“My Italy: What Makes Italy Special for Me”

myitaly nikki taylor la dolce vita campaign2

Nikki Taylor, the founder of La Dolce Vita magazine, started the MyItaly campaign in response to COVID’s effects on the country’s tourism economy and to honor and celebrate the beauty and allure of Italy—the people, the culture, and the essence. At Love Happens, we are constantly inspired by the artisans and craftsmen of Italy, from fashion and design to cuisine and couture—this is our Italy! What is yours? Read on to learn more about Nikki’s and how to join the MyItaly campaign!

When I tell people that I live in Italy, there is usually a reaction of awe, amazement and
sometimes even envy.

Italy is a country that has bewitched people from all over the world, and millions of people flock to it each year to grasp the essence of “La Dolce Vita”.

I have been so lucky to call this beautiful country home for 8 years. I have even created my dream job helping people fulfill their wish of owning property in Italy, whether it be for investment purposes or to call it their new forever home.

The MyItaly Campaign

Italy is a country that captivates many. When the pandemic struck in 2020, the entire WORLD saw how Italy united to maintain a sense of community.

It moved me. The backlash of the pandemic caused the country to lose billions of dollars in tourism, which helps the country thrive.

For this reason, we created the MyItaly campaign. Alongside publishing legend Bob Guccione Jr. and PR Consultant Caroline Chirichella, we are calling upon Italy lovers and people with Italian heritage to share their love for Italy by participating in this feel-good Instagram campaign by sharing what Italy means to them.

If you want to know more about the MyItaly campaign and how you can link arms with us in a global ripple effect of positivity, head over to myitalycampaign.com. But first, I want to share what Italy means to me.

What Italy Means to Me

I want to tell you the things that touch my heart daily, living in a beautiful town called Martina Franca in Puglia, in the far south of the country at the heel of the “boot”.

Living in Italy is like nothing I had experienced before. I have lived all over the world, Australia (my home country), the UK, and Brazil, but living in Italy has given me a sense of inner peace and contentment that I didn’t know existed inside of me.

Let me share with you some special moments about what makes me smile living in this beautiful country.

Being at One With Nature

I live in the countryside, approximately 1km from the city center. Before sunrise, I wake up and go for walks while the sun is rising. I walk past the quaint iconic trulli houses, quirky cone-shaped stone properties only found in Puglia. And I admire the red earth where there are planted olive trees that have been around for centuries.

I walk past vineyards and fruit and vegetable plots that are meticulously planted, all in perfect symmetry. It is bliss. I feel a huge surge of gratitude each time I go on my walks.

Puglia alessio roversi unsplash
Trulli houses in Puglia (Photo by Alessio Roversi)

Being Part of a Community

Living in big cities all around the world, such as London, Sydney, and Sao Paolo, it is so easy to be lost in the crowd and adapting a “dog eat dog” type mentality where no one looks out for you.

Here in the south, I have made so many friends. There are not many blonde Australians in my town. And people go out of their way to make me feel welcome. I feel like an adopted member of the community.

I go to my local supermarket, and they know me by name. The man behind the meat and cheese counter gives me local delicacies to try, all with the view of tempting me to purchase, of course. And how could I say no?

Walking into the branch of my local bank, all the employees know me by name, and I get superb service. It is so hands-on.

Today, for example, I had to go to the mechanic as lights were flashing up on the screen of my car, and I didn’t know how to fix it. They abandoned the work they were doing and fixed my car immediately on the spot.

avalanche console table marble and brass italian inspired design koket

Cultural Differences

I LOVE the cultural differences here and the traditions. I never knew what it was like to sit and take a lunch break that took several hours. In the past, I would either skip lunch, get a salad on the go, and never really spoke to anyone, furiously eating away as quickly as possible to get back to work.

The simple act of sharing a meal with others is an event to be celebrated with excellent local food and wine.

Sunday lunches are a tradition.

italy slow living sunday lunch tradition
(Photo by Inés Castellano)

Slow Living

This is something that I struggled with in the beginning. And if I am being completely honest, it still does get to me if I am running late.

Slow living, or “vita lenta” as they call it, is about taking your time, not rushing, and enjoying the simplicity of life.

I smiled today as I was driving and stuck in traffic on a roundabout as I witnessed an example of “slow living” at its finest. A little old nonna was walking across the main road with her walking frame crossing the roundabout and going at the rate that even a snail would say hurry up!

She was completely oblivious to the fact that there were trucks, vans, and cars all waiting for her to get across the road. She wasn’t hurrying up for anyone. I laughed to myself and internally congratulated her for being true to her authentic self, that she clearly didn’t care one iota about how much traffic she had caused to pile up.

It is these little things that I love about living in Italy, MyItaly…

If you are moved by this story or have a story of your own to share about what Italy means to you, join us.

Who can participate? Everyone, whether you are a lover of all things Italian or have Italian heritage, we invite you to join the “MyItaly” campaign myitalycampaign.com.

You never know who you may inspire with your entry! Looking forward to seeing what Italy means to you.

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