• Boboli Gardens - Tuscan Countryside - Florence, Italy

  • Piazzele Michelangelo - Sunset Through the Storm - Florence, Italy-2

  • cropped-Ponte-Vecchio-at-Night-Florence-Italy.jpg

I have always been an avocado fan, but living on the east coast they usually arrived at the supermarket as hard as a brick and you had to wait for them to ripen. This didn’t fit well into my meal planning, so I ate them less. Here in Italy, avocados come from the south of Italy, Spain, Africa and Israel. Italians seem to like the green avocados better than the Hass variety, and I have to agree! The bright green skin is thin and the flesh inside so buttery and tasty!

Recently you can’t read any article about good nutrition and foods that you should eat without it including avocados. They are rich in vitamin b, c and k and can reduce blood cholesterol values.

We have tried many times to grow an avocado plant from the large seed inside and only once have we had success! Now, if we can get another one to grow for cross pollination, we should have fruit in 4-6 years. Right!
I use avocados in salads, guacamole, topping for hamburgers, and to eat directly from the peel for a snack!

One thing that I find really difficult about living in Italy is being under the jurisdiction of two governments. As we all know, abiding by the rules of one is sometimes difficult enough but when two are involved it’s beyond ridiculous. Frankly, I don’t like rules, so having multiple governing bodies issuing them to me really rubs me the wrong way.

When you live in another country, it’s not something you have to deal with on a daily basis, but at some important junctures during your lifetime or annually, things pop up, for example: taxes, residency, citizenship, marriage, health insurance, wills, banking, etc.

When you are a citizen of one country, they obviously have an interest in much of your business, and if you are living in a country, likewise, they also have an interest. The issues come up when the interests of the countries are different or the ways they go about handling certain things are different and that is constant!

Before moving here it is not something that I had given much thought to. It certainly wouldn’t have changed my mind about coming, but it is on the top of my list of “aggravations”.

If you are thinking about living in another country, some of the things you might want to investigate are:

1. Will my health insurance cover me in another country?
2. Am I eligible for health insurance in another country?
3. Do I have to pay taxes in the country I am living in?
4. Do I have to pay taxes in the country I am a citizen of, even though I am not living there?
5. Can I get married in another country? What do I have to do? Will my home country recognize
the marriage?
6. Can I have a bank account in another country?
7. Can I have a bank account in my home country if I am not a resident there?
8. Is a Last Will and Testament in the USA valid in another country?

The list could go on and on depending on your situation. Don’t take anything for granted, and don’t think it is the logical answer! Just some food for thought if you are considering a move. Don’t let it change your mind! Just be aware.

Just about everyone has heard of the Leaning Tower of Pisa! Located in the Piazza dei Miracoli, formerly known as the Piazza del Duomo in Pisa, Italy, it is quite the site to behold! I have visited this piazza many times, and the degree to which the Tower is leaning is a little alarming!
The bell tower to the church is actually the leaning tower. Construction on this tower began in 1173 and took place over the course of 177 years with the actual bell being added in 1372. Five years after the initial construction began, the soil started to sink on the south side. It was left this way for a century to allow the soil to stabilize and then construction continued with some adjustments to the floor levels to allow for the lean. You can enter the tower and there are 296 stairs to get to the top.
The Cathedral and the Baptistery are also located in this grassy piazza. The Cathedral is medieval dating back to the original construction of 1064 and is of Pisan Romanesque architecture. It is really lovely and contains gargoyles which I always love.
The Baptistery is the largest in Italy and was built in the 12th century. It is dedicated to St. John the Baptist.

Visiting the Cathedral is free, but the cost to enter up to 4 museums or monuments on the piazza is 9 euro. The cost to enter the tower is 18 euro.