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  • Writer's pictureMark Tedesco

Our Italian Adventure: Why Monte Amiata in Tuscany is the perfect area for us

PART 79: It might be interesting to share how we pulled off living in Italy for part of the year. I will post some steps and what we are learning along the way.


We love every minute of it, and what was once a dream is our life!


We live in Tuscany in the Fall, then back again in the Spring, and in California for the rest of the time (in a previous blog, I explained why we live in Italy only part of the year).


Let's explore: Why Amiata?



Step 1: We explored many areas of Italy to settle down as our base. We lived in Puglia for about 2 years after visiting that area for nearly 10 years. But ultimately, we bought a house in Monte Amiata, Tuscany. It is the perfect area for us.


Why?


Step 2: Lifestyle


Choosing an area to live in involves some soul-searching. What type of life do we want? What are our main interests? How do we want to live every day?


My partner and I are interested in an active lifestyle and experiencing history and culture. The Monte Amiata area hits both these marks.


Situated on and around a mountain, the towns in the Amiata area have access to ski areas, hiking trails, mountain bike paths, and camping. There are also gyms, running tracks, and indoor sports activities available.



I am not interested in a sedentary lifestyle, so access to a gym, sports, and other activities is essential. While living in a great European city gives one ready access to cultural activities and monuments, access to sports activities can be more challenging. Therefore, living in the Monte Amiata area works for us because we have access to outdoor activities, culture, and history.


Step 3: Culture


"What if we could hop in our car and be in Florence, Siena, Assisi, or Rome in a few hours?" my partner asked one day while we reflected on our experience in Italy. I thought that "what if" was beyond our financial reach. More on that later.


In California, I long for the history and culture I experienced in Italy. Exploring a museum of ancient sculpture or admiring a gallery of Renaissance paintings is what my dreams are made of. Having taught high school social studies, art history, and Italian language for 25 years, living in the Monte Amiata area works for me because I can experience Michelangelo's David, the Capitoline museums, and the medieval streets of Assisi within a few hour's drive.


What was once my partner's dream has become my own and is finally coming true.


Step 4: Friendliness


I asked our realtor, "So, will people here have a problem with us being a gay couple?" He shook his head and replied, "They will treat you with the same respect they treat everyone. You will see."


Our realtor took us out for drinks with his friends a few days after purchasing our house. The gathering was incredible, with spouses and children joining in, and we felt a strong sense of belonging.


Although we are just starting our life in Monte Amiata, the reception has been warm and embracing.


Step 5: Geography


Geography is a crucial factor that affects our lives. The size of our town or our location in Italy can significantly impact our experiences.



When we started our Italian adventure, we chose Puglia as our base, which was an excellent decision. Friends surrounded us, and renting a home made our transition smooth. However, we soon realized that beach life wasn't our cup of tea. We were more inclined to explore the mountains, historical places, and cultural sites in the north.


As we became more focused on our interests and goals, we understood the importance of geography. Therefore, we have decided to move to Monte Amiata, which will be our perfect next step.


Step 6: Affordability


"We could never move to Tuscany; we could never afford it," I remember telling my partner. But the truth is, I had never looked into housing there and was going on stereotypes that I had formed.


It wasn't until a local friend in Puglia suggested we check out Monte Amiata that we discovered the area. "I know if you go, you will love it," he said. "And that housing in that area of Tuscany is still affordable. Maybe Americans haven't discovered it yet!"


As it turned out, he was right. We had been looking at houses for sale in Nardó, Puglia, in our price range. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find houses in the Monte Amiata area that were in the same price range or even less. We put in an offer on a house in Amiata, and it was accepted.


And now, our adventure begins!


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


Amazon Italy- my book "Lei mi ha sedotto. Una storia d'amore con Roma": https://amzn.eu/d/13nuZCL.


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