On Leading a Simpler Life

The situation here in Italy is pretty bad for small business owners who operate in beautiful, yet remote areas.  

I read an interesting article a few days ago by a journalist who was quoting a famous Italian Entrepreneur, Flavio Briatore.  I need not give you background information on who he is, because I do not find it relevant to my blog, but he is a brilliant investor and stated recently that Italy has not done a very good job at investing in our Tourism Industry underlying that we are thirty years behind other countries in Europe.  Italy does not understand the travel industry.  People don’t want an adventure when they come to Italy, they would fly to Africa or South America otherwise.  Travelers want to come here and be pampered.  Travelers want service, practical guides and guidance in what to do, see, hear.  Instead, we offer you a total adventure with minimal services (if that!)


Italy is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful countries in the world.  We have beautiful beaches, spectacular mountains, amazing food,  great cities,  but… we are very bad at marketing ourselves.  

Have you heard of Apulia?  Sicily?  The most amazing beaches in the world are on the island of Sardinia.  Forget the Caribbean.  But how would you know if we keep it a secret.  Try trekking through the Alps, or walk the ‘Via Francigena’  Really if I were to compare the services Italy has to give to that of an Airline I would say that Italy offers economy class services at Business Class prices.  


I apologize for complaining.  I will tell you the upside of the past few years spent on the Frontier between the Florence and Siena Province.

I have learned to lead a simpler life. And mostly due to necessity.  

Frugality is indeed a Virtue of Necessity.  Veganism is that too.    Try being an eat-at-home vegan.  You can get by with very little financial expenditure.  

I have learned to live with very little.  How many clothes do you actually need?  When you have 3 good quality shirts, slacks, sweaters, shoes and exercise clothing, one coat.  Really, you can survive.  I promise.  

My only luxuries are an iPhone, an iWatch (to track my recent fitness goals), good food, and good wine. 

I am planning on moving back to the States in 2017 so I am trying to rid myself of superfluous items, and I realize how much all of my ‘things’ clutter my mind.  There is all this talk about ‘clean food’ but what good does it do to us if we cannot clean our closets and homes.  How much stuff do we really need? As I rid myself of all things superfluous I feel so much lighter in my head.  It’s a good feeling.

I keep thinking about this amazing woman who happened here by chance this summer from San Francisco.  Her name is Cheyenne.  She is a Geologist by trade, and a wood carver at night.  No, I am kidding, but not totally.  Since her visit here, she has quit her job and is now pursuing other projects.  She grew up in a family of few means but totally inundated with love (the opposite of mine).  You can have everything, and more, even with little means.  Running outdoors is cheaper than a gym membership.  DUH!  You might think….well, it’s saving on the little things that adds up.  Growing up in a family where that was never a concern, I never really thought about saving on those ‘little things.’  I do now.  And it feels awesome.  

I buy the best ingredients, the best of everything.  And I make myself amazing foods.  

I will post Enrico’s recipe for chickpea soup.  A customer a few days ago mentioned how good the chickpeas tasted.  Well, these were not your ordinary giant chickpeas.  Enrico only uses little chickpeas: ‘Cece Fiorentino’ 


I will post his excellent recipe for Chicpea and Kale Soup tomorrow.  




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