“Life offers you a thousand chances… all you have to do is take one.”
Frances Mayes (Under the Tuscan Sun)
Insights of a local living in Tuscany
Who hasn’t read or watch the movie “Under the Tuscan sun” ?
Frances Mayes’ book has made Tuscany even more popular than what it used to be, reinforcing the cliché of a lovingly countryside region where the sun always shines.
I rode the book years ago because I was curious to learn how foreigners perceive my Region and why they love it so much. Sometimes you need to travel far away to understand how much beauty surrounds you everyday and starts to question yourself “How come that an American chooses my Country to live and I chose to run away from it?”. Good question.
I believe the answer lies in our natural inclination to run away from problems believing that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence (in this article I tell you why this is not entirely true!).
I was born and grew up in Tuscany, though my family was originally from Milan, so I never really felt my roots there.
I decided to leave immediately after school, moving to Milan first and then abroad for few years (Read about my experiences in Dropping everything to move abroad) but finally returned to my small village under the Tuscan sun.
Because only when you are far away from Home you are able to understand where your roots are, or at least this is what happened to me.
9 years later I am proud of that decision and wouldn’t live anywhere else because here I feel like living always on a holiday.
I must confess it has not been always a piece of cake to get used to the Italian lifestyle again, especially after experiencing the efficiency and perfect organization of a Country like Australia (read more about my experience in Expat in Australia). I struggled to find a way to sustain myself during the terrible economic crisis that hit Italy and is not completely over yet, changing from a job to another before finally creating my own job opportunity. Yet, I made it, thanks to my stubborness and a pinch of creativity 🙂
My difficult times have been fully repaid by the quality of life I can enjoy every day being at Home.
How to live the life of your dreams?
If you were offered to live the life of your dream feeling like being always on a holiday, the first image that probably would come up to your mind is that of a digital nomad, the most sought-after job nowadays.
I honestly believe that it is possible to feel always on a holiday also if you are a permanent resident able to fully enjoy all the infinite possibilities that surround you. This is something I’ve learnt while living abroad because when you are away from Home and you are not sure of how long you are going to stay in a Country, you naturally feel the urge to enjoy every single moment as if it was your last one.
But “being on holiday” doesn’t necessarily imply to take a flight or travel to some exotic destination.
To me “travelling” means exploration, relax, have fun. I am lucky enough that where I live none of the above is missing 🙂
How is that possible? Just step out of your daily routine longing for the weekends to have a break from work. Each day you can find the time for yourself to do some sport, attend a cultural event or explore a new destination both close or far from home.
You can live each day as if you were on a holiday!
My place Under the Tuscan Sun: the Lunigiana region
Where exactly is this place under the Tuscan sun?
Mine is called Lunigiana, an historic area in Northern Tuscany, at the border with Parma Region and the Cinque Terre. A territory that has represented for centuries a gateway to Tuscany and the Ligurian Coast, crossed by historic routes like the Via Francigena and the Holy Face, embraced by the mountain ranges of the Apennine National Park (Unesco Man & Biosphere Reserve) and the Unesco Geopark of the Apuan Alps.
I consider Lunigiana the world belly, offering everything I love at hand: incredible landscapes, nature and authentic slow pace of living.
Living in this priviliged area, allows me to reach in a very short time both the mountains, where I like to go hiking, beautiful beaches, fairy-tale medieval villages or the gorgeous Tuscan art cities.
I am very lucky to do a job that I love, working to promote responsible and adventure travel in my Region, so why should I desire to live anywhere else but here? I live the life of my dreams and couldn’t ask for more.