About Us

Written By: Arlene Ridolfi Valentine

About us

We are Russ and Arlene Valentine and we call our site and our blog Casa Valentine (House of Valentine in italian).We have had many different houses over the course of our long story (we’ve been married for 50 years), and we both agree that wherever we are together we feel at home.  We divide our time now between Italy and the USA…..a wonderful combination of work and play.  Our work now involves teaching, helping and guiding others to experience the beauty and charm of Italy, and sharing our travel and life stories.  Our play involves family, friends, the pleasures of the table, travel, and just generally appreciating and feeling gratitude for all the wonderful little things that pile up every day and combine to make a meaningful life.

We have had a number of different careers between us over the years.  It’s always been fascinating to me to notice how one work experience leads quite naturally to another, or at least that’s how it seemed to us as we navigated our somewhat checkered paths.  We’ve done concessions and catering which led to restaurants, we’ve done late-blooming college degrees which led to careers in teaching and design, and our love of houses and travel led to years in the field of real estate and vacation rentals.  We’re a bit more settled now…..just one career each…but we love what we do:  teaching at an international school and renting villas to travelers.

I hope that our blog posts are as entertaining to read as they were to us as we experienced them.  Many are really funny stories about moving to another country post-middle age, some are interesting and informative such as how we made that move, some will be about cooking which we both love to do, some will chronicle adventures that we’ve experienced and one of my favorite blog categories….What We Saw Today….is simply a collection of photographs of the odd things, sometimes everyday things, that capture our attention and bring mindful  joy to daily life.

Blogs are a great way to share and to connect with others.  I find them inspiring and comforting, snapshots of beauty and useful information…..sort of like having a whole world of magazines at your fingertips.  Which, by the way, is why I love our blog’s design!

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