I am entranced by Italy. I love the language, the history, the food, the people, the beauty and the craziness. I want to live there. I’ve wanted to live there since I was 20.
Let me explain why.
I grew up in Sydney, Australia. I’m the daughter of a Russian immigrant/refugee who had fled China with her mother. I grew up hearing Russian spoken at home, but when it came time to choose a language at school, my great uncle (who had emigrated from Russia to Rome) wisely said that Latin was far more useful than any other language on offer. So I took Latin.
Fortunately I had a wonderful and patient Latin teacher (thank you, Dr Newsom) who inspired us with his tales of Cornelia and Flavia walking the Via Appia. I wasn’t very good at it, I had no real understanding of grammar… but when he said that the Via Appia was still there, that I could go and walk along it… I was intrigued, and I wanted to go and see it.
After I’d left school, I did some fine art training, and after that, I worked as a graphic designer. After I’d worked for a couple of years, I underwent the rite-of-passage for every young Aussie and went backpacking around Europe. Most of my Anglo friends had relatives in England they could stay with, so I thought I’d go see my great uncle in Rome. At the age of 20 I was lucky enough to spend 5 months living on and off in Rome. My great uncle must have been utterly dismayed at my education (or lack of it), because I recall being taken to see all sorts of sites and treasures around Rome, but had no idea at all what they were or who had put them there. While most of my friends bar-hopped around Europe, I spent a solid week visiting the Vatican Museums. I spent all my money wandering around various ruins in England and in Italy, wondering who these people were that put them there, way before my country was even on a a map.
A couple of years later, living in London, I met and married my English husband. We moved back to Sydney straight after we got married and went about the business of making a home together. Eventually we started a design business, and had a son. I took maternity leave from my job and decided to do a couple of subjects at university, I thought I’d fill in the gaps in my knowledge of Roman history. I had to choose an ancient language – what else but Latin? I also took italian. Eventually I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ancient History, specialising in Roman archaeology & iconography. I continued learning italian – I think I can hold a reasonable conversation – and have just begin reading my first italian language book.
We’ve been travelling to Italy each year roughly since then, and each time we’ve gone, we’ve stayed a little longer and fallen a little more in love with the idea of living there for extended periods.
Our son starts university next year, and we’re planning to go for a few months with the purpose of choosing a place to base ourselves more permanently.
So that’s what this blog is about. It’s about loving the classical beauty of Italy with all her craziness. It’s about exploring the possibilities of living there for extended periods, or possibly living there permanently. It’s where I plan to document that dream.
Have you made the move?