Bio: Orna is a former interior designer from Ireland, who also worked for many years in South Africa and Mozambique. Now living in Puglia in the south of Italy with her husband Tom, Orna is writing full time and her award winning blog covers all things Italian. Her first book, on home renovation, was written specifically with women in mind and is available on Amazon.com and on Lulu.com. It is called 'Renovate & Redecorate without Breaking a Nail.' Orna, having written magazine articles for many years, now regularly writes for glossy Irish magazine Anthology. Orna's first work of fiction, The Blonde in the Gondola, was set in Venice, while Orna lived close by and was able to do in-depth research. It was published in 2019. Her latest work, In the Shadow of the Olive Tree, set in Puglia, was released in July 2021. Both books follow the trials and tribulations of Irishwomen who move to Italy and how their lives intersect with many twists and turns along the way. Also on Twitter as @OrnaOR and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/orna.oreilly you can keep up with her adventures throughout Italy and beyond.

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12 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi,

    I just found your blog and want to invite you to provide a guest post for our site, Retirement And Good Living, about traveling in Italy. You don’t have be retired to guest post on our blog.

    We launched our retirement site at http://retirementandgoodliving.com which provides information on a variety of topics including life, health, travel, volunteering, finances, retirement locations, hobbies, part time work and much more to boomers, recent retirees and others thinking about or planning for retirement.

    Currently the blog section of our site is comprised entirely of posts by guests on a variety of topics. To date over 175 guests from around the globe provided posts for our blog.

    Please send me an email if you are interested and I will forward additional information.


    Simone Harrison
    Retirement And Good Living

  2. I wants to go to New Zealand before I die. Your story gives me hope to can do it . I am Italian and I want completely change my life . If I could …..

  3. Dear Orna if you know other girls that want to come to live in Italy we are so tired of Italian women that you could find thousands of Italian men who would like to build a new life with a nice Irish girl over 40 . For me a Ginger girl with freckles and Green or blue eyes.

  4. Fascinated by your blog, travels and so on I am Italian and currently living in South Africa, my dream is to go back to living in Italy , but just a dream… so i follow avidly and little tiny bit of envy anyone that has managed to go and live in Italy after all..

  5. I live in San Diego, California. I love it here, the weather is generally great and it’s very beautiful here, but I am ready for a change. It would seem I am not alone, with the comments above! Reading this blog helps me understand just a little, how difficult it can be to make the big change. Definitely renting first. I am glad to be able to read about expats in a relatively unknown area, at least to most American travelers. I am just now discovering the beauty, peacefulness and historic nature, of this area through blogs, Facebook and youtube.

  6. Hi Orna
    My friend in Ireland has just watched your interview on RTE .
    I am Irish and have moved to Puglia last September.
    I see that you now live in Ostuni.
    I live in Selva di Fasano.
    My background is in holistic therapies and nursing and have moved to Puglia for the weather and abundant fresh products to satisfy my vegetarian palate.
    It would be wonderful to meet one day if possible .
    I have chosen not to drive in Italy but the public transport is fine for getting around.
    I bought a trullo and I have a small Airbnb business.
    Congratulations on your new publication.

  7. Hi Orna, I have recently moved to Sardinia (East coast) for the birth of my son so we can be close to my wife’s family. There isn’t much of an Irish or any english speaking communities here and I was wondering if you have any tips and/or suggestions?

    • I have no idea about the social life on Sardinia. I would just say that we have made loads of friends since moving to Puglia, both expat and locals. We have made a big effort to go out and about and are not afraid to ask people to come for an aperitivo and so on. It took us about 6 months to begin making friends and now we have a large circle of wonderful people to spend time with.

  8. Hello !!! I have been looking for expat sites to meet someone when I travel to Brindisi in Sept. 2019.
    I would like to visit with you, if possible, I am planning to move to Italy in 2020, 2021.

    Thank You,
    Mignon Wilcox

  9. love the energy and positivity of this blog!! after 15 years in Ireland i moved back to Italy, the the blue sky and the sun are a wonderful things for the soul the heard the brain !

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