A New Adventure in Tuscany - Elizabeth Armitage
family life while wandering Europe in a camper van

This time last year my family had just started on an adventure that would see us travel through 8 countries in 8 and a half months. Through Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, France, and of course Italy. We’d been to Italy before, usually staying around Modena or Bologna way, but this time we went further south. We knew some people who had moved to Northern Tuscany, the Garfagnana, somewhere we had never been and knew very little about.

Driving our poor ageing camper van, which had done many, many miles by now over some pretty tough mountains in Norway, Germany, and France over into Italy, we headed up yet another steep road to reach Montaltissmo. And the views were worth it. It was October going into November and we stayed for 6 weeks visiting the beautiful town of Barga, the local market in Gallicano, walking trails through chestnut trees, cooking good simply warming food, sitting by the fire in the evenings, and admiring each sunrise with awe.

So when our adventure in the camper van came to an end, and we thought we’d best choose somewhere next, our thoughts, and my heart, drifted back to Northern Tuscany. And so, it has been 3 months now and we are settling in nicely to a quant village which overlooks Castelnuovo di Garfagnana. We are trying to learn the language, slowly, and ways of life in general. Our daughter is starting scuola (school) for a few mornings a week and I’m sure will be translating for us very soon! Life in general has had to be lived more slowly, taking each day to learn or accomplish something new.

Yes, it may have been easier to settle back into life in the UK, but then what would have been the point on setting out on our adventure in the first place. With difficulties come possibilities and opportunities to grow and change. For me, the possibilities are both personal and professional. Personally, I want to raise my daughter where we spend more time outside and can learn respect for nature. The professional aspect takes shape in photographing destination weddings in Tuscany.

I know that Tuscany has captured my heart, and that it also does with many couples coming to Italy to have their wedding in some of the most beautiful venues around. I am looking forward to photographing weddings in the amazing light I see every evening, the picturesque churches, the romantic vineyards, and of course the stunning scenery of the mountains which is what brought us to the region of Garfagnana in the first place.


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