Benvenuto tutti, or welcome all. Let’s see if this works. I started this blog as a joke, a riff on all the “A Year in…” and “Under the Tuscan Sun” type memoirs. You know, the books that simultaneously peddle a romantic fantasy of life in those great places, while making fun of the colorful locals.
As it turns out, my wife and I did buy a place 10 years ago in a nice college town, Perugia, with the eventual idea of moving there. But there were a few differences: It was a small apartment, and we’re Italian. My wife went to school in Perugia, and I’m the son of an Italian immigrant to the United States. So little or no culture clash there—my family’s gone back and forth between New York and Italy a lot for vacations and family gatherings, and Kathy and I spent a fair amount of time in Perugia with friends and our adopted family.
But we’re pretty clear-eyed about both places we live in, New York City and Umbria, and I thought I’d start this blog as a counter to the likes of Frances Mayes and the others. And maybe give people a better idea of what’s terrific about the cities and regions we love, and what their real challenges are, too. The press is always portraying Italy as both an economic and political basket case, and a place where Anglo-Saxon fantasies about the good life play out. It’s more nuanced than that.
So bookmark this page, and I’ll try to write coherently about our experiences, and what Americans and Italians can learn from one another.