Walking Route Around Astino Monastery, Bergamo

Close to Bergamo City, you can immerse yourself in the greens of Astino Valley. In the summer the monastery has outdoor dining and the botanical gardens are open from April to October with a farmers’ market on Sunday mornings from 10am. There is also a beautiful walk up to Città Alta (Bergamo’s upper city) with…

The Struggle to Get a Vaccine While Pregnant in Bergamo, Italy

I’d like to preface this piece by saying that every person, pregnancy and situation is different. I respect a woman’s choice in getting or not getting a vaccine in pregnancy. Embarking on our journey of trying for a baby, my husband and I knew full well that it could have extra consequences specific to the…

Honeymoon on the Tuscan Coast and Isola d’Elba

Normally when I think of Tuscany, cities like Florence and Siena spring to mind. I also think of paintings of rolling hills with vineyards and Cyprus trees. I have never given too much thought towards the Tuscan coast until I started researching somewhere we could go for our honeymoon within driving distance of Bergamo and…

Michelin Star Meal on Elba Island

Seeing as I got a lot of positive feedback from my post about what a Communion meal looks like in Italy, I thought I’d bring you along to an incredibly scrumptious meal we had at Agriturismo Sapereta on Elba Island. An agriturismo is a type of restaurant on a farm that typically serves local produce,…

San Gimignano – A Fairytale Tuscan Town

San Gimignano just keeps calling us back. I first went there with my boyfriend a few years ago for our anniversary and, as luck would have it, we stumbled upon their biggest festival. We decided there and then to come back the same festival (and anniversary) weekend the following year. When we did, he proposed!…

What an Italian Communion Meal Looks Like

If you know me or follow my blog, you’ll know that Covid cost us a wedding date in both 2020 and 2021. We had a lovely civil ceremony shortly after our original wedding date but didn’t get to celebrate with most family members and friends (yet!). The brothers who run our would-be wedding venue, Hotel…

Varenna, Lake Como: Perfect Day Trip from Milan or Bergamo

Varenna is absolutely, unashamedly a tourist trap…. and rightly so! It’s a picturesque little village full of winding narrow streets that lead down to the lakefront on Lake Como. Luckily, we got to go there as lockdown restrictions were beginning to ease here in Italy so we were able to enjoy it without the droves…

Bergamo: A Year Since We First Saw Those Trucks

A year ago today, on 18th March 2020, chilling images of Bergamo lit up people’s screens around the world and really brought the reality of the pandemic home. These images showed a seemingly endless queue of military trucks bringing the recently departed to other cities to be cremated as Bergamo’s crematorium could not keep up…

Is It Really Such a Small World?

It’s a phrase we’ve all uttered so often – “Small world!” Just a few weeks ago, my cousin who’s on the other side of the world, ended up sitting next to one of my closest friends’ sister in Melbourne. What are the odds? Two English colleagues of mine in Italy used to teach with my…

Living and Learning in Bergamo in 2020

We’ve made it to the last few days of 2020. My adopted hometown in Bergamo, Italy was largely unheard of by many people until the pandemic hit. Little did we ever think this quiet little city would have its name put on the map and its image shown on TV screens around the world. 2020…

Toy Show 2020 – Representation and Connection

This year’s Late Late Toy Show was nothing short of magical. It hit all the right notes and was just what everybody needed in the midst of a lockdown. The creators went above and beyond to make this year more special than any that have gone before it. There was much less focus on the…

To Fly or Not to Fly: Christmas 2020

To fly, or not to fly, that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of homesickness or take arms against this invisible virus… Perhaps if Shakespeare wrote Hamlet in 2020, it might have gone along these lines. As an Irishwoman abroad in Bergamo, that nagging question is…