Best Living in Italy Blog 2016 – Grazie Mille!

Yesterday I received word that Bleeding Espresso has been named the Best Living in Italy Blog in the ITALY Magazine Blogger Awards.

Ce l’abbiamo fatta! We did it!

Grazie mille to ITALY Magazine and to everyone who voted for Bleeding Espresso, and now please forgive my Sally Field “You really like me!” moment but here we go:

I started this blog on a whim in 2006, three years after I moved to Calabria. During the early years, I didn’t have Internet in my house as I couldn’t afford it, and anyway it wasn’t very common around here back then. In the village, only the tobacco store and a real estate agency had it, so I would mostly write offline and often travel a half hour by bus to send off writing assignments at an Internet cafe.

I also walked uphill in snow both ways, but that’s a story for another day.

Then I got Internet in the house and I began reading a few Italy blogs and wanted in. I knew less than nothing about HTML or coding and such, so I started on Blogger with an insanely long Blogspot URL because someone had already claimed Bleeding Espresso (though they never did anything with it, apparently). And I wrote anonymously, going only by “sognatrice,” which means “dreamer.”

Bleeding Espresso early notesI never could have dreamed, though, that doodles on a notepad regarding a blog name, tagline, and potential topics could have turned into the wonderful, worldwide community it has ten years later.

Over these years, I’ve told you lots about my life in Badolato and how living in my ancestors’ village has changed my life. I’ve also shared my story about acquiring Italian citizenship jure sanguinis — and many, many of you have communicated with me privately regarding your quest.

We have shared Calabrian Christmas traditions in our families, tales of malocchiorecipes (especially on Wednesdays!), and book recommendations. We have discussed hot topics like the Amanda Knox trial and whether or not to give children wine. We have laughed over how you know you’re in Italy and the top 5 Italian words you don’t want to mispronounce.

And Nutella. Oh, was there ever Nutella.

This past year, I finally published a book about my adopted region — 52 Things to See & Do in Calabria — and your support has been unwavering and simply amazing.

As my freelance writing and editing career grew and then especially after I had my daughter, my blog writing has gotten more infrequent, but you’ve stuck with me — even as attention spans fade and Italy-based blogs and websites abound, competing for your attention.

You still come, virtually, to my little corner of the toe of the boot, to a medieval village in the rural south where most of you have never been and may never visit.

I don’t have Rome, Florence, Venice, or Tuscany to entice you, yet you come.

Badolato Calabria ItalyYou have been coming for ten years and now you have rewarded me with your votes for ITALY Magazine’s Best Living in Italy Blog — and I couldn’t be more proud or humbled by this.

So thank you, from the bottom of my heart as I type from the toe of the boot, for sharing this space with me and for contributing your stories, experiences, and opinions to enrich this community. You have provided me incredible support and love in ways you will never know. Many of you have become among my most cherished friends. You know who you are, and you ground me. Thank you.

I’m sorry that one particular reader-turned-cherished-friend is not here to celebrate this award with me, however. We never met in person, but he always had a kind comment or a funny email forward at the ready and would’ve voted the crap out of this contest — not just for me but for all his favorite Italy bloggers. Unfortunately, the world lost his generous spirit in 2016. I know he would’ve been just as proud of this award as if he were my own father.

Love and miss you, Gil. I hope you’re enjoying a sfogliatelle somewhere.

I have exciting things planned for Bleeding Espresso for 2017, and I look forward to revealing them, time-permitting, throughout the winter and spring.

I still have to post my One-Word Theme for 2017, too, so put your thinking caps on and be ready to share yours as well, please.

So grazie mille, again, for your votes, yes, but more importantly, for choosing to spend precious moments of your time with me.

And a special thank you to ITALY Magazine for reminding me how much I love and appreciate this space and the people in it.

Buon anno a tutti!

18 Beans of Wisdom to “Best Living in Italy Blog 2016 – Grazie Mille!”
  1. 12.31.2016

    Congrats, Michelle!!!

    I miss Gil too. What a wonderful person.

    Buon Anno, cara. Looking forward to reading BE in 2017.


    michelle Reply:

    Thanks Arlene! What a ride this blogging thing has been, eh? 🙂

  2. 12.31.2016

    Well-deserved auguri Michelle. Buon Anno, Cristina ???

    Cristina Reply:

    Those were supposed to be fireworks, not ?.??

    michelle Reply:

    Ha, gotcha!

    michelle Reply:

    Thank you, Cristina!

  3. 01.01.2017

    Wonderful! And you deserve it.

    michelle Reply:

    Thank you, Caterina!

  4. 01.01.2017

    CONGRATUALATIONS!!!!!!! I must thank you for giving us a chance to see through your eyes your beautiful Calabria. Letting us dream as we read your posts and giving us hope that we may be as courageous as you to take our dreams to another level in our lives.
    Someone once wrote, a book is a dream to hold in you hold in your hand. So you see as we read each word you write in your beautiful blog, you hold us in your hands and we hold you in our heart. So it is us who should say GRAZIE, GRAZIE MILLE. Keep writing so I can see life in Italy through your eyes and yes dream that one that I just may travel to see it. Paulette

  5. 01.01.2017

    Thank you for letting us in to your world. Your stories helped inspire me to visit my family’s hometown of Sant’Andrea Apostolo dello Ionio, just a few towns over, and I thank you for your patient and enthusiastic replies to the many people — myself included — who have asked for your input and suggestions. You deserve the recognition.

  6. 01.02.2017

    Congratulations! And thank you for your blog and website! Buon anno nuovo!

    michelle Reply:

    Thank you! Wishing you and yours all the best in 2017 🙂

  7. 01.02.2017

    Very well deserved, congrats again Michelle!

    ps. I’m so happy that you mentioned Gil, he was a truly thoughtful soul that left interesting comments. He will absolutely be missed..

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks! Yes, Gil and I had been exchanging emails from the beginning of my blog in 2006. I miss his communications terribly 🙁

  8. michelle

    Thanks so much, Carl. Hopefully we’ll get to meet the next time you come around these parts!

  9. michelle

    What a beautiful comment, Paulette. Thank you so much xx

  10. 01.04.2017

    Huge Congrats, and funny that you mention reading blogs and wanting ‘in’ because yours was the blog that inspired me to start! Thank you for your kindness, your sharing, and for being that person I could reach out to with questions back in the early days of life in Italy.
    much love lisa x

    michelle Reply:

    Thanks so much, Lisa! It’s so wonderful what a lovely community of Italy bloggers has emerged…we are all lucky to have found one another 🙂

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

Calabria Guidebook

Calabria travel guide by Michelle Fabio



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