Easter 2019 – Men in Tights – Turquoise Adriatic -Roma

Memories of Easter 2019, when I flew to Abruzzo from Colorado to get a few things organized in our holiday home in Colledimezzo. It seems so long ago now.
My friend Linda came with me, brave girl. Our bathrooms were still a little basic, but useable. We had heating in the house, beds, furniture, (very old drafty windows and doors), but none of that mattered, we barely spent any time indoors. It was short, fast trip, but lots of fun. We were invited to join Nino and his family for Easter lunch. It was a delicious traditional Abruzzo meal. On Easter Monday, we ate at La Collinetta in Montazzoli, where there were two pasta courses…we were so full. We experienced so much in a very short period of time. Visited a fish restaurant in Vasto, then sat by the Adriatic and enjoyed a glass of wine. Linda experienced her first Trabocco in Fossacesia. Poor Linda, I didn’t realize she wasn’t keen on fish, but she took it all in her stride. We watched the flag throwers in Roccascalegna and then, before flying back to Denver, we spent a lovely evening in Rome.
Look at those crowds on the Spanish Steps, who knew that in less than a year those steps would be deserted, as well as the rest of Rome. How the world changed!
Now it’s Easter 2022 and I’m living in Colledimezzo (for a little bit longer). The vacation home turned into a permanent home. We knew it would. We’ve had a peaceful Easter this year, resting before a very busy couple of months. Soon we fly to the US for a vacation, seems odd booking a return flight to the US from Italy, it’s usually the other way round. Our house is no longer bare, but a real family home, ready for a new family as we move on to pastures and adventures anew.
All of my Colledimezzo memories are wonderful. I’ve never met more genuine, friendly people. The villagers have already accepted the new family and I can tell they will fit right in.

The world keeps turning and we all turn with it. Happy Easter everyone.

Stay safe and keep a smile.

Crazy Daze

Are we all trying to pretend the world is normal? I think so!
My daughter arrived in Italy against all odds, so very happy to see her. We’ve visited the local beach, driven through the beautiful villages, eaten in our favorite restaurants, and today we visited Vasto. I always think of Vasto as the “Icing on the Cake” because after I’d made an offer on our home in Colledimezzo, we stayed overnight in Vasto…and we knew we’d done the right thing.
Today was a little different, everyone was wearing masks, fearing the new and fast spreading Omicron virus. When will this end?
Still we had a lovely day today, and a lovely meal in Da Ferri, or favorite fish restaurant in the port. We did a little shopping in Villa Santa Maria and now we’re all resting at home.
This last week a lot of my good friends, in several different countries have overcome COVID. Glad they’re all OK, but it’s scary!

Be safe everyone and have a very Merry Christmas.

Vasto – Seafood and Sunshine

My daughter and I flew to Abruzzo in August 2017 giddy with excitement because we were house hunting. Come on, who wouldn’t be excited about house hunting in Italy? It was a dream come true. Our trip was successful! We found a perfect house in the incredibly beautiful village of Colledimezzo.
My husband’s first trip to Abruzzo was in March 2018. Another crazy, busy, whirlwind trip. In two weeks we bought furniture, light fittings and everything else we needed to make it home. Very few people in the stores spoke or understood English and our Italian was terrible, but we managed, thanks to everyone’s kindness and patience. It was exhausting, but worth it.
During our March 2018 visit we stayed in the beautiful Residence Amblingh in Vasto https://www.amblingh.it/
Wonderful place!
Now, in 2021, we call Colledimezzo home and enjoy revisiting all of the restaurants we discovered over three years ago. Today we visited Vasto. It was a beautiful sunny day. Restaurants are open again and we were happy to see Lo Scuda, one of our favorite haunts, has survived COVID. In 2018 we had our first lunch there. Delicious seafood, a little too much wine, and a lot of fun. Our meal today brought back many happy memories. The food was pretty good too!

Freedom

Beautiful Vasto

One week from today, numbers permitting, Italy begins to open up a little. Outside dining will be allowed. When I heard the news, I couldn’t help but think of Vasto. My daughter and I visited this beautiful little town, on the Adriatic Coast, just after we’d put in an offer on the “Old Olive Mill’ in Colledimezzo. That was almost four years ago! A lot has happened since then.
In 2017 life was much simpler. We weren’t fighting a pandemic.
Now there is a light at the end of the tunnel and the anticipation I feel is almost as intense as I used to feel prior to a vacation in Italy.
Yes, I live here now, but haven’t been able to travel since September. Now I can visit Vasto again, it’s on my list for next week.
Hopefully this is a new beginning for us all.
Stay safe everyone, we can do this!

Relax

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Amblingh

A year ago we were in staying in the beautiful Adriatic town of Vasto.
It was my husband’s first trip to see the home we’d bought for retirement in Abruzzo. We had no time to relax. Two weeks were spent cleaning, finding furniture, buying and fitting light fixtures, opening a bank account etc., etc., before returning back to the US to work (we have to pay for the house somehow).
I found this photo today. It’s the view from the beautiful Residence Amblingh
This was where we stayed for two weeks while we worked on our house, it was our haven and kept us sane.

Tempes Fugit

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How time files! Just over a week ago I was waking up to this magnificent view from my Hotel Room in the beautiful ancient town of Vasto.

I’ve been back for a week now. Once again caught up in the daily routine of work and the busy existence we all share. I’m not sad, I live in Colorado, which is lovely. I have a good job and work with people I like, but I do miss the tranquility and laid back life style I enjoyed for two weeks in Abruzzo.

It’s the carrot dangling in front of me. We’ve achieved a huge goal, we have a home in Italy waiting for us when we retire. Before that time I can enjoy lazy vacations getting to know the area. We feel incredibly lucky to have such a place, but it is the result of hard work and planning.

You can achieve a great deal when you put your mind to it. Figure out what is important to you in life and go for it. We did!

Abruzzo – a Week in Review

We’ve been in Italy for one exhausting week. It’s been a whirlwind seven days of buying furniture, opening bank accounts, cleaning, organizing, planning and finally today, we took the day off. We needed to. We’re in our sixties not our twenties.

On Monday we arrived at our Italian home in Colledimezzo and were greeted by Maurizio, our carpenter. His work was amazing. We walked into a once empty kitchen, to see a magnificent creation of cupboards, countertops and a fantastic breakfast bar. Thrilled is an understatement.  We also met Franco, the builder who is working on our stairs, and his friend Domenico, who speaks perfect English, having lived there most of his life. We finally met Nino, who I know will always be our friend, and Vincenzo to whom I owe so much.

On Tuesday Franco took us to lunch and introduced us to more of his English clients. We ate an Italian workers lunch, which consists of pasta, meat, salad, fries and as much wine as you can possibly drink. Delicious. On Tuesday night we decided the hotel in Lanciano just didn’t work for us. It was clean, but so dated it made life difficult so we moved to Vasto. I LOVE Vasto. My daughter and I stayed here for one night last August. Gorgeous, comfortable, hospitable. Rezidenza Amblingh!

On Wednesday we bought a washing machine and tumble drier and then continued to the house to meet Vincenzo and a new-found friend Zoe.

On Thursday, long drive to Pescara to buy furniture and beds. Maisons du Monde and more friendly people! They recommended a bed shop where we found exactly what we needed.

On Friday we went back on the long road north and bought small appliances for our kitchen from a SMEG outlet. (Did I mention how broke we are now?)

Yesterday (Saturday), it was light fittings. Found a great discount store for light fittings, and got everything we needed. Then on to Colledimezzo again, where I ran into the young guy we bought the house from. It is his dad’s house, but he showed us around. The cleaning started. We discovered a couple of things that needed fixing, but that always happens doesn’t it. It is going to be a work in progress, but it has so much character.

The photos are from today. We took the day of to relax and enjoy a delicious meal in a seafood restaurant at Vasto Harbour. We mistakenly thought it was within walking distance of the hotel, but it was actually almost six miles away. The walk gave us an appetite. When we asked if the waiter could call us a cab to get back to the hotel, he arranged for his sister to give us a ride. She wouldn’t take any money for her trouble.

Now we have our feet up relaxing like old folks do after a bottle of wine and a big meal, but we feel happy. Although the house may require a little more work than we expected, it is going to be worth it. I want to live among these friendly caring folks. I’ve lived on the good earth for a long time and have never encountered such genuine, friendly, helpful people. I’m blown away.

Abruzzo has enchanted us.

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.

The Eve of an Adventure

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My daughter has been in Abruzzo since Thursday. She’s staying in the beautiful seaside town of Vasto. We’ve kept her busy. She’s opened a bank account so we can pay utilities. She met the builder that’s going to finish our stairs, chose the wood and gave him a deposit. Cash of course. She’s explored, enjoyed the local food and wine and totally fallen in love with the place. Our purchasing trip was a whirlwind experience so we barely scratched the surface of the beautiful province of Chieti. Now, with time on her hands, Joanna is telling us what we missed, and what we have to look forward to as you can see by the photos above.

Look at that HUGE smile on her face. She took a selfie on the terrace of our new home, key in hand! Try putting that key on you keychain!!!

It’s Sunday November 5th, the eve of owning our beautiful family home in Colledimezzo, Abruzzo Italy. Exciting times.

Shimmering Adriatic

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I was fifteen when I first went to Italy. I went with my mum and my crazy old Auntie Jennie. I’d dreamed of Italy from a very young age, and my mum had always promised she’d take me. Finally, she could afford it. I’ll never forget the thrill of stepping off the plane into the warm night air. I was in love with the country before I ever saw it and after my first visit it was firmly lodged in my heart. The two-week vacation wasn’t long enough and when we left, I cried.

As the jet climbed into the night sky I looked longingly back at the bejeweled coast line of the Adriatic and wished I didn’t have to go home.

My first visit was to Rimini, back in the early seventies. The photo above is a little further south. It’s the coastline of Vasto, taken on my last visit in August of this year. Now I can visit this beautiful place whenever I want to, and call it home. The Chieti Province of Abruzzo. My new home. It took me 45 years to realize my dream, it was worth the wait.

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