Where Le Marche and Abruzzo Meet

Today we travelled to Northern Teramo Province to meet with the sellers of our next (and final) home. What a lovely day we had. We fell in love with this house, and the area on our first visit in March, even though it was covered with snow. Today there was a beautiful blue sky, green fields, blossoms and birds singing their spring chorus. We stayed and chatted for quite a while, learning about the house and the area, and getting to know the sellers. Nice friendly people who built and cared for a beautiful home. They are going to retire in the area, but in a smaller house, this was their family vacation home.
On our way back we stopped in Villa Lempa and enjoyed pizza in a very lively bar. For some reason one of the patrons thought Lester was a priest! I didn’t understand what he was asking me at first. It’s not the sort of question I get asked every day. It certainly put a smile on our faces. Lester should have blessed him just to keep him happy.
After living here for two years our Italian is pretty good, and we do practice every day, but we may need to spend even more time on it now. I don’t think there are many English speaking people in the area, which is a good thing, I want to speak more in Italian. Practice makes perfect.

The next adventure begins soon.

Be safe everyone, stay young at heart and keep a smile.

Easter Moon – Italy – Here to Stay

I woke up at 5:45 this morning…way too early for me, but I had a lot going on in my head. We’re packing for our trip to the US, as well as for our move to Teramo province. Seems my brain functions better late at night, when I’m trying to sleep, or in the early hours of the morning.
We have started packing our home into cardboard boxes. A difficult task! Getting into the rhythm of packing isn’t too bad, but emotionally it’s a strain. We’re not leaving Italy though, so I’m not too sad, and I’ll visit my friends often. I’m sure they’ll visit us too.

The Easter Sunday moon was spectacular. A gorgeous clear night gave us a good view of a big bright moon. My Easter Monday walk was spectacular. I stepped into places where fairytales start.

Have a lovely week everyone and take time to enjoy the moment.

Sleepy Sunday – Day of Rest

I’m having a lazy day because I didn’t sleep too well last night. It happens sometimes. Some silly, unimportant thing will flutter around in my mind and keep me awake. Today is Sunday though, even God rested on a Sunday didn’t he?

Maybe it’s a good day to write. My current book is progressing very slowly. The title is eluding me. I played with “Fleeing Trump’s America”, but Trump wasn’t the reason we moved to Italy. It did speed up our plans a little, but I’d rather keep politics out of it. I’m aiming for an amusing insight of our adventure, along with its pitfalls, yes there were a couple.

Enough of that. I’ve attached some photos for your pleasure. The top three are from my husband’s bike ride on Friday. It was a gorgeous day, although a little windy. He rode 63 kilometers, mostly up hill (not bad for an old guy). I believe these were taken in Quadri, Penadommo and the other side of Lago di Bomba. The two photos at the bottom are from my more relaxed activity, and afternoon stroll in Colledimezzo.

Time to cook I think. Lazy Sundays are always better with a good lunch! I hope you’re all enjoying your day of rest too.

Keep a smile!

Sleepy Retirement Monday

I took a slow walk today, stopping often to take photos. There wasn’t a soul in sight so I guess everyone else was having a lazy day too. I did walk over lunch time, which is always quiet, lunch is a very important meal here in Abruzzo. At 12:30 everyone disappears to eat. The bar is closed every Monday too, so there were no card games, or afternoon coffee drinkers.

I walked the path I took when I was first exploring the village many moons ago, up and down steps, through alleyways, discovering new doorways and paths. My time in Colledimezzo has passed quickly, but I have lots of memories.

Have a great week everyone and keep a smile.

The Italian Love Affair

My Italian love affair started when I first visited Rimini in the early seventies and Italy has been on my mind ever since.
Pictures 1&2 were taken in Lake Garda back in 1993. First family trip to Italy! My daughter looks pretty happy doesn’t she. Pictures 3&4 are Lake Garda again, when we returned in 2015, and of course the last two photos are Rome. We spent a month touring Italy in 2015 and that is when we made the decision to retire here. We haven’t looked back.
Never loose sight of your dreams, with a little effort and determination, you can make them come true. I’m in my sixties, so an old timer now, but I do have a few adventures left in me, so watch this space and see what I’m up to. I’m recording my exploits in the book I’m currently writing, no title yet, but I’ll know when the right one pops into my head.
Take care everyone and keep your thoughts young.

Quirky Old Doors and Beautiful Views

I’m taking in as much of Colledimezzo as I can now my days are numbered. I’ve passed these old buildings many times, and love the stone work and the old doors. I’ll remember them of course, but a digital memory will come in handy when I’m old and frail. Look at the shadow of the tree branch on the building in the bottom right photo. Isn’t it spooky?

Today was beautifully warm, but a little hazy because there were many fires. The burning of the branches trimmed from olive trees. Loved the smokey smell. I stopped for a glass of Prosecco on my way home. It was lovely to sit in the piazza and talk to the locals. Life in Colledimezzo is good. I’ll miss it, but I’m also looking forward to a new adventure. Italy has been in my heart for as long as I can remember, every inch of it is filled with beautiful history and art, and I want to see as much as I can.

Tomorrow we’re taking our bikes to the “Via Verde” the bike trail that goes along by the Adriatic. Can’t wait!
Have a lovely day everyone, and keep a smile.

The Colors of Spring in Abruzzo

Enormous Yucca, curious chickens and a view to die for.

I took a long leisurely walk this afternoon and ended up at the top of town. I’ve been taking photos here since we first found the village in 2017, but every time I walk, something new catches my eye. Small villages in Abruzzo are rugged, beautiful, charming and quirky.

Happy Tuesday everyone.

A walk by Lake Bomba – Abruzzo

Una passeggiata sul Lago di Bomba!
Lovely bright, but chilly day today. I needed to blow the cobwebs away so I walked down to Lake Bomba. So pretty.
We had a lovely, busy weekend. Yesterday our friends joined us for lunch. I love cooking, even made bread. We drank a little more wine than normal (hence the cobwebs), but had a nice afternoon.
Now Monday has come around again, not that Monday is any different to any other day in retirement…but it is the start of another week.
What will this week bring? Will we finally sign the contract on our new house? I hope so! I don’t think I’ll quite feel like its happening until we do. Don’t worry friends, you’ll be the first to know.

Take care, stay safe, and keep a smile.

Don’t Worry – Be Happy – Shed the Stress

Why do women worry?
My husband looks ten years younger than me, when in fact he is a little older. It’s because he never worries about anything. I do all the worrying for him…and then some. What am I worrying about now? Everything of course.
We’re buying and selling a house in Italy, and everything is going just fine and dandy, I think! It still doesn’t stop me from worrying. We are selling with Monia from Abruzzo Rural Property, who is wonderful and so very trustworthy. The family buying our home are very easy to work with, I honestly have no worries with selling.
We are buying with the assistance of a very nice gentleman called Keith, who is helpful and informative, so why am I worrying?
Because I’m a WOMAN of course.
I went for a nice long walk this afternoon. I jokingly tell everyone I’m going on the “giro d’Italia”, because I walk a big winding circle around the village. The views are spectacular. It cleared my head and I’m feeling good again…for a while. I’m a woman, I’m sure I’ll find something else to worry about soon.

Hope you are all doing well. Be safe and keep a smile!

Whirlwind Week – Sabato – Time to Rest

This time last week Lester and I were driving back from Gabbiano, in Teramo Province, with big smiles on our faces. Finally we’d found our next (and hopefully last) home. It was a difficult search, but glad we persevered. Wish it was closer to Colledimezzo because we have so many friends here, but we’ll visit often, and they will visit us.
Today we enjoyed our usual Saturday lunch with good friends at La Collinetta in Montazzoli.


Now I’m sitting in the kitchen enjoying a glass of wine and thinking about our next adventure. The Sandra and Lester story is in its final few chapters, so I want them to be the best. This story has spanned almost forty five years.

Above are a couple of pictures of the view from our soon to be home. Is there anywhere in Abruzzo that doesn’t have a fantastic view?

I’m sure there will be some bumps in the road during the next few weeks. Buying and selling a home is never straightforward, but I’d like to make it as smooth as possible. Settling into a new home is exciting. I’m sure those of you who worked with me in the Legal Department at Western Union remember how I gushed when we bought The Old Olive Mill. Little did I know we weren’t just making it beautiful for us. I remember the phone calls to furniture stores in Italy, when I spoke very little Italian, they brightened up your afternoon. I heard the giggles. It was all worth it because now it will be enjoyed by a new family.

Stay tuned to see what comes next.

Stay safe everyone, be kind and keep a smile on your face.

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