move to italy checklist

Create your Move to Italy Checklist

your italy checklist

Why you need a Move to Italy Checklist

If you are planning a move to Italy then creating your own Move to Italy Checklist is a Must!

I have always thought of myself as a forgetful person.

As a child I’d be sent to the local milk bar with a list of things to buy only to return shortly after having forgotten to take the list.

One time I actually got out of the car at our sons daycare, got right up to the door before noticing I’d forgotten him. Luckily my husband was in the car laughing and waiting to see how long it would be before I came back to get him.

Moving overseas forced me to change.

Our first time moving to Italy I was in charge of organizing the house, packing, arranging our wedding, passports, having a garage sale, booking venues, and keeping track of everything.

Having moved from Australia to Italy twice now I thought I’d share a few unforeseen things I wish I had put on my Move to Italy Checklist before boarding that plane.

Not on my Move to Italy Checklist

Leaving for Italy also meant leaving behind my Mum who is now in her eighties. Even though close friends advised me to talk with her about power of attorney I kept putting off the conversation. Just the idea had me tied up in knots, I knew it was something that needed to be organized before we left but it was the one conversation I ended up not having and later deeply regretting.

A short while after arriving in Italy my Mum had to go to hospital, she ended up in a rehabilitation center. She seemed to be in rehab for such a long time, she couldn’t understand why she wasn’t allowed to go home. Conversations with my other family members finally got heated and I ended up calling the social worker at the hospital and having to fly home (four months after arriving in Italy) for a court hearing to award guardianship of my Mum.

I never saw that coming.

If only I had approached the conversation of power of attorney before we left this awful situation would have been averted. If you are leaving aging parents behind think about what would happen to them once you leave the country, have those difficult conversations with family members before you leave and get everything in place legally before departing.

Move to Italy Checklist – schooling for our children.

We arrived in Italy in late March, the school year started in June. As we didn’t have a residential address we couldn’t book our children into school. We were commuting back and forth between our accommodation and the house we had bought (yes doing renovations before moving in). Turned out we couldn’t book schools even though we had bought the house unless we were living in the house. Who Knew?

So the kids ended up missing the June starting date and eventually began school in September which is the start of the school year here in Italy.

They were very happy, we were not quite as happy.

One last Thing

One funny thing that I didn’t anticipate was organizing a passport photo for our son Luca. At the time he was just turning eight, we had to go to our local post office to have the paperwork finalized and get passport photos taken. Our son Luca has high functioning autism and no matter how many times the lady took his photo she couldn’t get him to not smile.

Every time she pointed the camera at him he gave her a huge beaming smile, we ended up having to return twice before getting a photo that she thought would be accepted.

I still have all the photos the Post Office rejected, they always make me smile.

So our advise would be:

To take a deep breath, let go of all the worries and stress and create your Move to Italy Checklist, put it on paper and be kind to yourself.

Moving Country doesn’t need to be stressful.

We did most of the things on our checklist including moving from Queensland to Melbourne, putting our house up for sale, oh and we organized our wedding, Luca’s christening and a going away party as well.

What did you forget to do when moving overseas?


and the gang x




italian dream

The Italian Dream – a change is gonna come

 ‘Maybe one day we’ll find the place where our dream and reality meet’


Winter is on it’s way with temperatures dropping down to one degree (that’s celsius ) outside. The italian dream is getting cold. Last week we had our first heavy snow, making us realize that the pathetic efforts we have been making just won’t be enough. We need proper snow shoes, more wood and I could really use some fleecy pants instead of jeans.

We are on a big learning curve, and I had to laugh at Claudio pulling me aside and showing me how to actually stack firewood. I thought I was doing very well packing it as tight as I could only to find out that wet wood needs lots of air space to dry out. We stacked three truck loads with more to come so I will be getting plenty of practice.

We moved the kids into the main part of the house last Saturday afternoon, bigger warmer and plenty of room to play without freezing. Heat is a premium here and the size of your stack of wood is all that counts. I feel a bit like Homer Simpson when he obsesses about donuts. Hmmmmmm Wood!

Moving to Italy was always about ‘family’ and regrouping ours, a chance to bring us closer together. Some days I wonder when that will happen other days I get just a little glimpse of this italian dream. We are certainly not the Brady Bunch, a little bit dysfunctional with a good dollop of feisty thrown in mainly by Carina.

Everyday I doubt myself in some way, as a Mum, Wife, writer, blogger, and Aussie woman living in the mountains of Italy. I doubt that I am alone, in fact I know I am not. It’s not just a female thing either it seems to be a life thing.

The best thing is that each day I get to start all over, create from nothing and try to reign in my ‘Bitch Troll from Hell’ side (well that’s what I tell myself). Perhaps it’s a change of life in more ways than one, lucky Sam will get his wife and his daughter spinning heads at the same time  ha!

In the meantime I’m back to passing nails, holding ladders and finding missing power tools. We have to get the house totally sealed before it snows again.

Although it doesn’t look it in these photos it’s almost freezing…..just stepping from the house has the chill factor biting at your nose and sending your fingers and toes to near hypothermia. Today it was so cold I felt as if my fingers were burning, our neighbor Maximo laughing as he walked past tells us we have no idea what we’re in for……

moving to italy

house porch 2

Winter in Italy means removing the old plastic roof and replacing it with polycarbon sheeting, brown on one half and clear on the other to utilize the light. Just below the small window is a drop of around two meters, I suggest it would be the perfect spot to put the kids.

Removing the chicken wire and actually peering down we found it’s the ideal spot for Carina to throw chocolate wrappers from her window thinking we’ll never find them. Sprung again!

We’ve replaced some of the concrete and cut a step into the entrance to make it easier to come through the doorway. The terracotta bricks are to go just under the roofing to seal the walls and will then be rendered over to match. Apologies no photo of the finished result the weather just got beyond us so we packed up and came inside to thaw out in front of the fire.

house porch 3

house porch dbl

house porch 4

house porch 5

winter montage 2013

A few family photos from our week, I especially love the tape measure tights!

So how are things where you are right now, all good or BTFH? x

do you have an italian dream x


italian dream

What is it about the Italian Dream?

Italian Dream

‘Italy is a dream that keeps returning for the rest of your life

Anna Akhmatova

It’s there instantly, the flash and widening of  the eyes, pupils dilate. The slight movement towards me almost imperceptible unless you watch for it. At the service station filling up with petrol, at the supermarket chatting to the person waiting behind me….everyone I meet!

It’s the recognition of a dream….an Italian Dream

We’re moving to Italy, we bought an old house in the mountains to renovate.

It only takes those few words and the dreams pour out, a long held dream to travel the world, to see the sights and taste the life seen only in movies. The myth of  “Under the Tuscan Sun” is savored, that gorgeous guy from the movie “Eat Pray Love” is drooled over  then compared to the reality of current partners who may not be quite so romantic.

What hope do our men have, really?

For as long as I can remember I wanted to travel the world.

As a child I dreamed big, a pirate Princess in search of treasure, an acrobat in the circus flying high without a net. Dreaming big, is something we all do, mostly when we are children.  So when did we start to dream safely, or not at all?

Curious nature, art lover, gypsy soul, fascinated by people, an avid reader, adventure, challenge, new language, new people and new culture…I crave these things.

Who knows why, maybe just in my blood…my brother never left Australia and only left the state to see car races in Queensland….who knows? I bet my Grandmother had a dream…my Great Grandmother (who is the woman in the photo above), what were her dreams?

Now her great, great grand daughter is on her second passport and has seen more of the world than all of the women in my family…

Most only just dream. I want to be sure in my final years I didn’t say “I wish”, or “I should’ve done” no matter what the dream is I plan to fulfill it!

My Italian Dream will come true.

It’s the same for coming to Italy, it is my dream.

I could never live happily in one place forever, the world is just too wonderful to miss.

You only ever get one life, so don’t be afraid to Dream Big and pursue your dream.

How about you, what is your Dream?

Could it be an Italian Dream?

and the gang x




Living the Italian dream – Your new home is waiting

‘Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined’

Henry David Thoreau

Yes, we are moving to Italy! No we haven’t sold our house yet… everyone seems to be asking us when we are leaving and I have to say I don’t know! We have been planning and working towards this now for some time, we own a property in Liguria that we can’t get to just yet… incredibly frustrating? Yes you could say that!

But still my heart beats in time to the words Italia Italia Italia, I can think of nothing else.
The Italian Dream

So I admit to being in the doldrums briefly, but here I am bouncing back. Yesterday we took our house off the market, time to come up with a new strategy. We will give it a few weeks and then remarket the property, if it doesn’t sell we’ll put it up again early in the New Year and go from there. Unless of course we can come up with something funky (don’t put it past us we’ve done it before).

I am longing to climb those tiny pathways to our house in Veravo, to stand on that terrace and breathe in the entire valley. To hear the sound of our childrens laughter as they race around from room to room and climb the terraced gardens. My daughter already has plans for a goat, chickens, and a big veggie garden so she can help Daddy with the cooking. Our Italian dream about to come true.

This heavy stone building that is centuries old already holds me tight. It’s arched stairways, vaulted ceilings, thick walls and solid doors are in my dreams each night. I imagine the families that have lived here before us and smile. The beach is only a few kilometres away, yet we are surrounded by green valleys and towering mountains.

Our new neighbors in this little group of  villages are Colletta, Oresine,  Vesallo, Teccio, and Cianea each one unique, with Colletta having been totally restored. The entire village was in a state of abandon when an Italian developer saw the potential and restored it fully. I love hearing about those who have turned the Italian dream into reality.

There are around seventy apartments, some available for rent or to buy, all stunning. The medieval village of Colletta is home to a thriving community with an Art Gallery, Restaurant, Concerts, and Festivals. My husband has already been over to introduce himself, he makes friends easily.

images of Colletta  One off Places

As for Veravo we are yet to become part of the local scene, I hear dogs barking and some children playing in the footage Salvatore bought back to Australia but the streets are abandoned.

Luckily we seem to thrive on uncertainty… oh and dreams!

Yes ours are alive and kicking furiously.

ciao Lisa

Life’s Postcards

Related Links:

  • Colletta, Castelbianco Liguria
  • Our friend Anna who is an expert on all things Liguria at Beautiful Liguria

Lets go and live in Italy…

When Sam said let’s go and live in Italy way back in 2004, I had an instant vision of rolling Tuscan hills and strolls around Florence with our perfectly presented children. Enjoying gelato and café and taking in the delights of the Italy I fell in love with during my single backpacking days.

Of course I said “Why not?” So within months we had sold our house, car, and the majority of our possessions, arranged our wedding, celebrated both of our children’s birthdays, Christened our son Luca, moved back from Queensland to Melbourne to celebrate all of the above and boarded the plane with no idea where we would end up just that we would be in Italia.

This image of Italy (that we had stuck on our fridge door along with the latest artwork from our kids) got us all onto that plane. For Sam and the kids it was the first time out of Australia. The journey to Italy really began with Sams dream to take his parents back to Calabria and Sicily, to find the homes where they were born and walk the donkey tracks he heard about from his Papa.

Our life together has mainly been separated into Aussie and Italian family gatherings with the two worlds joining together only a few times. Our trip to Italy was my chance to step directly into the lives of my beautiful Italian family, for our children to stand where their Nona and Nonno grew up.

live in italy

I wanted our children to experience their Italian heritage first hand. We did all that and so much more in the two years we lived in our farmhouse in the mountains.

..Viva Italia!

If you want to go and Live in Italy just do it x

Signatureand the gang x