About Me…

I think there was wine involved here…

Let me first introduce myself properly. My name is Leah, I am Canadian, fifty-two (Yay, I made it this far!) years old and married to an Italian.

The relationship…

We met in 2002 on a cruise ship. He was a Navigational Officer and I, a midnight lounge singer. Sounds corny, I know, but I swear all true! He would sit, in his navy blue uniform with gold stripes, in the dark corners of the bar drinking alone. I thought nothing of it until he asked me for a date in Cozumel, Mexico.  And, as they say, the rest is history.

Home is where the heart is…

After several years of on again – off again romance, vacations and contracts on ships, we finally got married in the summer of 2008. And now, I live on a farm in Portofino, Italy while he still sails the blue seas across the Atlantic. (My first three years, I lived with his mother, who was the inspiration for this blog).

What do I do all day?

For the first several years, I taught English in Genoa and this year I relocated to our family home in the countryside on top of a mountain. It has been a long, never ending renovation but totally worth it! This year, we will be opening up a Bed and Breakfast, but for now, I am still supervising the finishing touches on the reno, with a lot of help from my sister-in-law.

What I love…

I love painting, reading, writing, hiking, nature, travelling, the arts, philosophy, meeting new people and photography. I sing in the shower, make mosaics from broken cups, talk to sheep, hug chickens, and have even become a Cosplayer @ Lucca Comicon! And, I love and adore my cats almost as much as my husband.

Meet Coco and Zen…

What the heck have I been doing all these years?

When I read the book Eat, Love, Pray, it was like I wrote it myself! After my first marriage failed because of my  desperately wanting children, I ran away to the Caribbean to make sense of my failed marriage and inexplicable infertility.

The career…

I had a flourishing career as an Advertising Executive in Toronto at a small agency but broken hearted and broken down, I left everything behind to regain my zest for life again.

Singing for my supper…

I’d been singing since I was 15. A lifelong dream of one day becoming a professional vocalist landed in my lap on a cruise ship in 2002. I look back at this adventure with great fondness as it is what brought me into the arms of my loving Italian husband.

And so this is my story…

85 Responses to About Me…

  1. Elora says:

    You did not! Oh man I just randomly came across this writing italy photography in the wordpress blog search! hahahaha Good one Leah, I’m sure you’ll have a great group of followers 🙂

  2. tony says:

    i was hoping to see pictures in the about me section and not just plums. love, tony

  3. lmarmstrong66 says:

    Those are olives my dearest Tony! How’s the funny business these days? For you, I will post a pic. Hugs, L.

  4. Mike Willits says:

    Love the site! Living with your Italian Mother in Law. We should have you write something for our blog!



    • Hi Mike, thanks for the positive feedback. I have a lot of fun doing this! Would be happy to guest blog on your site…I was a bit curious about the 1000 fights, what does it mean exactly?

  5. flip says:

    nice site, i really enjoyed reading this…

  6. Jill says:

    I was jumping from site to site and I found you! Funny how similar our story is… Singer for a cruise ship, met my Italian, now living in Sicily, Italy… We’re in Cogoleto, Genova for a few months, maybe we can catch up one day?

    • Hi Jill!
      It IS a small world! I had to look up Cogoleto, you are on the opposite side of the city centre from me. I am in Quarto Alto, do you know where that is? It’s close to Nervi. How do you like Genova? It’s quite different to Sicily. I spent some time in Palermo and Napoli while on an RCL ship a few years back. Is your husband on board right now or working shore side at the terminal? Mine is in Texas on the Ecstasy : ( I just spent New Year’s with him on the Fas)

      We should definitely meet up for coffee soon! Have you got an email I can send you my mobile #?

  7. Jill says:

    I just looked at your photo! Hello?? CCL Celebration 2001…? What a small world…

  8. Jill says:

    Oops, I ment 2002-2003…

  9. marie says:

    Are all mother in law bad??

    • Well I don’t know exactly…my first MIL was great, but she was not Italian! This one well, she has good intentions, and she treats me okay, but being N.American it is hard for me to adjust to such intrusiveness.

  10. Lynn says:

    I just came across your blog, I am also Canadian, met my boyfriend on cruise ships where we work together, he thinks I should make the move to Italy, and one of his arguments is he has is own house away from his mother. I didn’t realize how important this is until I read your blog.

    • Lynn,
      The important question to ask your boyfriend is how far away does his mom live from his house and does she have a key? I know lots of guys that live in their own house/apartment and then you also find out that their mom lives in the house next door or apt above! My husband’s 45 year old friend lives in the apt below…we visited him once and I was amazed at how clean it was for a “bachelor pad”. My husband laughed and said his mom lives upstairs and has a key…who do you think cleans it Pierluigi? Good Luck!

  11. Lynn says:

    hahaha, thanks for the advice. I know his mom lives about 5 mins away as does his brother and sister-in-law. Don’t know if mom has a key. I do know his brother has a key to water the lemon trees (well the sister-in-law does it). Thanks for the advice. I have really enjoyed readying your blog. Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures.

  12. Ruth says:

    Dear Leah,
    Great to know there’s someone else out there who married a man from foreign parts and lives with her mother-in-law. Am doing the same in Greece and your bright outlook is inspiring for me. Thanks for sharing your story!

  13. Linda says:

    Your story is fascinating. What an interesting and wonderful life! If mine were to become any more boring I would be in a coma.

    Living with a mother in law though. Scary. I wish you well.

  14. Natalia says:

    Hi Leah,

    Glad you liked the article. Sure thing, link away!
    I’m enjoying your blog as well.


  15. elenasc says:

    I just found your blog and I like it! I’m an Italian living in Canada and I write about my life here.
    Pass by and let me know, I’m sure you will find post you can enjoy!

    • Hi, thanks so much for sending me your link! I love your blog and your comments about Canada too. The cinnamon thing made me laugh, I love the stuff and put it in my banana bread : ) How very Canadian of me! haha
      Keep writing…I always wondered what the perspective was from someone who had immigrated to Canada.
      Bacio, Leah

  16. Sorry, I don’t have any photos.

  17. Muriel says:

    Hi Leah,
    I’ve found your blog by chance looking for something else. I am French living in Milan, well … home country is not too far for me 😉 Just split up with my Italian after long nice story, still in touch with nice MIL and decided to stay here because of great friends. Hope life is nice in Genova.

    • Hi Muriel! Welcome aboard! I can’t believe that you decided to stay in Italy and not go back to France! I love France, but then again I have never lived there. Genova is okay, but it is so full of old people that there is an energy I miss about other cities. It’s very “closed” as they say. But I too have made some beautiful friends here and feel lucky to have them : ) Are you still in Milan? That is not very far from Genova, do you ever come to the sea?

      • Muriel says:

        Hi Leah! I am still in Milan, apart from my friends, my job is here 😉 and split-up is recent. I really appreciate living in this city even if it is hectic. I guess it is less “closed” than Genova. Often go to Liguria in spring and summer to escape from the heat of the city (like all milanesi…). Maybe we could meet there and talk about “italianities”? I wanted to send you a private message but couldn’t find the option :> I laughed a lot reading at some of your posts concerning crusches, GP and Italian culture: you’re totally right!!

  18. George says:

    Hello –

    We hope that you are doing well. While surfing the web for nice travel websites we came across this site and want to congratulate you on the great webpage you got there!

    Currently we are putting the finishing touches to our new website which is called Tripsofa. The main purpose of Tripsofa will be to offer an exciting new platform where travelers can find the latest travel information and where they are able to share their travel experiences and ask travel questions.

    As we are all aware, there is a lot of travel information on the web. However, the problem is that many of the websites have not been updated, contain incorrect information or are plain and simply outdated. Hopefully this can change with Tripsofa as the site will be continuously updated by our members and staff so that travelers can easily find a wealth of travel-related information without getting annoyed by excessive advertising which – unfortunately – seems to be the norm with most travel websites nowadays.

    Tripsofa has been built on a system which integrates and fuses traditional forum elements with community aspects. Travelers can vote for the best answers which means that the best ones will show up first.

    Our biggest problem is that we need to spread the word about Tripsofa so that more travelers will know about our non-commercial travel information platform. We are hoping that by bringing in some industry experts such as you, we will be able to turn Tripsofa into a popular online hangout for travelers.

    So we really hope to hear back from you and if you have any feedback for us then please be sure to let us know. You can sign up on http://www.tripsofa.com and become one of the first beta testers. We definitely hope that you will give Tripsofa a try as you seem to be an avid travel enthusiast yourself.

    Have a great day!



    • Hi George,
      Your site sounds interesting. Thank you for taking the time to write to me. Perhaps you can share a bit more about what your forecast is when you plan to go live with your site? My blog is not a travel blog but I do occasionally write about places I’ve been to or experiences I’ve had with the Italian culture. So, I am not entirely sure if it’s a good fit for us to join forces…I would like to see some sample blogs that you are featuring first.
      Thanks, best regards, Leah

  19. bagnidilucca says:

    We went to Genova recently for the first time and loved it. I have recently put up a post about our day in the city.

  20. Someone (can’t remember who!) told me about your blog so I took a peak and laughed myself off my chair. Look forward to reading more. By the way, we’re practically neighbors…M:)

  21. Tiara says:


    I came across your site while browsing some travel sites. I must say you are doing a commendable job. I have been following you for quite some time. I am impressed by the initiative you are taking.
    I am a blogger & maintain few travel blogs. e.g. OneTravelBloggers, Footloosetraveller.com. At present I am working with OneTravel. Our sites can be useful to one another. So, I offer you to do some partnership.
    I have some options for you.

    1. I could cover you on my blog and in return I would like a back link for my website from your blog within the content.
    2. If you allow guest blogging I would be glad to write a blog post as a guest blogger. Within the post there would be a single link to my website.
    3. I am also fine with guest blogging. I will generate an id for you on my blog where you can post as you like and in return you need to link myself from any of your post.
    4. We both can do guest blogging for each other where we can add links to our respective websites.
    5. On top of giving link from my blog, I can also give you some links from other websites that I am managing.

    You may visit our website http://www.onetravel.com. & blog http://onetravelbloggers.com/ http://www.footloosetraveller.com.

    Let me know your views soon.


    • Ciao Tiara,

      I would be happy to have some guest blogging. Have you got something in mind? I have never had a guest blogger before and would want to hear what you had to say first of course but it sounds like it could be a good idea. I have a nice little following but it would be great if I could also increase my hits too 🙂
      Let me know, cheers, Leah

  22. Sahitya says:

    I love reading your blog. I have lived in San Terenzo, Lerici, Bogliasco n Genoa for 3 years and completely love your perspective of the place.Rock on

  23. Angela Barletta says:

    Hi,My name is Angela and I love your blog and have been following your writings from the beginning. You were very brave to have taken the step to move to Itay, from the outside it looks so romantic but never easy. Fun and never boring as you know. We have an apartment in San Remo and I am an expat spouse, 50 years old, a new empty nester with my husband working overseas. I grew up in South Africa, have lived all over the world with my husband and two daughers and am a Sea Captains daughter. I am learning Italian and am going to try and make a life in this part of the world. Good luck with Portofino, as I said, never boring!

  24. rossella vietri says:


    we are a group of student of Bocconi University and we are doing a research about tourism and new technologies.

    We would be very grateful if you fill this brief questionnaire:

    If you are interested about the issue, please contac us.

    Kind regards.

  25. Hello, how I do understand you! I live with my mother in law as well and it is not easy per niente!!!

  26. Hello, we do have to stuggle a bit, it is true!! Welcome, do have a look at mine if you feel like it!

  27. AngieGrossman says:

    Hi Leah! Love your blog! I found your article on the expat-blog.com and would LOVE some advice. I was an au pair this summer in Milano, fell madly in love with Italy and everything about it. Decided to get my TEFL certification to become a teacher while learning Italian, well now I’m at a crossroads…I’m back home in Colorado for Christmas but looking into enrolling in language programs to get a student visa and return *ahem* legally this time. Any advice?? I really want to experience living in Florence, close to my Italian boyfriend as well. Feel free to email me, thanks! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Angie

  28. Diane C says:

    Why oh why have I never seen your blog before??? I love it! I’m married to a Sicilian-Canadian, just one generation away from being born in Sicily, and we have a house there that we currently use in summers and plan to retire to in a few years. I can so relate to what you write!

  29. Hi, Leah!
    I’ve been following your blog for a while and enjoying it so much that I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Come check it out.

  30. willc88 says:

    I’ve just come across your page, really like it. will definitely be tuning in for more 🙂

  31. M.Tipo says:


    YOU, out of everyone in the world, might enjoy my blog the most


    My Italian mother-in-law drives me nuts!!!!!

  32. barbedwords says:

    Hey there, I have nominated you for the Liebster award – if you’d prefer not to accept, please don’t worry as it was quite a bit of work! 🙂

  33. Yep, the name of your blog really does sum it all up. You have a vibrant, lively spirit about you though and I look forward to reading about your journey here. Keep on going.

  34. Ok so the title of your blog reminds me of my personal saying when people ask if I will ever marry an Italian “I can’t marry an Italian because my cooking will never live up to his mothers!” – what a scary thought! Sounds like you’re managing however…:)

  35. VisitSiena says:

    Thank you for following my blog! Happy that you like it 🙂 what an interesting blog you have 🙂 for sure will be back here! have a nice day 🙂

  36. livinitalian says:

    Hi Leah, I was looking around through the blogs as part of my 11th assignment on zerotohero challenge and found your blog. I love the title, it is what attracted me here and it made me smile, kind of feeling the title :O) I’m American, I do not live with mother-in-law, thank God :O)) but I chose to live here in Italy for love as well, so I just identified with you.
    I’ll be looking around and reading your blog, I’m also going to subscribe…I like your blog! Keep up the great work.

  37. Hello Leah, and a belated welcome to Italy! I have been living in Italy since 1989. My father was Italian and so we would spend summer holidays here. I fell in love with the life here in golden times and decided to move as soon as I was able to. I live in the beautiful area of Langhe. Working as a mural artist I am besotted with the marvel of some of the facade decorations that are in your home town of Genova!
    Italy is both awe inspiring and frustrating…it’s difficult to say which prevails isn’t it?
    I am cat obsessed too!
    I look forward to dipping into your blog.

    • Hi Nadia,
      Thank you for your comment and welcome aboard!
      I imagine you have seen many changes in Italy since 1989! My first trip to Italy was in 1990 when they still used the Lira 🙂
      So, what type of cat do you have? How many? 🙂 🙂 🙂

  38. Joanne garbarino says:

    Just wanted to say I live not to far from you and visit your neck of the woods at least once a month !!
    Reading your posts rings so true to me on so many levels !!!
    Keep up the good work

  39. Joyce says:

    Dear Leah,

    My name is Joyce and I work for ExpatFinder.com.
    ExpatFinder.com is a free one stop website for people preparing to move or working and living overseas. We provide a myriad of services for expatriates and we have over 2,000 articles to help and support the people moving around the world and we are now creating an interview section to help the expats with real life experiences!
    We quite enjoy your blog about living in Italy, it is very interesting and informative. Would it be possible to interview you to further share some of your tips and feature some of your first hand experience as an Expat and your interview will be published on our Expat Interview section as a guide for our expat readers. The questions are mainly about the day to day lifestyle of an expat. If it would be possible, could you also send some photographs that we can use?
    Of course, if you accept, we can add a link to your blog or some of your website.
    The questions are enclosed, feel free to respond freely. You can return the doc with your answers if you accept this invitation.
    Thanks in advance and do let me know if you prefer other means to conduct this interview and we would be happy to accommodate your terms.

    Best regards,

  40. Diego says:

    Funny enough, I was born and raised in Genova, then found a Canadian girl and moved to Toronto (actually Vaughan) in 2009

    • Ha! Small world isn’t it? I lived in Richmond Hill and Newmarket for a few years. I miss Canada but certainly not the weather! What do you miss most about Genova? 🙂

  41. bruce says:

    Miss you raking our leaves

  42. Daniela says:

    Hi Leah,
    what an interesting story! And how strange that we have not met before! I am a Genovese doc and my husband is from Michigan. He lived in Genoa with me for the last 18 years (mostly borgoratti, but Nervi as well) and 1 year ago we moved to Michigan. I miss everything about Genova and don’t think I am going to make it for more then 2 years here.
    Nice blog btw 🙂

  43. Hi Leah!
    I love your frankness and romantic story as to how you met your partner and came to Italy.
    I left a fabulous job in London to come to the Veneto region in order to be with a man… I walked into a job that wasn’t for me – and needing to regain that zest you mentioned.

    Do you travel around the Venetian area much?

  44. Catherne says:

    Help! How do I get your blog posts in my email inbox?

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