Roma: Day three

My Dad moved to Rome after School and college, a small town country kid from Branxton NSW who packed a tin trunk (now sitting in my bedroom of all places) filled with all his belongings, hopped on a ship and went to Rome to study to be a Priest. Huh.

My Mum moved to Rome at the same time as a teenager with her younger sister and Mum and Dad from small town Adelaide to Italy! Her Father was a spy for ASIO, keeping the communists from our shores. She even didn’t really understand why they made such a big move, but they made it. She went to High School at the International School here, making life long friends.

It was the 60’s.

Mum and Dad met here, my Grandmother having the young Catholic students over for a Sunday roast at their home. Using the blue and white china to serve them a taste of Australia in maybe a roast, definitely some rice pudding. While it wasn’t until they were both back in Australia that they “properly” met and fell in love (or something) they met each other here, in Rome.


I have wondered so much about them both over the past few days. Rome from the 60’s probably wasn’t all that much different to the Rome we see today, or the Rome from hundreds of years ago (thankfully with less fucking selfie sticks). Driving around on scooters, smoking ciggies, discovering the big, bad, dirty world so much bigger than Adelaide or a small country town. Discussing Theology, wearing outrageous fashions, trying out different personas, falling in love perhaps, studying, having fun…becoming themselves. What a place to do it in.

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Today we visited the Vatican to hopefully pop in and show the girls St Peter’s. We wandered the 2km’s there, wondering why there seemed to be so many people about to realise that we had happened across a Papal Mass in the square outside filled with thousands and thousands of people. We even saw the main man there, Rob reminding me as I told the girls “this is Pope Benedict girls” that he in fact is Francis. Someone else entirely. Huh. Some Catholic I am.

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We sat and took it all in (well the girls played together while Mags started to increasingly crack the shits because it was HOT) and I sat and wondered about my Dad living up there next to this place. Wondering about the kind of young man he was. And my Mum and the young woman she was. And what a funny old world this is that we live in. And how glad I am to be right in the thick of it all. With 3 beautiful girls and an awesome husband by my side.

Catholic (very bad apologies Padre Franceso) Macdonalds representing.


Mum and Dad, what an adventure you both had. Boy am I glad you had it and somehow ended up together making 4 beautiful children. Thank goodness for Rome huh?


  1. Emily Psaila says

    this would have to be one of favourite posts Beth, what an awesome story! And I love the way you tell it. Be a great base for your first novel!

  2. Can’t believe your Dad was studying to be a priest! You sound like you are nearly as good a catholic as what I am! Oh and Branxton!!! I will never forget that town, we used to travel through it every year to go on holidays and I always remember the sign: “Please drive carefully as we have 2 cemeteries and no hospital” ha ha ha. Thanks for the great photos!

  3. Janesse Kirkhope says

    Your stories are awesome and the photos, fantastic. I am currently in week two in Snot Land. We have ear infections, chest infections, man flu, 4 out of 5 of us are on antibiotics not to mention that end of term tiredness has set in. Its the pits. But the last 3 mornings I have been to Rome through your photos and picturing myself in the story and when the whiney cries and grizzles start during the day, I breath in and go back to Rome again. Thanks for helping me through Snot Land and motivating me to get to Italy one day soon too. x

  4. What a glamorous story – love it!

  5. Please Beth, what is the name of that fantastic looking pram Mags is cruising in?

  6. thankyou beth!
    all looking ab/fab!
    love the story about your parents! … how romantic in ROME!
    we baby boomer teens all looked like sue! … love that photo!
    yeh! no selfies sticks then!
    keep on enjoying! … love m:)X

  7. What a lovely story!! How amazing.
    I am a lapsed Catholic too, so I would have believed you when you said it was Pope Benedict (in fact I would have been quietly impressed that I thought you knew his name)
    Journey on!

  8. How wonderful for you all!

    Such a great experience – soak it all in!

  9. definitely taking my kids…

  10. Beth
    What an incredible storyteller you are.

    You know – not one of your peeps would be even a smidgeon disappointed if you didn’t post your updates while on holiday.
    But . . . how wonderful it is to read your meanderings, hear you history and see your happy snaps.

    No envy on my part today, just a feeling of content as I imagine what you see, smell and hear.
    So amazing.

  11. What a story! No wonder Rome holds a special place in your heart. x

  12. kate Bradshaw says

    Did you race the zimmer frame woman in the last pic? Did you take her? Sorry I’m just really competitive but she did look like she was eyeing you off and up for the challenge!

  13. I had a difficult time at Catholic school so I found it hard to be in the Vatican. It was also too hot and too crowded for this introvert. I think it would be nice to go on a quiet day (if there is one).

  14. What an amazing story about your folks. As for the name of the Pope, I feel that way about speaking of our Prime Minister, who is it again?

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