[av_heading tag=’h2′ padding=’10’ heading=’The Italian Pace of Life’ color=” style=’blockquote modern-quote modern-centered’ custom_font=” size=” subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

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We are learning to slow down and shop in bulk.  I keep thinking we’ll get the internet soon and I’ll be able to email but that still looks like a long way off. We sent an email a few days ago from the library in Saluzzo, 4 floors full of tiny rooms with books to the ceiling and ladders to reach the top ones. Reminded me of Olivanders Wand Shop in Harry Potter.


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We are only allowed  to borrow 3 items each and Sam had to fast talk to get library cards for us but they wouldn’t give him one as he has no proof of residence. I didn’t get to read any of the emails as Luca decided to have a crying spell and so I am in major withdrawal especially having been so close.

We don’t get any news as the TV only plays DVD’s but Mum has been sending clippings from the newspapers so if you see anything interesting send it over. We heard about the bombings in England but no details and Mum said there was a big storm that flooded the Gold Coast.

So we landed in Torino and walked straight through a deserted airport, opened the doors and stepped straight onto the street. Nobody stopped us for passport checks or customs, it was like something out of the twilight zone. We had to laugh as nobody in Italy even knew we were there???

Driving in Italy is a lot of fun.

Getting to the hotel from the airport in a hire car on the wrong side of the road is a whole other story and something I never want to relive!! Driving now is second nature for Sam and we don’t end up on the Australian side of the road very often, we’ve given a few people on round- a- bouts a fright. 150km is the average speed on the motorway and most cars fly past us, it takes some getting used to but it actually seems to work quite well as everyone knows to keep over or have a car up their tail doing 200k’s. Believe me the speedo says 150 kms.

We spent the first month in a three star Hotel in Carmagnola called The Continental as we had to wait to buy the campervan. The staff ended up like a second family and loved the kids. Luca took his first steps there and Carina worked out the lifts, the door locks and the way to get lollies from all the staff.

We ended up buying a small camp stove and cooking in the bathroom and hoped we wouldn’t get caught.

The only place to get food at night was in the hotel restaurant (which wasn’t set up yet so could only give us micro waved meals). We had many conversations with a young girl called Maria (who had a big crush on Michael Buble) as she heated up our meals.

The entire town shut down at night and if you wanted only a coffee or gelato you were okay. The hotel was very quiet as they had only been open a month which was good but they didn’t have internet set up yet for customers. Sam got to go on every now and then when the boss was out so hopefully you got some news from us.

Eventually after much red tape and stress we got a van and Camillo’s uncle in Milano said we lived with him or we’d still be waiting.

We also had a few dramatic trips to immigration in Torino via train and three buses and many conflicting directions with the kids and a frazzled Sam trying to make sense of it all. I now have a permit to stay and have had my fingerprints taken, so it’s no crime wave for me.

Our new home in the mountains.

Gambasca is very small and everyone knows that the “Australiani’s” have arrived. Our house is a drive up the mountain approx 3 kms from the town of Gambasca and we are 800 metres above sea level.

We can see Mont Viso from the town and also from the house, this is the formidable snow covered Alp that Paramount Pictures uses as the opening scene in all of their movies. … Sam has decided he wants to climb it.

Making friends.

Sam waves at everyone and they’re starting to wave back, one old lady flagged us down and knew all about us from her son who found out about us from???? She looks about 100 years old and does her washing outside in a trough fed from a mountain spring and we always see her doing something when we drive by.

There are lots of characters in the town and Sam knows everyone. The local council member Aldo owns part of the property and his wife grew up here, so they’ve helped us out a lot.

There are other people here but not living full time, and some only come a couple of times a year for holidays. We’ve been watching out for the French people who own part of Borga Nari to arrive and they turned up yesterday. They’re a very nice couple and Carina is happy as they have a dog for her to chase after. They speak Italian but no English for me and are staying 2 weeks to do some mountain climbing.

Luca is up and walking and gets into everything, he’s such a boy and loves to get into anything dirty. It’s been really hot here and the kids have been in a paddling pool we bought and Luca thinks it’s great to stand up and then plop onto his bottom and splash Carina.

We think we’ve had 10 straight months of summer first Australia, then to Singapore and now Italy. Can’t wait to see some snow.

We now have a menagerie of strays.

Carina loves the 3 small dogs and two cats that live here but can’t get near any of them as yet. We have named the dogs after the characters in Banana’s in Pajama’s and they don’t seem too concerned. So it is Lu Lu, Amy, Morgan for the dogs, and Smokie and Sylvester for the two cats… we are still waiting to meet the puppy (Carina likes the name Smarties).

This is the mummy dog (Lu Lu) she has just had a puppy but I haven’t seen it yet. Carina loves the wildflowers and amazing variety of bugs, lizards and butterflies and goes on big walks with Sam when Luca is asleep.

Sam found a salamander last week when he was sorting out the wood pile and Carina held it which made her day.

Yesterday we went blackberry picking and came home with a big tub full, YUM! I think we ate more than we bought home.

Sam has been cooking all sorts of interesting things and the lady in the front house (Piera) gives him the zucchini flowers and he cooks them in batter, Carina loves them. At the moment (5.30pm) he is outside doing a BBQ Italian style on a slab of rock. There is a festa in the mountain and we can clearly hear the singing coming through the valley (sound really travels here). They’re singing in English, and we joined in on New York New York.

Life is a daily crazy game and we often come home not having done a single thing we set out to do. (Try parking a campervan in Italia).

So we are alternating with a love hate relationship with Italia up till now but the love is slowly winning us over. Life has certainly changed 100% but that’s what keeps things interesting. Missing all the family and being so isolated is our biggest problem so far. Not being able to speak the language is very hard but I can follow most of the conversations.

Our little girl is off to school.

Carina starts Assilo (kindy) on September 12th at the next village and then she will be teaching me. They go from 3 years old till 6years and then start primary school, at first she will only go half a day 5 days a week and we’ll see how she copes. Later they go from 8am till 4pm and have a cooked lunch and an afternoon nap.

It’s worrying of course as she won’t be able to speak Italian but the teacher is really nice and she lives just up the road from us. I hope she doesn’t have any problems, we took her for a play and she just jumped straight in with tears only when another kid took the toy she was playing with. She has been asking when she can go to play again so that’s good sign.

Anyway that’s it for now, hope you’re all well, and don’t forget to write!! Hopefully we’ll be on line soon and catch up on all your news.









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and the gang x


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