Join A Secret Italy


A Blog about our Life in Italy

My name is Maria, my family is from Vicenza, near Venice, and together with my husband Andrew I am the owner of this site. That's me in the photo with my son .

William & Maria, SoloBuildIt

It may not be the fanciest site on earth as it is just the two of us doing it all. I hope though that you will find it packed with useful information.

It took me years and years to discover the “real” Italy and that is what I want my site to be about.

Although I do cover the main tourist spots I will always have a lot about the hidden corners where the tourist seldom ventures.

I never feature lots of hotels and things like that either, only a few places I know personally and can recommend with confidence.

Of course I do hope you'll book through the HotelsCombined links on the site - they help us to keep going :-)

Fed Up!

Our first home together in Italy was in Turin, a beautiful city in Italy’s northwest.

My husband worked for a multinational corporation and I taught at a language school.

Just after our son William was born my husband got quite ill, although it turned out to be nothing serious it gave us a huge fright.

We were fed up with the rat race but neither of us had any clue as to what else we could do.

A Crazy Choice?

Whatever we did it had to be something we loved doing. But what did we love doing? After many sleepless nights it dawned on us that we loved the place we lived – Italy. 

Everything about the country is incredible, the people, the food, the places and we had lived here for so many years and discovered so much in that time. Couldn’t we share that with the world... or were we just being crazy?

Hopeless Beginnings

The internet was the obvious way to share our knowledge but both Andrew and I knew little about the internet.

We tried to write a blog about our life in Italy but it just didn’t work out. We had so much to share about so many places that the blog format was all wrong. Then we built a “free” Wix site but no visitors came.

At this point Andrew was all set to resigning himself to another thirty years of corporate life until we stumbled on Solo Build It! and finally we were able to share our passion and love for Italy with the world.

Our Vision

From the beginning both of us swore we would be honest to our principles even if it meant we made less money. We do need to earn a living but we have consistently refused to feature something if we didn’t like it.

I cannot count the times we have been approached by hotels, restaurants and other businesses to write about them and yet I doubt if more than ten percent have been good enough to be included on the site.

It has cost us a lot of money but I feel better about myself and I believe that this is the only way that you, the visitor, can trust me.



A lot of people tell me they've tried to do the same sort of thing as us, with companies like Wix or Wealthy Associates, but have failed. The reason is that nobody teaches you to build an online business (not just a website) like Solo Build It!. Our Solo Build It review clearly explains why we couldn't have done it without them.

Please Book with Us...

Maria here, if you enjoy my site I'd love your support.

Simply book your next trip anywhere (not only to Italy) via the link below or with any of the hotel links on the website.

You'll get the best deal available and the income I receive helps me to remain independent and to keep bringing you more of beautiful Italy.

Click to Begin

More Travel Tips:

  1. Book your tickets to museums and other attractions of the city in advance on
  2. Book your accommodation. and Agoda both help you to book accommodation in advance and check availability on the days of your travels
  3. Book your excursions. Wherever you go, make the most of your time! Excursions with professional guides will help you do this - choose a location and the best option for yourself on Viator or Getyourguide
  4. Book your car. At least a month before is best. Use Discover Car Hire.
  5. Cash Back on Flights: Great deals & money back with WayAway

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