Posted by: Debra Kolkka | March 11, 2018

Share the love with the Unique Blogger Award

I was delighted to be nominated for this award by Orna O’Reilly, who writes a terrific blog about her life in Italy. She has recently moved from the north of Italy to Puglia, where she and her husband are creating their own little bit of heaven. Take a look…  

I’m sure you will enjoy her blog as much as I do. She takes wonderful photgraphs and clearly enjoys sharing what she loves about Italy.

There are some questions to be answered for the Unique Blogger Award.

1. What inspired you to become a blogger?

I started writing my blog to help friends who were coming to stay at our apartment in Bagni di Lucca to discover the delights to be found in our village. It didn’t take long before the blog took on a life of its own and expanded to include all my travels. Nobody was more surprised than I was when it began to attract followers.

Because the original blog went off track, I started another one, Bella Bagni di Lucca, to concentrate on the lovely villages that make up Bagni di Lucca.

Bagni di Lucca

2. Has anything interesting ever happened to you thanks to your blog?

Meeting people from all over the world, both online and in person, has been one of the best things to come from my blog. I am also happy that my blogs have encouraged many people to visit Bagni di Lucca and in some cases even buy property here.

I have been asked to write for other publications, which is fun, and sometimes I even get paid! I love nothing better than talking about the delights of Italy.

The blog has become an excellent photographic record of the building of our mountain house, Casa Debbio. Now that the house is finished the garden takes up a lot of my time and blog posts.

Casa Debbio


3. If you could travel anywhere, in this very moment, where would you go?

Considering the awful weather we are having here right now, the Maldives sound like a good idea. I went there almost 30 years ago and found the islands enchanting. If you want a perfect tropical island go to the Maldives.

Apart from that, the Amalfi Coast always calls me. I would go there in a heartbeat at any time. It was my introduction to Italy 45 years ago and it is still one of my favourite parts of of this beautiful country.

Casa Debbio

Orna has her own question to add to the mix.

Which do you enjoy more? Writing or photography?

I had not written or taken photos before I began my blog. It takes a little while to find a voice writing a blog. These days I usually take photos and a post develops around those. I think writing a blog has made me more observant about the places I visit.

It is becoming more difficult to attract an audience to a blog as people move to Instagram and other platforms. I now write because I like it and don’t bother too much with the statistics.


Another task involved with the award is to nominate other blogs. I am going to stick with Orna’s list and add Margie in Italy.  Margie is one of the delightful people I have met through blogging and she writes with love about Italy.


  1. Wonderful to read more about you and your life in Italy. We absolutely love travelling around Europe full-time and hope to get to Italy sometime next year.

    • I think Italy is the most beautiful country. I am happy we decided to buy here.

  2. Congratulations. I hope you win!

    • It is not really a competition. I have already won by being nominated.

  3. Oh… congratulations Deb!!! Very well deserved, your blog is fabulous! I think even more so as I know you so well and I can hear you speaking as you describe your adventures. Jxx

    • I fixed the mistake, I hate predictive script too. Thank you for your lovely comments.

  4. Well done Deb, you certainly deserve the nomination. Fingers crossed for a win.

    • Thank you. There is not really a “win”. Being nominated is a win.

  5. Well done and good luck, lets hope you win.

    • Thank you. It is not really a competition, just an award shared among bloggers.

  6. Great to read about why you started your blog and your views on blogging. I don’t really think bloggers compete with the Instagramers, We are in a really different space now. I am sure people still use your blog as a reference for Italy if they are planning to travel there. Let’s be honest there is only so much information you can gather just from a photo and a few hash tags, which is what Instagram is about. My 28 year old daughter works in PR and dhe works with the instagramers a lot for events and sponsorship PR. She calls them “the Babes”. We don’t compete in that space.
    The key thing to remember it is about is content. Good content. You have great content Deb and I love reading your posts.
    Thanks for introducing the other two Italian bloggers I will check them out. Deb, keep on blogging. And PS your garden is inspirational. Louise

    • Thank you for your comments. I think there is just so much information out there now that it is becoming more difficult to appeal to an audience. Fortunately I write a blog because I want to, not for a financial reward. It is a bit disappointing that the number of readers seems to be steadily dropping while the number of subscribers keeps going up, strange really.
      Anyway, while I enjoy writing my blog I will keep doing it.

      • True, there is so much competing for our attention. By subscribers do mean email followers and WordPress followers?

      • Both. The number of WordPress followers increases daily, but I doubt any of them ever look at my blog. The number of email followers increases more slowly.
        I no longer worry about it, I just write what I like.

      • Which is what it should be about because it is meaningful content and It is something that makes you happy.

  7. It would be nice to find a blog by someone with shallow pockets, retired with only a modest house to sell and to rebuy and with only a State Pension as income who took a leap of faith.

    Still dreaming (aged 67 and 70).

    On 12 Mar. 2018 2:15 am, “Bagni di Lucca and Beyond” wrote:

    > Debra Kolkka posted: “I was delighted to be nominated for this award by > Orna O’Reilly, who writes a terrific blog about her life in Italy. She has > recently moved from the north of Italy to Puglia, where she and her husband > are creating their own little bit of heaven. Take a lo” >

    • I’m sorry to disappoint. I realise that I am very lucky. I would like to point out that I come from a modest background, was a single mother for a lot of my early life and appreciate my good fortune now.

    • We are definitely not rich in monetary terms but we have both worked very hard in order to realise our dream. However, our lives have been enriched by the fact that we met each other in our sixties and dared to take some big steps to get here. So never give up dreaming.

  8. As you know, i love falling into the photos on your blog and i like what you write – if it was just photos it wouldn’t sustain my interest. I’ve directed quite a few people to your blog because it’s a wonderful resource for travellers. Well done, Deb.

    • Thank you for your kind comments. I do Instagram too, but I find the blog more interesting.

  9. “Writing a blog has made me more observant about the places I visit” I echo this sentiment as now I tend to pay more attention to the places I go to as well as their history too. I have some blogging friends whose blogs are now dead since they prefer to share their photos on Instagram. However, with Instagram you can’t go too deep with your story, and those who enjoy reading will still choose blogs. But above all, it really is important to enjoy writing on our blogs because we love doing it. Probably ten years from now there will be even less people who read blogs, but I’ll keep writing on mine and I hope so will you, Debra! 🙂

    • I lot of the blogs I used to follow no longer exist, which is a pity. I always enjoy reading yours and it is quite clear that you love writing it. Keep up the good work!

  10. You are wonderful! I always look forward to reading your blog about a place that I have come to love!

    • Thank you. I am happy to share this lovely part of the world.

  11. Congrats, Debra. It’s interesting reading and lovely pictures

  12. […] via Share the love with the Unique Blogger Award — Bagni di Lucca and Beyond […]

  13. Thank you for the kind words! Love your writing – never, ever boring – and photos to match. Hope we’ll meet up sometime, maybe in Puglia. Aperitivi anyone? 🥂

    • I will definitely let you know next time we head towards Puglia.

  14. Your blog archive is the first port of call for me when I am travelling in Italy, you share not just the main attractions but also the hidden gems. Congratulations on your very much deserved nomination Debra.

Leave a Reply


%d bloggers like this: