Having quit a successful career in interior design, together with my husband, I escaped the 24/7 work-a-day slog to make ends meet and balance the books, sold possessions and jumped on a plane to Italy. Landing in Italy with a couple of suitcases, we had no idea what we would do, no idea we would make Italy our home for 23 years and even less idea that our love of Italy and Italians would become a passion we wanted to share. But we did immediately know Italy was where we were meant to be. In one giant leap I stepped away from the stranglehold of who I had been for decades, overcame grief and adversity, and, armed with no money, but with hopes and dreams, and buckets of determination, reinvented myself, creating an exciting future.
Our passion for Italy led us into travel and tourism and for 23 years we lived, learned and shared our passion with travellers from USA, Australia and New Zealand, earning constant repeat travellers and an ever widening international following of clients who wanted to learn in more depth about the Art of Loving Everything Italian, to hear more of my fabulous stories, and to discover their own passion for Italy.
During those transformational decades I wrote three books about Italy: Vanilla Beans & Brodo was the first, then Bel Vino, and finally, The Terracotta Madonna – all on Amazon. Following publication in various languages, including Chinese, and wide recognition, I became an ambassador for my village in Tuscany, Montalcino, leading campaigns world wide to save a crumbling 1,000 year old monument, which we did, and then to save a garden from becoming a car park – also accomplished! It was a tremendous thrill to receive a Citation from the Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, Florida, following a month long fundraising tour in USA, in recognition of my community work, and it was a proud and satisfying moment to receive, as a foreigner who had come to live in the village, from the Mayor of Montalcino, Tuscany, a Citation award for services to my own loved small community and Quartiere Pianello in the hills of Tuscany.
After 23 awesome years living in a medieval village in Tuscany, my husband was forced to step back from physically sharing our passion for everything Italian. By now an expert on Italy, a successful business woman, international public speaker, published author, tour leader, travel host and expert story teller, I seamlessly took over Footsteps in Italy with the motto :
The Art of Loving Everything Italian.
I continue to develop, design and lead tours all over the Italy I love so dearly, as well as France, Croatia and Morocco, often taking small groups to live with me for a week in Montalcino, the village I settled in with my husband 23 years ago. I continue to travel all over the world as a public speaker, inspiring and motivating others to reach their potential, no matter the obstacles.
My mission is to inspire and motivate others to settle for nothing less than their dreams, to reach a position of personal strength, to love and discover Italy and Italians at a deeper level, and, following in my footsteps, to find and live for themselves the coveted and dreamed of Italian lifestyle.