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View of neighborhood in Perugia, Italy.
View of neighborhood in Perugia, Italy.

Welcome to Horse On The Menu! Here you’ll find all the information you need to get started navigating this blog.


It’s an a-typical travel blog revolving around expat life in Italy, plus other travel stories and adventures (like the time I went to a Nazi labor camp with a German and his very German GPS). You’ll find all the ins and outs of Italian living and traveling, from me, an American woman with Southern roots and no Italian heritage or real reason to be in this country other than “Why not?”

Content runs the gamut, from insider travel destinations to historical curiosities and the types of mind-blowing experiences only expat living can provide.

Since everything about my expat experience has been “off the beaten path”, the blog is, too. I make a conscious effort to avoid most tourist traps and take you places you’d never think to go, transforming my good and bad experiences into pointers for you to make the most out of your time traveling or living abroad.

Me, at 'aperitivo' in Perugia, Italy (2014)
Enjoying an “aperitivo” in Perugia, Italy.


  • 10 Things In Italy That’ll Make You Smile will show you some of the more unique, lesser-known parts of Italian living.
  • To learn about where we lived our first two years in Italy, Where In The World is ‘Val di Non’ will provide the first introduction to this northern hinterland.
  • Seattle To Italy In One Not-So-Fell-Swoop (Part 1), (Part 2), and (Part 3) will take you on our journey from deciding to leave Seattle to arriving up north in Val di Non (Trentino).
  • Everything you ever wanted to know about the unique culture and dialect of Val di Non can be found in It’s A ‘Nones’ Life.
  • Life On Beautiful Street will introduce you to the unique summertime street in the historic center of Perugia, Italy, where we finally found peace with this country before settling into our current home.
  • And finally, 5 Things Italy Did Not Warn Me About will take you along the journey of our experiences butting heads with Italian country, language and culture.


My mission is to push the boundaries of what an expat-travel blog encompasses, sharing stories about international living that are poignant, well-written and insightful. But mostly, I aim to write about those parts of travel that aren’t so obvious and that can’t always be reduce down to a tidy little “list.”

I hope to sweep you away, to places like the Piedmont countryside, or to a stunning moment when I was overcome by a draft horse on a dark, snowy street in North Italy — transporting you as if you’re walking in my shoes, and seeing through my eyes.

If I can also make you laugh (like when I write about the “country boy” haircuts of the Alps or the many ways for getting around in the mountains), well — then that’s icing on the cake, y’all.

My background in Urban / Land Use Planning means that I do occasionally sprinkle posts with facts and information; but don’t worry. My writing is fun and lively and you’ll never be bored reading about Italy’s northernmost region (Trentino-Alto Adige) and how it’s been ravaged by war.

I also make a conscious effort not to reduce any people/places/events down to a single experience, getting curious about the culture of Val di Non, and how they people there became such strident penny-pinchers.

However, I’ve lived through a lot here in Italy. Which is why I’ve turned some of the less celebrated experiences into tips for how you can stay out of trouble.

For instance, after I was attacked by a dog in The Alps, I learned canine self-defense so that you’re not defenseless. I’ve compiled a list of suggestions for being a tenant in Italy to help you steer clear of apartment disasters of your own; and should you ever need to navigate the country’s wacky roadways, you may find my Italian driving tips a good reference in planning your trip.

View of Vieste on the Gargano Penninsula, Italy.
View of Vieste on the Gargano Penninsula, Italy.

In three plus years of Italian living, I’ve amassed quite a cache of experiences. So let me take you there, to where I’ve been and where I am now, both in story and in off-the-beaten path adventures.

But most of all, I hope to move you — to inspire you — in any way I can. And it doesn’t have to be about travel. Seeking adventure is what this blog is all about, even the seemingly small ones, even in your own backyard. Because when we give ourselves over to an experience and turn off our churning, critical minds, allowing the patina of an “ideal” life to just slide away — that’s when we truly live.

So hop on, ride along with me through Naples on the back of a stranger’s scooter (this really happened), satisfying your own craving for a little more spice in your life. Because this is why you’re alive.

This is why you leave it all behind.

Be sure to check out other background pages, About The Blog and About Me to learn more about Horse On The Menu and the woman behind it all. Also feel free to comment on posts, like the blog on Facebook, and spread the word! 

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