3 Months in Italy
To start this out, let's have a brief geography lesson. Welcome to Italy. Italy is the one that's shaped like a boot. Yes, we all pretty much recognize Italy. It is a part of southern Europe bordered by so much beautiful water! The Adriatic Sea, Ionian Sea, Mediterranean, and Tyrrhenian Sea. It has a multitude of islands one of which is Sicily. Sicily is that triangle piece of land at the toe of the boot. That is where we spent our first 2 months; on the far east side of the island in Catania.
From here, from a map, Italy looks huge, right? It's actually quite small considering the size of the population. And so instead of spreading out, they spread up (more to come later on that).
This picture gives you a better idea of how big or small Italy actually is. Italy is smaller than California btw.
Back to the top map, the red Google arrow is where we are now, Fiumaretta.
Fiumaretta is a village that belongs to the municipality of Ameglia which is in the province of La Spezia which is in the region Liguria.
*There are 20 regions in Italy including Liguria and... Tuscany!
Tuscany isn't actually a city, or a point on the map to go, it's a region! A whole AREA. We are situated right on the line of Liguria and Tuscany regions.
Sarzana is another municipality, larger, more well known. That's the easier place to answer "where do you live?"
Nestled between the Alps and Sea (closer to the sea), we have found a country road that is quiet and convenient to (almost) everything we need.
The house is big, divided into 5 separate living spaces. Only 3.5 are occupied (further explained...). And we have a big fenced (shared) yard with TONS of fruit (apricots, pears, plums, apples, figs, grapes... I'm missing some... oranges, bananas...more).
The 3 homes downstairs include Luca and me, one set of neighbors is a late 40's year old couple Gianluca and Francesca. They live here all the time, take great care of the property, have built an outside garden lounge area, and are very nice and helpful. They have a little barky dog named Selly. She's a sweetheart with a big bark although still terrified of Jake. The other set of neighbors we have yet to meet or even see! We hear he's an older guy, rarely here, uses the place for kind of a summer getaway. We've heard him pushing furniture around once and we see his car here sometimes but again, yet to actually SEE him.
Upstairs are 2 more homes. An 80 year old woman in one; waiting to die and we hear, bat shit crazy. She hurt her leg and has been in the hospital since we've arrived so we haven't met her yet either. The 2nd upstairs is used as a summer getaway apartment by the owners (2 sisters). They rarely come either and stay only for short periods of time. SO, it's quiet around here! We'll see if that changes when old crazy returns. Be nice Lisa!
(living room/dining area/bike area)
(please don't mind the fly trap in the bedroom, it was temporary, we had to air the place out and kill kill kill)
(bathroom, the bidet is on the left side of the shower FYI ;) which is odd that it's not next to or across from the toilet *scratching my head*)
The place isn't huge but it works for us for now. Coming from the busy life of downtown Catania, we needed a quiet retreat. We have 1 bedroom, 1 bath, small kitchen, and the living room/dining area/bike storage area is all inclusive. We have a nice big balcony overlooking the backyard, hills, and fields. The apricot tree is within reach from the balcony.
The yard is shared although we each kind of have our corner of it.
The previous owners had built this (very impressive, barely pictured above right) dog cage/kennel thing in our corner of the yard. Jake is of course an inside dog so we are actually tearing it down and recreating it into our own bbq lounge area (think hammock swinging in the shade). The owner is very open to us doing just about anything and if it's an upgrade will even cover the cost. Awesome!!
*Reminder, this place is temporary until around September. We are still looking for an independent house that is a bit more convenient to the pool and Luca's work. I wish the balcony had stairs to the backyard too. IF we decide to stay through the winter, I'm going to ask the owners if we can build some; can't be too hard, right? Where's my Platoon of Engineers!? #ImisstheArmy
Everything that surrounds us is beautiful, often surreal. So many moments include, look around! Wow, this is where we live. The weather is perfect. The people are nice. The traffic is calm(er). The sea, the mountains, the hills, the stretches of fields and land... We are so close to so many beautiful places that are all on our travel list, like Pisa and Florence. The train is very near. We can run and bike. We have the sea to swim in and several pools to choose from. We've found an awesome group of triathletes to hang with. And we are comfortable. It's taking a few minutes to really get settled and get a routine going since Luca is the new pilot at work and we're trying to establish the what's happening in life. We are both type A's that need things to be settled a certain way. How can two adventurous spirits need so much structure!? We are walking contradictions, LOL! Oxymorons.
Jake loves all the green although he's cut his paw pretty bad and now bandaged up for a few days. And I love Jake. The guy is perfectly happy as long as I'm near. His favorite is playing in the sea and then filling our bed with sand *face palm*
So, this is where I am!
A beautiful man and chocolate lab by my side in a magically beautiful land. How can I possibly be anything but happy!! Life is good! Life is GREAT!
*and if you've read this far... just for the record... YES, I work! I'm a full time triathlon Coach to a multitude of athletes and I'm the marketing director and media master for 3 adoption agencies. While you're sleeping, I'm working, pounding keys, designing marketing materials, researching and writing blogs for expectant parents and adoptive families, and more. My life is glitter glam, planes and trains, but I also put in the work to earn a paycheck. You get out of life what you want out of life and I choose ADVENTURE!! :D Thank you and Happy Saturday!!