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  • Writer's pictureMark Tedesco

Our Italian Adventure: Part Time vs. Full Time in Italy

Updated: Mar 26, 2023

How we moved to Italy: Why Living in Italy Part Time Works For Us…for now.

PART 21: It might be interesting to share how we pulled off living in Italy for part of the year. I will post some steps we took.

We are in Puglia until the end of September, then back again in the winter.

Step 1: We have had endless discussions about how long to live in Italy. Full-time, as residents? Six months at a time, as residents? Three months at a time, as non-residents?

Step 2: Since we are still beginning our adventure of living in Italy, we are learning about what works best for us. Because of jobs and obligations in California, we realized that moving to Italy as full-time residents was not the right step at this time. So our discerning process began: should we seek residency, so we can remain in Italy for six months and then return to California for six months, or should we come to Italy twice a year as a non-resident, keeping in mind the 90/90 rule (

Step 3: Residency implications. In a previous blog, I noted that the impact of becoming a resident of Italy includes being able to purchase a car, become covered by the state health network, and become part of the Italian income tax system. All this and more should be considered and researched before taking that step.

Step 4: One step at a time. As we move forward, we are learning to let go of the need to know how our living in Italy will eventually play out. One step at a time is working for us, and it has become clear that the right solution for us, at this point, is to live in Italy twice per year, 90 days each time.

Step 5: Why 90/90 works for us. I experience an intensity of life in Italy; friendships feel more intense, the history seems more real, and the culture more palpable. Other European countries are at our doorstep, and the possibilities to explore Europe from our place in Puglia seem endless.

When I think of Puglia, I think of the faces of our local friends, who are like family and are always ready to spend time together. I think of the frescoes at the church of S. Caterina in Galatina, with the stories of creation and redemption. I think of the beaches from where we watch the sunsets as we picnic with friends. I think of our breakfasts in front of the Ionian sea in Santa Caterina. I picture our hikes up to the 16th-century tower after our meal. I think of the tree of life on the floor of the Cathedral of Otranto. The church and the sea at Trani, and the trulli in Alberobello. I think of these and many other places.

Each of these places is filled with stories, memories of visits, history, and experiences.

It is so much to reflect on, be grateful for and allow to become part of our lives. Because of this, 90/90 works for us.

Step 6: Back in California. We recently returned to California for our 90 days out of the EU. Life here in Palm Springs is calmer, less intense, and less full of new experiences every day. Reflection feels easier here.

Ninety in the EU and 90 back in California works for me because the California time gives me pause to remember, reflect and derive meaning from all that we experience while living in Italy.

By profession, I am an educator (high school history, just retired), but I am also an author by passion. A piece of nonfiction, an article of travel literature, or a historical fiction book often grows out of our experiences in Italy.

Insights: Going through experiences versus gaining wisdom and insights can be different processes. For now, living in Italy and California helps us reflect on our incredible experiences in that beautiful land and discover what they mean for our lives.

Watch for my book coming around the 1st of the year: "Stories from Puglia: Two Californians in Southern Italy" (

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