We chat to US-born writer and editor Elizabeth Heath who moved to Italy in 2009 after falling in love with an Italian while involved in archeological digs.
She later married him and moved to rural Umbria where they raise her their young daughter, and Elizabeth writes for a wealth of publications on topics such as travel, wellness and Italian culture.
She published a travel book in 2020, The Architecture Lover’s Guide to Rome.
Elizabeth Heath talks with us about speeding up her relocation experience through a rapid marriage before the end of her tourist visa.
She gives insights into adapting to life in a small village, the benefits of having extended family close by, the importance of speaking the language and accepting that the local culture may be frustrating at times.
(5:00) MumAbroad: They say it takes a village to raise a child, how have you been in a small Italian village?
Elizabeth Heath: Yeah, I have had a village help me raise my child. When I compare this to what the culture in the US is, in terms of family members pitching in, there were things I would never have dreamed of asking a cousin or even a sibling for. It’s just a given here that your mother or mother in law is going to help with the baby and is going to come over and clean your house, because you’re taking care of the baby, or working. So I had so much help, whether that was somebody preparing a meal for me or having a couple of lasagnas in the freezer at all times – seriously, at all times. Somebody coming over to help fold laundry or take care of Naomi when she was a baby.
My mother in law still comes over and she insists on folding laundry, and luckily there is always laundry to fold in my house.