Many of us dream of moving to Italy but Sheryl Ness decided to live out her dream. She ended up marrying a charming Italian chef in the process.

by Sheryl Ness for More Time to Travel – The Backstory: I recently published an article about new Italian hotels on this blog, with a captionless photo at the top. It was a picture of San Gusme, one of the most charming small towns in Tuscany we had ever visited.

Soon after I hit “publish,”  I received a note on LinkedIn from Sheryl Ness, an American woman from Minnesota, who not only recognized the picture of this teeny, tiny, relatively obscure town but told me she had lived there for six years.

She sent me a copy of the book she had written about moving to Italy and finding her heart in San Gusme. Love in a Tuscan Kitchen is beautifully written and illustrated.

It is a story of romance infused with keen insights into Tuscan traditions and culture. An added bonus: It also contains a treasure trove of recipes.

Sheryl graciously contributed the inspiring essay below. 

You might say that a girlfriend getaway spawned a life-changing adventure. Six months before I turned 40, I planned a girlfriend trip to Italy to celebrate my milestone birthday. Something I couldn’t explain was drawing me to Italy.

I had traveled to Italy a few years earlier on a hiking trip through Tuscany (again with a girlfriend) and fell in love with the beauty of the land, the openness and welcoming spirit of the people, and of course, the pure delight of eating the incredible food and wine while I was there. We traveled through Chianti and the little hill towns for an 8-day experience that I will never forget.