Italy and Italians, after our first year here, have been found to be even more wonderful than I had imagined while living in the California mountains. The people are warm and friendly, the food is incredible, the history overwhelmingly interesting, the architecture, oh my, and the landscapes . . . indimenticabile!!
A view from our front yard, looking south toward Assisi (beyond the mountain of the Three Crosses):
Our First Five Months in Italy
We landed at the Fiumicino airport in Rome (with our black cat, Stella) exactly five months ago. What a long strange trip it’s been! Somehow we thought Italians were much like Americans, only speaking a different language. Wrong.
It is hard to believe we are here in Assisi at last. We are climate refugees, prompted by a series of forest fires during the last several summer seasons in the mountains of northeastern California. We lived in a cedar cabin with my 2500 books and paintings. Each summer the fires seemed to grow closer to our home. In July 2021 the Dixie Fire began. It burned through the forests (including a huge national park) for three months and came within several miles of our home. For weeks the air was filled with ash particles and everything looked grey, the air here formerly was pristine where we lived at 4500 feet above sea level.
The Dixie fire was not put out until October 21, 2021 by which time it had burned a total of 389,837 hectares (1,505 square miles). The fire destroyed more than 1,400 homes and had threatened 140,000 with destruction. We realized we had to leave this region of the world, and soon decided upon Assisi, Italy, where I have had property for several decades.