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  • Writer's pictureMark Tedesco

Our Italian Adventure: Leaving Puglia

Updated: Jun 2

Our Italian Adventure: Leaving Puglia


PART 76: 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 live in Italy in the Spring and back again in the Fall.


Step 1: I never thought I would write the words "Leaving Puglia," but our sojourn in Italy unfolds in unexpected ways that keep getting better.


We are closing one chapter in Puglia and opening a new chapter in Tuscany.


But how did that happen?


Step 2: Puglia beginnings.


We had been talking about moving to Italy for about six years before we made the move. I retired in mid-June almost two years ago; on July 2, we started living in Puglia.


As I explained in a previous blog, Puglia was the logical choice:

  • We have local friends here.

  • The combination of natural wonders and historical places is unique.

  • Life is easy in southern Italy.

In fact, for both of us, living in Italy or California has been seamless.


Life has been so good and calm that we considered putting in an offer for a house in Nardó.


Before making the offer, we sat down with our local Puglian friends and asked for their opinions. One of them made a comment that hit home.


Step 3: A seed planted.


"Are you sure you want to live in Puglia?" our friend asked. "Knowing you guys and your interests, I think further north in Italy would be a better fit. You guys are into history and culture, and you're not really interested in going to the beach all the time. Remember that our friendship doesn't depend on living in the same city."


As soon as he made this comment, it resonated with both of us.



Puglia has been great; our local friends have become an important part of our lives, the cultural monuments around us fascinate us, and the amazing sunsets and panoramas give us a sense of peace.


But do we want more from our experience of living in Italy?


Step 4: Discernment.


In the seminary, the term "discernment" was used to indicate the comparison between outer events and one's inner feelings to discover one's path.


So we began a path of discernment, asking ourselves why we sacrificed to come to Italy and what we are seeking from our experience.


Before our move, I would long to be back in Italy, like a cultural hunger. I "need" to touch history, walk in the paths of emperors, step into the remains of an ancient cafe, and wander through museums of ancient art and sculpture. Even today, I long for it and can't wait until we return.


While living in Puglia, we have taken full advantage of the region's cultural and historical heritage, whether it be Galatina, Otranto, Leuca, Bari, Alberobello, and beyond. We have been to these places multiple times.


"What if we lived in an area," my partner asked recently, "rather than returning to the same church or painting or hilltop over and over again, we could go to Florence, or Pienza, or Assisi, or Siena or Rome on a whim? What if we could discover new areas? What if we lived in an area where more of Italy would be within our reach?"


Step 5: Affordability.


One of the great things about Puglia is its affordability, especially for housing. We are middle-class guys paying off student loans and keeping up with bills and our mortgage. I didn't think we could afford areas in the north.


"There is an area in Tuscany where houses are as affordable as in Puglia," our local friend told us.


We followed up on his advice and traveled to this area.


He was right; we found a house, and it fits our budget.


In a future post, I will describe the area of Tuscany that we discovered and are in the process of moving to.


Step 6: Feelings.


How do we feel about leaving Puglia?


First, it doesn't feel like leaving. Puglia is the first chapter of a multi-part story, and our time in Puglia and our friends there will always be part of our lives. We are so grateful for the seamless beginning we have had in Puglia.


Leaving Puglia feels like reading my favorite chapter in a book and wondering what will happen next. This chapter is excellent but is not meant to be the entire story, so we are excited to see how it unfolds.


In future blogs, I will capture what steps we are taking, how life in Tuscany is unfolding, and what we are learning along the way.


Insights.

As we leave Puglia and begin the next chapter in Tuscany, our experience of living in Italy is becoming greater than our initial plans. It doesn't feel like we are leaving anything; it feels more like continuing the adventure.


More next time.


Now on sale for $2.99: My book is "Stories from Puglia: Two Californians in Southern Italy." Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CRKMKPWF?ref_=cm_sw_r_cp_ud_dp_X2WRQ3PTG2ZDD7AVF6GH


And also, on Amazon Italy:


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Lori Wheeler
Lori Wheeler
May 06

Retired yet paying off student loans! I hope these are your kids loans and not yours! Finally getting around to reading your blog! I stayed in Polignano a Mare last Oct for the second time. That’s where I’d like to spend part of the year when I retire.

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Mark Tedesco
Mark Tedesco
May 12
Replying to

Fantastic. No, those are our student loans for law school.... Anyway, we loved Polignano. We went off season when it was deserted and we loved that. We heard that it gets crowded in the summer, especially August. Thanks for the comment.

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debste.kennedy
Jan 14
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Looking forward to your next chapter in Tuscany 👍

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Mark Tedesco
Mark Tedesco
Jan 14
Replying to

Thank you so much. I've already written next week's post: From Puglia to Tuscany!

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debrakolkka
Jan 14

We bought our apartment in northern Tuscany 20 years ago. It is the best thing we have ever done. We have been to Puglia a couple of times and liked some of the towns, but there is much more to see in Tuscany and nearby regions.

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Mark Tedesco
Mark Tedesco
Jan 14
Replying to

Thank you so much! Maybe we can meet for coffee once we get settled and you can show us some of the gems you have discovered!

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Guest
Jan 14

Cant wait to hear more. And perhaps some house swapping might help fix your Puglia fix and our Tuscany fix...

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Mark Tedesco
Mark Tedesco
Jan 14
Replying to

Thanks! We thought about house swap but we are both afraid of damage, etc. But we will see!

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Guest
Jan 14
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

All the best to you both as you embark on a new chapter… ✌🏼

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Mark Tedesco
Mark Tedesco
Jan 14
Replying to

Thank you so much!!!

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