This time: Due baci in a pinon tree
1) Please introduce yourself (Name, Location, Age, where do you come from)
VALERIE FORTNEY-SCHNEIDER, age 43. I grew up in Ohio but spent most of my adult life in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is the place in the US I consider “home”.
2) Which countries/cities have you lived in?
I have lived in Ohio, New Mexico (yes, it’s part of the US, even though many Americans don’t realize it!), Italy, and now Virginia. In Italy we lived in Anzio, Ascoli Piceno, and the Cilento coast. We just purchased an apartment in Basilicata near my ancestral village.
3) What is your blog about?
2 Baci in a Pinon Tree is about our travels and daily life in Italy – and all the adventures, foibles, joys, frustrations and observations that gives. We have been attracted to the lesser known parts of the country, so I focus heavily on that.
4) Why are you blogging? Do you have any goals with it?
It started out long before I moved to Italy as a sort of “practice ground” to motivate me to write more and to put it “out there” for public reading, something I had been hesitant to do. Then as we planned and undertook our move it became a chronicle of our experiences and the people we met along the way.
5) Your favorite Italian meal?
Wow, tough choice…I’ve had so very many wonderful meals! I guess I’d have to say that my favorite of all time was the enormous pranzo that my newly-discovered cousin organized for us at the last minute at an amazing country restaurant where everything was homemade exclusively with local ingredients. It was a thrilling meal because of the food, the company, the owners and their little boy, and the excitement of discovering family ties in southern Italy.
6) What is your favorite Italian song?
Another toughie. I adore the music of Giovanni Allevi. I listen to him and am amazed at what one man can produce from a piano. Of his music, my favorite songs are Panic and Go With the Flow. For pop/rock genre I really like Ligabue. His voice is gravely and sultry. I like Niente Paura and Cosa Vuoi Che Sia about equally.
7) Do you have recommended links concerning the subject of your blog or Italy in general?
For travel planning my go-to site is Slow Travel. Lots of great information, articles, and a helpful forum. The Italian government’s official travel website isn’t too bad www.enit.it. The ItalyTutto blog has an exhaustive list of blogs from all over the bel paese, enough to distract you from work (speaking from experience, unfortunately!). If you’re looking for unknown places, festivals and food experiences, visit my other site, Italy Panorama: Glimpses of Undiscovered Italy for some real gems you’ve never heard of before.
8) Anything to add?
My advice is to break out of the mold and cliches and go explore the beautiful places beyond the tourist centers. That’s where you can make some real connections and experience daily life like an Italian.