My First Year in Italy

Wall 1I cannot believe that I have lived in Lucca, Italy for a year already. My first year in Italy was a very adventurous one. I’ve had so many experiences that I shall never forget. Moving to Italy was a very difficult decision to make, but it was the best decision. I will gladly suffer the constant mosquito bites and being allergic to everything if that means I can continue to enjoy all the amazing things that Lucca has to offer, including the Tuscan foods, the green grass (all year round), and the daily walks on the wall.

I would be lying if I said there wasn’t an adjustment period. I still don’t quite understand why Italians don’t use laundry dryers. I don’t necessarily have an issue with hanging my clothes outside, but there have been countless days when I have to sprint to get all my clothes inside before a storm hits and of course the clothes aren’t dry yet. During the winter months we have to convert a spare bedroom into a clothes drying room. I guess you just do what has to be done.

I have adjusted to the late nights. I now can’t remember what it was ever like to eat dinner before 8:30pm. I always know when it is Tuesday, because we hear the local drummers practicing on the Wall at 10:30pm. However, I still think it is odd to see people taking their kids for bike rides at 1am. I think I know why people need a siesta in the middle of the day.

While I can now run longer and further than I have been able to in years and walk or bike constantly, I still have gained weight since moving to Italy. I just can’t say “no” to a morning pastry and evening cup of gelato.

I am proud of the fact that I can find my way successfully through the city without getting lost. It took me about three months just to find the grocery store (that is inside the walls) on my own. I will say though that occasionally I still see something new that I haven’t seen before.

I have joined a local book club to satisfy my addiction to the written word. We meet once a month and always have great food, wine, and discussions.

Of all the items on our pro/con list that we made prior to deciding to move to Italy, these two items were very strong reasons for us to move:

  1. Convenient location for fulfilling desired travel destinations. We have certainly taken advantage of our new location by exploring 10 countries. (See our Travel Page for more in depth information on our adventures). We have had amazing experiences and look forward to many more.
  2. Being able to fully immerse ourselves in a different language and culture. While I feel very Lucchesi in specific daily routines (like consuming at least one cappuccino a day, getting fresh foods at local stands, etc.), I am very disappointed in myself for the lack of progress I have made in learning and communicating in Italian. I could blame the fact that the course I get through the city is not helpful enough, however, in the end I have plenty of materials to be able to learn on my own. I am 100% to blame for my lack of progress. I have failed at managing my time since I have been in Italy. However, that is going to end now. I have decided that every weekday afternoon from now through the foreseeable future will be dedicated to learning Italian. I’ll keep you up-to-date on my progress.Tuscan door

Overall, I feel very fortunate for this opportunity. I am very honored to call Lucca my home. Lucca is such a beautiful town. The colors are so vibrant. The weather is pleasant all-year. I feel safe wandering the streets at all times of the day. I can’t imagine living anywhere else right now.

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