Italian Public Schools

For our family, one of the most important things we wanted to iron out before making the decision to move to Italy was how we would handle the girls going to school. In my research, I found it was very expensive to send them to a private international school in Rome. For two girls, it could be as high as $80,000 a year and as low as $33,000 a year. That was definitely too much for us, especially since our move to Italy  was fueled by the need to decrease our expenses while maintaining our standard of living. One thing I did find out in my research is that Italians usually go to school for a half day, 6 days a week. And there it was!  Bingo!

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Carta d’Identitá – Getting your Italian Identity Card

captureI honestly wasn’t even concerned about having an Italian identity card. I thought my permesso di soggiorno, which contained my picture, codice fiscale and  name was more than sufficient to identify myself. However, when I tried, several times to open a bank account, I discovered how flawed this thinking was.  I was told to go to the commune to get my carta d’identitá and I  would have it in hand in 1 day…Not possible. Continue reading “Carta d’Identitá – Getting your Italian Identity Card”

Beaches Near Rome

Since we have arrived, we’ve tried to capitalize on the season, weather, and one of God’s free and amazing gifts….the sea.  I’m taking the time to outline the beaches we’ve visited thus far, chronologically, and my thoughts about them.

Grotte di Nerone

This beach is only about 35 minutes from my home. It’s named Grotte di Nerone because Nero used the cliffs along the shore to build a huge palace for himself. Continue reading “Beaches Near Rome”

Siamo Arrivati!

Well technically, we’ve been here over a month, but I’m just now having the time and energy to write about it.  Our lease started on July 1st and we arrived on June 24th.  The owner was nice enough to allow us access to the home upon arrival. The plan was to use the week to get things situated, get furniture, connect internet so that we would be all ready to go when lease started.

I’m a planner by nature, but that means nothing in Italy. I still do not have internet installed in my home and today is August 9th. My packages from America have still not arrived, and in fact, have been sent back to America (to be explained in a later post). And we still do not have s back account…. So our cell phones are both prepaid.

However, we do have our car, and we are here and healthy and having fun!

The New City – Genzano di Roma

Genzano di Roma is one of the 16 towns set on the Alban Hills, collectively called Castelli Romani, or Roman Castles.  The area is just outside of the city of Rome and has a population of about 300,000

The area of the castles is set in a fertile volcanic area. The former crater is occupied by two lakes, the Lake Alban and Lake Nemi.

3D Topographical Map of Castelli Romani

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Language Learning Programs

When we tell people we are moving to Italy, the second question they ask after “Oh for work?”, is usually “Do you speak Italian?”  The answer is after about 1.5 years of self-study, “Yeah, I can hold my own pretty well?”  Am I fluent? NO! Absolutely not, in no way shape form or fashion. I first decided to start learning the language late 2014 after we fell and love and realized we would probably continue to vacation in Italy every year.  Now we’ve never had any trouble communicating.  Almost everyone in the main tourist areas we’d visited spoke English.  But I just felt that I should at least make an effort to learn the language enough to hold basic conversations.

In 2010, we visited Madrid and Barcelona (in addition to Rome).  I’d taken two years of Spanish in high school but wanted to freshen up my skills.  I was discussing with my best friend about getting Rosetta Stone and she relayed to me that her brother had used it for free by checking it out from the Houston public library.  I went that day and got a library card but soon discovered they no longer had Rosetta Stone and had replaced it with Mango.  Anyone who knows me, knows I hate spending money, so since it was free, I decided to give it a shot.  I loved it.  During work, yeah sorry, I know that’s bad, but during work, I would do a couple lessons a day.  In just a few short weeks, I’d progressed further than I thought could.  My husband and best friend who joined me on the trip to Spain were impressed that I used only Spanish to check into our hotel.  So naturally, the first program I downloaded when it was time to learn Italian, was Mango. I used this app for about 4 months before we went on vacation in 2015 and I was really surprised at how much I’d picked up.  After we made the decision to move, I beefed up my studying with several programs and have them listed below, along with a short description, pictures, pros and cons. Continue reading “Language Learning Programs”

We got our visas!

Genzano di Roma, here we come!  On May 12th, I was scrolling through my inbox and saw the following message and literally started screaming.


That’s right, 6 words, no punctuation, no capitalization.  Doesn’t matter. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing you won’t be moving to a new country as an illegal immigrant.  So wonderful, in fact, Niko drove there today to get them…an 8 hour round-trip drive.