In 2008 Stef Smulders, his partner Nico and their dog Saar emigrated to Italy to start a new life and set up a B&B. They sold their home, left their friends and family behind and took a leap into the unknown. Now Stef shares his experiences in a collection of witty short stories. The book treats the trials and tribulations of an emigration: what it was like to buy and renovate a house, to import a car, to gain residency, and much more. The reader is introduced to a full range of Italian characters, from the trustworthy to the rogue, from the gentle to the shameless, flesh and blood Italians. Some are stereotype, others unexpectedly original. Yet they never fail to amuse and entertain.
Stef Smulders and his husband Nico are two adventurous Dutch men who decided to start a new life in Italy. In 2008 they made the big move with their dog Saar and set up Bed and Breakfast Villa I Due Padroni in the beautiful wine region of the Oltrepò Pavese to the south of Milan. In 2014 Stef published his first collection of amusing short stories (in Dutch) about daily life among the Italians, entitled “Italiaanse Toestanden – Leven en overleven in Italie”. It was so well received that he published a follow-up volume of humorous anecdotes in 2016. The third volume is under preparation, expected to be in press by spring 2017. “Living in Italy: the Real Deal” is the translation into English of the first volue.