Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Place to Call Home

We have packed our duffel bags, bid farewell to friends, and informed a couple of baristas that they will be seeing a marked drop in profit. We’re moving on, trading the beach for medieval streets.

After three months cocooned away in Anzio with the tireless care and devotion of friends, we are breaking out on our own. We had not planned to spend so long in Anzio. When we first arrived we thought our paperwork would come through quickly and we’d easily locate a place that beckoned us. Bureaucracy threw us for a loop, and we discovered that each area we visited had a lot of charm and it would be impossible to decide if we continued on a quest. We could spend the entire year traveling about searching, always on the look-out, always exploring.

We’d just need to make a decision with the information we already had. We knew Tuscany was out. It would be too expensive, and we just didn’t feel comfortable there despite its many beauties. Umbria would be convenient but also a bit pricier than we’d hoped. We compared the pros and cons of several other towns and decided at last on Ascoli Piceno, the allure of the city’s atmosphere, the proximity to beautiful mountains as well as the Adriatic Sea making it very attractive.

We needed a place of our own. While our friends have been wonderfully accommodating, we have not been able to fully unpack nor have we felt comfortable rearranging things, for while they came primarily for weekends it was still not our home to rearrange.

So now we have arrived, soaked through from the rain that beat down upon us the whole of moving day. Our apartment in the centro storico is better equipped than we had anticipated. Our landlady was initially reluctant to rent to us as we requested the space for less than a year. “Non lo so, signora,” she repeated during my phone conversation with her about three weeks ago. I just don’t know. Finally she agreed to let us view the place and then said that if we wanted it, fine, but to be aware that she didn’t plan to put much furniture into it as it would not be economically beneficial to her to do so for our short time period. We agreed and returned to Anzio from this house-hunting mission unsure of what our new home would contain.

We arrived to find rather nice furniture and even a few kitchen items. We’ll be shopping for more objects to finish it off but were happily surprised by the touches and the welcome, her husband even helping Bryan heft all of our heavy luggage up the two flights of stairs, in the rain.

Our first outing in town to the monthly antique market resulted in running into Linda, our teacher when we were in school here, as well the Australian friends from Bryan’s class. Funny to see the only people we know in town on our first day…a nice beginning.

We are trying to settle in, figure out where to put things, which clothes we can stash away in our little attic through the winter months, how to arrange the furniture, and which items are most pressing to buy. We feel like college students just going away to school. Why is it that so much of this experience makes us feel so young and ignorant? I’m still not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, or maybe a combination. But we have a place of our own in a three hundred year old building in the center of a beautiful town. Siamo contenti.

copyright 2006 Valerie Schneider


Stelle In Italia said...

welcome to ascoli! i live somewhat nearby in macerata and really like ascoli! come visit us sometime!


Lynn Schibeci said...

I had to go looking for it on a map and found this:


It was really helpful for those of us unfamiliar with Italy's smaller cities.

Well, it sounds great that you've found a place. I'm sure you'll love it.