Welcome to ‘Italy Gift Wrapped’.

“Your Italy and our Italia are not the same thing.
Italy is a soft drug peddled in predictable packages, such as hills in the sunset, olive groves, lemon trees, white wine, and raven-haired girls.
Italia, on the other hand, is a maze. It’s alluring, but complicated. It’s the kind of place that can have you fuming and then purring in the space of a hundred meters, or in the course of ten minutes. Italy is the only workshop in the world that can turn out both Botticellis and Berlusconis.”
Beppe Severgnini
Italian author of La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind.

There is something so completely captivating about Italy that long before I came here for holidays I dreamed of Italy. When I eventually arrived in the country for a holiday the dream turned into a longing until I eventually moved here for good nearly ten years ago. I now live in Italia and cannot imagine living, or even wanting to be, anywhere else. My thirst for knowledge about this beautiful country has led me down a path full of adventures, most of them hilarious, many frustrating, some rather bewildering and others totally incomprehensible. In our house now these so-called adventures are generally referred to as ‘Italian Moments’.

‘Italy Gift Wrapped’ is ‘The Italian Shop’ blog and is for all of you who come from Italy, have Italy in your blood, have been to Italy, or purely have Italy deep inside your heart for no apparent reason.

The aim is to give you glimpses of Italy in little packages – photographs of Italy, articles about Italy with its beautiful cities, breath-taking scenery, stunning coastline, architecture, art and history. Alongside this there will also be a lot of general information about this wonderful country,  its traditions, artisans, food, wine and unique people. From time to time I will throw in snippets about real life in Italia (those ‘Italian Moments’), from its minefield of rules and regulations (or lack of… or bending of… ) to the warm, tactile and friendly people.

Life here is chaotic, unpredictable, noisy and energetic, but at the same time, it is somehow slow, peaceful, happy and totally fulfilling and I am looking forward to sharing it with you.