I'm Lisa!

I’m a magazine founder & editor, a private food & shopping guide and watercolour artist who wants to share everything I know about the best-kept secrets in Tuscany with you.


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Delight in traditional as well as new foods, recipes and a few artisanal cocktails as well

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Buon Natale dall’ Australia

Warm Christmas Wishes from Down Under

Melbourne Town Hall

It is 10pm Christmas night and I am exhausted after a lovely day with my family celebrating and eating lots of wonderful food!   This year being extra special as it is our first Christmas with Matteo and we are also celebrating in my home town of Melbourne.   I am especially glad to be here as Florence is going through a very cold snap and today was minus 5 degrees celcius!    We, in stark contrast to our Italian friends were dipping our toes in the bay this morning and enjoying the heat!  Looks like Emiliano got his wish of going to the beach Christmas day after all!  We were very surprised when the storms hit this afternoon though.  Thunder, lightning and a torrential downpour hit as we left lunch and proved that Melbourne really can have four seasons in one day!

Christmas morning- Middle Park beach

I don’t think Florence managed a white Christmas though which would have been gorgeous!  If it’s going to be that cold, it may as well snow!

Yesterday morning we went to the Sth Melbourne Market to buy our Christmas ham and I couldn’t believe how many people were lining up to buy their seafood for their Christmas feasts.  Apparently people had been there since 5am and at 10am, the crowds were ten deep at both major fish stands – I wonder how long most people had to wait to get served and also what fish was left at the end of the day.

Crowds at Sth Melbourne Market

our yummy Christmas Eve dinner

Our Christmas Eve was spent at home eating wonderful prawns, crayfish and a mango, chilli & mint salad while listening to the Carols by Candlelight.  I have lovely memories of watching these with my mother and grandmother from when we were quite young.

We had a lazy morning today as our Christmas lunch wasn’t until 2.30pm.  I decided to go for a run before it got too hot but I must say it is a challenging road back to fitness!  I hope I can get back to running the distances I used to without always feeling as sluggish as what I did this morning!

Our family including my dad, his wife, my two brothers, their wives, 4 nieces and 1 nephew went to The Middle Park Hotel for a very delicious lunch.  I decided to stick to the traditional menu so went for the turkey followed by the pudding.  Emiliano chose the suckling pig which was incredible followed by a cheesecake and moscato sorbet.  After lunch, we headed home to open the presents and the best part was watching two and a half year old Cooper’s face when he saw all the presents and then received his new bike!  I can’t wait for Matteo to understand what Christmas is about!  I’m sure I’ll be very excited playing Santa and planning everything.

Suckling pig with poached peaches and cherries

My eldest niece Isabella with Matteo

Niece Charlotte & Nephew Cooper

Nieces Lily & Maddy

with Isabella

Matteo's first Christmas

Matteo's new Melbourne Tram

Cooper's new bike & helmet

Proud Nonno

Love my Dad!

Even though we are in Melbourne we can’t escape all things Italian.  Everywhere we turn there are Italian restaurants, Piaggio vespas are becoming very familiar on the city streets here and every morning we have the choice of Lavazza or Illy coffee in the many cafe’s.  We went into the city the other day so that Matteo could have his photo taken with Father Christmas so I took a few photos of all things Italiano that we came across.  Matteo’s photo could not have been more beautiful!  No tears at all – we even got a cute smile from him!

Matteo & Santa

Illy coffee at Store 6 - Sth Melbourne Market

Barista caffe - Melbourne city

Vespa at Barista

Brunetti caffe - Melbourne city

L'Incontro Bar - Melbourne city

'Tricolore' Italian colours - Melbourne city

Santa street performer

Bourke St, Melbourne city

Being a new mother, I have quickly discovered the hurdles that come with pushing a pram around, like too narrow doorways and trying to get up the steep steps of the tram is virtually impossible on your own.  I was very shocked to come across a cafe in Sth Melbourne with a ‘No Pram Policy!’  The space inside was very limited but they may as well have had a sign up saying ‘No Children or Babies Allowed’!  Another cafe a few doors down had the following sign advising all of us pram pushers were more than welcome!

Occupants and Drivers Welcome!

My First Christmas was a very long day!

Matteo is sound asleep beside me and I love listening to his little heavy breathing – let’s hope he sleeps for more than three hours which seems to be his standard since we arrived in Melbourne!

I hope that all of my friends and blog readers had a lovely and relaxing day with family too.

 Good Night!
Lisa x

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FOOD OBSESSED, FASHION LOVER, BUSY MAMMA, MAGAZINE CREATOR & WATERCOLOUR ARTISt.

Ciao, I'm Lisa B,
I’m a magazine founder & editor, a private food & shopping guide and watercolour artist who wants to share everything I know about the best-kept secrets in Tuscany with you.

I created This Tuscan Life blog, magazine and experiences to share everything I love about Florence & Tuscany, one of the most popular and visited regions in Italy.   Add a splash of watercolour & you've got a creative mamma of two who wants to show you the true & authentic side of Tuscany.

Learn more

These delicious soft square pillows of ravioli filled with mashed potato, cheese, garlic and parsley are more commonly known in Tuscany as Tortelli Mugellani, the famous Tortello from Mugello! If you haven’t tried these yet, then add them to your list of ‘must-taste’ when you next travel to this region known as the ‘Green Valley of Tuscany’. 

Barberino di Mugello is a small town found an easy thirty minute drive along the A1 from Florence or 45 minutes from Bologna. For those of you that know me well, you’ll understand one of the things that I find special about visiting Barberino…….. Did someone say Designer Outlet?

FROM THE BLOG

A creative, food & fashion loving mamma of two boys with a passion for all things Italian. 

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