1. You can line dry all year round if you’re committed to it.
2. Free fruits and vegetables from neighbors are a wonderful gift.
3. The lessons you learn when you change things are completely different from the things you set out to learn when you change things.
4. Aging is natural. It can be done gracefully. Holding on to youth at any cost is stupid.
5. Sometimes storms destroy a year’s work. There will be other years when that does not happen.
6. There is nothing nicer than heat from a wood burning stove, no matter how convenient the other options are.
7. Dying your hair is a no-win proposition. The grey part always wins. Embrace the grey.
8. Sometimes you need to rest.
9. San Marzano tomatoes really are the best for sauce.
10. Italians have incredibly well developed palates. You can have a discussion about a piece of bruschetta with a farmer that will last an hour. He will educate you on flavor balance.
11. It’s very tough when an economy has youth unemployment of 45%. No amount of beautiful scenery and art can make up for it.
12. Enjoying life is important, no matter how rough things are.
13. Good neighbors are worth their weight in gold.
14. Good wine with good food on a cold day is pure, unadulterated luxury.
15. Somehow things will work themselves out.
16. Burrs, brambles, and wild roses all really suck if they get out of control.
17. Roofs can cave in. Sides of buildings can crash down. Roads can wash out. All of that’s possible and maybe even probable. The world still goes on.
18. Italian food will sustain you when roofs cave in.
19. You can realize your dreams here, but you have to be strong and committed to make it happen. And your dreams will change as time goes on.
20. Living frugally is honorable no matter how much money you have. <- click to tweet
22. The will of a 400 year old house cannot be bent.
23. Stone houses are not easy to heat if you don’t use wood. You can blow through a grand of propane in a month trying to heat two rooms, and never get the place above 70 degrees. That’s reality.
24. Italy will make a person more resourceful. It’s the nature of the place.
25. There is nothing more beautiful then the Mediterranean in the summer, or the wine country in the fall.
26. After living in Italy, going to restaurants in other countries is really difficult. Food here is so excellent and so fairly priced that it’s hardly worth it to step in to an eating establishment anywhere else.
27. Italians are, above all, very practical people.
28. One hand washes the other.
29. Almost everyone here knows how to mix cement.
30. Almost all Italian women can cook to a level that’s better than most professional chefs.
31. You can weed your entire life away if you own land here.
32. It’s hard to leave. Sometimes, it feels downright impossible.
33. Life without cell phones is unimaginable for Italians. But life without Internet would not be much of an issue.
34. Italians like to explain things. In detail.
35. Church bells are not recordings.
36. There’s something very comforting about ancient buildings that look like they’re falling down.
37. Italy reminds me that life is sacred and short.
38. Gardening is a never ending task that produces miracles.
39. Italy keeps us remembering we have souls. It’s just that kind of place.
40. Once you’ve been here, Italy is a place that never really leaves you. Ever.