‘The grandeur of the world is a delusion’. Francesco Borromini

In the 17th century, when Borromini wrote this statement, it was common belief that the physical world we live in is only an ephemeral precursor to the reality of heaven beyond. But Italy is somewhat of a liminal space, and with its food, art, and sun it is a country that seems closer to paradise than any other! I meander through each day with eyes wide open, trying to savour as much art, culture and gastronomy as I can. Perhaps I might say my job as an English Teacher is just a way of earning money in order to survive as a traveller, artist and writer. Every weekend I try to explore a new place, and the map below is an indication of what I’ve managed in just over a year. I happen to have a very cooperative and patient Italian boyfriend/personal chauffeur whom I must thank eternally for assisting with my cultural (and alcoholic) education in Italy.


Daily Life

I live in the Veneto, about an hour from Venice, in a small town that claims to be a city. My daily struggles include desperately trying to sleep through the 7am church bells, avoiding a particular old man who is determined to speak English to me but can only say ‘ow are you’, and resisting splashing my salary in the elegant boutiques. My daily joys are coffee, prosecco, and each time I remember I live in Italy! My working day at school doesn’t begin until after lunch, so I spend my mornings having coffee with friends, which is the only entertainment where I live. In the evenings, however, the streets are buzzing with life, and people stay in the bars until the wee hours.


While my daily life does inspire some blog posts (for example Negotiating the Cafe Culture which describes some lessons learnt the hard way) I like to write about the art, culture and history that I find on visits to other places. Sometimes i just want to wax lyrical about the beauty of a hill top village, sometimes I find myself writing about a serious political struggle, and sometimes I want to provide genuinely useful (hopefully) information about places to visit. While I am continuously frustrated by the arrogant patriotism of Italians, I have to admit that one could spend an entire lifetime just exploring this marvellously varied country. The word Italy conjures up images of rolling Tuscan Hills, the heady scent of Sicilian lemons, and the glorious feel of cool water in the baking sun. But Italy boasts terrain from snowpeaked mountains to a desert (really, it’s in Tuscany), architecture from Byzantine to thoroughly Austrian (in Trentino-Alto Adige) and nature including scorpions and flamingos. There is no way to ‘sum up’ Italy, it is simply too diverse. I have an ever growing list of new places to visit here, so the rest of the world will just have to wait for a while.


31 thoughts on “About

  1. Thanks very much for visiting Under Western Skies. I’ve seen a bit of the Veneto beyond Venice: Treviso, Vittorio Veneto (the home of my partner’s immigrant grandfather), and then farther north to Cortina and Bolzano. I look forward to reading more about your explorations.


  2. Greetings. You summed up Italy very well. I visited that charming country once and fell in love with her. Also visited Croatia a couple years ago…very similar to Italy. Keep exploring and sharing. Caio


  3. Ciao Happy to have found your blog! I love the layout, the style the content…everything! I’ve read some of your posts and I can’t wait to read more! Looking forward to following you 🙂

    Where do you live in Veneto? I’m from Padova! 🙂

    Lisa | http://www.fromdreamtoplan.net/


    1. Hey sorry I didn’t see this before, for some reason it went straight to spam! Thanks for your comment, I’ve been enjoying your blog very much too 🙂 I live near to Rovigo, so not far from Padova! I’ll send you a message next time I visit, I love going shopping there 🙂


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  6. Wow, I really loved this introduction and the quotation, congrats! I was talking about this aspect with a friend of mine and while she thinks we’re arrogant asses, I’m not SO sure about that, to be honest. I think we are very proud of our “culture” and especially the older generation tend to be stuck into the traditional mindset thinking it’s the only way to go, but I wouldn’t say we are patriotic in a political sense. Until recent times, I’ve not seen “nationalism” and people tend to say bad things about bureaucracy, politics and general organization of our country. I’ve not seen Italian people saying “Italy is the best country in the world”, quite the opposite…I always hear people saying that this country is s*it, lol. But maybe I’m wrong, it’s not easy for a native giving an impartial opinion.

    I’ve read in a previous country you’re in Rovigo! I used to go to Rosolina Mare, when I was a kid, I don’t know if you’re familiar with it. I’m from the province of Vicenza 🙂


    1. Thanks for the comment!! Yes I agree, Italians are very proud of their culture and have every right to be! Unfortunately in politics (and also economics..) Italy is in a bad moment…perhaps best not to be proud of it 😉 I am, however, a straniera that will always have a slightly rose-tinted view of Italy, love is blind eh! Yes I live near Rovigo and I’ve been to Rosolina a couple of times. Vicenza I’ve been to once for a day and seeking the opportunity to go back, it was lovely! Where are you now?


      1. Sorry for the late reply! I’m from the area of the so-called “alto vicentino”. If you come to Vicenza, let me know 😉


  7. So glad I found your blog! I’ve been trying to learn Italian for years and was just about to give up but reading the phrase “non fare il salame” in your latest post made me laugh so much that I have to pick it up again! Can’t wait to read more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello! Thanks for your message – I can’t wait to go to Sicily, and I will certainly be going there soon! Where about are you from? Is there anywhere in particular in Sicily you recommend going? Hope you’re having a great time in the UK!


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