Thursday, November 06, 2008

Come Mai Ascoli?

Why on earth did you move to Ascoli Piceno? This question is frequently uttered incredulously by locals, and curiously by visiting Americans or would-be expats. The locals don't understand why Americans would leave the perceived splendors of the US for Italy ("ma, the whole world wants to live in America and you come to live in Ascoli?!") Despite their protests that "Ascoli e` piccolo piccolo" (Ascoli is such a little town), there are nearly 60,000 inhabitants with lots of stuff going on all the time, even if many of the Ascolani say "there is nothing to do here".

Fellow Americans are generally curious about our decision to move and how we picked a fairly unknown city. Since I've been receiving quite a few more emails relating to the topic, I thought now would be a good time to recap the decision and reasons for you.

Our first impressions of Ascoli:
Ascoli Piceno

Our decision to move here:
A Place to Call Home

The exciting things to do:
Men in Tights and Sleepless Nights

Ascoli isn't a tourist town:
Tourists and Trinkets

And finally, why we moved to Italy in the first place:
Dreams Do Come True

Not enough? Bryan has some great photos posted on his blog:
NM 2 Italia

Now you know -probably more than you ever wanted to-about what made us decide on Ascoli.


janie said...

Thanks Valerie-how fun to look back at your at your time there. I remember when I started reading about your adventures way back when and what a great story!

ralphvb said...

Hi Valerie, Just stumbled on you web site.. I too am considering a move to Italy... A little scary... I have a successful career and we have two childred (17, 13)... Might be bad timing... your thoughts ?

Ivonne said...


I've been meaning to leave a comment on your blog for quite a few months now and today's post finally pushed me to do so!

I came across your blog in the early summer when I was looking into some information on the best bus route from Rome to Civitanova, Marche. One of your blog posts came up and I clicked the link and was surprised to discover that your based in Ascoli Piceno.

My father was born in just outside of Ascoli Piceno in the hillside town called Rocca di Montecalvo.

He was one of 6 children and the only one of the 6 to leave Italy permanently.

My father settled in Toronto, Ontario, Canada where he met and married my mom who is from Calabria.

As children, my brother and I had the opportunity to visit Ascoli many times where we would spend the summers, splitting our time with our grandparents who lived up at the Rocca and with our aunts and uncles who all live on the outskirts of Ascoli in Villa Pigna.

Once I became a teenager, we stopped going to Italy for a number of years but after I completed university and began working full-time, I started visiting again.

I was there just this past summer in August for 3 weeks.

It's funny because I can just picture the Ascolani uttering the phrases that you mentioned in your post. They are a funny lot, for sure!

But once you've visited Ascoli, it's impossible not to be taken in by its charms.

I love your blog and hope you'll keep posting!

Maxine Oliver said...

Hi Valerie, Just want to tell you that I have been following your blog for sometime. Always enjoyable. Even have you listed on my blog as a favorite. Hope that's OK.... I just love your stories. Maxine

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I enjoyed reading about how and why you moved to Ascoli.

Valerie said...

Janie - Glad you enjoyed the look back.

Ralph - It is an exciting and scary proposition, I know. It all depends on you and your family, how ready you are for a change and adventure, and the bureaucratic and financial issues that may be involved. You can email me directly if you have questions. But I say, keep dreaming!

Ivonne - what wonderful memories! Next time you're in this area give us a holler!

Maxine - thanks for the link, it's more than okay, it's an honor :) I'll do likewise.

Ragazza - glad you enjoyed it. Hope you can make it to our side of the mountains some day!

rob said...

NM 2 Italia: what beautiful photos!