Posts Tagged: italia

Jul 10

We live here?!

Today we moved most of our stuff to our new apartment. It took three trips with the car which is both a bit puzzling and a bit troubling. We’ve not even been here 5 months and already we have three car loads of belongings to move from one place to another? And a car to move those loads with?! We’re becoming entrenched. This would bother me more except that every morning I wake up and look out the window at the looming peaks around us, every time I go in a shop and spend much longer than I had planned because the shop keeper wants to have a chat and every time I have a glass of wine before dinner, sitting in the street listening to, and struggling (less every day) to speak, Italian I feel a little more a part of this place. Can entrenched be used in a positive way?

Since arriving, we have invested in a small library of guidebooks (a contribution to the car loads) and over the course of quite a few hikes and days climbing using said guidebooks I have decided that I need to change my beliefs and become hindu. There is just no way that we’ll ever have time to get through everything that we want to do before we leave this earth, com’on reincarnation! But maybe that’s part of the beauty of it as well. At the risk of sounding trite: there is no destination, only a journey. Just a never ending stream of climbs, hikes, bike rides, days of skiing and, of course, aperitivo’s.

Here are a few photos of the latest day out in the mountains. For those geography nerds our there (and Ray), we started down near Lago di Como from a tiny village called San Bartolomeo and hiked up to Sasso Canale then over to the Bivaco di Manco and then over another ridge to Alpe Campo and finally found our way back to the valley floor by way of Val Bodengo. Roughly 8 hours in total.







Apr 10

La prima pasqua a Chiavenna

Apr 10

Italian Bureaucracy: The biggest “casino*” I’ve encountered to date…

*Italian lesson 1:
casino [ka ‘sino]
SM 1. mess, racket…
• Cos’è questo casino? what’s this bloody racket/mess?

The funny thing is that everyone laughs about this “casino” as if it’s a funny joke someone made at some stage in the past and forgot to fix. An april fool’s gag that has lasted decades past the deadline. I think the key for us was to expect the worst, which we did, and so far at least, we’ve been able to laugh a little at the silliness of it all with the locals. Without falling on our knees and breaking down in tears. No…it’s not all that bad really.

So here we are in a limbo of sorts. Everything is floating somewhere above us, just out of reach. At least for a couple of months we have an address again. However there’s still that dreaded question that crops up:

“Country of Residency?”
“Eh… (technically nowhere right now, considering my green card for the states ran out in February and I haven’t lived in Ireland for over 3 years)…eh.. Ireland?”

Hopefully if we can manage to sort out doing A before B at the same time as doing B before A we can organize residency here in the near future. And then we’ll be allowed to buy a car  🙂 and be officially accurate when we say we live in Italy. Which of course is the only reason we’ve made this whole crazy move, because it just sounds dead cool…

“Eh yeah, we live in Italy now… don’t you know my grandparents were Italian?”

All jokes aside, we are both so glad we went traveling before beginning this adventure in Italy. It has given us enough perspective, and time out of the wonderful Blacksburg bubble, to be able to cope a little better when thrown into orbit. We are also falling deeply in love with Chiavenna, our new home town, and the beautiful mountains that surround it. Our cutsy modern apartment in a gorgeous 500 year old building with a view over the higgledy-piggledy tiled-rooves of old Chiavenna. The fact that there is a panificio (bread shop) 10 metres from our building. And bars with l’aperitivo (a drink and some tasty snacks) every evening before dinner, where the locals gather. And pizzerias like you only find in Italy. The pleasure of buying parmesan cheese by the kilo. Being able to walk 5 minutes from our apartment and find ourselves at the base of a trail that shoots up into the mountains for a vertical km (literally). The wonderful delight in looking up from the main street and seeing snowy mountains surrounding us.

And then there’s the people. The ladies in the Post office who have spent hours with us (and I mean literally hours), trying to help us sort out our lives here. The sweet girl at the tourist office who always has a smile for us. The women at the Comune (townhall) who handed me the name and date of birth of another Irish girl who lives 5 mins walk away, even though I’m sure that’s confidential information. Our landlord who is allowing us stay 2 or 3 months in his rental apartment instead of the 2 weeks we booked, with a slight increase in price from €350 for 2 weeks to €400/month, all inclusive.

But reading about it just doesn’t do it justice…

La nostra casa. We’re open for visitors.

Mar 10

A few photos

Just a few photos of where we’ve been for the last few weeks…

Il Duomo


The Car

Bean on Board

Our lovely host Vanessa made this sign for us! The name is spreading… oh dear.


3rd anniversary dinner in “our” little apartment (B & B apartment)