Thursday, June 12, 2014

Taking Chances

"Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway."
~ John Wayne 

I don't know that being scared to death of going off on a crazy journey by myself constitutes being courageous, but maybe it does.  All I know is that everything seemed to fall into place this week, and I'm suddenly going to live, study, and write in Italy for a few months.

While I'm not scared to death, I am a bit nervous.  Well, actually, I'm a lot nervous because people keep asking me if I'm sure I can do it (Yes.), if I'm sure I can be safe (Yes.), and, mostly, if I'm out of my mind (Hmmm.... Maybe.). 

As I said, though, the stars aligned at the right time last week.  The guy from whom we rented last year is giving me a phenomenal deal to stay in a one-bedroom apartment that has everything I need (including washing machine and internet). The Italian language school offered me two weeks in the intensive class for the price of one. My plane ticket (by far the most expensive part of this entire adventure) dropped $50 the other day. And, most importantly,  Mike will join me mid-September for a festival in Barcelona.

The great deals I'm getting helped me decide to stay in Bologna rather than my beloved Sulmona, but there was more involved in the decision. First, the train connections are much better in Bologna. While Sulmona does have a central train station, to get anywhere from there takes so much longer because of the transfers involved.  From Bologna, I can travel to Milan, Florence, Rome, Venice, Ferrara, Ravenna, Modena, Verona, Padova, Parma, and more in less than two hours. In addition, there is no language school in Sulmona, and while I can speak and understand a little Italian, I really want to learn the language.

Another consideration for me is the fact that Bologna, while larger than Sulmona, is not *that* big and is a very walkable city.  The apartment is in the historic center, and I can reach the university, Piazza Maggiore, mercato, shopping district, and museums in no more than 15 minutes.  My favorite piazza is two blocks down the street, and there are always people walking through, sitting, reading, playing music, and playing with dogs (You knew that would come out, didn't you?).  Getting away from distractions will be good for my personal writing.  I know I probably sound very selfish, but I do need the quiet.

Giovanni, owner of the apartment, told me that August in Bologna is hot. I investigated and found the average temperature is in the mid 80s. I think I'll be fine.

So, 48 days and counting.....


  1. So great that you get to stay in Italy for a longer time. Hope to see you before you go!