Ryan has one of those Instagram accounts that instantly transports you to a destination. He’s so good at capturing everyday life when he travels that you would think he has lived in these various cities for years. Well, except for Rome…where he actually lived for a few years and was able to explore every corner of this incredible city! He was recently featured in the Yolo Magazine in our shop and after a few conversations over DM and zoom, I knew he was someone I wanted to interview.
Today he’s giving us the scoop of why he packed his bags and moved to Rome and what spots you shouldn’t miss.
What Inspired you to jet off to Italy and live there for a few years?
After studying abroad in Rome, I fell in love with the country and always knew I wanted to immerse myself deeper in the culture if I had the opportunity. After working in the corporate world for a few years the opportunity to move back to Italy arose and I quickly said yes.
What is about Rome that makes it one of the most incredible cities?
It seems like any street you walk down in Rome you will find something beautiful whether that be a piece of ancient architecture or a vintage Fiat 500 parked up nicely. As a photographer, it brought me endless opportunities to wander around and capture something different each and every day by exploring new areas of the city or capturing new scenes in my favorite areas.
What was the most memorable meal you had in Rome?
That’s a tough question because any time I would eat a plate of Cacio e Pepe or Carbonara in a Roman trattoria I would be very content. If I had to pick a favorite I would say a pizza from Emma, pasta from Roscioli, and a coffee from Sant’Eustachio. That would be a perfect day of food for me and as a coffee addict, I had to add that in as well.
Your photos are so beautiful! What does it mean to you to be able to explore the world through the lens of photography?
It’s a privilege to be able to capture the beauty of travel through photography. Never in a million years would I have thought this is where I would be today and calling this my career, so I don’t take a second of it for granted.
For those of us who can’t get to Rome this Summer- how can we connect with the culture right from our home?
I like to armchair travel through various magazines such as YOLO Journal, Condé Nast Traveler, Departures to help me sort of reliving some of the moments I had when traveling. Rome is one of the most photographed cities so a quick search for the location tag on Instagram will send you traveling through the cobblestone streets of the Eternal City.
Name a recuerdo (souvenir) that you brought back from Rome that holds a lot of meaning to you?
I have a cappuccino and espresso cup from one of my favorite places in Rome, Marigold Cafe, that I use almost every day for my coffee. It was a gift from the owners of the café so I really treasure it and feel connected to Rome a bit when I drink out of it.
EAT | DRINK | CULTURE
These are some of my favorite spots in the city. A mix of places you won’t find in any guidebook combined with some of the classic places in Rome that you can’t miss! Click here to get access to my Rome google map.
Can you share a spot that is under the radar and only you would know because you lived it in Rome?
One of my favorite little corners of Rome was this little piazza tucked right off of Campo dei Fiori called Arco degli Acetari. It’s a place where most people don’t really know about and you walk through this little archway and come out to a little piazza of houses draped in ivy, a very photogenic spot.
All photography used in this feature are by Ryan Neeven