About me

About-me
In Manarola, Cinque Terre

I’m Catherine, a linguist and former criminologist, now full-time dedicated to my travel website Slow Italy. When I am not (slow) traveling through one of the beautiful regions of Italy, I’m based either in Rome or Geneva doing my background research for future travels and travel writing, while thinking about inspiring and engaging ways to entice people to travel deeper instead of wider.

I am a slow traveler. I enjoy moving, exploring and traveling without too much planning, improvising and acting as the opportunities arise. Mostly following my own path and palate, I enjoy discovering unexpected treasures and little overlooked gems around every corner, while leaving time for meaningful exchanges with inspiring people and places.

As a linguist and criminologist, I have a natural inclination for researching information that is not immediately obvious or readily available. Tracking down hidden etymologies, authentic local recipes, forgotten legends, overlooked and underrated places and off-the-beaten-track itineraries, that’s what my traveling, writing and research focuses on. My aim is to reveal Italy in a different way, which is inspiring both for the first time traveler and for the seasoned traveler to Italy.

I love photographing people when I travel. I feel the faces and characters I meet in the back streets and markets tell me more about their lives and what it is like to be there, than any guide book could do. It is not about shooting top-of-the-art portraits with perfect backgrounds, but about capturing moments of truth, trying to grasp a graceful moment while it’s there… Authentic people and genuine emotions make my heart sing.

 

Sweet old lady collecting "cicoria selvatica" (Cichorium inthybus - wild chicory) in the Umbrian countryside. See: The Green Hills of Umbria
Sweet old lady collecting “cicoria selvatica” (Cichorium inthybus – wild chicory) in the Umbrian countryside. See: The Green Hills of Umbria

I am also a slow food person, without being a devotee. Many of the slow food and locavore principles just happen to correspond to the way I do my food shopping and cooking in Italy.

While I enjoy my digital nomadic lifestyle, I’m also fascinated by the simplicity, slow pace and craftsmanship of olden days. One of the things I like so much about Italy is the way it so perfectly combines these two seemingly anachronistic elements: being on the forefront of innovation, design and entrepreneurship, yet at the same time so keen on preserving the local traditions, craftsmanship and savoir-faire of yesteryear.

I have lived in five different countries (Italy, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany), and can belong anywhere I go, but Italy is definitely the place I call home.That’s why the angle of Slow Italy is slightly different, offering a unique perspective of Italy, both from the inside out and from the outside in, so to speak. Because I identify with this country, living a local life more than an expat life, my articles are intuitively (or deliberately?) written from a non-expat angle. Reversely, as I have also lived abroad as an expat and traveled around the globe, I intuitively feel what first time travelers to this country may be struggling with or what pieces of information they may need to make their trip to Italy more unique, fun and intense. It also gives me the necessary distance to compare and value things against international standards and expectations.

Don’t take my word for it now, but having traveled to many different countries around the globe, I can objectively say that…Italy is one of the most beautiful and unique countries in the world! 🙂

For more information about Slow Italy, see About Slow Italy.