Sydney Morning Herald - December 2006

For Jill Kammer and her well-traveled family, living in Italy is all about mixing business with pleasure.

How did you come to live in Italy?
In 1997, my husband Leon and I with our two girls, Ava (now 18) and Ruby (now 14), left Australia because we wanted to pursue business opportunities overseas and see the world as well. We spent a year in Bangkok, a year in the Italian countryside just outside Perugia in Umbria and then another year in New York. After a while, our girls grew too old to move around and they needed to stay in one spot for school, so we had a family conference and decided Italy was our favourite place to live.

What did you do there?
Our company, Italy-Accom is one of Italy’s largest internet-based agencies, offering apartment and villa rentals throughout the country. We cater to the independent traveler who’s after an alternative to hotels, so they can experience living like a local.

How did you get the idea for it?
When we first visited Italy, we stayed in short-term apartments because hotel rooms were both expensive and inconvenient. But we had so much difficulty finding good apartments, we thought. “We could be doing this so much better”. When a girlfriend of ours visited from Australia she suggested it would be a perfect business opportunity for us and we said “You’re absolutely right. Let’s do it.”

Where do you Live?
In the heart of Rome. We have a fresh food markets nearby as well as some of the most famous shopping streets in the world.
How have your daughters adjusted to living in Italy?
Ruby arrived here in Grade Two, so she’s virtually a Roman living with an Australian family. One the other hand Ava has an Australian character, there’s nothing Italian about her at all.

What can you see from your home?
Our apartment looks across the corner of via delle Croce and via Belsiana. We look at ancient cobblestone streets and we’re just two blocks from the Spanish Steps – a view most people would kill for.

Any tips for blending in like a local?
Have a cigarette in your mouth and a mobile phone at your ear. Every Roman is wearing a jacket at the moment because as soon as autumn hits – whether it’s hot or cold – Romans will put on a jacket. Fashion is dictated by the season , not the temperature of the day.

What do you love about Rome?
There’s something beautiful at every turn, whether it’s the architecture, the people or the sky. It’s hard to find anything unattractive here.

Klaudyna Morawski