Fun at the Farmacia (Life in Italy)

You may or may not know that in 2012 I had a minor heart attack, caused by a blocked coronary artery. My cardiologist cleared the artery and inserted a stent, and I’ve been in good shape ever since. But he also put me on some daily medication: three different prescription drugs, plus a baby aspirin, every day.

As we were planning our move to Italy, I had to give some consideration to making sure I had enough of this medication to get by until I could get into the Italian health care system and have a doctor here take over …

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Adventures at the Anagrafe (Life in Italy)

Voice of the Narrator (who sounds remarkably like William “Bill” Conrad): “Last time, you remember, our hero was waiting for the local police to arrive at his apartment to verify that he actually lived there. They needed to do this because he had applied for residency in his new town of La Maddalena, and this police check was part of the process.

“Just after the closing theme and the running of the closing credits for that episode, the police finally did show up, asked a few questions, filled out a form, and left. At this point, he anticipated that the

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Quietly, a Mass Exodus from the U.S. is Underway

As I have gone through the process of claiming my Italian citizenship and now moving to Italy, I’ve learned a lot of interesting things. Perhaps the most surprising one, to me at least, is the sheer number of people who are doing exactly what I’ve done: claiming their citizenship by birthright and then moving — permanently — to Italy.

I am in a Facebook group called “Americans Living in Italy.” That group currently has over 6,100 members. Not all of those members actually live in Italy, of course. But an ever-increasing number of them do. Whenever someone in the …

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Dealing with the Bureaucracy (Life in Italy)

You can’t talk about Italy without talking about the bureaucracy. No matter how much you might love the country, the people, the food, the atmosphere… there is still that slow-moving, often-conflicting, left-hand-doesn’t-know-what-the-right-hand-is-doing, we-have-a-rule-for-everything-and-then-some Italian bureaucracy.

I’ve heard and read stories of it innumerable times. Now I’m plunging into it myself.

I will say at the outset, however, that being an Italian citizen actually does seem to cut through much of the red tape. Which is scary in its own way, because if this is “less” red tape, I’m really sure I don’t want to see what non-citizens might have to …

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Through the Looking-Glass and Into Italy

So… It is five weeks ago today that we landed in Sardinia, opening up not just a new chapter in our lives, but an entirely new volume. Somewhat surprisingly, it was almost Alice-through-the-looking-glass easy — you step onto an airplane leaving one dimension,  you step off that plane and you’re in a whole other dimension. Boom, just like that — your entire reality has changed, in what seems like just the blink of an eye.

But it was so easy and so smooth. I wasn’t really expecting that.

I suppose mental preparation helps. Psychologically, we were ready to cut ties, …

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The Big Move

If you only read this blog and don’t follow my personal page on Facebook, then you tend to miss out on a lot of things in my life. Because, I admit it, I post on Facebook a lot more than I post here.

For one thing, it’s easier, almost Twitter-like. Just have a thought and post it. Posting on this blog, by contrast, I treat much more seriously — like I’m writing an article. It sometimes takes days just to get a single post just the way I like it. Which, pretty much by definition, means there are going to …

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