Borgata Malpertus – be part of the project

One big thing I’ve been working on is a new site dedicated to the restoration project here at Borgata Malpertus.

This year we are looking to continue with the restoration here in the Borgata. We’d love you to come and join us either here at the blog, over at facebook or with a visit in person.

It seems like all we did over the Christmas and New Year at Borgata Malpertus is eat, and eat and eat……lot’s of delicious treats we normally wouldn’t have through the year.

Snow has been falling and the Valley looks like something from a movie, Ponte Naploleone is especially beautiful with it’s dusting of snow. When we go for walks the dog and all the cats come along with us, it’s so funny.

borgata malpertus

With our friends from Australia moving into the Valley it’s been all go here, with either us at their house or them at ours. We also had other friends staying with us for a week before they head back down to Naples. OH and then we all got sick in turn, first Luca, then Carina then me, and lastly our guest…..arghhh.

So we’re all back on deck now, the kids have returned to school after a two week break, we are living in the Apartment as it’s so warm and cosy. The Christmas tree is about to come down and it’s time to start planning for the next year.

We will be learning how to prune the apple orchard, planting the ‘orto’ (veggie gardens), raising chickens and rabbits (yep we eat them sorry), and at the end of this month we’ll be making salami the traditional way right here in the Borgata.

If you really want to experience the simple life this is the year to do it and we’d love you to stay with us and be a guest at the Loft Apartment!

We were so excited to be named winner of Italy Magazine ‘Best Living in Italy’ blog for the second year running. I would like to thank everyone that voted for us and know that this year we aim to build on all we have achieved so far.

If you’d like to connect with us and be part of the Borgata Malpertus project visit us at:

Borgata Malpertus Website
Borgata Malpertus on Facebook
Renovating Italy on Facebook
Renovating Italy Group on Facebook

If you’d like to arrange a stay here at Borgata Malpertus visit us at:

Stay with Us- be our guest at Borgata Malpertus

We love to actually ‘meet’ the people who sign up for Renovating Italy, so don’t be a stranger, come and say Ciao!

As you could imagine we get lots of emails and comments on the site and on our social media and I try to reply to everyone, that said if I don’t respond I do actually read every comment and I’m so happy to have such a great group of friends online.

Drop us a line and let us know your plans for 2016, it’s going to be a big year!!


Lisa signature 2and the gang xcomment









Move to Italy – it is possible

We made the move to Italy looking for a better life for ourselves and our children, we have never seen ourselves within somebody’s timetable.

Today on Valentines Day it seems the perfect time to recommit to all we are creating here in Italy, to each other and to our children who are the inspiration for all we hope to achieve.

We knew we wanted to do something we loved and that would be inspiring to others.

Imagine how it feels to wake up in the morning to softly falling snow outside your bedroom window, to see your world transform into something magical. Or to spend the day throwing snowballs and making snow angels with your kids.

luca snow dbl

Imagine finally finding your special place in the world and being able to share it, it is possible to move to Italy and these days easier than ever before. I think I read through every page of Living and Working in Italy: A Survival Handbook (Living & Working in Italy) before we left Australia and I still have my copy.

I’m sure you’ve heard of other people who’ve made the move to a simpler lifestyle, changing country, having a sea change and just leaving the rat race behind.

So this year I’ll be sharing with you some of the inspiration behind our move to Italy and our quest to change our lives for the better.

I know that if we can do this with limited funds, two young children in a medieval Borgata in the mountains then you can do it as well.

I’ve been putting together a guide that explains exactly how we went from the suburbs of Queensland to the Alps of Italy.

Here I am heading out with Sam and the kids, yes with a hot water bottle, carrot and cup of tea, no wonder the locals look.

DSCF6372 rsz

Just recently I had a Skype call with a couple in Australia looking to make a move to Italy with their young children. It had me see just how far we’ve come and how much we’ve learned along the way.

We chatted for some time about chasing a dream, a better life for our kids, school systems, cost of living and what it’s really like to pack up and move your entire life to the other side of the globe.

After the call all I could think about was how ‘lit up’ I was, how passionate and in love with this life we are making here in Italy even with the highs and lows I wouldn’t change a single day.

This is what I’d love to share with you along with life here in the Borgata.

We have had huge snowfalls and today it started falling again. Over a metre has been forecast for Monday, luckily it is a holiday here in Italy so we don’t have to manage getting children to school.


luca snow dbl

We are honored to have been nominated in Italy Magazine’s Blog Awards 2014 for Best Living in Italy blog. If you haven’t done already it would be wonderful if you’d take the time to vote for us by clicking here.

And we are currently in talks with House Hunters International about a ‘where are they now’ episode due to film in late March.

Thanks again for believing in us, and even more importantly , believing in yourself and your dreams.


and the gang x






Waiting for the Windows – winter is coming

‘A cold wind was blowing from the north,

and it made the trees rustle like living things…’

― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones


DSCF4936 edit rsz 2

The seasons are changing  so rapidly and we are still awaiting the arrival of our windows. We have a local man making them by hand and they are of course made to measure. Double glazed and tilting from the top, who would have thought I would be dreaming of windows…or rather the lack of windows.

As winter fast approaches and the leaves are falling, the fog rolling in, and the days getting crisp I realize just what we might be in for if we don’t get these windows put in.  That car outside our doorway was such a welcome sight, ‘the window man’ arrived to take final measurements and I think he thought us already gone a bit mad with the wildly enthusiastic greeting we gave him, I almost kissed him!

So now we wait….it’s day three of October.

In the evenings we have been watching ‘Game of Thrones’ and the line that resonates the most for me  is ‘Winter is Coming’. Now Sam and I say it to each other like a chant, as if Winter brings a hidden menace, it’s all very dramatic and medieval just like our lives here in the valley.

Each night when I go to bed I imagine I could easily be in one of those ancient looking rooms from Winterfell, the floors creak and the covers are thick heavy quilts given to us by friends. The ancient beams overhead, the bed that could have been lifted right from the set of ‘Game of Thrones’ and the knowledge that we have no real idea of what is coming, adds to the adventure of it all.

I will warn you that this show is very violent, coarse and filled with lots of bare bums and boobs….but I totally  love it.


borgata rock roof

autumn walk

autumn leaf

With the start of Autumn our orto (veggie garden) is looking a bit sad and neglected. Yesterday we collected big bags of peppers, cauliflower and the last of the green beans. Now we just need to wait for a few sunny days before picking all our fagiole beans.

They have climbed high into the trees and remind me of that famous practical joke played on April Fools day with the ‘spaghetti tree’. My Mum took me a few times to the restaurant of the same name in Melbourne and they had a fake tree with spaghetti growing from the branches in the foyer.  It looks like some odd kind of Christmas tree with the ornaments waving gently in the breeze.

I’m looking forward to those few warm days when the kids and I can get out and pick the beans, then shell them all. It’s just like I would do for my Mum when I was a child, it was always my job to shell the peas and most would end up being eaten raw. Perhaps this will be a memory our children will take with them into adulthood.

It’s mushroom season now and Sam has already tried his first ‘wild’ mushrooms which he found down on our land. We let him be guinea pig and his thoughts on deciding if they were safe to eat went like this …” I’ve asked everyone here and they all say these are edible, so I’m going to try them”. My response is we’ll try them after you’ve survived a few days with no dire consequences.

Of course right after he ate them he started having doubts which kept us up most of the night on my internet Italian chat group trying to determine exactly which mushrooms they were. Some of the comments were hysterical but with so many varied opinions he was even more worried. I’m happy to say he made it through the night and is determined to pick the rest of these mushrooms tomorrow. I think we’ll leave him to it.

orto fagiole tree

orto fagiole dbl edit rsz

orto autumn


First Snow – Winter in Italy

winter in italy

Our first Winter in Italy 

The early hours of the morning when the house is still and sleeping is my favorite time. No sounds of laughter, no calls to solve problems only Mum can solve. A sharp contrast to the relentless pace of the day to come. Checking the kids are warm and sleeping I creep down the stairs like I did as a child Christmas morning.

If I step on certain planks on the landing my peaceful time will end. The temperature has dropped to 6 degrees inside the house and my breath creates a smoke like haze, winter in Italy is just magical.

The valley view has disappeared  and the  world is white on white.

No movement. Not a breath of wind, the world has stilled for a moment and I have caught it out. Close to heaven, spiritual. Every Christmas card and more. It’s as if the clouds decided to come to earth to relax.


Winter in Italy

The kids are awake… let’s start the day.