Why I write about Italy

write about italy

Yes I love to write about Italy, she is my passion and I love to share her with you here.

Sitting in the sun at my favorite cafe dreaming of Italy and flicking through a magazine I had to laugh at myself.

A fashion shoot of a beautiful pale girl in an abandoned building and I was thinking that it wouldn’t take much to get that wallpaper off, and how beautiful the floorboards would be stripped back and re polished. I could vividly describe to you the pattern of the wallpaper, high ceilings and elegant stairway yet couldn’t tell you a single thing the girl was wearing.

I come from a family of women who carry tape measures in their handbags. Notebooks filled with little sketches of furniture and measurements. Who navigate by what the house looks like on the relevant corner…the one with the picture windows, the one with the gorgeous picket fence. The women in my family know exactly the house I am talking about, and usually tell me to take the next left and have a look at the house with the sunflowers peeking over the fence.

I have a passion that must be genetic, I can’t walk down the street without mentally revamping each house I pass. Heaven help you if you get my Mum along, she is often tempted to put a little note in the letter box saying how well a change of color would set off the garden. That’s her painting at our first home, see it runs in the family.

It is the women in my family who are the renovators, the ones with vision and an eye for detail. The ones who feel the life of a house, draw it forth once more.

I knew as soon as my hand lingered over worn rock, felt the heart captured in timeless ancient buildings that I belonged to Italy.

Ever since I was a child swinging in the park with my best friend Carolyn I have wanted to venture forth. I was the first of our family to travel abroad and suddenly the whole world opened up. I traveled though Europe, England, America and parts of Asia, yet it was always Italy that filled my heart.

The art, the history, the people and of course the architecture picked me up, whirled me around and gave me passionate kisses on each cheek.

It felt as if I had come home, as if I had never left.

My heart now belongs not only to Italy but to an Italian man, he is my soul. Our children speak with their hands, and live straight from the heart. Even I am often surprised by their beauty, the very Italianess of them. Italy gave me a gift, one I treasure and one I share with you. Now I love to write about Italy.

Yes I write about Italy. She is my passion, and I long to be in her company once more.

Other Voices from the Italy Blogging Roundtable

Celebrating the first anniversary of the Italy Roundtable. Alexandra, Gloria, Melanie, Rebecca and Jessica have extend an invitation. This month, not only is the Italy Roundtable topic INVITATIONS, they’re inviting anyone who wants to participate to blog about one of the past year’s Roundtable topics. The invitation details can be found here.


15 replies
  1. Lisa Chiodo
    Lisa Chiodo says:

    She does rather blend in doesn’t she Trisha, I think the title was something about a whiter shade of pale. I am going to just have the camera going non stop once we get back. And the great thing now is that both our children love using the camera and have a gift of unique vision. My Mum bought us all up as my Dad died very suddenly when I was 4, she always redecorated every house we lived in and I track my childhood often by the wallpaper in my room. She is an incredibly strong woman! ciao love lisa x
    Lisa Chiodo recently posted..Kreative Blogger Award – Sharing and CaringMy Profile

  2. Trisha Thomas
    Trisha Thomas says:

    Another lovely post Lisa. Thank Goodness you were noticing the wallpaper and the floorboards instead of that ghostly looking, anorexic model! What a wonderful passion for renovating you have in your genes. I am so curious to see the eventual photos I hope you will post on the results of your renovation in Italy (no hurry, of course). I love the photo of your Mom painting and your kids are gorgeous. Ciao, Trisha
    Trisha Thomas recently posted..Italy’s Gentle Giant with a Killer KickMy Profile

  3. Lisa Wood
    Lisa Wood says:

    I love how you find your destination by your houses! I do the same thing…find places/destinations of where I need to be by looking at the local land marks – be it shops or funny letter boxes, or garden beds 🙂
    I love that you write about Italy and that I am able to share a bit of your passion by coming here to read your posts!

    Lisa xx
    Lisa Wood recently posted..Learning To Accept And Be More GratefulMy Profile

    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      Funny aren’t we Lisa, hubby navigates by the map or memory, he doesn’t need to turn it upside down to figure out which way to go either!! I think women are just more visual and notice the little things. Speaking of passion your post on the lady who went to Africa was full to the brim with it! How courageous you all are constantly moving into new surroundings and just finding your own special place in the world. I love following along on the virtual bus!!

  4. Katja
    Katja says:

    Our children speak with their hands, and live straight from the heart.

    Oh, how I loved this line! It describes so well the Italian way of being.

    I think it’s probably a failing of the fashion stylist, rather than anything else, that you didn’t notice the clothes. I’m neither a fashionista nor a renovation fiend, but I do love photography, so what I noticed about the pictures was how washed out they are. 😉 Give me a good bold streak of colour any day …
    Katja recently posted..Why I write about ItalyMy Profile

    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      It seems that everyone was unimpressed with the styling of the model Katja, but I do flick through fashion magazines and look for the “home” or “travel” sections. I also just love photography and that was how I met my husband, we were both studying it. Our children are just my joy and I love seeing them develop each day! ciao lisa x
      Lisa Chiodo recently posted..Kreative Blogger Award – Sharing and CaringMy Profile

  5. Caterina B
    Caterina B says:

    I love that you were focused on wallpaper even when you were a child. Who knows what will strike a child’s fancy?
    My “thing” that I always do is to analyze a house and critique where the sun will fall on it. I have an acquaintance who proudly showed me her new home under construction and I had to bite my tongue not to tell her that she would have NO sun in the kitchen or living room (they were both on the North and blocked by a large garage from morning sun) and that her master bedroom would be hot and sunny until late on summer evenings. I still have not dared to ask her about that now that the house is finished ( but…a house is NEVER finished, is it?) I just thought of something…because you are South of the Equator, in Australia the sunny side of a house IS the North, right? Wow! That seems strange. Is that so? I am such a nut about sunshine and orientation to the sun.

    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      Isn’t that so true Caterina, there was a house in Italy on the opposite side of the valley to us which I just loved but it never got any sunlight. It is hard to bite your tongue and I often do it with paint colors, another one that depends so much on the light. Yes in Australia it is usual to have the most used rooms on the North facing side of the house. The house we are in at the moment also has internal louvered windows on the main bedroom wall which open to let the breeze flow straight through the house. Houses in Queensland often have wide verandahs as well as being raised from the ground for airflow. See I notice these things as well LOL! ciao lisa

  6. Janine
    Janine says:

    Where to begin Lisa…. I think you know how kindred we are. I even gave my little girl a keyring tape measure for Christmas! And when you say you are in awe of your childrens’ beauty it is their italianess you see. Inside and out. I just know that so well. Share share share your passion! It does me such good for one! Italy is the natural home of the creative soul and the free spirit! You (and me I hope) are meant to be there. You will. Soon. And it will be beautiful!

    Janine xx
    Janine recently posted..The art of consolationMy Profile

    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      Oh yes Janine we are so meant to be there! How funny that you gave your little girl a tape measure, aren’t they just a joy!! Carina is so like my husband all drama and passion and Luca is more like me calm and tranquil! We all seem to balance each other out perfectly! Keep sharing that passion of yours as well bella! x
      Lisa Chiodo recently posted..Finding your Inner Compass My Profile

  7. Cathy
    Cathy says:

    Lisa, this post is so beautiful. I think we are slightly different because I probably would have honed into what the girl was wearing rather than her surroundings. You would get along so well with my mother-in-law. She is just like you. I think it is so lovely how you share your passion for Italy in your blog.
    Cathy recently posted..Fresh pastaMy Profile

    • Lisa Chiodo
      Lisa Chiodo says:

      I know I am in the minority when it comes to all things fashion. The one thing I noticed about the clothes was the price tag, I’d happily spend the money on photography books. I remember going to the movies as a child with my Mum and she would talk about the wallpaper especially as she worked in a store that sold them for many years. Once I started working for the same firm we would both be spotting the Clunnies Ross or the Liberty prints, the Laura Ashley and William Morris….who knew what the movie was about. I think it’s just something that runs in the family, all my Aunts are the same. I would be just lost without my blog and the wonderful friends I’ve made through writing!!! xxx love lisa


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  1. […] the Write Way” about being inspired by her Italian origins, and the funny one by Lisa Choido at Renovating Italy who writes out of passion. Cathy from An Italophile reminisces about her first visit to Pitigliano […]

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