Crazy Little Thing Called Retirement – The Journey (Part2)

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_3981

In August 2017 we spent two glorious weeks on the Island of Capri and the Amalfi Coast. It was a lovely time. A few days in Capri, a couple of days in Naples and a whole week in a beautiful villa in Scala, close to Ravello. Our villa overlooked the town of Amalfi and the deep blue mediterranean. There was a house for sale close to our villa which was in the process of being renovated. We weighed up the pros and cons of buying it. It was very tempting, and just what we were looking for, but the cost of buying and completing the renovation would have been too much for us.

I’d been searching on line, for a home in Italy for a couple of years, but never found the perfect place. The homes I really liked were much too expensive. The cheaper ones needed a lot of work. Then I remembered that several folks we’d talked to in Rome had told us about Abruzzo and how beautiful it was. They’d only moved away to find work, but returned as often as they could. Although I’d never been there, I decided to do some research and was fascinated with what I found. Lots of lovely unspoiled hilltop villages, beautiful mountains, and even more captivating, the Adriatic Coastline.

I immediately began my search in Abruzzo, and stumbled upon Abruzzo Rural Property, run by a helpful young lady called Monia. Thankfully she spoke great English. Three houses took my fancy, and Monia found a couple more. All in the Chieti province, which bordered the Adriatic. I asked if we could go and view them and we set a date at the end of August. She was surprised I wanted to make the trip so soon, but I daren’t leave it any longer in case I chickened out. I had to strike while the iron was hot. Spending large amounts of money make me nervous.

My husband had no more vacation days left, so he couldn’t come with me so called my daughter.
“Hey Jo, I’m going to look at a house in Italy, will you come with me?”
“Sure, when do you want to go?”
I think she expected me to say in the Spring, or next Summer. She probably thought it was another one of our pipe dreams…
“Next Friday, I’ll pay!”

As you can see by the photo, she enjoyed the trip very much. When we hired a rental car in Rome she asked “Do you have an open topped car, doesn’t have to be an Alfa Romeo, or anything fancy.”
The result was a little open topped Fiat, which took us across the mountainous region of central Italy from Lazio to the Chieti province in Abruzzo.

It was a blast!

For the love of Italy!

cappuccino_loves_italy

Sunday Mornings find me sitting at the dining room table paying bills and catching up with friends on Social Media and by email. My view is pretty idyllic. Trees changing color, snow-capped mountains and clear blue skies. I love my home and I love Colorado, but…..as I sip my second cup of Cappuccino, my heart aches for Italy.

I was fifteen when I visited Rimini for the first time. It was my first trip abroad. I was accompanied by my mum and my crazy aunty Jennie! I inhaled the Italian culture and was immediately hooked. Crazy aunty Jennie and my mum aren’t with me anymore, and I miss them. My obsession with Italy is still here though, and always will be.

I returned the following two years with friends my own age, although I spent a lot of time on my own. They were smitten with the Italian men, who are of course, very handsome. I wasn’t oblivious to them, and enjoyed a holiday romance, but it was the country that won my heart. Even now when I think about Italy, I can barely breathe.

I returned again in 1983, driving there from Germany where I lived with my husband, a British soldier. I worried he wouldn’t share my obsession, but he did.

My daughter was seven when we took her to Italy for the first time. She might as well have been Italian she fitted in so well.

Five years ago we spent two weeks in Rome and my love affair deepened. This year returned with friends and family. We did it all. Four days in Milan, two days in Garda, a week in Siena, a week in Rome and a week in Ravello. It wasn’t long enough, I wanted to stay forever.

So as I sit here, sipping my Cappuccino (not to be drank after noon), I dream of Italy and scour Italian Real Estate because I know where I want to retire!

Home Sweet Home

DSC03763

No it’s not the rolling hills of Tuscany, just the modest sunset from my deck in Franktown. Yes, I love my home. It’s Colorado, not Italy, but my views are spectacular and I don’t want to give it up. Instead I’ll find a way to split my time between the two. My property search has begun. Maybe an apartment overlooking the Adriatic, or a small cottage in a friendly village. Where there’s a will theres a way! You have to admit a life split between Colorado and Italy would be pretty perfect.

It’s more than just a dream.

Try my other blog Stop Talking to Me if you have time. I post short stories and longer ones in installments. I just can’t stop writing.