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March 03, 2009


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I read your article, thanks for the interesting and honest perspective! I smiled when I read the part about Italy closing at 1 pm, and dealing with the bureaucracy.

When I moved to Italy I almost had a nervous breakdown dealing with the bureaucracy, and I've started writing about it on my blog too - it's cathartic! Part I is here, if you're interested: http://italyfaves.typepad.com/italy_beyond_the_obvious/2009/03/working-legally-as-an-expat.html


Place a name upon the night
One to set your heart alight
and to make the darkness bright
Paint the sky with stars..
I thought the song worked well with the photo.


As we say here in New England... that's "wicked awesome" Amanda! Good for you. I hope it translates into many happy guests taking classes.:)


You my dear Amanda , have become and overnight sensation, a celebratory author with a vast following, now everyone knows what we few knew all along. You deserve it.
As does the marito for his hard work and photo journal documenting it all.


oh amanda

you did so good
with a press of the send button!



what a wonderful read
and, just think,
you can use the Observer feature,
along with your blog entries,
to jog your brain



i hope the story brings you TONS
of people
and that you continue to write
all about it HERE...

{{ off to your website to Dream
about my own Art Holiday.


if only i could paint }}


Feb. 10 th .. First lets just say fabulous collage 0f photo's.
I especially liked the work boots, haven't a clue as to the why just do. Envision them with tiny blue forget me knots flowers as reminders to Julian that they kept his feet protected during their long work time.

How proud you both must feel having transformed yourselves into Jacks of all trades, true Renaissance Man and Woman.

Very few would take up the challenge for themselves in a field of such vast and diverse trades and steps, welding ,digging , masonry work, decorators, architects, parents , teachers , negotiators , mad men along with backbreaking bone jarring laborers!
Being able to incorporate the new into the past without diminishing either but blending is an art in it self.
The photo montage were terrific to see the before and the after.I know that Tall and Small having lived thru all this transformation of their lives and yours to see the dream become a reality, now understand that " all is possible" and that with mistakes and failure come 'success and Growth"!
The Observer article was refreshing , real and a delight to read ...Encore

Amanda@A Tuscan view...

Thanks for all these great comments.

Erin - If anyone's inspiring it's you.

Ollie - So glad you enjoy the blog, hope to hear from you again.

Kay - So good to hear from you, we wish you luck in your venture too.

Sotherethen - Rest assured there will be lots more pictures coming your way.

Jill - Thanks for the encouragement.

Diana - I tell you this place frequently has me in tears too!

Francesca - Ah yes, those 'difficult moments' I know them so well.

Arlene - Hold back the tears and get on the train.

Vita Lenta - Thanks so much for your kind words, I know you've been there too. Also thanks for the award, not quite sure what to do with it but I am well chuffed to get it.

Anne - Not tears from you too! Thanks for the kind words.

Megan - Cheers honey.

Judith - I knew you wouldn't cry!!!

Sally - Thanks, you're a real pal Sal.

Angela - Finally, we're almost ready for you!


Kent - So glad you like it and great to see you here too.

Icetea - You're so kind. Yeah, maybe we should go global next, I'll work on it.

Phil - Thanks so much for that lovely comment. If the article made you feel that way then, wow! I'm blown away, that's so great.

As for the reading spike on this blog after the article went out, would you believe we had nearly 4000 hits over the first 2 days after publishing! Amazing!



I read your article with much interest. I am not in a situation analagous to yours. I am not married, no kids etc. No desire to start a art retreat of similar.

But I do take something important from it. That is the sense that life is what you make it and that dreams are not impossible to achieve. I have my own wants which sit outside of wage slavery, offices and UK cities. So I see your article as validation that my dreams, though not the same, are just as possible.

I will be reading your blog from now on. Good luck to you!

ps - I am really curious what kind of spike in readers your blog got after the article???

Ice Tea For Me

Amanda, great article, very informative and honest.

Don't stop at just sending to British newspapers. You should send a link to your Art site, blog, and that wonderful video to as many newspapers, travel manazines (online & print), art schools and travel agents you can find around the world. Even in this economy people are still traveling.

I wish you much success and happiness in your business/dream.

Vita Lenta nel Bel Paese

Cara amanda,

Buona Festa delle Donne! I have tagged and awarded you today - a pleasure! Bacione, Ingrid


Hello from the USA. The renovation looks wonderful! I really like the living room...it looks so inviting.

I also read your "100 list" and thought that I would add Federico Fellini and his wonderful contribution to the arts and world of film-making.




I loved the article. You forgot to mention one thing in it though. That your future plans involve adopting a late 40ish Italian-American home cook! LOL

Come to the festa my darlings!

Angela Sopranzi

We are so excited to be among the first to take your course. Reading your article has given us an insight into all the hard work you had to put into making your dream a reality. Now we get to reap the benefits! A presto! Angela & Tony, St. Augustine


It is an excellent article, Amanda. Really well written (as is this blog). Good on you for making the contact and finding the right person.

Judith in Umbria

Great news!

Megan in Liguria

How very exciting and what an nice article. Congrats & Auguri!


Well done such a moving article ...I was nearly in tears! A very brave move, so pleased that it all came right for you and your family.

You certainly connected with the right person..so brilliant :-)

Vita Lenta nel Bel Paese

Cara Amanda,

First of all... Congrats to the Observer article. This will attract even newcomers to your blog and your lovely farmhouse, "senza dubbi"! The article moved me. It takes courage, energy, empathy, sacrifice... and "una testa dura" to take you past the hindreds. Love for this angle of the world; the people, culture and lifestyle gives you the "go". You just have to keep all your senses open and also "let go", and you will be abundantly rewarded! Bacione, Ingrid

nyc/caribbean ragazza

What an incredible article. Congrats. I got chocked up as well.

That photo of the stars is just beautiful. I cannot wait to take one of the courses.


Ten years after moving my family from the city and the paid jobs to a rural and isolated part of Italy I can honestly say I still have difficult moments in which I forget why we made this choice. I read the article and found it moving, and I'm sure it'll resonate well with the right people. Good luck!


ok, I went and read it. Mind you, I am a peri-menopausal walking disaster zone, but that did not cause the tears which welled up. It is the sense of familiarity and solidarity with what you felt and what you did. Fog and crappy weather and budget issues included. Well done you.


You deserve every bit of publicity and credit that you get. every bit. and there is not one of us who would continue to comment if we were not taken with all the things you do. So it it a big circle, and it all keeps coming back to you. I am going to go read the article now!


what a lovely article. thank you so much for sharing your journey with us.
I wish much success and happiness to you and your family in your newly chosen life.


I hope this is the beginning of a flurry of excitement for you! Congratulations, it all looks fantastic...more, more, more pictures for us that live a little vicariously through you both. Thank you for sharing~~

Kay de Lautour Scott

The article link was sent to me three days ago by my daughter in New Zealand, who spent over five years working in England and reads the papers online. A very round-about way to find your blog, but a great article and an interesting blog!



That's a really great piece in the Observer, and thoroughly well deserved.

This is, I believe, my first comment on A Tuscan View, but it is by far from my first read. I've especially enjoyed seeing recent photos of finished work, and would like to say that I think you've done a fantastic job.

The Observer article is hopefully just the very tip of the iceberg.

I hope you keep me entertained with your insights into Italian culture, life and living in Italy for many moons to come.

erin :: the olive notes

first: i love this photo...so great.

second: the article was wonderful. It was so inspiring! I'm so happy for you to be published in there.

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