About Italian Gems

My name is Catherine and I am an English translator, teacher and former Reuters correspondent who has spent more than seven years in Italy. I am focusing the reporting and creative writing I do in this blog on the places and people in Italy that we rarely hear about but that we have plenty to learn from.

I am searching for the gems many of us hope to find: forgotten but beautiful towns, hidden corners of famous places, interesting but overlooked museums, restaurants that are not fiercely promoted but serve the most delicious food…and so on.

My interest in “Italian Gems” began when I first moved to Italy from England in 1993, when I was nine. Here I am at the Venice Carnival dressed as Mary Poppins.

My beautiful picture

During the year-and-a-half that I lived in Padua as a child, I missed my friends in England a lot and I used to write them letters, telling them about my experiences in Italy, and the interesting places I had discovered. Nowadays I seldom write letters due to the internet. But I have always found letter writing one of the best ways for me to express myself. I have created this blog so that I can revive my favourite hobby.

I returned to Italy to work as a reporter in 2010, and from then on I spent my free time searching for hidden jewels. Once I started working for myself in 2014, I dedicated even more time to that search.


I would describe myself as an independent explorer and reviewer– I write about places that I consider interesting and relevant for readers. I am not sponsored to promote specific towns, hotels, museums or restaurants. This site is educational and non-profit as far as I am concerned.

I hope my blog can help you discover some of the fascinating stories and legends in Italian culture, especially those of southern Italy, and that it can lead you to some hidden treasures. I understand that foreigners often want to find more unusual places in Italy but that information in English can appear lacking so I hope to fill that gap. Let me know if you also want to recommend a jewel that you stumble upon.

Enjoy darlings!


If you would like to get in contact, you can email me at italiangems@gmail.com. You can also write to me at that address if you want to suggest an additional tip or if you spot any factual errors in any of my posts. If you are interested in translation help/ se cerca traduzioni dall’ italiano all’inglese o correzione di bozze: http://www.ingleseprofessionale.com


21 thoughts on “About Italian Gems

  1. Dum differtur, vita transcurrit; memento audere semper.
    Isn’t it,Catherine?
    Hope to hear your voice again.
    Luca Gabriele C.

  2. La traduzione in lingua italiana del mio ultimo commento scritto in inglese, è stata tradotta automaticamente dal sito in maniera da non rispecchiarne l’esatto contenuto.
    Desideravo, cara Catherine, congratularmi per la bellezza del sito e per la sensibilità di una simile iniziativa.
    Spero di sentirti presto.
    Un caro saluto
    Luca Gabriele C.

  3. Thank you for having this Blog on the Italian Gems, Italy is a gem in it’s self. I personally can only write on my area Le Marche, because I created this blog to bring tourism here since all the tragedy 2016 earthquakes. I will enjoy reading your posts and also visiting them in our camper. thanks for this site!

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