Hello from Bardonecchia, Italy my friends! How was your week? I miss English. Do me a kindness. Share your highs or lows from the week in the comments below or for my fellow bloggers, add a link to your latest post so I can catch up with you!
As for us, this week Paolo and I celebrated our 9th anniversary exploring the Italian Alps. While driving past a field of wildflowers somewhere between Cesana and Sestriere it hit me. I live in Italy now!
Finally feeling like I live here made me so happy, I imagined spinning around in the Alps like Julie Andrews. I dare say Paolo felt the same last night watching Juventus. It was their first match since the COVID lockdowns began in March.
If you’d like to see our drive through the Italian Alps, check out my June Instagram Story. There’s even a video clip showing our view of France from our daily hikes and a few of the new four-legged friends we met this week.
As Italy starts to open back up with phase 2 of the COVID lockdowns I’ve shifted too. Out of the numbness that is coming into a more relaxed mindset. Now I’m able to notice and appreciate all the changes moving to Italy brings. Little things like I no longer need a watch. It’s 5:30 and out the back window, there is this.
I’m spiritual, not a religious woman. Yet church bells have become a welcome part of my everyday life in Italy. They ring loud and clear every hour. In small towns like Bardonecchia, Italy church bells even have a kitschy little backward ring for every half hour.
At 7 am they wake me up. For the first time in my life, I don’t mind my morning alarm because church bells have become an unexpected symbol of my new life. A life that’s deliberately a bit slower allowing for a little dolce far niente.
Unexpected Stories of Moving to Italy
I’ve been traveling to Italy every year for nine years. Many of those years, multiple times. So there were some stories about moving to Italy that I expected to tell. Like how wine is cheaper in Italy or how Italy has the best pizza in the world.
Then there are the stories I never saw coming. Like pulling a midnight move because our move to Italy was scheduled in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Or what it’s like to take a repatriation flight to Italy.
Far less dramatic but far sweeter, are the smaller unexpected stories I’m finding along the way. The subtle things. Things I notice because everything is new and fascinating again. Having moved many, many times, I know this phase of hyperawareness only lasts a short while. Unfortunately, life has a way of becoming normal far too quickly. Which is why I wanted to share this story while it still feels sweet.
Oh and this unexpected delight too! This week my old life and my new life collided. I didn’t expect to find an easy way to watch my old favorite TV shows from Italy. Turns out my old boss’s boss David Zaslav brought HGTV to Italy! While I don’t miss the stress that came with working in media, I sure missed hearing that doorbell chime at the beginning of every episode.
I know living in Italy as an American ex-pat will have ups and downs but this week, I’m grateful to feel up.