I’m a Highly Sensitive Woman and I Love Italy

Italy is a weird place; it’s full of contradictions, things don’t really work and there’s a lot of chaos. Yet, so many people absolutely LOVE it. Me included.

Italy does one thing that many very organised countries don’t really know how to do: it makes you feel alive.

Yes, there’s chaos, yes, there’s disorganisation and yes, there’s a lot of noise. But there’s also passion, eye for detail, space for romanticism, love for art and the liberty to express oneself.

Italy is the perfect place for creative, sensitive creatures that feel constrained in the system they’ve grown up in. They feel caged and have this strong urge to spread their colourful wings and fly on the winds of joy.

At least, that’s how it was for me.

I remember coming here for the first time when I was twelve; TWELVE! I felt so incredibly happy when I set foot on Italian soil: the sun, the smiles, the scents; everything was gorgeous. There was a sense of joy in the air and the loud talking just amused me. I loved the theatrical way they communicated and the affection they put into speaking with each other. This was how I wanted to express myself, but felt wrong or “too much” for in my own country. Here I was free to be my expressive, theatrical, emotional self. I’d found home.

I came back every year to get my Italian hit; I needed it to feel alive.

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Looking back, I now realise that my high sensitivity and my high sensation seeker streak all fit in perfectly with Il Bel Paese. It nurtured me with its fire.

Holland was boring. There was this everything-is-perfect-and-therefore-predictable feeling about it for me that just killed my spirit. I wanted adventure, exhilaration, flirts and scrumptious pizzas. I wanted beauty and expression and passion – and homeliness.

I wanted warmth.

I did my graduation project in Italy and taught English to Italians in Piombino in the South of Tuscany for three months. At some point I craved a bit more fun than the regular town life and went off to Florence by train for the day.

I felt that feeling all over again. That feeling of why Italy meant so much to me. She was the essence of my love for Italy.

No wonder that when after breaking up from a six-year relationship I asked myself: “what do you want?” my soul whispered: “Italy.”

I took that whisper very seriously and moved to Florence a year later. I’ve never wanted to go back since.

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I’ve flourished here because I said yes to my soul’s whisper. It had been shouting at me in the form of anxiety disorder for the six years prior. I’d tried to silence the shouting with antidepressants. Listening to that whisper made it evaporate. A year after moving to Florence I stopped taking anti-depressants and I’ve never had a relapse since.

I’m free because I gave myself the freedom to do what I deeply desired.

I’ve been able to create a life for myself that truly nurtures my soul and allows me to be the best version of myself. I live a life that is aligned with who I truly am: a highly sensitive, ambitious woman who loves Italy.

I constantly work on my own well-being because I know that’s what allows me to give back to the world in the most meaningful way. After teaching English and writing for a blog, I trained to become a life coach and set up my own business in Italy. I now help other highly sensitive go-getters believe in themselves and follow their dreams. They surprisingly often have a deep love for Italy too. No wonder; it makes them feel alive and eventually that’s what we’re all here for: to live fully.

Love & courage,

Sophie

P.S. Would you like to know how I can help you create a life that is in alignment with your true self as well? Feel free to book a discovery call here and we’ll connect.

6 comments

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Great post!

Having visited Italy on several occasions, then living here for almost 3 years, I can totally relate to your feelings towards this beautiful country. My passion for Italy also stems from my father born here in the south and my mother born in the very north of Italy.

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Thank you! So beautiful that you have found that love for Italy with your parents being from the North and the South; you’re the happy medium ;).

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Sophie,

You are singing my song! Thank you for an honest and inspiring piece. I moved to Italy in September and am still trying to find my feet. Your story is one I can relate to because right now teaching English is a means of supporting myself but my goal is to be a full time writer. Italy has so much to offer.

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So happy we’re like-minded souls then, Joanne! Italy allows you to explore who you really are and if you want to be a writer you will be! In bocca al lupo!

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Italy heals my soul🙏🏼 I am almost there for good!

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I’m feeling you, Kathleen! 🙌🏼🇮🇹 What steps do you still need to take to move for good? 😀

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