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Ciao and welcome to My Italian Diaries!

My name is Valentina (but you can call me Val) and I’m a travel blogger from Italy, madly in love with my country.

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I’m a thirty-something communications specialist and I live in a little town near Pavia, in northern Italy. I developed a passion for travel from an early age. It all started when I set foot on a plane at the age of 11 for the first trip without mum and dad. I remember the excitement I felt while packing my stuff, ready to spend the next month in a foreign country with new people to meet and thrilling adventures to live. Since then, I’ve traveled to some amazing places all over the world, pretty much ignoring the beauty and attractions of my home country for quite a long time.

I worked as au-pair in a remote Irish village during university and then lived for a few years in Dublin and London. Meanwhile, I continued my exploration of the world – the more exotic, the better. I simply thought there were far better places to explore out there compared to Italy.

Myself climbing the Great Wall of China

China. 2010

But the more I traveled abroad, the more I started to look at my country with different eyes. The amazing people I was meeting during my trips, with their enthusiasm for all things Italian and their sometimes stereotypical and funny views, kind of made me realize that the country I come from is actually really cool!

And then it happened: one day I was sitting in front of my computer ready to organize some new trips and somehow I couldn’t plan anything. Looking at the world map and scrolling through airfares, my mind went blank and all I could think of was how many places and how many things I actually didn’t know about Italy. That’s how I came up with the idea of quitting exotic gateways for a while and traveling in my home country instead!

For those who know me, this was a big change for me as a traveler. But you know what? I couldn’t be happier! I’m now on a journey of discovery that is bringing me to beautiful regions and fascinating towns. I’m learning that Italy has so much to explore beyond Venice, Florence, and Rome. And that my country is imperfect in so many ways, but this is just part of its incredible uniqueness.

Myself under the lemon trees in the Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast, 2019

In My Italian Diaries you’ll find stories, photos and useful tips from my travels around Italy, from city breaks and day trips to full regional itineraries. I hope you will enjoy reading it and that my articles will inspire you to explore my beautiful country!

Sometimes you’ll find reviews or affiliate links on the blog, which means that I get a tiny commission, discount or some free material through them. However, rest assured that I always disclose it and that I do this only with products and services I truly believe in and that relate to the blog.

If you are a local tourism board or a brand, please read the Let’s Collaborate page.

Ok, ok, now the part you are all waiting for:

  • My guilty pleasures are popcorn and diet coke with ice and lemon 
  • Lately, one of my proudest accomplishments has been running for 12k and not being the last one at the finish line (I’m rubbish at anything sporty). That was in Ibiza. I know, don’t ask…
  • I’m a big fan of the Rocky saga, I think I know pretty much all the lines by heart. He’s such a motivator, right?
  • Speaking of cinema, I love old black & white movies. , especially all those featuring Italian actor Alberto Sordi
  • I have the words Explore.Dream.Discover. tattooed on my right ribs
  • I’m a pen & paper kind of person, I could spend hours in a stationery shop and I rarely leave without a new notebook
  • Similarly, I buy lots of books and the older the better – ah, the joy of delving into the dusty shelves of second-hand bookstores!
  • My favorite scents are rose and talcum 
  • I love music, but after a disastrous attempt at learning how to play the clarinet at the age of 8 (I’m still wondering why …), I decided I’d stick to the listening part only
  • If I could ever travel back in time for a day, I would pick the 1950’s – I mean how cool were the outfits back then?!
  • I’m a super early bird, I love to wake up at the crack of dawn and have a whole new day ahead of me

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