The Italian, who guided the west Londoners to their first-ever Champions League triumph last May as well as the FA Cup, was sacked by Roman Abramovich in November and immediately replaced by new interim boss Rafael Benítez.
Di Matteo says he will keep fond memories of his time at the Stamford Bridge helm but admits he was working “18 hours a day” during his intense reign.
“I had three fantastic months on the Chelsea bench [at the end of last season], but also tough, as we worked up to 18 hours a day to achieve our results,” Di Matteo told the London Evening Standard.
“I was pleased to hear the fans cheer my name after I left. It was love at first sight with the supporters the moment I arrived in London and I am sure that love will continue over the years.”