First hand encounters with the world, that is something most travelers live for.

There is nothing else like being thrown into a new culture with it’s own language,  customs and unique people. Even setting off to live in Italy bought unexpected challenges.

What we knew of  “Italian” life in Australia was totally different to the reality.

Although Salvatore speaks fluent Italian much is based on dialect. We arrive in Piemonte and it’s like he knows nothing. Everything he expected Italy to be was thrown in the air the moment we walked out of Torino airport and onto the hustle and bustle of the street.

It is so much more than just a language change, or a cultural change, it’s deeper than that.

It’s in the very being of the people, we instantly stood out even before the accents were heard.

The “idea” of Italy had been handed down to my husband all his life. He grew up on stories of hardship, poverty, hard work, and a lack of childhood as we know it.

Stories of  small village life, his Dad riding the donkey through the mountains as a child to support the family. Then being sent to work in Torino many miles away from the family when he was only fifteen. His Dad as a little boy grew up tough.

It’s as if the Italians that went to Australia took traditions with them and never realised that the Italy they left moved on.

Our romantic idea of Italy was nothing like the reality.