4th Anniversary

Well, we have been in Italy for four years now!  Woo hoo!  And we still love it.


I was recently reading another American expat’s blog.  She was writing about how too many expats write pretty, little the-food-is-good, here-are-some-pretty-pictures-blogs instead of blogs about more of the realities of life in Italy, like corruption or politics.    And I know my blog falls right into that first category. 


I think that it is important to realize that there are as many expat experiences as there are expats.  The difference is in each situation.  My experience, even as a dual citizen, is that Ben and I are still treated by Italians like we are on a long vacation.  Even after four years.  Why is this?  Because we live outside a small town on an isolated farm, some days (sometimes MANY days) we see no one else but each other.  Our Italian is still not fluent.  (Oh I know even after 4 years.  How bad is that!)   Neither of us are working or attending school or have a child in school.  We rented a furnished house that had all the utilities connected in the owners’ name so we just pay the bills.  And we live in a fairly modern, well educated, well run part of Italy.  We really have not encountered corruption or real difficulties.  On the other hand, I think that I have done my fair share of writing about how life for us really is.  And some of the problems that we face.  I guess we are fortunate that there have been so few.


However, I can see that someone trying to work or start a business or restore a house or anything that involves government interaction would have a much different story to tell.   We just avoided those things.  And I know that we could be more involved here in Italy.  But hey, if I was still living in the US would I be more involved there?  Doubt it!  Been There, Done That, Have the Tee-Shirt to prove it! 


I’m old.  Until we moved here, I have worked part time or full time since I was 14.  I want to eat good food, take pretty pictures and enjoy my life how ever much is left of it.  So that is how this blog will continue. 


alessio, christmas card pics 024


Have a glass of wine and drink a toast to us, please.  Along with this dog, Nerone, we are very lucky!



  1. Sally Massey

    I thoroughly enjoy your blog. If not I would have deleted you and Ben along time ago.Are your blogs rather simple some times, yes but you are enjoying life.You have had your worries but we can see once again that you are enjoying life. We all have enough complainers and woe is me kind of people in our lives.We don’t need one more.,I would love to be in Italy but can’t …so I am enjoying your life, too.

  2. Will toast to you and Ben and 4 years tonight. We will be spending time in Tuscany again next year, hope to see you then.

  3. Lisa McIntyre

    I enjoy your blog exactly as it is – please don’t change a thing!

  4. Joe

    You live a blessed life and we enjoy sharing Italy through you. Staying in your home for a month, while you came back home for a visit, we shared the same experiences that you did. The Italian people we met treated us wonderfully. The food was great. We enjoyed the life you live, with its ups and downs, i.e. dealing with Harry. Keep on writing.

  5. Linda Ruiz

    Just be happy to be happy! It really is that easy.

    Love the blog!!!

  6. Elena

    I agree with you about expat experiences being so different. We also are dual citizen expats, live in the Abruzzo and have encountered very few difficulties. Yes, no matter how long we live here, we will always be the Americans, but that is okay too. We approached living here as an adventure, to enjoy the food, the culture and our wonderful friends, much as you and Ben do.

  7. Juliana

    I love the pictures and stories – especially the sagras, visitors, rare trips back to the US, dog(s), talking cats, first snow, gardens, wildlife, and daily grind of waiting for the perfect sunset. Politics and bureaucracy seep in on occasion, just enough to season the pot.

  8. Good for you. I enjoy your blog too. When I first started bloggng there was plenty that was new and exciting to blog about: restoring our house, untangling bureaucracy, being denounced, giving birth in a foreign language, the differences between my old life and the new. But I think as one gets used to one’s new life, things become less remarkable and so you find less to remark on – except how good life is. And as one becomes part of the community one tends to stop wanting to complain about corruption for example, or to write funny posts about the neighbour with the silly hat – the neighbour with the silly hat has become a firm friend and an avid reader of the blog! In your picture you look as if you’ve found the perfect place for you. And you look so happy. That might not be very interesting or exciting for most readers, but it looks good as all get-out to me!

  9. Well said, carry on blogging from your heart. 🙂

  10. Thanks everyone for all nice comments. Sometimes I think about changing the ‘theme/appearance’ of my blog but that is about all that I will change. “The life is pretty good here” blog will keep rolling on.

  11. Pat

    It’s hard to believe it’s been 4 years! I remember the pics of you leaving the US. Here’s to many more healthy years in Italy…enjoy! Love your blog…

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