Lisa Clifford

Lisa Clifford was born in Sydney, Australia. Following a career in radio and television journalism, she now contributes opinion pieces, guides and lifestyle articles on Italy to international magazines and newspapers. She is the author of Walking Sydney, The Promise, An Italian Romance and Death in the Mountains.

Articles by the author



It’s odd that very few foreigners have ever heard of Casentino. In the upper Arno valley of eastern Tuscany, it is home to 36,000 hectares of some of the most beautiful natural parklands in Italy. These ancient woods are packed with wild boar, deer, porcini mushrooms and


Nonna’s secrets

One day, my 14-year-old daughter looked at me and waved, a swing of the arm that looked more as if she was drowning than greeting. She was in a huddle with her Italian grandmother in the kitchen and had been in it for some time. Nonna was gesticulating


Kids in two languages

My mother-in-law likes to tell my children the Tuscan joke about the cat that waited for the mouse to emerge from its hole in the wall. For three days, the cat sat outside the mouse's home, waiting, waiting, waiting. When eventually the cat barked ‘bow wow,'



Years ago, when I first started my family here in Florence, my two-year-old daughter rode to school on a motorbike. To the ‘manner' born, she would pull on her tiny yellow helmet and her bright red baby sunglasses and climb up on her babbo's Vespa.  


Bilingual, bicultural

One of the interesting aspects of bilingualism in our children is how my daughter at five years old could already work out the cultural beverage preferences of our guests. At four she seemed to know instinctively who spoke English and who spoke Italian. However, at five, she could correctly call


Meeting Sean Ferrer

Audrey Hepburn's son talks about running the Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund from his home in Tuscany.       Sean Hepburn Ferrer draws breath slowly and contemplates his answers seriously. He has a steady gaze and a solid presence. He is sitting at his dining room table in


A quest for the truth

I don't remember exactly when my Italian mother-in-law told me that her grandfather was murdered. I've known my husband's mother for almost 30 years, so it must have been during the early part of my romance with her Florentine son that she mentioned that her