2023, a Cold Start to a New Year in Italy

January 24, 2023

January is colder than usual here in Italy, in surprising place. I prefer the warmth of Spring and can hardly wait for it to arrive.

Time is flying by. I have now lived in Italy for over 6 years. Yet, sometimes it feels like a month ago when I moved here. So much has happened. So many adventures, new friends, and frustrations with all the joy and beauty. And it has changed the way I live, the way I think and the way I feel.

Travel opens new avenues to knowledge and to wisdom, hopefully. Living in a country that you enjoy but do not really understand is also like opening a path in your mind where you experience a different world. You find yourself saying “ Curiouser and Curiouser” as though you were traveling with Alice in her Wonderland.

My life in Chiavari, living by the seaside on the Italian Riviera, is about as far from my life in Minnesota as I could get. The sea called me and I fell in love with the undulating coast of Liguria, hugging the Mediterranean Sea. I have explored so many towns across Italy and all over Liguria. Each step I take along this path opens my eyes to the kindness of strangers, the beauty of life, the taste of the best things in the world. 

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Papardelle with wild boar sauce. Food heaven for meat eaters.

Oh, it is definitely wonderful but not without its pitfalls and aggravations. Just signing of for the Internet nearly caused an anxiety attack. Things work differently here. Some are better. Some are worse but all are the Italian way, not my way or the American way. I have surrendered control to Italy on these things. I never was good at surrendering. Now, I have learned when it is not worth the energy to fight City Hall. My life has been so much less complicated because I learned that lesson. 


In my life in the USA, I worked too long and hard to enjoy life as it is done here in Italy. I used to work 60 hours per week. I was too tired to go out much or cook well. I would pick up fast food on the way home. Here, now, I have no schedule. I cook my own meals with fresh ingredients and try so many new foods. I work as I can doing travel planning for individuals and groups, and now I have also created a Ligurian Hidden Gem Travel Experience for May 18 -26, 2023. Not only have I begun enjoying the slow life, I also enjoy slow food tourism, local artisan foods, wines, olive oil and more. I always loved these things in the US but had little time or energy to explore them. Here, I specialize in them. 

I also seek out special little locales in Liguria and across Italy. Many have the following designation:

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The Most Beautiful small towns in Italy.

I often connect my travel clients with at least one of these towns. Some, however, are actually too big to qualify for this award—they must have less than 15,000 inhabitants. My 2023 travel adventure in Liguria visits several of these plus towns as small as 80 people, on roads only a small car or smallest bus can reach. When you visit these locations you meet families who have lived in them for centuries. Their lives broaden my perspective of what life really is. I thank each person I have met in my travels in Italy, of all faiths and nations, but especially the Italians for the gifts they have shared with me. 

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A boy (man) and his dog in Tellaro on the Bay of Silence.

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Young people celebrating the Ivrea Carnevale

The visions of Italy, the ancient construction, the art of architecture, all bless me with a better understanding of creativity, ingenuity and sheer beauty of the people of the past and present.

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A back street in Cervo, Liguria which we will visit on our Specialty Liguria Experience in May

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Third century church doors in Portovenere, Liguria

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Rome and Vatican City are unforgettable.

2022 was the first year where, eventually, the Covid-19 restrictions were lifted. The pent-up demand for visiting this glorious country nearly overwhelmed us here in Italy. We were full of happy travelers exploring it the main cities and many walking off the busy streets to the hidden glens. I invite you all to return to Italy, or come for the first time. Visit the locals as well as the big cities.

There are many experienced travel planning agents and specialists out there who can assist you in finding those hidden glens as well as the best spots in the big cities. I can assist you. That’s what I do. Let me know if you would like my help to create your best plan for exploration of Italy, this little boot of heaven on earth.  Email me at Marilyn@TakeMeHomeItaly.com. Visit my website at www.TakeMeHomeItaly.com. I am on Facebook, and twitter plus at take.me.home.italy on Instagram. Please follow me for even more information about the beautiful BOOT that is Italy, Italia. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

A dopo!

Ciao for now!

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