A Piccolo Italy Update

Ciao! When I last left you we were in the terminal stages  of preparing for our family move to Italy. Well… we made it! All four of us are now in Bologna, where it is currently raining heavily.

To be honest, not that much has happened yet, but I didn’t want to leave you hanging too long, so here is an update on how our move has gone so far.

The Journey

plane selfie!

I’ve gotten a lot of questions from friends and family about how the trip went. It was mostly fine. We had to do some extreme editing at the end of our packing to fit everything (and buy another suitcase), but we managed to fit our entire life into 5 checked bags and one carry on.

I was worried about how Marcella would take such a long journey, but she is a truly excellent traveler. She survived a ten hour flight with minimal fussing, and was happy and chatting during our layover in Munich (which was around 1 am Seattle time). She has actually adjusted to the new time zone faster than anyone else in the family.

The only hitch in our trip was Leo. We paid Condor  for him to fly in the cargo hold from Seattle all the way to Bologna, however, when we arrived in Munich we were told he didn’t actually have a ticket for the second half of the trip. A lot of scrambling around ensued, with some serious sweating and finally us shelling out another 200 Euros to ensure he got on the second, 1 hour plane ride to Italy. What a headache.

He didn’t seem to mind though.

But he made it and we are all here!

Our New Home

We’re all set up in a lovely AirBNB that will be our home for at least the month of November. It’s a good spot, but it doesn’t quite feel like home you know?

The first week here was rough. Jetlag, a teething toddler (molars wtf), stomach bugs and more weighed us down. We are all recovered now though and slowly adjusting to the pace of life in Italy.

We go for walks around the city until our feet hurt, eat lots of tortellini and struggle with the few words of Italian we actually know. We have learnt a lot already: that our stroller is TOO BIG, how to get pizza delivered to our door and that Italian nonnas love to lecture you that your baby is too cold (apparently Italians break out their puffy winter jackets once the temperature drops to 65).

massive hunks of parmesan at the supermarket

We’ve got cell phone plans (so cheap), bus passes and social security numbers. My first week here I visited immigration and I have an appointment in December to formally apply for my residency visa. The process is not the most straightforward but hopefully that will go smoothly.

What Happens Now

We’ve been here two weeks now and we’re starting to find our feet but there is a lot we need to do to get settled.

Biggest, most important thing on that list is finding an apartment. The rental market here is uneven and supply is spotty. The rules for renting are unfamiliar and byzantine (standard lease length is 4 years? What?), and agents take forever to return your calls (if they ever bother to at all), but we are slowly figuring it out and are starting to view some apartments. I’m hopeful, but not positive, that we can find a permanent space by the end of the year. I think that will make Bologna feel a lot more like home.

We’re starting to brainstorm some travel we would like to do in 2018, and scheduling some visits from friends and family. We’re meeting new people and discovering the city’s best parks and gelato shops. I think we’re going to arrange private Italian lessons. All of this is exciting, but the apartment is really the missing puzzle piece still.

So that’s where we are!

For now we are just getting our bearings and trying to settle in. And drinking a LOT of caffeine.

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