Live In Italy.
Four years ago, while driving aimlessly from Genoa, Italy toward Cuneo, Piedmont, I looked up on a nearby hill and saw a tower. I decided it should be explored. That glimpse changed my life. I found my way up the serpentine road covering two miles and 800 feet of elevation gain to the one street, 300 population village of Castellino Tanaro. Standing on the street in front of the only business in town, a bar, was a lovely blond lady. She and her husband owned the bar, she from Germany, he from Holland. After two beers and conversation, I asked how much I owed, "Nothing, we are closed today." I asked for her email so I could thank her at a later date. Eight months later I emailed her and asked if there were any places for rent in the vicinity. Within two months, I was living there, and remained for three months. I spoke no Italian, no one but the bar owners spoke English. Because I went to the bar every night and was treated graciously by the owners and introduced to all, I also participated in village activities, I learned the names of over 100 people the first month. I was welcomed into many homes and treated as a local. It was off the beaten path, thus only a few European outsiders passed through town. I didn't speak to an American for the first six weeks, but felt right at home. It is one hour's car drive to Turin, forty five minutes to the Mediterranean Sea at Savona and thirty five minutes to some of the finest wine in Italy, Barolo. So much to discover.
By Kim Rust
12060 Castellino Tanaro, Province of Cuneo, Italy