Cozy italian front yard

Moving to Italy

And the pilgrimage along la via Francigena

Nature along road la via francigena

We packed,
we cleaned,
we drove, 
we arrived,
we searched,
and we (temporarily) found a home in italy! 

It’s been a long journey, and it ain’t over yet. This is the 8th time we moved with all our stuff since we met a bit more than 4 years ago. It still feels like a mess but yes, we are doing it!

The dream of a self-sufficient farm house (“gården”) started more than 10 years ago, for Micke at least. Many places he visited without finding the right one. But one thing had started to become clear, a vibrant forest garden is best grown where the sun is shining. 

In 2019 we went to spend new year’s eve in a beautiful countryside house in the south eastern parts of Italy. We rented a car and travelled across different regions and stopped in some abandoned villages. A seed had started to grow. Maybe Martina would agree to move home to Italy again?  

July 2020. The covid-19 pandemic was “calmer” than before, there were less cases and the borders between the countries reopened. Inspired by a nice hike we did with some friends, we found a very long hiking trail called “La via Francigena” which actually starts in England and finishes in Rome. We decided to take a section of it through the northwestern parts of Italy. Walking through the fields, valleys and small villages we started to get a feel for what it could be like living there. We also gathered some video footage which we are happy to finally be able to share with you!

After a month of tenting, cooking on our “firebox” and drinking fountain water, we went back to Sweden (trains and buses, no flights, darling #shipmelikeapackage).

And there we were, the Swedish Autumn and its beautiful colors. I was hands on gathering herbs and berries, preparing for the Winter. Micke was coding and woodworking. Lots of making, designing, sanding, filing and so on, yet we were dreaming away more than often. My nights were restless, I was cloven, feeling happy and active yet still dissatisfied. 

In the meantime, the pandemic suddenly hit harder and my University decided to continue the lectures and exams online for the entire academic year. While it’s not so engaging and motivating to have classes in Zoom (cloud-based video conferencing service), I honestly found a lot of freedom in this way of studying. It was an opportunity to move and start to actively look for our home again. 

In November and December 2020 we worked a lot. Locked in our 43sqm apartment, we were passing the days binge watching, studying and making the first small steps to start some business. Växjö was gray, dark and rainy as usual, but we could still enjoy taking walks in the beautiful forests around us. I was designing labels, making salves and oils. Micke would come with me to the University, which still had some workshops and facilities open, and spent hours and hours patiently and diligently restoring his woodworking tools. “I need them to be fully functioning and well sharpened so when we are in Italy I can start to make my own woodworking bench.” I loved his commitment and focus even if I didn't engage so much in his projects.

The urge to move in the direction of our dreams, of finding our home, was still very present, the will of being able to rely mostly on the land was stronger than ever. Finally we rented out our apartment and packed to the maximum our car, Abus, and left Sweden the 20th of January 2021. My friends were super supportive and well prepared when we left, I miss them and I hope they’ll come to visit us as soon as possible. 

Here is the video of our journey to Italy. Enjoy! <3