Italian Brave Heart

About Brendan

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BC1Hi, I’m Brendan


I think I can honestly say that the seed was sown in 2007 after visiting Peschiera del Garda (southernmost tip of Lake Garda) for the first time on the insistence of a good friend of mine one drunken evening. My lovely wife had just announced earlier in the day that we were going to visit a friend in Romania over the summer and although I was hardly chuffed I decided to go along just to keep the peace (as you do!), but after a few glasses of wine (and maybe a whisky or two) I snuck off to my friend’s home office to have a look where he and his family were going (I must admit it did look bloody fantastic!). One thing led to another and before I knew it I had booked 2 weeks in the southernmost tip of Lake Garda in an apartment next door to our friends, complete with multiple pools and a golf course (oops, there was a wellness centre for the girls!). On returning to the party I’m happy to say that my good lady, on seeing my delight at what I had just done, promised to make a call the next morning and break the news gently to our Romanian friend.


So began the journey…after visiting Lake Garda every holiday for the next few years I suggested that Italy was the place we should retire to in our golden years, my wife exclaimed ‘Let’s do it now!’ Although I’d like to think of myself as being pretty spontaneous it took me 4 years to make the make the move (better late than never you might venture). Anyway, when you have two youngish kids (9 and 11) and a business still in its infancy I thought that a 5 year plan would be more sensible.


The only real obstacle we thought was the language…the thought of learning a new culture and ‘slightly better weather’ than the UK drove us. From that day we started learning some Italian and proceeded to label every object in the house to help us. Our friends thought we were nuts but it certainly added another dimension to our dinner parties. Even if they left feeling that neither the food nor the company was up to par they at least left having just been educated in another language. On a good night we fed the mind and the body!


Although the initial plan was to relocate to Lake Garda we happened upon North Tuscany (how, is another post) and were taken by the beauty and close proximity of the mountains and the sea; as well as the warmth of the people.


Having lived in Italy now for two and a half years i’d like to share with you many of our experiences, loves, despairs, frustrations (though not many) and give you an insight into the Italy for the casual traveller; the Italy for the those wanting to learn a new language or learning to cook with wonderful ingredients or for those contemplating making the same lifestyle change like us.


I hope you’ll enjoy some of the stories I share and am happy to answer as many questions as I can. If you leave a comment below or any of the other posts I promise to get back to you as quickly as possible.