Living in Florence has its appeal, but Tommaso and I have always had a thing for Maremma, an area of Tuscany that remains “off the beaten track” due to its apparent lack of much to do except experiencing beautiful nature and beaches. Although Maremma doesn’t have the kind of Renaissance history that first attracted me to Florence, it has Etruscan ruins, Romanesque ruins, a few Romanesque things still standing, and a whole lot of farms. It also has well-preserved, non-touristy hilltop towns that house residents who still hunt all winter and speak in strong Tuscan dialect.

After years of going to Maremma for our holidays, we decided to buy a house in a small hill town, population 62. House Hunters International accompanied us on this adventure. We wish to protect this beautiful, idyllic town from “the Cortona effect,” so while some of you know what town we’re talking about, we did not mention it on TV.

For a few days, a small and friendly crew filmed our every move, which did not go unnoticed by people in town, though we tried to be very discreet. I wore makeup and attempted not to swear. Tommaso and I developed a good tv-banter mode that was hard to abandon once the cameras left us. Those of you familiar with the show know that the subjects comment on the various things they see in the three houses from which they must choose. You need to give them stuff to work with, so you have to comment on literally every aspect of the house. Now, anyone who has ever looked for a house in Italy knows that you see some very funky things. While I tried to always find something nice to say, sometimes this was a challenge, and I think the real estate agent and a few home owners out there probably hate us now. All we hope is that after the editing process, we aren’t made out to be horrible, picky people that nobody cares enough to watch for 22 minutes.

I am not allowed to reveal anything about the show, so don’t ask me when it was filmed or how it all ends up. But we finally know the air date for the show – which is why I’m posting about this experience now, rather a long time after it actually happened. So… tune in in the USA on December 10 2011 to HGTV (apparently the show airs at 11:00 PM e/p). The episode is listed on the official website and I believe that the video will be made available online there, but again only for Americans. We will have an airing party in Florence for friends once the DVD arrives, if we don’t hate the way we look on tv; and if I’m allowed, I’ll put part or all of the show up on YouTube for you all to laugh at me.

Below: two of the fabulous places we visited with the crew to show off why we love Maremma.

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