About

about meIt was my Italian grandmother, albeit unknowingly, that started my love affair with Italy. She gave me my first taste of spaghetti thickly dusted with parmesan (surprisingly not the real thing but I wouldn’t have know the difference then. She used to tell me off for shaking on so much but maybe that was because she knew the real thing was so much better!). Even now the smell of ragu cooking on the stove reminds me of her. As a child, I loved her because she was so different, from her strong accent that she never lost to the food she cooked; no-one I knew had a grandmother like her, well apart from my primary school friend, Ann Carbonara (yes, that really was her name) who obviously had one, but hers lived in Italy so that didn’t count. My life-long fascination with Italy and all things Italian derived directly from my grandmother and as I grew older I thought her very foreignness defined me, made me different too. I wanted to be Italian but above all to go to Italy. Of my two grandmothers I saw her the least but her impression on me was so great. I am only sorry that she did not know that.

It was not until I was a teenager and my mother bought a flat in the Valdarno, strangely not in the South where she had spent her childhood, that I actually stepped on to Italian soil. She carried on where my grandmother had left off and every summer holiday would show me daily life as an Italian would live it. It was during this time that I knew that one day I would come to live in Italy, Tuscany if I could. My self-taught Italian became more practised in an attempt to blend in, to be mistaken for a local. I made friends, I mixed and mingled. And I never stopped dreaming. I also never stopped looking at property!

So here I am, after several years and many false starts embarking on a great new adventure with my husband. We have sold up and said our goodbyes and are now living in a rural house with a small patch of land, in the Lunigiana, northern Tuscany. Welcome to our future!

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9 thoughts on “About”

  1. I wait with baited breath to read the next installment and look forward to learning from your experiences!

  2. Hi – I’ve just discovered your blog and have so enjoyed reading about your adventures. Is it OK to add it to my blog list on CiaoLunigiana.com? Many thanks, Sheila.

  3. Ciao! I loved going through your blog and I find it a lil sad I did not know about it earlier. Do you stay in Pontremoli? I would love to meet up if I come someday 🙂 Looking forward to hear from you.

    • Ciao! Thank you. I’m glad you are enjoying the blog. We live about 40 minutes from Pontremoli but go there frequently. It is a lovely town. I see from your blog you have travelled extensively in a relatively short time! Let me know if you are ever in the Lunigiana area.

      • Thanks Kate. So nice to hear back. I shall keep you posted and hope w meet really soon. It’s nice to meet a fellow italophilie and living there must be an entirely different experience. Haha, yes you can say so. I just always cannot wait to be back. The lungiana area is stunning and very different from the cypress clad Tuscan towns. I hope to visit pontremoli 🙂 ciao ciao

  4. Hi Kate
    My wife and I have been reading your blog for well over a year now and have looked forward to each update. I peer closely at the photos of building work and the food references just make me hungry! We are going through similar experiences, though much less brave on the DIY front as the ‘ruin’ we fell for had been slipping down a slope for 200 years, hadn’t been lived in for 60 years and needed much structural work, floors, roof… (We are about 30 mins NE of Aulla). After 18 months of others doing the work for us, and working flat out in the UK to earn money to make it happen, we have now finished the structural, roofing and stonework phase. Next will be wiring, plumbing, underfloor heating and plastering (and a garage) before …. doors and windows (sooo looking forward to that) and then we enter my DIY capability phase for decorating, tiling and finishing carpentry touches. So I have at least a couple more years more working all I can to get to that point.
    Sue and I will be over again at the end of August and if convenient I would love to meet up and pick your brains….
    My best wishes
    Clive

    • Hi Clive

      Thank you so much for your comments. I am glad you are both enjoying the blog. You sound so much braver than us with your building project but we would be happy to meet and help where we can. I will email you my details. Look forward to meeting you both soon. All the best, Kate

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