About Small Town Stranieri

We’re so happy to have you here! We’re Mario & Sheila the Small Town Stranieri. Stranieri is Italian for foreigners. We are both from small towns, and small-town people at heart. We love the charm of small-town life and the simplicity of small-town values. And we are blessed to divide life between two truly charming small Italian towns.

I (Sheila) am the author and maker of this blog, and technically not a foreigner, as I hold dual citizenship. I also feel that odd combination that many expats experience, of being a foreigner who feels perfectly at home in the adopted homeland. I was born and raised just outside a small town in the center of Michigan’s mitt.

I’m married to Super Mario, as his preschool kiddies call him. (He’s an ESL teacher.) He was born in a mountain village of southern Italy and raised in the Bronx by non English-speaking parents. He, on the other hand, has only Italian citizenship. We returned to Italy because of the burden he had for his people. And because his heart never really left his homeland.

We have 2 wonderful adult children, home-schooled in Italy. And 9 special grandchildren (ages 4-19). All of whom now (sadly) live in the USA.

Our years here

Along our long and varied path of shoestring-budget missionary living since 1989, we’ve moved over 50 times. And lived in everything from tarantula-infested campers (shudder) to a tent. And even in an old chicken coop, so cozy the chickens kept returning!  We’ve gone without, been abundantly blessed, and learned countless lessons along the way. You can learn more about our missionary work at Mission Italia.

We count it a blessing to live in this beautiful land, a privilege to serve these wonderful people, and your visit here as an honor and joy! And we hope you’ll take a moment to introduce yourself!

But most of all we hope you’ll leave here feeling a bit closer to us and will share our burden for the work here in Italy.

[Images ©SheilaScorziello]

50 thoughts on “About Small Town Stranieri”

  1. Thank you for following my blog. So glad you did so I could find your delightful site. Although we’ve never met, I’m a native Michigander and half Italian. Such lovely connections we have. I look forward to reading all your posts and drinking in the scenery. Grazi!

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  2. Thanks so much, Sheila, for the follow. I’ll return the favor because your story is fascinating. Your heart is beautiful as you share your perspective on the joy of life with Jesus and your loved ones. Looking forward to getting to know you better.

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  3. Thank you Bruce, and we’re so glad to have you! But I know the learning will take place on both sides…we learn and glean so much from all our blogging friends. I love your blog ans sounds like you’ve had an interesting life!

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  4. Hi Sheila, thank you for the follow. I read through a couple of your posts and I will follow you also because I clearly can learn more. Italy, always wanted to go there but my wife of 46 + years isn’t keen about travelling and if the truth be told, neither am I. We’re home bodies and our five grown up children and our six grandchildren all live here in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Whenever I think of Italy I think of the Apostle Paul in prison there and the early Christians that suffered through persecution. I was close to Italy for a few months, served with the United Nation Peace Keepers Armed Forces and spent six months in Cyprus. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

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    1. Thank you Bruce, and we’re so glad to have you! But I know the learning will take place on both sides…we learn and glean so much from all our blogging friends. I love your blog and it sounds like you’ve had an interesting life!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow Susan! It’s so wonderful to meet another blogger who shares our great loves: Italy, Italians, and the Lord! I love your blog, mainly because you show that not only rich people can afford to visit Italy! And your love for this nation pours out of your posts. It’s a special place and (or at least we think) one to be experienced, not just toured. Yes, there is beauty & history to see and admire. But there is so much more below the surface – a special “live life & love it” quality in the lifestyle that has to be experienced to be appreciated. Glad you like our simple blog and especially that you find it encouraging. That makes it all worthwhile! Thank you!

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  6. Sheila, I am beyond excited to meet you. Thank you for commenting on my blog post. Now I know who you are and, honestly, I’m in tears. Your great love of Italy and the people cut me deeply. My website is a culmination of my great love for Italy and all of the things you mentioned about it…beauty, slow living, always time for others, history. Thank you for stopping by and introducing yourself. I am reading through your posts and finding amazing encouragement. Blessings to you and Mario!

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    1. Wow Susan! It’s so wonderful to meet another blogger who shares two our great loves: Italy and Italians! I love your blog, mainly because you show that not only rich people can afford to visit Italy! And your love for this nation pours out of your posts. It’s a special place and (or at least we think so) one to be experienced, not just toured. Yes, there is beauty and history to see and admire. But there is so much more below the surface – a special “live life and love it” quality in the lifestyle that has to be experienced to be appreciated. Glad you like our simple blog and especially that you find it encouraging. That makes it all worthwhile! Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks Heather, and it’s a pleasure to meet you too! So glad that the Lord shines throught in this. The older I get, the more I realize that we truly can do nothing without him. We’re missionaries, but only because he chooses to use us in spite of our imperfections. And the greatest work is what he’s don in our hearts. Loving us, changing us, and never, never giving up on us! God bless you, dear sister in Christ!

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  8. Thanks Kelly! It’s an honor to me to be able to connect with you! INFJ is a personality type, meaning Introvert, iNtuitive, Feeling, and Judging (which doesn’t mean a person is judgmental). The Judging part (vs Perceiving) reflects how a person implements the information he/she has received and formulates their life in regards to that info. I was so amazed at the accuracy of these tets. (Shows we should listen to our kids sometimes!) And they helped me better understand others too.
    And yes, Italy is beautiful. But what we most love is the lifestyle. Laid back, easy going, and always time for an espresso in piazza with family or friends. But it can be maddening at times too. What’s great, is knowing it’s where God wants us to be! And we’ll take that open door…actually we’re praying for many of them! Thanks so much for the encouragement!

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  9. So glad to connect with you here on WP.
    First I have to ask what INFJ means??? Then I have to admit I’m a little jealous of anyone who gets to live and minister in Italy. We spent 5 weeks there a few years ago and simply loved it 🙂
    May God bless you & Mario as you serve Him and give you an open door for sharing His love, grace, and truth.
    Blessings in Jesus,
    Kelly

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    1. Thanks Kelly! It’s an honor to me to be able to connect with you! INFJ is a personality type, meaning Introvert, iNtuitive, Feeling, and Judging (which doesn’t mean a person is judgmental). The Judging part (vs Perceiving) reflects how a person implements the information he/she has received and formulates their life in regards to that info. I was so amazed at the accuracy of these tets. (Shows we should listen to our kids sometimes!) And they helped me better understand others too.
      And yes, Italy is beautiful. But what we most love is the lifestyle. Laid back, easy going, and always time for an espresso in piazza with family or friends. But it can be maddening at times too. What’s great, is knowing it’s where God wants us to be! And we’ll take that open door…actually we’re praying for many of them! Thanks so much for the encouragement!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Italy is both gorgeous and wonderful, that’s for sure. But no matter how beautiful any place is, if us being there makes us out of God’s will – it loses its beauty. So right where God has you planted is the most beautiful place in the world for you. And personally, we’re coming more and more to the conclusion that the USA now probably needs “missionaries” more than any other place in the world. We’re grateful for all the shining lights God has in the nation. So let your light shine!!

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  11. Sheila! If you hadn’t liked my post I would never have had the chance to read about YOU – such a great intro and I am so excited to start following your blog (and that’s not an exaggeration). Judging by your list of unchangeable facts I think we’d be great friends – I’m also an INFJ 😉
    I hope your simple Italian life continues to be everything that you express so beautifully here. Be blessed, Sheila, and I’ll be reading. Jessica

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    1. Thanks so much Jessica! A fellow INFJ! Woo hoo! There’s not a lot of us around! I’m so happy we can follow each other’s journeys–it’ll be fun and encouraging. I’m sure my Italian life will keep on pretty much as it has. This is home, and it has my heart! Thanks for your encouragement and have a great day!

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    1. No Karen, we live in Abruzzo, the region to the right of Rome. At least most of the year. We also have a 2nd base in the Salerno province. Thanks for your encouragement, and I’m so glad to have you on my journey in this great land of slow living!

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  12. I enjoy your blog and love your style of writing. It is clear and easy to follow. I have done a lot of traveling to Germany, and love reading about your journey and perspective. Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you so much, Julene, for your encouragement. I enjoy your blog too, and am happy I found it! I imagine being clear and easy to follow is a result of living so long overseas. In English we have to speak simply or few would understand us. And in the beginning at least, we are only able to speak simply in our adopted language. So simple becomes the norm for us! LOL!

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