About Valerie Fortney-Schneider


Explore Italy’s Secret Gardens

With so much to see in Italy, many travellers overlook the country’s beautiful gardens and lose out on a special experience as a result. For these are no ordinary, peaceful patches of green; they are often reflections of artistic expression with exotic designs and formal layouts. The best-known gardens are the elegant, noble estates of Villa d’Este near Rome, the Royal Palace of Caserta close to Naples, and the Boboli Gardens in Florence, but there are other—secret—gardens to explore…

Following Our Hearts to a New Life in Irresistible Italy

In 2006, my husband, Bryan, and I decided we wanted a different lifestyle in a different locale. Italy had long been a favourite holiday spot and with each visit we imagined what it would be like to live there. We’d return home after a visit longing for the piazzas where people gathered just for the joy of being together; the leisurely meals prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients; the cascading flower boxes outside centuries-old windows. Real cappuccino.
lazio, italy

Small-Town Life Just One Hour From Rome

Rome is undeniably alluring with its historical monuments, jaw-dropping artwork, trendy restaurants and cultural events. But living in the city is expensive and sometimes just not desirable for those who prefer the rhythm of small town life. Luckily, you can have the best of both worlds. There are some beautiful towns where you can enjoy a laidback lifestyle while still being able to reach the centre of Italy’s capital city Rome in just an hour.