I’m Mary. I live in the beautiful West Country with my husband. I had always dreamed of spending time in Italy, and my dream came to fruition in 2013 when we drove from England to Italy for an extended stay. My first venture into the blogosphere – “magicspello” – is part travelogue, part love affair with Italy in general and Spello in particular. We will always be drawn back to Spello, so I will report intermittently on further Italian pleasures.

If you enjoy “magicspello” do check out my ramblings on “indifferentreflections” about places of interest, both within the UK and further afield.

I love meeting interesting people and adore good food, good wines, art, literature and culture, so that’s what I write about.

Welcome one and all. Please feel free to comment on anything I write – I do appreciate your feedback.



25 thoughts on “About

  1. Marie Johns

    Hello lovelies.Wishing you happy and safe travels.Looking forward to following your adventures.Will you be able to post photos on here?Never been part of a blog before,very exciting :-)Love you both lots.Take great care.xxxxxx

      1. Margaret Brugnoni

        Hello, on a whim was searching for shops in Spello, I was there several years ago,it is a lovely place to visit and return. Anyhow ran across your blog I loved it Did make me wish to return there but not this year. Rome and London with children in March. Back to my reason for writing other than to tell you how much I enjoyed your writing and pictures Do you remember a shop where they made the most beautiful candles? I bought a lot! I would like to buy more but do not remember the name and as a visit to Spello is not in the immediate future i am hoping that #1 I can find their name and #2 that they ship to the states, Many moves and years of storage are not kind to candles.Thank you, Meg Brugnoni

      2. Doreen McDonald Aiello

        Hello Meg,
        I actually don’t know the name of the candle shop but I can ask a friend. I think it’s doubtful that they ship to the USA but if I find I will get back to you.

      3. maryshoobridge Post author

        Margaret – hope you can see this response. Was the candle shop downhill past the main church? I think I know the shop you mean. I am going back to Spello in May, so I will check it out for you and see if they ship to the US. Watch this space! So glad you enjoyed my blog. I’ll be adding more posts in May. Can’t wait! Best wishes, Mary

  2. mybeautfulthings

    When I read your other posts, I had the feeling you lived and belonged in Italy. Now I know that you are from my neck of the woods! Have a marvellous time in Italy and come back refreshed. 🙂

    1. maryshoobridge Post author

      If I belonged anywhere but England it would be here in Italy. We have visited many times and different areas, but this trip has really been a life experience rather than a holiday. Glad you enjoyed reading the posts.

  3. Kirstin

    Ohhhh how jealous am I? I have long held this dream which you are now living, I hope you don’t mind me piggy backing on it as otherwise I might never get to live it.

  4. GwendolineWilson

    Thank you so much for your like on my blog about Last Day of School in Italy. How lovely to be able to have the experience of living in Italy for a time. Enjoy! Garrulous Gwendoline, The Reluctant Retiree

    1. maryshoobridge Post author

      Thanks Patricia. We are recently home from our Italian adventure and we had the very best time ever. I now have a new blog – indifferentreflections.wordpress.com. I will be reporting back on the Paris visit amongst other things.

  5. The Talking Violin

    Hi Mary, first, I would like to compliment you on you blog. It is terrific! Then, I would like to thank you very much for commenting on my blog. Your feedback couldn’t have been nicer.
    I sincerely hope you keep coming back. There is much more on the way.
    Mr. Violin.

    1. maryshoobridge Post author

      Thank you Mr Violin – I am so pleased that you enjoyed my blog about Spello. This was my first venture into the blogosphere, and now that I have returned home to England I am posting on my new blog, indifferentreflections.wordpress.com. Hope you enjoy that too. And best of look with your audio projects.

  6. Doreen Aiello

    I am a friend of Brenda’s from Vinosofia and she told me that you stayed at The Nunnery. I would like to know if you have the phone number or email so that I can contact Anya directly. I am here in Spello and would like to see the property. My name is Doreen. Hope to hear from you soon.

  7. Fictionquest

    I have been browsing your site. I love the photos, are they yours They are so full of texture. I love Italy too. I have been there four times but that is not enough.

    1. maryshoobridge Post author

      Thank you Fictionquest. The Italian photos on my magicspello blog are largely my husband’s, although I did contribute all of the food ones and a few others. We are going back to Spello in a few weeks so I will be posting more adventures. On my current blog, indifferentreflections, the photos are about equally mine and my husband’s. I have now got a nice camera and am trying hard to improve my skills. That’s all the excuse I need to go on lots of trips! Best wishes from our current road trip around Ireland.

  8. G. H. C.

    Hi Mary. Thank you so much for documenting your love of Spello. My heart grew calm and warm and my eyes welled up with tears of joy as I read your blog. My husband and I found Spello almost 10 years ago and can’t seem to get it out of our system…so we stopped trying. A couple of weeks ago, we put a down payment on a house at the top of the hill overlooking the Valley of Rainbows, just across the street from San Severino. It is a huge renovation project!! No one has lived in the building for over 100 years!! We are a few years away from retirement and this project has awakened our spirits and opened our hearts beyond the daily routine of work, work, and work. It’s very exciting. Your blog reminded of so many of our favorite things in Spello – it felt like if I got up and walked out the door I’d be standing in piazza listening to the church bells ringing, feeling the sun on my skin and the warmth emanating from the stone streets and thick stone walls of the buildings. Your words were a real treat today! Thank you.

    Good luck with your extending blogging venture!

    Very best,


    1. maryshoobridge Post author

      Thanks for your lovely comments GigiduzDC. It made me feel very proud to have transported you back to the streets of Spello with my words and photos. I know that street well – San Severino is a beautiful church and I am green with envy that you have a house nearby. There is a lovely restaurant in that street too, if you haven’t tried it. I wish you the very best of luck with your project and, who knows, perhaps we will meet in that piazza one day, with the bells ringing and the swallows dipping and diving in the setting sun.


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