Happy Blogiversary Ciao Amalfi!



Throw your dreams into space like a kite
and you do not know what it will bring back,
a new life, a new friend, a new love,
a new country. – Anais Nin


One year ago I started my blog with this hopeful and honest post featuring the above quotation by Anais Nin. After throwing my dreams way out there over and over again during the past year, I have indeed met many new friends, created a new life for myself as a freelance writer and fallen in love all over again with the Amalfi Coast. It has been quite a year! I want to express my gratitude to my dedicated readers, many of whom have become cherished friends, and to those who have helped me so much along the way. Every day I am reminded in one way or another just how happy I am that I started Ciao Amalfi!


To celebrate the one year blogiversary of Ciao Amalfi, I want to give you all a peek behind the scenes about some upcoming changes here. I am in the process of redesigning the blog with a new domain name, and I hope to launch the fun new layout later this month. Since I don’t know at all what I am doing (don’t worry… I’m an expert at not knowing what I’m doing…) there might be a few bumpy moments as things get transferred and redesigned. I will be expanding and reorganizing my links during this time as well. Please feel free to contact me at ciao.amalfi@gmail.com if you have any comments, suggestions or links you would like to share. During the redesign process my regular features like Tempting Tuesdays and Sunday Shout-outs will be on hold. But don’t you worry, regular posts will keep on coming!


Happy Blogiversary Ciao Amalfi!!

Sunday Shout-out: Sicily Scene

It’s Sunday and time to introduce you all to another one of my favorite reads in the Italian blogosphere. We’re still down in Sicily, which is a part of Italy I’m eager to explore some day. In the meantime, I love learning about life in Sicily and its customs, traditions, food and beautiful landscape. One of the blogs that covers all these things is Sicily Scene – “Sicilian life, good and bad, as seen by ‘Welshcakes Limoncello’, a British woman who emigrated to the island in 2005. You’ll find some recipes here, too.”  Let me introduce you to Pat Eggleton, aka Welshcakes Limoncello, who blogs from the beautiful town of Modica in southeastern Sicily where she works as a writer, language teacher and linguist. Here’s Pat with her impossibly cute dog Simi:


Pat and Simi


Simi the Sicilian Dog

Simone the Sicilian Dog


Many of you might have noticed Pat has recently started writing articles on the Italy Magazine website. I love her insight and sense of humor! Many congrats to Pat for her new column on Italy Magazine called Patti Chiari. Head on over there to read her story about a lifelong love of Italy and her adventurous move from Wales to Sicily with Simi and 6,000 books. This is a woman after my own heart!


Stop by Sicily Scene  or Italy Magazine to say “ciao” to Pat. Or visit her on Twitter (@Modicana) to get the latest tweets from Modica. Tante grazie Pat & Simi for introducing us to life in Modica, Sicily!


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Sunday Shout-out: Keeping Time


Don’t you just love it when you happen across a blog that makes you smile? I have several favorite stops for when I need to add a little smile to my day, and one of them is Emily’s lovely blog Keeping Time: One Mom’s Journey.




Emily and her husband Chris live in Sicily where he’s currently stationed in the Navy. They have two sweet and beautiful daughters named Katherine and Penelope. Through holidays, every day moments, ups and downs, Emily’s writing, beautiful photos and stories so often bring a warm smile to my face. If you haven’t visited Keeping Time yet, pop on over. For those of you who are regular visitors, but sure to head over and check out Emily’s beautiful new blog design!


Halloween_Eve_012The sweet Katherine & Penelope 



Are you smiling now? I am!

Thank you Emily for sharing your family stories from Sicily!

Buona domenica!!



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Sunday Shout-out: Heather Jacks @ Sicilia Through Images


I’m back on the scene with my Sunday Shout-out feature, and this month I’d like to share with you some of my favorite bloggers from the island of Sicily. This summer I shouted about Karen at Lost in Sicilia, which is one of the many blogs from Sicily I enjoy following regularly. I’ll kick off this month’s theme by shining the spotlight on the most recent Sicily blogger I’ve discovered. Last month, ItalyTutto introduced me to the new photoblog Sicilia Through Images, where the talented American photographer Heather Jacks shares her photographs of her new home – Sicily.


Self portrait


Heather lives in the Catania region and her photos introduce us to the beauty of Sicily one shot at a time. I could get lost in her photographs – the sense of calm, the richness of texture and the depth. I enjoy seeing Sicily through Heather’s eyes, and I look forward to her regular posts on Sicilia Through Images. Be sure also to visit Heather’s photography website to see more of her work. Before you get lost in the wonderful shots that Heather shared with me for this Sunday Shout-out, head over to the great blog Casa Dolcetto: Italian Insights where Adrian has selected Heather as this month’s guest photographer and where you can read a great interview. (This week you get two shout-outs!)


Now, sit back, relax and dream of Sicilia…


Caltagirone Street Caltagirone Street




Piazza Duomo Acireale (2) Cattedrale di Acireale




Caltigirone AlleyCaltagirone Alley 




Olive trees at Valle dei Templi1

 Olive Trees in Infrared



Tante grazie Heather for sharing your stunning photography on Sicilia Through Images!



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Sunday Shout-out: Learning Italian at LifeinItaly.com


Italian Book with Pen


I know I’m not the only perfectionist out there trying to learn Italian. You know who you are. We’re the ones who are afraid to speak until we can say a completely formed sentence, with the proper verb conjugations, adjective endings and pronouns. Oh, and it has to be perfectly pronounced, too. Of course. I think this has been the single biggest obstacle for me speaking Italian, and is something I struggle with every day. I know some people can just dive right in with only a few words, but I have found that to be difficult. The single most important thing I’ve learned over the past two years studying Italian and living here in Italy is that every single person learns languages differently. The key is finding what works for you and running with it.



Many of you are probably already familiar with the great LifeinItaly.com website. Just recently I discovered the wealth of information they have available on learning Italian. I was particularly inspired by the article on the main page by Carlo Pescatori called “Every language is made up of words.” He makes some great points that are particularly relevant for people struggling with some of the issues I mentioned above. I love his idea to incorporate as much Italian into your thinking as you can. Over time it will grow and you will become comfortable with it at the same time. This is, after all, how we learn English. Little bit by little bit, word by word, and with lots of practice. I already find  myself doing this often:


Start with nouns of things you have around all the time and talk to yourself like “I’ll drink un caffè now”, “let me andare in salotto for a while”, “tempo to cook again”, “adesso is time for una pausa” and so on.


My thoughts are often a mix of the two languages now, but sometimes I surprise myself by thinking or saying a whole thought in Italian without, well, having to think about it. But I feel like this process is helping me with the feelings of perfectionism that I struggle with. I know I will be incorporating some of the ideas and suggestions I learned in this article. Head on over to the LifeinItaly.com Italian page and explore the helpful articles and lessons they offer. I hope something there will inspire you!


Buona domenica! Happy Sunday!



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