Our story for The Wall Street Journal about 'la dolce vita' in Monopoli
My husband, Don, retired from the newspaper business, and we lost no time pursuing a move to Italy, our favorite European destination. We headed for the region of Puglia (or Apulia) in the southeast, and Sicily—the only places with enough sun and sea for our tastes—to find the perfect place to live... Read the full story on WSJ.com by Pamela Hasterok, April 21, 2017
What a treat! And of course I will cherish our delightful meal together in Monopoli (my daughter just recently discovered (while home from college) the darling little octopus wipe that I had taken from the restaurant). Thanks for sharing your experiences (with the world)! I am preparing for our own little battle with the “system” … Seems our deed was mailed and never arrived. Enough time to be officially lost at sea! I decided that I will deal with it in person when I arrive late September! Have you decided about your summer accommodations? Let’s regroup in after October 6 when Phil arrives. We were thinking of spending a night in Lecce – maybe you could join us. He has not been there (other than to the train station to pick up bicycles in 102 degrees Salento sun! And we want to enjoy a late dinner (without the drive home!). Take care. (Now I feel really guilty about letting my Italian lessons slip). Xo alison
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Ciao Don e Pamela!
Hope to see you again this summer when I’ll be back !
I love reading about your wonderful stories!
A presto .
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A friend sent me your story this summer because it sounded so much like ours. We bought a house in 2005 in Olevano Romano, Lazio, a medieval hilltown about 40 minutes south of Rome. I was an architect before I retired and had fallen in love with Italy while attending a semester-long program in Rome many years before. I just felt that I belonged in Italy so during the crazy days leading up to the market crash of 2008 I found our place on the internet and decided to buy it. The process was so crazy that I would never do it again but I was young. Somehow it all turned out.
We have now lived there in the ancient center of the town for twelve years and have come to appreciate the life there. Our neighbors speak dialect with each other, a language older than the Roman Empire. The events of the day still flow as they did over a hundred years ago. My wife Peggy and I, along with a pilot friend who lives in the campagna, are the only Americans around. It is a life we have come to fully appreciate and embrace.
Last year Peggy taught a dance workshop for a week outside of Ostuni and I had the opportunity to explore Puglia. One trip took me to Monopoli and I had the same impression of the place as you. Walking the streets in the ancient center, experiencing the people while always knowing that the sea was there, was an unique experience to me. I was fascinated with the town beach at the base of the ancient walls. It was unique from other places I visited in that the sea was readily accessible and a piece of the life of the town.
I hope that you have now settled in to some degree. Learning Italian is always a challenge and we continue to pursue it with small victories. In the end, where else could you live in an ancient culture that continues to thrive and adapt?
Where we live in Lazio the produce is exceptional and well priced and the wine, Cesanese, is amazing. Olevano has grown on me over the years as I slowly have come to understand the people and the culture, and Monopoli will be the same for you too. If you are ever visiting Rome contact me and we will welcome you our little hilltown.