When Lisa and Tony Castrignano boarded their flight in Boston this past September to start a new life in Italy, they also had their two dogs and two cats in tow. "We never considered leaving our pets in the States," says Lisa. The couple...
The first thing you notice is the calming scent of lavender. It hangs faintly on the air everywhere, in the garden and in the house. That’s not surprising; the eco-lodge is named for the lavender that owners Elizabeth Perkins and Hans Groot grow on their farm amid a patchwork of rolling hills in Le Marche, between the mountains and the sea.
Your morning begins with a frothy cappuccino and a fresh-baked cornetto at the café just a few steps from your stylish loft apartment. A chat with the other regulars and a glance at the newspaper ease you into the day. Then you make your way through the weekly mercato to select ripe...
With the heady fragrance of fresh truffle wafting from the kitchen, my mouth waters as I await the plate of handmade tagliolini pasta that will soon be coming my way, while sunlight filters onto the patio. It’s easy to think that this is the perfect Italian hill town. But then, there are so many to choose from.
The geographic heart of Italy is Umbria, which is smack in the center of the peninsula. It is also called the “green heart of Italy” for its agricultural heritage, its forests, and its verdant hills of olives and vines. Umbria shares a lot with its neighboring regions of Tuscany and Le Marche—the same picturesque landscape, brick-built hill towns, and similar cuisine.
I remember the moment when the thought of moving to Italy first embedded itself in my head. My husband and I already loved the country after several trips there—but hadn’t considered anything beyond a few weeks’ vacation. We were in the lovely seaside town of Sperlonga, south of Rome, meandering along the delightful, squiggly lanes, when suddenly we walked into a small piazza, and a picture-perfect scene of daily life played out in about one minute.
Sitting at a cliff-side table overlooking the white-washed old town of Polignano a Mare, my husband Bryan and I marvel at how it manages to stay on its rock and not slide into the water below.
With so much coastline, Puglia has plenty of seafront towns to choose among. Many are seasonal small towns that serve sun-seekers who come in the summer.
The Italian lifestyle is undeniably alluring. A nation that puts emphasis on good food, human interaction, and simple pleasures is definitely doing something right. That’s what drew my husband Bryan and me in, along with gorgeous landscapes, historic sights, and the slow pace of life.
The Romans loved to lounge in hot water, so it’s no surprise that Italy today is littered with the remains of ancient bath complexes and mosaic-covered pools. One of their most revered respites was Saturnia, in modern Tuscany. Roman mythology says that Saturn, the wielder of lightning, threw down one of his bolts here and caused the hot water to ﬂow. It hasn’t stopped since.