Niall Allsop was born and educated in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but began his working life as a primary school teacher in London and in 1971 took up his first headship.

He left teaching in 1981 to pursue a career as a freelance photo-journalist specialising in the UK’s inland waterways and wrote extensively in this field both as a contributor to several national magazines and later as author of a number of related books.

By the early 1990s he was a graphic designer and the in-house designer for a Manchester-based international photographic publishing house. Later he settled in the south-west of England as a freelance graphic designer specialising in the design of
exhibition catalogues for artists and photographers and other arts-related projects.

In the late nineties Niall and his wife Kay made the first of many visits to Italy and soon became captivated by the country’s historical and cultural heritage. He read extensively about Italy and Italians and soon developed a close affinity with the country – particularly the south and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia.

It was during their first visit to the small hilltop town of Santa Severina in Calabria in 2006 that Niall started to chronicle their travels in Italy and in particular the many remarkable and colourful people they met there. By the time Stumbling through Italy was published, Niall and Kay had already given in to the inevitable ...

In September 2008 they moved from England and became residents of Santa Severina where they enjoy a sort of retirement while continuing to struggle daily with the language in a town where they are the only English-speaking people.

Following a two-month stint of house-sitting in Galway in early 2017, Niall and Kay decided to relocate to to Ireland. They now live in Ennis in County Clare.

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