Today I chatted with a writer friend about how my love affair with Italy started.

Here is the link: if you would like to read what we spoke about.

This is the invitation that my Italian mother-in-law used to get into a dance organised by the British army who were in Urbino in 1944.

She was not officially invited but tagged along with another young girl and met her future husband: Captain Horace Petch of the 8th Army. He was not supposed to be there either. It was out of bounds for him.

They fell in love and he crossed mine fields to visit and court her. It worked!

Love knows no boundaries. He didn’t speak Italian and she didn’t speak English but they managed 🙂

I used a lot of the stories Mamma (as I call her) when I wrote The Tuscan Secret which I am delighted to say is riding at number one in its Amazon category at the moment. It is only 99 pence for a little while longer.

About Angela Petch

Bit of a story dreamer, written four novels - a fifth in progress. I love my little family and in no particular order afterwards: Italian culture, food, wine, walking everywhere I can and especially in the Apennines, East Africa, tennis when I can, reading, reading and more reading. So much to discover still before I die.
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2 Responses to Chatting…

  1. Caroline Brant says:

    Hi Angela, I’ve just come across your blog while searching for gardening in Tuscany tips and read your article about how your Mamma and her husband met. It sounded so much like my parent’s love story. They too met at a dance in her home town of Cervignano del Friuli at the end of the war. He offered her cakes, she was hungry, they danced and the rest is history. He fought in Italy in the 6th/8th Tank Regiment having come from the North Africa campaign. I’m now living the dream in Tuscany, hence trying to learn how to garden in a different climate. Thanks for the blog!


    • Angela Petch says:

      Hi, Caroline – how wonderful to read your comment. It is actually my mother-in-law – my husband is half Italian – but Mamma has been like a mother to me since I lost my own. Giuseppina is still alive but, sadly, suffering from Alzheimers and very confused. I am pleased I captured her stories before too late. Are your parents still alive and did you manage to hear any of your father’s stories? Where do you live in Tuscany? Feel free to contact me again. I have written three Tuscan novels to date, which you might be interested in, given your family history? The first is The Tuscan Secret and is available on Amazon. Thanks for reading my blog. I love gardening too but where we live, it is certainly a challenge as it is very cold in winter in the Apennines and baking in the summer. Take care and keep in touch. Are you on social media? I have Facebook accounts and am on Twitter and Instagram too. (Necessary for an author).


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