Meeting My Tribe In Italy

As we go about our usual lives it is rare to meet other people that have the same interests and passions especially when they  are niche.

When I first became unusually and irrationally obsessed with Italy and all things Italian I felt very alone with that. No one around me could understand my desire to return year after year to Italy. I couldn’t even bring myself to tell anyone how I thought about my upcoming trip from waking in the morning until going to sleep at night. I would’ve been mortified to tell anyone that I booked to go to every film at the Italian film festival. …and that I had watched every episode of Commissario Montalbano at least three times. My mystified husband patiently came with me to help when I volunteered at the annual Italian festa, year after year. I’m sure people were rolling their eyes when I joined Slow Food and arranged Italian themed events. My parents and siblings patiently endured my naming everything in Italian at family gatherings. I would even go so far as to buy a new item of clothing I spotted just because it had a made in Italy tag!

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Going to Italian language classes was the turning point. As it turned out this was the beginning of meeting some of my tribe.It was there I found other people that watched Montalbano, others that went to the film festival, others that returned to Italy whenever they could travel rather than trying other places. It was also through the language school that I met my first blogger about Italy.

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Annmarie, the lovely writer of https://myhilltoptownitaly.wordpress.com/  attended a meeting one day and we got chatting. Through lots of nice chats and messages to come I ended up visiting her picturesque village in Le Marche one year. I stayed in a gorgeous apartment there for a week or two. It was such a dream to see what she wrote about and to get to see what her life looks like when she is in Italy. She kindly picked me up from the bus, took me out to eat, and drink (spritzes), showed me around the village and the market, took me on outings to several other villages and the beach and even arranged a birthday dinner for me on my last night there. I could never repay her for all her kindnesses. She is a solid advocate for Italians and their way of life and writes beautifully about her experiences.

One of the very first blogs I started following about 4 years ago was  https://prayersandpiazzas.com/ so it was a great pleasure for me to meet the writer Stacy di Anna Pollard in Rome last year. It was very special for me to meet a kindred spirit and I felt so connected to her so quickly. She had been in Italy for several months when I met with her and had been attending a language course (although her Italian is far superior to any utterance I could make, so I just had to not say any Italian in front of her. 🙂  We passed an hour and a half in minutes talking about where we had been, where we were going and what our experiences had been. What really cemented my adoration was Stacy’s honest and accurate assessments of her experiences, not sugar coated but real and insightful.

The third blogger I also had the pleasure to meet last year was Penny Barron. http://molisematters.blogspot.com/.She is living in Molise and very passionate about increasing tourism there and in particular she is very keen to build interest in the transumance routes that run through Molise. She teaches English, music and art to children and is busy making a fairy garden for all to enjoy. Penny is inspirational to talk to about moving from the UK to Italy, making her home in Molise and the ups and downs of her interactions with locals as she attempts to progress her plans, ideas and dreams.

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