Stepping back in time – we return to Borga Nari

It seems so surreal to be returning to Borga Nari after all these years, time stood still while we were away. Snow drifts gently onto worn rock and our children delight in the tiny flakes. Friends both old and new have welcomed us with warmth and kindness.

So now it’s time to begin creating our Simple Life here in Italy.

A place to stay, a temporary home for the Australians. The house we just bought in Bobbio Pellice has no heating, furniture and needs a quick repaint inside before we move over. In the meantime our friends offered their holiday place at Borga Nari. So we are back where we began for the time being.

The constant question is ‘why would you leave Australia for Italy?’

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Our new courtyard, woven balcony and snow soft as powder. Snowballs fly and faces flush with pink. I know in my heart that we’ve done the right thing for our family. Wilma asks me what I think of the place and my beaming excited response convinces her that yes I love it!

borga nari house wilma 2013

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Our wood delivery arrives and the rock walls absorb the warmth and radiate it back like a hug. Carina and I learn the fine art of wood stacking and the value of a roaring fire when the temperature is at zero. Sam and I walk about eyeing off the wood piles much like Homer Simpson with his donuts.

borga nari 2013 wood

borga nari 2013 orange door

Rediscovering our old home is a sweet delight I hope you enjoyed. We made it, we fought hard and long for our dream and here we are. Now the adventures really begin, little money and a lot of heart….lets see where it leads us all.

Signatureand the gang x

dare to dreamcomment


Returning to my heart

My heart

my soul

my love

my family

… back where we belong


I’d love it if you could give me some feedback on the new image size….just writing my next post and would love your thoughts. x ciao ciao lisa



Our dream Italian Village – renovation project stage one

Standing on the balcony at Borga Nari, we gaze at the long abandoned dream Italian village across the valley. It enticed us to explore. Fascinated by the way it seemed to vertically caress the mountain, we set off a number of times to find it but something always happened to stop us.

One day Carina and Sam headed off for a long walk and came back with excited stories about this amazing Borgo, punnets of raspberries from the one and only resident, and pleas for us all to immediately jump in the van and go straight back.

They were right!

I fell in love, and instantly in our hearts we knew that one day it would be returned to it’s former glory. There is no logic to such a dream, yet we know that it has been achieved by others. One day this dream Italian village will be restored.

Colletta is a stunning restored village, and I have been in love with Borgo di Vagli ever since I accidentally came across it on the web one day.

Walking through the tiny lane ways between the buildings it felt as if eyes were watching us, as if the residents had just gone for a siesta and soon the village would come to life. Our friend Aldo tells us that he went to the Scuola (school) here as a child, I long to explore the inside of the buildings and we wander about imagining how it could all be restored.


An ancient grape vine trails through the entire village supported by a rickety trellis. There is a pair of old fashioned underwear left hanging on a line strung up on a balcony. Wood is stacked neatly in every available opening which must have been cut years before.

Overgrown with weeds we watch out for snakes, the walls are so close it’s possible to touch the worn rock walls on either side. I hear music but know that’s not possible, as if these ancient buildings are welcoming us.

Yes we are in love….the dream is planted!


I’d love to hear your thoughts, do you think it possible to restore?

Have you had an impossible project come to life?

Signatureand the gang x




Sambuca and Salvatore – the bottle won


Ahhh Sambuca

During our years at Borga Nari there was one drink that became an institution for us.

It got us through some crazy times, this is a letter I wrote to friends in Australia after one such adventure.

Don’t ask, bad news I’m afraid.

Sam set off this morning after our first snow to Gambasca to get the chains for the camper van via our red Ferrari bobsled (a whole other story). So far so good. He fitted the chains and had a few practice tries on the driveway, then set off to the shops on his own (Thank God).

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He managed to make it down the mountain, got to the shops, got half way back up the mountain and the chain on one wheel broke and he started to slide out all over the place.

There was a choice of slipping over the edge of a steep mountain road or sliding into a rock wall.

He chose the wall.

By this time it’s starting to get dark, he’s been gone the whole day and I’m starting to panic  thinking who the hell can I ring and how am I going to tell them what’s wrong? Soon it’s pitch black and freezing cold outside, the phone rings and he tells me about the broken chain and that he is going to try to walk up the mountain.

Waiting, waiting, waiting, still no Sam.

Luckily someone came past that lives above us and has chains on his 4 wheel drive and bought Sam and his bottle of sambuca home! So now the camper is stuck on mountain with all our supplies and one broken chain. Sam has to try to find a car, get the van off the mountain, and get the groceries up here as we are now out of everything including nappies!!!

borga nari

Did I mention he is in a deep dark depression about the whole thing and got drunk on the Sambuca for the first time in his life and has gone to bed early not knowing what the next day is going to bring. He wasn’t cheered by my saying “Oh well at least you’re alive and the van is okay”

Hopefully things will work out, I’m sure the locals will help us out and stay tuned for the next exciting episode of “Days of our lives in Gambasca

Boy was I glad to see him walk in the door last night.

I don’t think Sam even wants to swear in Italian at the moment, he’s at the what the hell are we doing here stage! At least all the email’s cheered him up and he only has a bad headache not a full on hangover. He has set off on foot in the snow to Gambasca to try to get a bus to Saluzzo and find a car, (wearing Luca’s beanie) and dressed like a lumberjack.

Now we know why all the locals kept asking if we were ready for winter. Just didn’t expect it so soon.

He only bought one bottle of Sambuca up with him and left the other 5 bottles in the van so maybe we’ll find him blotto and frozen to the bottle????

I figure if I get really stuck for the emergency language I’ll ring his mum  and get her to call someone over here. Also hunted out my basic Italian phrase book but nothing quite sums up the situation! We also now know to keep a torch and some extra clothes in the van for long night time walks in the freezing snow.


“sing with me “

There were 6 sambuca bottles sitting on the wall,

6 sambuca bottles sitting on the wall,

and then we drank one, and now we’re really pissed….

that there’s only 5 sambuca bottles left sitting on the walllllllll.

saaaammmmmmmy the woooogg and my piss pot wife xx




The lost village – Abandoned in the Mountains

I thought tonight I would share with you all a little video from our time at Borga Nari, now you just need to bear in mind the following things

  • Big number one – this is not a professional video
  • I created this to send home to my family
  • if you wish you can forward to around 1:18 (you’ll miss our gorgeous daughter if you do)
  • I’d love it if you’d let me know your thoughts, more video, less video would you like to see inside our world?
  • continue on at your peril…..

So this clip was taken on an Autumn walk with my daughter Carina, we wandered down the trail behind the house to the stream passing the most incredible abandoned Borga which was almost totally hidden in the undergrowth.