Dumbbells in the gym

Back in my second home

I’m tired.

The end of the summer and beginning of autumn have been super busy. Not in a bad way, but I’m tired.

I’ve realised recently how traumatising this summer has been and that I’m exhausted. The stress fracture and all the struggle around it, then being diagnosed with a life-changing condition. All the emotions, all the research, getting organised with how to to regain control of my life and help myself, while at the same time doing intense rehab that I can’t slack with if I want to get back to normal, playing gigs, needing to show up cheerful and positive. My head has never been able to rest, I’ve been emotionally engaged in things all the time since April.

I know things could be worse. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been doing good lately and I’m thankful, but now I feel drained.

Do I need to go talk to someone? Well no, I have my husband, and my physiotherapist, personal trainer, and God – they’re more than good enough for me! Do I need a good cry? Nope, had enough of that earlier this year.

So what DO I need?
I need a good holiday, a change of scenery (sorry West Cork, I love you but right now I need sunshine, warmer weather, road trips in the mountains and Trebbiano wine), and to rest my brain.


We landed at the Leonardo Da Vinci airport in Rome on Sunday morning.
I can’t say the trip was smooth. We drove to Dublin on Saturday night, slept an hour in the car before we went to the airport, so let’s say we weren’t in top form when we arrived!

Then getting a car was not a great experience even if we had booked, but we got one in the end and after many ifs and buts, we could finally get going towards Abruzzo. It’s 2-3 hours drive but we took a few wrong turns here and there when we were almost arrived… it’s been too long since we’ve been here!

This is our second home and where we’ve spent our summer holidays and one autumn holiday from 2013 until we moved to Ireland. We had been in the region two holidays before that but in 2013 we were going down with my inlaws and decided to rent a house or apartment instead of staying in hotels. The first to respond to my e-mails was the owner of this place, which is a farm where they primarily grow olives and make olive oil, but they also grow vegetables and various fruits, and have some buildings with simple apartments for tourists. The concept of staying at a farm and taste the goodies from the land is called an “agriturismo” – it’s by far the best way to live while visiting Italy because it really lets you indulge in the culture, get to know some people and the way of life.

Even if the apartment seemed very small, I decided to go for it because it was summer and we would spend most of the time outside anyway.
We’ve never regretted that. This is a fantastic place that is managed by some lovely people who are now like good friends, and it’s so good to finally be back after five years. Some things are different, most are not. The beautiful dog, Bosco, has died (he was 15 years old, I hadn’t realised how time has flown!), the owners are older but still hard working as ever. This season they’re busy with the olive harvest, and we have already received a bottle of the new, ultra fresh olive oil – one of the most amazing flavours I know.

Going for walks in this environment in the morning is soothing for my soul and I already feel restored.

It’s warmer than usual for October, about 30C (86F) during the day and around 18-20C (68F) in the evening. In ireland we had great summer weather in May and June but I couldn’t enjoy it since I was miserable and later in the boot unable to do things outside other than sitting on a chair, so this is my summer of 2023 and I’m enjoying it to the fullest. It’s supposed to rain and be cooler after the weekend but it looks like the temperatures could go back up to above 20 later in the week.

While we’re here, we’ll work part time, enjoy the company of good friends, food, wine, coffee, walks and roadtrips. Stay tuned to see what we’re up to!

I’m linking this with the sadly last Denyse’s words & pics link-up.

14 responses to “Back in my second home”

  1. Catrina avatar

    I love the agriturismo places! We never stay in a traditional hotel in Italy because these farm places are so much more charming.
    It is so nice to relax that you can extend the summer! Italy had a hard time with the heat this summer; it still seems extraordinarily hot! How is the water situation?

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, staying in an agriturismo is to immerse oneself in the way of life here and it’s so much more interesting than being in a hotel (which of course has its place to depending on where you are and what you want to do). This trip definitely is to extend summer. Our summer had just barely ended and as i mentioned, I didn’t really enjoy the summer since I was injured and miserable most of the time. Now I find myself with sunshine and 30C (it will rain tomorrow but I just heard they talk about 38C later this week!!) and the Irish rain feels so remote!
      I haven’t heard much talk about water as an acute problem right now but the rivers certainly are dry.

  2. Darlene S Cardillo avatar

    Looks so relaxing. Enjoy. And share lots of photos.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Darlene. I’ll do my best with the photos. I’ve been so picky lately with what I shoot which makes me take fewer photos, while in the past I took photos everywhere and of everything. And then I used to get some good photos because I took so many! I have to get back to that, which was actually one of my plans with this trip.

  3. Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au avatar

    How lovely to be able to get away to a place that’s the same but different. I hope you get to enjoy warm, relaxing weather and have time to rest and regroup. We’re coming into Spring and Summer here in Australia and I’m loving the warmer weather and being outside in it and able to walk well again. Life throws us for a loop sometimes, but there’s always something to find joy in.

    1. Susanne avatar

      How lovely to go into the warm season! And of course a big yay to walking well again. Here the weather has been great except the last few days, and it’s the perfect extension of summer! We’ve been doing a lot of walking, also in some challenging terrain, and it’s getting better and better.
      There’s always something to find joy in as you say, although sometimes we need to look for it during the tough times.

  4. Debbie Harris avatar

    This sounds like ana amazing place to stay and just what you needed Susanne. Enjoy!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Debbie! It’s a fantastic place and I’m having really enjoying it. 😀

  5. Denyse Whelan avatar

    I enjoyed seeing what you have been up to and read the post you quoted earlier about your health news. Sorry it’s that for you. We sometimes just have to do quick shifts of changes of outlook and you seem to be doing that well.

    Thank you for your contribution to the final blog post and link up from Denyse’s Words and Pics. I will miss the blogging community but will always be grateful for you being part of this Wednesday’s #WWandPics. Warm wishes, Denyse.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, the only option is to adapt and make the best of life despite limitations. I’ll miss your blog and your link-up but will still see you on Instagram.

  6. Joanne avatar

    Oh that does sound like a wonderful and much deserved little getaway!

    1. Susanne avatar

      It certainly is! I’m enjoying every minute!

  7. Anne avatar

    Susanne, what a fantastic place for a much-needed retreat, rest, and reset. You clearly needed this, and I am so glad you finally got to return to your Italian home, and that it graced you with sunshine and warmth. I hope you are still carrying the vibes into Irish winter. <3

    1. Susanne avatar

      It certainly was a good break, and one that gave a lot of walking abilities back (which you’ll see in the next few posts) because I walked a LOT.

Leave a comment and make my day

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *