Valerie Fortney Schneider

member for over 5 years

Member Since:
Jan 2013

Former travel agent turned travel writer, I followed my roots and my dreams to live in Italy. I reside in a centuries-old village in the south of the boot with my husband and kitty, enjoying the food, wine, culture and incredible hospitality this region offers. Food, Wine, Travel. Freelance writer. Recent publications include: International Living Magazine;;; I have contributed to two books on expat living and to a movie production company on a Special Feature for the DVD release of Roman Holiday. I write and translate travel-related web content, and look for the unusual or unknown places and experiences, and enjoy telling the stories of the people who make a locale special. 

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Published Articles (16)

10 Things To Do In Italy…for that Uniquely Italian Experience

Italy offers endless sights and historical attractions; I could list a hundred just in Rome alone. But part of the pleasure of “la dolce vita” is combining sightseeing with unique […]

Europe In The Fall

When our family and friends ask when the best time to visit Italy is, our answer is invariably, “September”. While we love summer with its frenzy of activities, concerts and […]

Mystical Matera: Italy’s Most Ancient City

Matera, among the billowing wheat fields where the scrub-dotted hills of Basilicata give way to the limestone plateau of Puglia, isn’t “one the way” to any destination. But the city […]

Explore Italy\’s Secret Gardens

With so much to see in Italy, many travellers overlook the country’s beautiful gardens and lose out on a special experience, for these are no ordinary, peaceful patches of green; […]

A Dramatic Town to Call Home in Tuscany

Pitigliano is in southern Tuscany, the less-known part that has fascinating Etruscan remains and breathtaking towns that seem to have grown spontaneously from the tufa rock on which they rest.

Hot Water and Etruscan Trails

The ancient Romans loved to lounge in hot water, and so will you at this gorgeous open-air spa in Tuscany. They’re the perfect antidote after hiking the fascinating Etruscan trails […]

Matera’s Longest Day

July 2 is dubbed “the longest day” in the stone city of Matera in a festival that combines the sacred and profane in one grand celebration that goes from sunrise […]

Addictive Peperoni Cruschi

A tempting treat found only in Basilicata is the peperone you’ll see hanging to dry in the sun. The strings of peppers are not as fiery as you might think; […]

Good Food and Great Wine in Italy’s Hidden Region

Valerie takes you on a culinary primer of the specialty foods of the beautiful but less-known region of Le Marche, in Italy’s rolling heartland.

Italy vs France -The Italy Side

A head-to-head on why Basilicata Italy beats out Dordogne France for hospitality and livability

South of Amalfi

The Cilento Coast is the lesser-known little sister of the Amalfi Coast, where tourism and living cost less

Experiening Greece-In Italy

Before the Romans, there were the Greeks that built cultural hubs and great monuments in southern Italy. This newsletter piece highlights their sights. I also wrote the second article about […]

Hotels Where the Cuisine is Worth the Trip

Some choose hotels for locations, others for the food. A round-up of inns that are as famous for their cuisine as their accommodations.

Spend a Night in History

Castles and villas offering accommodations along with a sense of their historic splendor

Have Your Pecorino, and Drink It Too

Pecorino isn’t just a sheep milk cheese, it’s also a wine produced in Le Marche region of Italy

Fairest of Them All

Why Piazza del Popolo in Ascoli Piceno is considered one of Italy’s most beautiful piazzas