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The year 2016 has been quite a ride! Our hope, if you’ve been following along, has been to live in Italy for a minimum of one year. Just to make sure we like it before committing to anything permanent. November 2, 2015, we went to the Italian Consulate providing all our official papers and paying our fee as we were approved for dual citizenship with Italy. Here it is over a year later, and we are still patiently (well, not quite patiently) waiting to hear from the LA Consulate office that we can come to pick up our Italian passports.
Our plan is still to live in Italy but we have to use our US passports for 90-day trips at a time. So here we are in December and we are planning our next trip (for 90-days) back to Italy in February/March time frame. This back and forth is really taking a toll on our budget… please get our passports processed – PLEASE!
Wait no longer….. 2016 in review:
January: Waited for news regarding our passports. None came.
February: Gary and I love to cook so we took a pasta cooking class and really had a great time.
March: No more news from the Italian Consulate.
April: Took a trip to Cancun with my step-daughter and her family. It was great being with our two grandchildren and
having some wonderful quality time with them. At this time they still lived in New York but recently moved out to Arizona. Now all our children and 8 grandchildren all live in Arizona!
May: We were able to catch a NY Yankee game as they came to play the Arizona Diamondbacks. Yankees won!!
June and July: Not a whole lot was happening other than we finally decided to give our two-week notice at work and stop waiting for word from the Italian Consulate. We are going to take our destiny in our own hands and go to Italy anyway!
August: We left for Italy and decided to make Parma our “home base” for our 90-day stay. It was a great location in the north to use the trains for travel between all the towns. We had a bit of difficulty finding an apartment as it seems everyone in Italy goes on “holiday” during the month of August. Our plan to meet with some real estate people to show us some apartments backfired! It was quite an adventure for about two weeks!! We took day trips using the train to visit Modena and Reggio Emilia. Gary enjoyed the Ferrari Museum the most in Modena.
We also enjoyed riding our bicycles almost every day in Parma. It is such a pedestrian-friendly town.
From Parma, we also took a tour of a Parmesan Cheese and Prosciutto Factory. What a heavenly day!
September: We took the train to Venice and stayed on the Grand Canal to have a first-hand view of the Regatta. It was amazing as I have always wanted to see this yearly, historical event. While in Venice we also visited the island of Burano for the first time. We also visited Verona which we had never had the opportunity to do so in the past. Also during this month, we stayed overnight in Rimini which is a beach town for the trip to San Marino the next day. San Marino was amazing just for the fact it is a separate country located within Italy’s borders. During September, Parma has its own Pailo di Parma. It was great to be a local and join in the festivities!
October: We visited Bologna for three days and enjoyed all the amazing food and sites. Back in Parma, we were able to enjoy Festival Verdi by attending Il Trovatore, an opera by Giuseppe Verdi at the Teatro Regio. We also witnessed the celebration of Halloween, Italian style. Quite differently celebrated than we are used to here in the United States.
November: Unfortunately, we returned to the US as our 90-days came to a close. We now have to begin another 90-day wait to be able to legally return to Italy. We are looking now at February/March 2017. I also had a “frozen arm” which was very difficult to deal with in Italy. I was able to have a manipulation procedure which has corrected it but not without some pain and physical therapy.
December: We are busy shopping and catching up with friends. We are staying with our children these 90-days and enjoying them and our beautiful grandchildren.
We wish everyone a very safe and happy holiday!!!
Hope 2017 will bring a longer stay in our dream place – Italy!