Our Tiny Italian {Dream} House

We had long dreamed of owning our own home, which with our lack of regular income seemed like The Impossible Dream. But in planning our move to Abruzzo nearly 10 years ago, we learned that property values in these inland villages of the south are unbelievably low.

So low, in fact, that we were sure Mario’s coworker had to be exaggerating. Houses for only €20,000-35,000 — impossible!! But it turned out she was right! And we hadn’t looked at many when the realtor showed us this little place. And what can I say? Continue reading

Chestnuts Bursting on an Open Fire

The fire didn’t heat better out of the fireplace. Though no one would ever convince the dear stubborn, old man of that! Yet we fondly remember those simple evenings of reading by the fire as some of the most cozy and delightful evenings of our lives, even with the choking smoke and watery eyes!

They were simple days in a rural village. Mostly untouched by time, with little entertainment: no cinema or shopping mall, no bowling alley or spa. Papà didn’t even have a phone or TV, and it was before PCs and mobile phones were common.  Continue reading

To Grandfather’s House in Italy!

How our kids loved going over the river and through the woods to their Grandfather’s house in Italy! “It’s just like Heidi’s house!” they would enthuse. And it was, only not quite as isolated. And here (below), in fact, is the bridge we went over! It really is in a beautiful wooded area!

Mario’s humble birth home, in the Campania region, had few amenities.

But sitting there in its backward village, it made an enchanting holiday spot for our children! Freely they could roam the entire countryside. Splash in the fountains and gather specimens of nature. Or visit their Nonno at the coffee bar where he played cards. Anticipating the ice cream cones he was sure to buy. And once in a while, catch a ride on a farmer’s donkey!  Continue reading