Keeping up with the Italians

 

Retirement was always something I dreaded.
It meant I was getting old.
Only two weeks ago I was in my sixteen! Now I’m in my sixties.
Last year we bought a home in Abruzzo, Italy. It changed my whole prospective on retirement and now I think about long lazy days in Colledimezzo with a goofy smile on my face. I have a few years to go yet, time to practice my cooking. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to compete with the fabulous traditional dishes that have been passed down from mother to child, but I can start with the sweet treats. So far these have been a success. On the left, Almond cookies, on the right, Italian breakfast cookies, which are very good to dip in your morning cappuccino.

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The Real Italy

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I never get bored with Italy. Been visiting since I was a teenager. It’s beauty and history are captivating. The food, the wine, all the usual things make me love the country. However, until I visited Abruzzo, I realized I hadn’t seen the real Italy. It took only a short visit to remind me that local Italians make Italy what it is, and the folks of Abruzzo are the warmest, most helpful people I have ever met. While writing this blog my eyes fill with tears as I recall our recent visit and all we achieved with their help. We made more friends in two weeks than I’ve made in the last 20 years.

Colledimezzo is a tiny village in Abruzzo, less than 600 inhabitants. Of course everyone became familiar with us immediately. A mixed race couple with British accents. We stuck out like a sore thumb. Those locals immediately accepted us, helped us and made us feel like one of them.

It’ll be a few years before we can retire there, but the ground work is done. We have a second home there now, and lots of vacations to look forward to. Good things are worth waiting for!

Vasto – Abruzzo – Italy

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Amblingh Residence – Vasto – Abruzzo

Going over photos from my last visit to Italy, I found this! The view we enjoyed while we ate our last breakfast in Italy after our whirlwind house buying visit. This photo was taken from the breakfast room of the beautiful Amblingh Residence in the gorgeous sea-side town of Vasto. I’ve added it to my list of favorite places. It was the epitome of Italy. Beautiful beaches, restaurants with tables outside, high up on a cliff and overlooking the turquoise waters of the Adriatic. By day the gentle waves reflected golden sunlight. By night a bejeweled coastline.

Any doubts I had about spending our money on a retirement home in Abruzzo were dispelled as I ate delicious local breakfast breads, washed down with cappuccino and soaked in the view with a background of Italian conversation.

Check the link above to discover the best place to stay in Vasto. Can’t believe I want more people to discover this beautiful old town. Instinct tells me to keep it to myself, but it’s just too good not to share.

Shopping, shopping and eating and walking!

Today started late for me, it was around noon before I made it downstairs. I think the last two days caught up with me. It is really hot and humid here too, which means lots of showers and changes of clothes.

We hit the shops around one o clock, Via Del Corsa first as they stay open during Siesta time. Next we went to the famous Via Condotti with all of the designer stores. We Did a lot of window shopping and bought a couple of sale items and then walked to Piazza Del Poppola. From there we walked up the steps to the gardens of Villa Borghese. The gardens are beautiful and cool and border our hotel, so we stepped out of the gardens and right to the outside patio of the hotel for a beer. Perfect! After getting showered and changed it was back to the Spanish Steps to buy our traditional local art work. We bartered (and probably still paid too much) for a couple of oil paintings of the Amalfi Coast.

Next we hit Condotti again and bought a certain member of the Thompson family a very lovely Italian made leather item which can only be bought at one particular store, on one particular street, in one particular city. After making this purchase the owner of that store called his brother who has a restaurant three blocks away, called Trente Cinque, and told him we would be arriving in five minutes.

We had a fantastic meal, real home cooking, and very reasonable. Sliced octopus, seafood tagliatelle and a liter of house wine. Yum. We then walked to the Trevi fountain for a night time viewing, still crowded, but what an atmosphere. We threw coins in and made a wish.

Now it is 11:30 and after my blog, I will be sleeping and wondering what tomorrow brings.

VIve Italia, it has my heart!