photo credit Soukizy Redroom

In fact, I’m planning my move to Scotland!

It has been almost 5 years since I first came to Guardia, and it’s been pretty much a vertical uphill struggle since then!

I am in great need of my own culture, some sanity around business and paperwork, and a little less expectation weighing down on me as the protagonist of this rejuvenating town!

163292_480700201985_5781184_n    23 Marzo 1

before- 2011, and after- 2014: the kitchen of the arthouse

It has been hard to take a break from the arthouse work, and from developing the buzz in the town, but it is very tiring being on such a steep work curve!

I became a property owner for the very first time, on an ancient house which had been abandoned for sixteen years.


As soon as I got the keys, I was in there, with a borrowed futon in the least dusty of the rooms, and taking stock of the seriousness of the situation, whilst frantically peeling off wallpaper and sweeping up piles of dust…

With no funds to back me up, and a house in a state of disrepair, I was pretty scared, but I knew that this was an investment in something which could turn into a dream lifestyle, so rolled my sleeves up and got to it. I slowly started making contacts, practising italiano, exploring plans for how I could earn a living, expanding on my ideas and experience (which fortunately were extensive!).

I realised I had plenty internal resources to work with. I also had faith that seeds planted well and prolifically, and tended lovingly, will always bear fruits eventually.

I kept my mind open to all the possibilities!



Four years on, and right now I have a house full of international artists, on a street full of creative activity, in a medieval quarter filled with cultural festivities- quite a difference to the tumble-weeds of the first couple of years I spent here!


And we have just finished our first Ri-CREARE creativity festival in the centro storico, which more than achieved its goal of ‘awakening the spirit of the old town’.

Having spent my first months and years here literally speaking to no-one (few folks knew more than a word of English, whereas now there is daily banter between nations), and not being sure of whether or not anyone else would ever see the beauty, atmosphere and potential of the place like I did, this summer I’m filled with a euphoric gladness that I took that leap into the unknown…


Guardia is now host to a wide variety of exhibitions, visits, house-hunters, spontaneous happenings and impromtu meetings! I hear regular reports of people far afield talking about what we’re doing, and several folks appear to be preparing to transfer here to live and work.

So it seems like it all has a momentum to it that I don’t have to strive quite so hard -or for so long without any respite.

I’m looking very much forward to writing time, to stepping completely out of a cycle of multiple-crises-management and into a cycle of nourishment and inspiration!


My  heart is very much in Scotland already, with the growth there of this massively positive grassroots movement towards accountability, and a future where we are all engaged in creating and benefiting from the rich resources we share.

Feels like the intensive course in autonomy, visioning and sutaining the dream, which I’ve been working on these 5 yrs in Italy, might be just what I’ll need when I get there!

It’ll be a phenomenally charged homecoming!

A presto, Clare

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