Italy’s Pinocchio Park [Video]

The delightful tale of Pinocchio is an Italian children’s classic still much loved today. And not just in Italy, but the world round! But just in case you still don’t know the story of Pinocchio let me tell you…

Pinocchio was a little boy made by a lonely old wood carver, named Geppetto. That’s right, Geppetto made his own little boy! For you see, Pinocchio started out as a little wooden marionette.  Continue reading

Village Gossip

Anything can happen in small towns. And it doesn’t even matter if it’s true, as long it makes good village gossip! Like the time they had my husband all but dead and buried. Or at best, critically ill.

Our daughter and family, who still lived here then, had gone out with some friends visiting from the north. A slice of pizza and peaceful stroll in the cool evening. Until one of the visitors started having chest pains. What to do? Why go to the guardia medica (urgent care), of course!  Continue reading

Our One-Bag Packing List

Packing list

In sharing Why We Travel with Only One Bag each, I also shared that traveling so light seemed utterly impossible to me. And that’s because I’m the type of person who likes being prepared for anything and everything! An organizer and champion list maker, I’d jot down everything imaginable and drag it along. Only to realize that we never even used a lot of it!

Yet I still find that a complete packing list can make both the challenges and benefits of one-bag travel work better. Not only can it make sure we don’t forget things, but it also keep us from over-packing. Which by the way, experts feel is the number one travel mistake.  Continue reading

Why We Travel with Only One Carry-on Bag

With many upcoming trips in our near future, I’m dusting off my travel skills! Over the next few months we will be traveling to visit churches, including our northern church in Emilia Romagna. And we’ve also been invited to the 99 year anniversary celebration of the tiny church in Mario’s hometown! All to be capped off with our overseas trip including Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, and Michigan. That’s a lot of travel!

And that’s why I’m happy to have discovered one-bag traveling.

Continue reading

Where Thrift Reigns {The Italian Village of Thrift}

My husband’s hometown (in the Salerno province) is a village where thrift reigns. The people there have long been used to making do. The current trend toward simplicity and frugality is so normal for them, that they would ask “Is there any other way?”

I’m often amazed at their makeshift contrivances. And their unusual, often ingenious, ways of reusing and up-cycling. Some of the oddest containers employed as plant pots. The strangest objects joined to form fences. Nothing, it seems, goes to waste, but gets reused for something.  Continue reading

Like a Queen: Treating Enemies Like Royalty

No taller than a 10-year old, with a sly and suspicious gleam to her eye, she played the part of the proverbial evil landlady with me. And yet was as sweet as honey around my husband. The other residents, also hostile, seemed sweet by comparison. And the dark, dank apartment revealed a miserly streak as well.

It rained half the year in that picturesque region of Italy. Which produced luxuriant landscape, as well as flourishing mildew. Between wiping walls with bleach, and tossing ruined shoes, I shed many a tear of frustration.  Continue reading

Life in Small Town Italy

Moving to or even visiting Italian villages is a unique and sometimes perplexing experience. Expect people to stare (and I mean really stare) as you walk down the street, without letting it give you a complex. No, you are not funny looking or strange. They just don’t see many outsiders, and curiosity is one thing Italians do not lack!

“But they’re whispering about me!” That’s normal. They want to know who you are. And actually, if they’re limiting it to polite whispers you’re probably in a medium-sized town. In smaller towns they loudly query, with a total disregard of discretion, “Who are they? What do they want here?”  Continue reading