Who is Discovering Albania?

Saranda
Me in Saranda

Who am I? My name is Bianca Gjomarkaj Nakovics, I am of Albanian-Italian descent. My father, Ndue Gjomarkaj, was Albanian and my mother Maria Teresa Agostini, Italian. You can read more about my family’s history at Gjon Markagjoni.

I was born in Rome, Italy and lived there until the age of 12 when my family immigrated to the USA. I lived in New York City until 1981 at which time I married my husband Vince. For the next 16 years we lived around the world due to Vince’s US Navy career. That period was wonderful for us as it afforded us the opportunity to visit many, many beautiful places and meet many, many great people. From 1997 until 2012 we lived in Virginia. This was the place where Vince retired from the Navy and joined the US Park Service.

We started coming to Albania in 2010 and yearly thereafter and fell in love with the beauty of Albania as well as the people. We began to discuss the possibility of retiring here as ex-pats and in 2012 made that dream come true. We have now been living in Shkodra for 3 years. We took up residence in my family’s home where we restored a couple of rooms and made them “ours”. We hope to spend some time here peacefully and enjoy what Albania and Europe have to offer. Oh, did I mention we brought our two poochies with us? Yes Mimi and Toby have also settled quite nicely in their new homeland.

Vince with Mimi and Toby
Vince with Mimi and Toby

I decided to start this blog basically to educate people on this “forgotten land” and as an outlet for my creative side. I will share more interesting stories and articles in the future and hope that you will follow me into this new adventure. Mirepafshim!

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One thought on “Who is Discovering Albania?

  1. Hi Bianca, you have an insightful website.

    I first visited Albania back in 2006 and fell in love. My husbands family are in Shoker and we visit twice a year, his parents come and stay with use for a few months during winter. This beautiful place is a forgotten land and there are so many adventures to be had. I am so pleased that it has featured within the top 10 ‘Countries to visit’ for the last couple of years by big travel influences.

    I have a passion to bring the Albanian cuisine to the UK and help educate people on how to make traditional Albanian recipes as they would taste when in Albania. I’ve cooked so many dishes and it’s taken a while to get them just right but it’s worth it – the food is amazing!

    Albania is an amazing place with hidden treasures and love seeing that tourism is picking up.

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