From Toronto to Florence

IMG_0260Michelle Tarnopolsky, originally from Toronto, Canada, has lived in Florence with her Italian
husband and young son for 14 years.  Her blog, Maple Leaf Mamma describes what life is like being a young feminist mother raising a son in Italy.  I can only imagine.  She has been on an interesting career path that has had her juggling 3 jobs for a long time.  This is a girl who likes to keep busy and maintain mental stimulation.

When I met Michelle in September at The Art of Writing workshop, I recognized from my own experience the internal struggle that so many young mothers experience.  One that has us in constant conflict between loving our babies and wanting to be there for every new stage, yet having the need to create and be challenged in a dynamic way.  Michelle definitely rose to the challenge during our writing sessions and produced captivating stories that gave us a glimpse in to her powerful mind.

Michelle has embraced the Italian culture with a clear passion for its art, beauty and food and openly shared her knowledge and experiences.  All the more impressive to hear her speak Italian with such ease.  Something I dream of doing someday.  I had to know how she felt about Christmastime in Florence and was thrilled when she quickly responded to my questions.

E:  What is your favorite part of Christmastime in Italy?
M:  Like Penny Howard, I definitely enjoy the lights in downtown Florence. When those go up the season has officially begun. There’s something so magical about those twinkly boughs framing your stroll through the streets.

E:  What is your favorite traditional Christmas food?
M:  Well, it’s technically a New Year’s dish in Italy, but I’ve grown quite fond of cotechino with lentils. The taste and texture of the two match beautifully.

E:  What do you miss most from home during Christmas?
M:  Snow! Never thought I’d say that, and for the rest of the winter I don’t complain about the lack of snow at all, but it sure is nice at Christmastime.

Thank you Michelle and Merry Christmas.

Check out her blog at

One thought on “From Toronto to Florence

  1. You’re so welcome Christine! I’m so flattered and honoured by this lovely post. You really capture what I continue to struggle with. Indeed, I haven’t written much since our retreat. But I’m trying to take pressure off myself and believe it will happen when it needs to. Buon natale e felice anno nuovo!

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