Author, bespoke travel consultant, event planner and expert in all things Amalfi Coast.
I adored my stepfather, who was Italian, so Italy just felt like the right place for me. It made me feel closer to him. I couldn’t wait to learn the language so I could converse with him in full Italian. I found myself a relocation opportunity with Vogue, my employer at the time, packed my things and took off to Milan thinking it would be a great adventure. Little did I know this would change my life forever.
Home away from home
Italy was everything I had always imagined and more! It felt like I had finally arrived home, so it only made sense to stay. After working in Milan and Florence, I fell in love with Positano. That’s where I met Sergio, my ex-husband, and it quickly became my new home. I loved everything about the Amalfi Coast – the place, the food, the people, the culture… so the 18 years I lived there felt like a real-life fairytale.
Down memory lane
Some of my fondest memories of Positano are riding Sergio’s motorbike along the coast road, hugging him from behind like a koala on our way to dinner, a concert, or to see friends. The cliffs, the houses, the ocean, the smells of the beautiful coastal stretch – it’s such a perfect postcard memory. It didn’t matter how many times we did it, it always felt like being in a movie.
My Amalfi Coast
Ever since I came back to Australia, every person going to the Amalfi Coast for holidays would come to me for tips of restaurants and places to stay and see. After years of providing this advice, I decided to write a book (My Amalfi Coast). But more than putting a list of not-to-be-missed places, it was a cathartic exercise for me, a way of accepting my departure from a place I loved so much. I wrote it five years after I left, and it was lovely to put so many wonderful memories on paper. But on the other hand, it didn’t help with my homesickness. I still miss it terribly.
At the moment, what I miss the most is my son Marco, who after finishing his studies in Australia, decided to go back to his childhood hometown. I can’t blame him, can I? On any other given day, I miss everything! The food, the social interaction, the vespas on the streets, the enormous respect for mealtimes (the most important thing in life), the street banter, the lively atmosphere.
I love wearing pure fabrics such as linen, silk and cotton. As for my style, I’d say the simpler the better, with a preference for loose, easy shapes that are both beautiful and comfortable. To me, good fashion is all about simplicity, versatility and multi-faceted styles. I also love functionality in fashion. It’s rare, but when it’s done with style, it’s the best. Sometimes it could be something as simple as the placement of a pocket!
I first came across La Bottega di Brunella when I moved to Positano, back in the 80s. At the time, Positano’s fashion to me was terrifying! Synthetic garment and dyed patchwork madness. But I was there for love, not for work. I had just come from working 10 years with Australian, American, French and Italian Vogues. When I found Brunella, it felt like finding an oasis in the desert. It was by far the best fashion Positano had at the time, and I think it still is!
Once all the synthetic gear started to fade out, many started to copy (or try to copy) Brunella’s fabrics and styles, but never came even close. Brunella has always had a unique and original style that is nearly impossible to replicate. It’s annoying, I know, but in fashion, when everyone tries to copy you, it’s also the ultimate compliment.