rachael martin

Italy, a love story

I set off on my Italian travels at the end of the 1990s, dreaming of the Merchant Ivory production of A Room with a View with Gianni Schicchi’s O mio babbino caro playing in the background. As often happens in these cases, it wasn’t too long before I met my all-Italian boyfriend, who had rented a house in the mountains with friends for the ski season. It was the best thing I could have wished for, and not just because I eventually married him.  

I made Italy my home. It kind of happened, gradually. I came to Italy and roamed about on trains, and am still roaming around on trains, as my kids will testify. “La mamma è sempre in giro,” roughly translated as mum’s always out and about, and often accompanied by eye-rolling. Apart from when we’re living through a global pandemic. I’ve had a break from the trains before, only the last time it involved nappies.

The shiny patina wore off years ago, but my love for Italy remains. I chose it and in many ways it chose me, and almost like any marriage, it brought its highlights and low points. Possibly everything I write is part of this journey that gave me a life, a family and a job I love.

In any case I’m still here, living and breathing it all, and trying to tell it and show it through my work.