We’ve been back for a while now


Look, I have found my way back to the bloggersphere and things have changed a little in the few months I have been away. That kind of sums up the whole reason for me poking my head back in for a visit. Now that we have been back in Sydney for a few months, and are settling into the Australian way of life (which is a lot faster), seeing old friends and adjusting to living in a big city again, my attention has been drawn to a few things I really miss about our year in Italy.

Of course this is to be expected. However, what surprises me most is the feeling you get when you arrive home and for about a month you feel a little off kilter then someone says, ‘Does it feel like you were ever away?’ If I am honest, I really do have to stop and think about it…’did I really just spend a year in Florence?’

I know I did because I am finding things quite a bit different here, for example…

I learned to appreciate the beautiful flavour of the Negroni while living in Florence and I used to drink them at the bar they originated from. In Italy there is no measuring out exact quantities of alcohol and here in lies my problem. Nic and I went out for a drink to our local watering hole the other week and I decided I wanted a Negroni. In my head I was thinking I was getting one of these…

Italian Negroni

Italian Negroni

When in fact what I got was a glass full to the brim of ice with just a hint of red colour floating around. I really missed Italian bar culture on that occasion.

We went to the shops to buy ingredients for a pizza a few weeks ago, we had everything covered until we thought about the cheese. Gone are the days of buying three fresh, soft, delicious mozzarella balls for a couple of bucks. Instead you have the choice of one large (not really that large to be honest) rubber-looking ball pretending to be mozzarella that will set you back about $7.50 or a bag of pre-grated yellow cheese…pizza Aussie style, I dreamed of PizzaMan that night.

Anyway, it isn’t all bad. As I was heading out the door for an early morning run last week I did remember the rolling hills of Tuscany, passing by the odd vineyard on my run and thinking life didn’t get better than this…

Rolling hills of Tuscany

Rolling hills of Tuscany

However, I must have forgotten how beautiful Sydney is. As I was coming up over the second hill on my run, turning right to go under the beginning of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and then trotting down the steps next to Luna Park, I pulled my head up to take in the beautiful Harbour view and thought to myself…not bad at all!

My morning view in Sydney

My morning view in Sydney

Italy the Baker family does miss you; however, I think you’d love it here… Just b.y.o cheese and booze! 


38 thoughts on “We’ve been back for a while now

  1. Have just came home from the shops, been trying to buy taleggio and figs for my pizza tonight!! Fat lot good that did me! Have settled for blue cheese and pear.

      • Sydney was a never ending battle of trying to fit in everyone and everything and on top of that I was sick pretty much for whole time I was here *sigh*

        Was good to get home though. Sydney really is the best city in the world!

  2. Welcome back! I suppose there are pros and cons wherever you live! But it would be hard to be a year in Tuscany! Reading this made me homesick – I can’t wait to have a nice summer in Sydney instead of the horribly hot ones in Brisbane. So looking forward to our family’s weekly evening picnics somewhere on the lower north shore or northern beaches. Can’t wait!

  3. welcome back to Australia – I am sure you will miss so many things about living in Tuscany. The ideal life (for me at least) would be three months here, three months there – wouldn’t it be great to live like that?! ok so now I had better start playing tattslotto to make that a reality. I am sure you have fantastic memories and many many photos – and make your own Negroni at home maybe…

    • Thank you! 3months here and three months in Europe sounds bliss to me…and then do it all again :). I hear you on the Tattslotto! I just have to start recreating my memories and having lots of dinner parties!!

      Sent from my iPad


  4. You sound fabulous!!!! So glad you are back home! Keep posting:) love to hear your adventures. Heather and Will Andersen

    • Hi Heather, wonderful to hear from you xx I am just thinking of posting a few more times. I miss the writing and hearing from great people like yourself. Hope you are all well xx

  5. Welcome home!

    Yes, it’s always the thing where you can’t quite have the best of everything. Although there’s an extent to which the world is small enough that you can give it a good go these days if you’re prepared to DIY a bit 🙂 Cheese is tricky, though – not very transportable. The Singaporean foodie gets theirs airflown from Italy but you can bet it doesn’t come at one or two bucks.

  6. Ciao BI, really nice to hear from you and that you have not forgotten those who are stuck here. Life is soo hard…. I don’t think I could ever return to England and feel the same way you do about Sydney. So pleased you are happy though.
    Amore June x

  7. I decided you must be readjusting to life and that’s why things were quiet. I have no excuse…I just quit writing for awhile. I’ll be back as well! Welcome home!

  8. Looking at your trip and noticed you watched thecafl grand final somewhere in Florence – we will be in Florence on Friday and are keen to see the grand final – can you guide us where we should go?

    • Hi Maree,
      We saw it a Finnigan’s Irish Pub, on the via San Gallo. I think the Red Garter on via Dei benci also showed it. I am not sure if they are doing it this year, just go in and ask before you get up super early!

  9. Hi, my family and I are considering a year in Italy and would love to chat to you to ask a few questions about the logistics of how one even starts this !

  10. Hi Camilla , We have EU passports firstly so assuming no visas are required…what approximate costs should one allow for accommodation (3 kids and ourselves)..are there any good web resources one can refer to ? and if you had to put a per day average cost what sort of figure would you estimate for living costs e.g.? ..thinking somewhere in Tuscany like yourselves …is work available?.italian schools for he kids ..basic Italian spoken only …cheers all this and more

  11. I am so glad I discovered your blog. I am an Aussie (from Margaret River) but I have been living in the USA for the past 40 years. I have rented an apartment on Via dei Pilastri, Florence for the month of October. I am looking forward to following your restaurant/café suggestions.
    Michele Cook

  12. Greetings old friend. I wondered if you were in the blog world anymore or teaching classes in Sydney. My sister is going down under for a month and I wanted her to look up your schedule if you were teaching. Hope all is well..

  13. HI Sweetiepetitti!!! What a wonderful surprise to hear from you.
    I am not writing anymore, something I would like to get back to one day, but for now I am working, working, working. I am still teaching at Sydney Cooking School in Sydney. I teach the Tuscan classes there and would love to meet your sister in one of my classes. I hope all is well with you and the family. My boys are growing in extreme proportions, however we are all well xx

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