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  • Writer's pictureMark Tedesco

Our Italian Adventure: Deciding Where.

Updated: Mar 26, 2023

How we moved to Italy. Deciding Where.

PART 4: I thought it might be of interest 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.

The title of this post is: Deciding Where.

Step 1: We were firm in our decision to live part time in Europe about 4 years ago. After a quick investigation to see which country has good healthcare and quality of life, we focused on Italy because, besides the above, we have ties to that country since I lived there for 8 years in my youth.

Step 2: Where in Italy? My partner liked the north, I liked the south. I wanted life on the streets, he wanted no graffiti. I wanted full immersion, he wanted baby steps. The great thing about relationships is that we are forced to look at things from other points of view.

So our journey to the decision on where to live took us to Umbra, Tuscany, Le Marche and the area around Rome. We looked at areas compatible with our budget and that fit our image of a new life in Italy.

Step 3: Evolution. Through this process of discernment, we, unexpectedly, began to change. What seemed essential moved down the priority list. Our image of life in Italy evolved. Gradually focus came to what was blurry.

Step 4: Attitude and openness. I’m a person of faith, which helped me to pull back on trying to lock in and control our future, to just doing the footwork and seeing what the process reveals. Sort of like accepting things I cannot change and changing things I can.

This has been the MOST important step in our journey and has led us in new directions.

Step 4: The essential. What our journey has revealed, little by little, is that, in the end, it is relationships that matter. Buildings and architecture and museums are incredible but the human connections we have are most pivotal for our lives.

We decided we didn’t want to live in a beautiful but dead Italian town where we would end up watching TV every night.

Step 5: The decision. When step 4 became clear, moving from discernment to decision became clearer. What is that area of Italy which would most foster relationships with locals? For us, the answer is Puglia where we have friends who are like family.

Step 6: We are now in Puglia living the first stage of our adventure. Through this process, I’m somehow feeling “led” here. And I feel confident that, as we both do the footwork and are open, the next steps will become clear.

Watch for my book coming out later in the year: "Stories from Puglia: Two Californians in Southern Italy". Already published: “She Seduced Me: A Love Affair with Rome”.

More next time.

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