Your interactive family guide to Italy as recommended by local mums | Last updated 9 months ago

Interviews with Mums

Valerie Tristan - Rome

"I have my partner, my friends(Italian for the greater part), my habits at the market and my favorite stores. However this doesn’t mean I have lost my French identity at all! When there is a football match France vs Italy, you can be sure that everybody will know of which side I am! Matilda grew up here and even if she speaks French a little bit, she is 95% Italian. Indeed her real French side comes to light when she devours the box of macarons Ladurée at the kiosk of the Orly airport!" (VT, Feb 2013)

  • What is your name, age and how long have you lived in Rome?
    My name is Valerie Tristan and I am 38 years old. I finally settled in Rome in 2008 after several years of coming and going between Paris and Rome for work.

    Whereabouts do you live and what is the area like?
    I live in the Trieste district, next to Porta Pia. It is a pleasant area and the neighborhood is residential and commercial at the same time, rather livened up during the day but quiet in the evening.

    Why did you decide to move there?
    Actually I decided to move in with my boyfriend! He already had the apartment, so I simply invaded his closet and his library!

    What nationality are you and your partner?
    I am French, he is Italian

    How many children do you have, what are their names and when were they born?
    I have a girl of two and a half years old, Matilda. She was born on 2010 in Paris.

    Do you work and if so what do you do?
    Yes, I work and even a lot! After Matildas birth I created my own brand of children clothes, Boa Kids. My creations are at the same time practical, trendy and affordable. Every item is "handmade in Italy " with excellent fabrics that I choose personally. Thus, go to have a look! http://www.facebook.com/pages/BOA-boa-kids/210929315593528

    What is your experience of having a young child in Rome?
    I didn’t give birth in Rome but in Paris. Nevertheless when I came back with my baby girl, I received a lot of support from the ASL of Sant Anna Center in Via Carigliano. They introduced me and supported and helped me at breastfeeding and they were always interested in me and my baby as well.
    Between the highly negative ranked, I shall say that at the level of public transportation nothing was made to help you get on the bus with a stroller!

    How well integrated would you say you and your daughter are?
    I feel totally integrated, Rome is my home : I have my partner, my friends(Italian for the greater part), my habits at the market and my favorite stores. However this doesn’t mean I have lost my French identity at all! When there is a football match France vs Italy, you can be sure that everybody will know of which side I am!
    Matilda grew up here and even if she speaks French a little bit, she is 95% Italian. Indeed her real French side comes to light when she devours the box of macarons Ladurée at the kiosk of the Orly airport!

    What language do you speak to your daughter?
    French

    Do you think it essential to speak Italian where you live? How good was your knowledge of Italian before you moved to Rome?
    I think it is essential for everyone who wants to work here, especially if you want to know the real Roman life. However Italians are very prone to the language of hands and they always try hard to understand you. Before coming to Rome I already had a good basic knowledge from school.

    Do you rent or own a property and how did you find the renting/buying process?
    No experience on this matter, I just moved in with my partner.

    How welcoming have the locals been towards you and your family?
    They were really welcoming. Italians like the French and their children.

    How would you describe a typical local?
    Noisy, joyful and... copious!

    What is your impression of childcare and education where you live?
    The facilities for public daycare and nursery school are often very insufficient, for this reason they had very stringent ranking criteria that generate long waiting list. Thus many parents have to turn to the private school in spite of the financial sacrifice that represents.

    What nursery does your daughter go to? Why did you choose this nursery and are you happy with your choice?
    Matilda is attending "La Maisonnette" in via Treviso. It is an international daycare and nursery school where children, Italian and foreign, are together with Italian, English and French educators that speak to the children in their mother language. I like this diversity of culture, even if it comes with a price.

    Are there any services, activities for kids, day-trips for kids, family-friendly restaurants or kids’ shops you’d like to recommend?
    I recommend the laboratory of cakes decorations for children, led by "Irene Cake Design" at the restaurant Del Fico in the center of Rome. The children have a lot of fun and you have a peaceful brunch just in the floor below!
    For the shopping I recommend The Milk Bar if you are pregnant or have just given birth and ... Boa kids for all the others!

    What do you think are the main advantages and disadvantages of being a parent from the International Community living in the region?
    You can easily have some help from our Consulate about same basic questions such as obtaining the residence, have useful addresses etc. but when you have to deal with the Italian administration you need a quite “napolitan” patience to get through it!

    Is there anything you think would improve children ́s lives where you live?
    Do not park on crosswalks.

    What advice would you give for anyone having a baby or thinking of relocating to Rome with children?
    Give up your culinary culture, soon your child will eat and want to eat only pastas!

    What couldn ́t you live without in Rome?
    A walk in Piazza del Panteon

    What could you live without in Rome?!
    The pigeons (I already hated them in Paris!) 

    Feb 2013