Inspiring Expats in Italy

the delicate beauty of oleanders at Genius Loci
delicate beauty of oleanders at Genius Loci

While I don’t have (and never have had) a group of expat friends with whom I socialize locally, I do have a small circle of expats in Italy whom I admire greatly – amazing women doing amazing things!

I find them remarkable for various reasons but there is a clear common denominator:  their courage to “take the road less traveled” and their resolve to continue down that road no matter what it takes, overcoming daunting emotional, financial, cultural, and logistical obstacles, focusing on the positives and somehow overlooking… or at least coping successfully with the endless frustrations of their experiences in the complex country that is Italy.

Today I would like to present the first of these Inspiring Expats:

my bella Diana

Diana Strinati Baur

Diana and I were introduced virtually by a common acquaintance over seven years ago during the final stages of our painstaking restoration of an 1880s rural structure in Umbria which was to become Genius Loci.  I was weary, almost broken, after years of hard work, huge worries, hindering obstacles, horrific set-backs… and from dealing with the very unwelcome intruder of major illness –  devastated by nagging self-doubts and depleted of all necessary energy.

In the midst of this bleak period, Diana reached out unexpectedly by email, encouraging me –  assuring me that she was so very well-aware of the struggle – she shared the pain.  She had been there, done that with her similar restoration project in Piemonte and offered her loving understanding and comforting moral support.

What an exquisite and generous gesture!     Ever since, she has been my bella Diana.

Diana is the epitome of courage and resolve.  I feel privileged to consider her a friend.  She is an inspiration to me and to all those who are lucky enough to know her.

It isn’t easy to define Diana:  former business executive, entrepreneur, artist, soon-to-be-published writer, ceramist, innkeeper, interior designer, amazing blogger, accomplished cook…. she is the sum of all those parts…but she is also so much more.  Most importantly she is a generous and supportive friend, a sensitive and intelligent woman who has met with success in everything she has set out to do.

Read more about Diana’s inspiring story on her exceptional blog:

Stay tuned to meet other inspiring expats – amazing women doing amazing things!



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The Classic Doubles are beautifully-appointed and furnished and feature lovely lateral views of the surrounding countryside.

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The Deluxe Doubles are extra-spacious, beautifully-appointed and furnished, suite-like rooms with comfortable sitting areas.

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