad As I mentioned in the Introduction, most American families abroad were attached to government jobs desiring to reside cloistered with other Americans. For example, American neighbors in American occupied buildings called the EUR. American superstores known as the American PX where one could buy everything American. In my opinion, why bother to live in another country if not to experience it with all one’s senses. Give me the real thing, not a transported veneer of an experience.

The Full Italian Package So without American government or corporate employment dictation, we were able to go with the full Italian living package. That meant we lived Italian, ate Italian, drove Italian, shopped Italian, and even learned to speak some Italian. Bravo.

More to read about:
My Year in Italy/Introduction


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