My name is Amy. I’m a wife, mother, animal lover, American expat, travel destination blogger, substitute teacher and — as of 2021 — a re-entry college student at the Università di Pisa. Let’s just say that I wear many, many hats.
So you might be wondering what makes me an insider in the Cinque Terre. In a nutshell I’d say it’s because I’ve been living here and an active part of the community for over 18 years. I’m also married to a local riomaggiorese. But wait — let me rewind a bit.
After graduating from college I came to Italy to discover its wonders, beauty and people. I traveled the country for three months all by my lonesome. It was an amazing, intense, and unforgettable experience. I went back to the States to start the rest of my life but the Italy bug had bit me. Hard. I knew something was amiss when I started feeling homesick for Italy.
Just a few months later I took the plunge and moved to Italy in January of 2003. Friends and family back home thought that I had lost my mind — and in hindsight, maybe they were right? We all know how intoxicating Italy can be. I came back to the Cinque Terre as it was one of my two favorite places from my Italian travels. I really didn’t expect to settle here as it’s such a tiny place; I thought it would be impossible to find work and a place to live. But the Cinque Terre had something else in mind for me. A job and a teeny-tiny apartment in Riomaggiore and (eventually) an Italian husband awaited me.
People oftentimes assume that I met my husband first and then moved to Italy. The truth of the matter is that first I fell in love with Italy and then with my husband (I met him four months after moving here). In the years to follow we added multiple pets and two little tornadoes (two boys, currently 6 and 10) to the mix. Our cups are filled to the brim, as is our apartment. When I step back I realize just how lucky we are. We live in a place that most consider paradise.
I’ve had a 20+ year love affair with Italy — and more specifically, with the Cinque Terre.
As in every relationship, we have our ups and downs, our trials and our triumphs. But the best part is that no matter how bad it might be, we always kiss and make up (one kiss on each cheek, mind you).
I’ve created this blog to share an honest, insider take on the Cinque Terre. Not just things to see and do and glossy photos (because it really is that beautiful here). While those things are great (and don’t worry, I’ll give you plenty of eye candy), sometimes you need to know what’s going on behind the scenes on a local level to help better understand the culture and mindset.