aren’t old enough! (Cleverly disguised version of “How old are you?”) We
are too young to retire – but are doing it anyway! Jim and I will both turn 60
Italian? No, neither Jim nor I have Italian blood.
Italy? We fell in love with the people, the culture, the history, the art,
the food, the wine, and the way of life.
going to buy a cool villa in the countryside? No, we are going to rent a 2
or 3 bedroom apartment in the city center of Lucca for at least a year. After
that, we’ll stay in Lucca, move to the countryside, or figure out what is next.
In the countryside, I’m afraid that we’d be inclined to stay home and not
really integrate into the community. Also in Lucca, you really don’t need a
car. Major forms of transportation are walking and biking.
going to buy a tiny car? Eventually, yes. First we need to get our driver’s
license. Passing the written test will be tough and it is in Italian. For the
first 6 months or a year (still trying to confirm!), we can rent a car whenever
needed using our US driver’s license.
speak Italian? Parlo un’po italiano.
I started studying in 2017, using various means and methods. Jim started
with a 2-week class in Lucca in 2018. It’s going to take a while to really
learn the language.
about health insurance? The Italian health system is rated very highly but
is very different than the US system. It is socialized medicine so is covered
by our taxes. You can also buy private insurance, but there aren’t a lot of
doctors that take it, because there isn’t a lot of people who spend the extra
money for it.
the cost of living in Italy? Lucca? Large cities (Rome, Milan, Florence)
are similar to the DC area. Small Tuscan towns have lower costs of living. Other
regions (Umbria, Marche, …) have even lower costs of living.
Derek think? He’s happy for us and looking forward to visiting.
Mickey (JoAn’s sister and housemate) going to do? Moving to Italy is our
dream, not Mickey’s. She’s currently planning to return to Ohio to live with a
dear friend. She expects to have long visits to Italy. I suspect that they will
occur in the cold Ohio winter!
taking your dog? No, he’ll stay here with some prior housemates that love
you do with your house in Virginia? Sell it and most of the contents.
Sentimental items, wine that can age, and some other stuff will be stored in