Home Italy Forum Italy Guide Moving to Italy Real Estate Healthcare in Italy
Italy
Resources
City Guides
JoinSign In
Cigna International Health Insurance

Italy Expat Forum

Winter Activities

Post New Topic
whidden39
11/19/2019 15:28 EST

What do you do to get through winter in Italy? More cooking indoors? Theater/opera? Travel? Skiing? We trade off on hosting movie nights with another couple every Sunday which includes a simple dinner. We are two retired couples living permanently in Puglia. One couple originally from the US, the other from South Africa. Most of the movies are classic American flix, but we can wander off that path into Italian films or South African themed films. So much fun!

Post a Reply

00abuse

whidden39
11/21/2019 07:38 EST

I am answering my own post since it certainly didn't inspire any other responses. No matter; it's humbling. LOL While I was raking leaves today I thought about this autumn chore in my native New England and a little about the rhythms of life and how they have changed since being here in Italy. I guess I was eager to hear about more introspective impressions about living in Italy and how adaptation and acceptance occurs when we venture out of our comfort zone. The impetus for that was what we do in winter. (One of my new activities is staying ahead of the muffa, mold in a stone house). Do other Americans still celebrate Thanksgiving Day in Italy? Is he mild winter in Puglia and rare snow just what the doctored ordered? Did you participate this year in 'raccolta', the gathering of olives for pressing? When I think of this forum, I recall all the nuts and bolts we must put together to realize a dream and continue to live meaningful lives. That's probably the main function of our group -- sharing experiences, fears, resources. This exchange was critical to my own journey. But some of us have been in Italy for a bit and I think sharing how we are living our everyday lives in here is both inspiring and instructional for all of us -- not always nuts and bolts really. Also, giving just a little of our personal selves seems to reinforce the idea of community amongst us. We talk to our friends and family about our pals on ExpatExchange, sometimes by User names. Ironically, as I wrap up this post, I am being called to lunch. What's on the menu -- BLT sandwiches. Perhaps the old saying is true: "The more things change, the more they stay the same." Bring on the anecdotes!

Post a Reply

00abuse

expat health insurance from CIGNA

Choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. With Cigna Global Health Options, you can create an international health insurance plan that's perfectly tailored for the needs of you and your family.

Get a Quote

HenryGiovanni
11/21/2019 12:50 EST

Hi whidden39,
I wanted to answer your post but had to think about what I do here in winter before I could give an answer. But I don't want this lost, and am glad to kick-in. Your story of raking leaves has something to do with that.

In San Diego, one could say without being too far off the mark, that it's always summer. Sure, we had four seasons just like everyone else: Summer, Indian-Summer, Late Summer, and Pre-Summer! I've gotten into the almost-regular habit here in Padova of checking the meteo before making plans, and what I see usually has a shelf-life of about two hours, after which ANY change is possible, and probable. I used to get my "weather report" in CA by going outside and looking up.

But that's not my point. After so many years in SD (about 50+, off-and-on, and without counting), TIME itself stood still. I lived on the East Coast (Conn, PA, VA, and NC) when I was younger; last time was the late '80s). A lot of that time was in VA. I can still remember the snowstorms, by which TIME may be calculated in retrospect. At one point, I'd lived through 4-out-of-10 of the worst snowstorms in the last [whatever period they used to count, but going back to 1965, at least].

I can clearly remember two of them, back-to-back, that left a car in the ditch every 100 yds or so, to one side or the other. There was a huge, American, rear-wheel-drive, car
abandoned right under the swinging (CA doesn't have "swinging") streetlight in the middle of the intersection! That was the storm we got lots of beer and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension movie (from Blockbuster, if anyone remembers them) and stayed inside. I recommend both the movie and your choice of beer!

Alas. in CA, TIME had no such markers, for me, until the annual fires in Oct 2007 (? going on memory, here) that surrounded SD. That was the very first time I had seen work stop in CA because of the weather: there was so much smoke in the air that the "authorities" (authorities on "What", I might ask) told everyone to stay home. And, in all honesty, it was pretty bad. There were fires all around, but not "in" SD, and the sunlight was very orange, not to mention all the ashes on my car, on the sidewalk out front, and everywhere. There was fire across the interstate (freeway) from my law office and I had to go remove my computer and take it home, just as a precaution.

In VA, I remember going to work one day and coming out to find a foot of snow around my car. Nothing like that happens in CA, unless one lives in the fire-zone (usually outside of the main cities).

So there's the point: TIME stood still for 50 yrs (well, since at least 1988), for me. One loses the ability to remember, and measure, TIME when there are no real seasons. Sure, it gets a bit grayer in May and June, and maybe a bit colder in Jan and Feb, but not like here.

That's why I had to think about your original post a bit. Truth to tell, I have no idea what to do in Winter because we never really had Winter in SoCal. And I am not used to it, just yet; not enough to give a ready-answer.

So I guess the long answer is that I try to stay inside and stay warm, or, at minimum, just to stay warm. And I wait for those days when I can go downstairs and work in the garage, doing things of little consequence, except to me. Those days are usually called "Spring".

And I'll just say that I came ill-equipped for Winter here; it snowed in Feb (?) 2018, when I should have been working outside on the back patio doing woodwork or something in almost-blazing sun in CA. I had exactly ONE heavy coat that was only waist-length. It worked that first year, but did absolutely nothing to keep my legs warm. In fact, I wore it again today, but will probably have to switch to the long coat soon (last-year's acquisition here, out of need more than want).

i'm still trying to figure stuff out.
Cheers, John.

Post a Reply

00abuse

Shtinky
11/22/2019 05:44 EST

Hi Whidden, I am in Umbria, right in the center of Italy. This will be my sixth winter here. I find them kind of boring. We don’t get snow...maybe a dusting. I’m from Virginia so I miss a good snowstorm. We have little sun. We are in a valley so we have fog. We have a stufa so we keep warm. Also I have a kitchen fireplace where I live to cook over the flames. We also plan short trips to tourist sites to break up the time. It’s nice to go off season when it’s not crowded. We have American friends here who leave for the winter. One has an apartment in Florence. More to do, museums, classes etc. The other friends rent an apartment in a city, Roma or Napoli for a month or 6 weeks. Again, a place with more to do. The one thing winter has going for it, it is short. By early March it starts greening and it moves fast into spring. I’m always ready for it. Ciao.

Post a Reply

00abuse

whidden39
11/22/2019 09:18 EST

Shrinks: I love my fireplace here too, the first working one I ever had. But one in the kitchen? That’s a sure way to survive winter. I can imagine the earthenware pot of fagioli next to the fire.

Post a Reply

00abuse

whidden39
11/22/2019 09:23 EST

HenryGiovanni: A Californian’s acclimation in Italy is certainly different from a Bostonian’s. My clothes in winter have become lighter and I love not having to shovel snow off my car, my sidewalk, even my roof. My photos of snow after big nor’easters are very entertaining to Puglians, however. I find the slacks and socks sold here are very thin compared to cold weather locations in the US. So, that’s something I bring back when on a visit to Boston. One motivation to retire to Puglia was the wonderful weather as rated by this New Englander. But it’s only like California for half the year of more. The summers are arid and it is nearly always sunny. The short winters (for me it’s mid-December to mid-February) are humid, rainy, and somewhat gray. But there are still days where the skies are clear and the warm sun allows eating lunch outdoors with a light sweater. The local Italians, however, are bundled up (starting weeks ago) from head to toe. Your post made me realize that while we’re both Americans, we bring differing predispositions to setting up our lives here in Italy.

Post a Reply

00abuse

expat health insurance from CIGNA

Choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. With Cigna Global Health Options, you can create an international health insurance plan that's perfectly tailored for the needs of you and your family.

Get a Quote

Sergios
11/22/2019 09:25 EST

We have a great room (living room and kitchen) with a fireplace. The house is 500 years old. We bought a cord of wood and fire it up everyday. But...we are buying a pellet stove because the fireplace provides romance and a place to grill my steaks but little heat.
As far as winter activities, they're the same as summer but with more clothing.

Post a Reply

00abuse

whidden39
11/22/2019 09:38 EST

Sergios: Love the little vacuums sold here to clean up ash after a fire. Perhaps they are sold in the US, but I've never seen them.

Post a Reply

00abuse

Shtinky
11/22/2019 10:04 EST

I’ve always loved cooking on the fire so I was thrilled to have this fireplace when we came here. It was closed up for years. We had glass doors made for it. It even has a crane/hook to hang pots from. I guess it’s been a cooking fireplace before. I do love it and it keeps me and my kitchen sooooo warm ! Both in temperature and in coziness.

Post a Reply

00abuse

Shtinky
11/22/2019 10:12 EST

Sergios, happily we have the best of both worlds. A pellet stove in the main living area and the kitchen cooking fireplace. The pellet stove is great. Our house is ~400-500 years old too. Thick stone walls and no insulation make it very hard to heat. We wear a lot of clothes in layers! Little Michelin men we are!

Post a Reply

00abuse

Sergios
11/22/2019 11:09 EST

Widden, 30 euros at Leroy. Worth every cent.

Post a Reply

00abuse

HenryGiovanni
11/22/2019 12:35 EST

Hi whidden39,
Yes, I think you are right about perspectives. America is a huge place. And I do remember shovelling snow in the driveway the day after the storm, in a T-shirt, because the sun off the snow makes it rather warmer than one might think. That was in the Northern VA/DC area, in the Winter of '87-'88. And that day of the one-foot snowfall was Veteran's Day, 1987. That falls on Nov 11, which we used to call Armistice Day (in memory of the "11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month" in 1918, that signified the end of the Great War, also called WWI). It was Eisenhower who changed that (1954??) and added in all other vets from all the other wars. I do not begrudge any vet a special day, but I think that, just maybe, we should have left that day alone. There are 364 other days in the year, one recalls.

Anyway, that is part of my reference to TIME, and it's movement or seeming failure to move. I can remember that one day, and only because it snowed one foot deep. That didn't happen in CA.

Also, on your reference to geographical dispositions, I used to think (or, one could say, NOT think with more accuracy!) that when we vacationed in Italy we were going South. Not true. By the simple expedient of placing my finger on San Diego and spinning a globe, I found that "we" were equivalent (not "equal", but "more or less" so) to Tripolitania, Libya.

Wanting to answer to your post about geographical origins and predispositions, I took some time to check online. Turns out I was half-right: Tripolitania is what we might call a State, whose major city is Tripoli. So, here are some fun facts on latitude (I ignore longitude, which deals with Time more than weather):
San Diego: 32.7
Tripoli, Libya: 32.8
Padova: 45.4

I found out that I'm freezing way up here in the North! Why, it's almost into the Arctic Circle, from my perspective!!

Using my same precision latitudinal calculations, I figured that Padova equals, more or less, Portland, Oregon, which (online) is at latitude 45.5, so pretty close. At one time we began to think to prepare to get ready to move to Portland. Glad we nixed that and chose Padova instead.

Some have called me a curious fellow; I'm not quite sure how to take that at all times! : ) (If one can't laugh at oneself than one can't laugh at anything.) But, I like history and I like geography, so maybe the answer to your original post about "what to do in winter" is that I'll sit here on the computer, right next to the radiator (!!) and learn stuff that nobody else cares about!

So thanks for the push over the mental cliff. And we don't need no stinkin' parachutes, either!

And, by the way, and in the way of history, readers who live in Italy will know that the Italian Armistice Day is "4 Novembre" (actually signed on Nov 3, very near Padova, but to take effect 24 hrs later, on Nov 4). Hence the street-name "4 Novembre" in every city, town, and village in Italia. This coming a full week ahead of our (US, UK, and everybody else, mostly) own Armistice Day. English language "histories" of the Grande Guerra tell me different, but all armies were planning for war into the Spring of 1920. So, one wonders: had Italia not caused the Austro-Hungarian Empire to collapse, just how many English and French and US lives would have been lost had the war continued into 1920 as planned? Is it possible that Italia, a mere "sideshow" to Gen Haig (UK), was really the most important theater of war? That's something to think about this winter.

Cheers, John.

Post a Reply

00abuse

whidden39
11/23/2019 02:17 EST

Apparently, winter is the season for you to exercise (exorcize?) the mind. Keep the discoveries going and the fires (er, radiator) going. Buon inverno!

Post a Reply

00abuse

whidden39
11/23/2019 02:52 EST

Sergios: I do have a fireplace vac. I use it for the outdoor charcoal grill too. Couldn’t be without it.

Post a Reply

00abuse

codybrandy
11/24/2019 11:20 EST

Hi Widden39, You are right on...I'm ex-Boston (Reading actually) as well...ice, deep snow, frozen pipes, too dry air, and scary driving are all not missed. What are my only Ligurian drawbacks? Though winter here is short the muffa is ever present...we broke down and bought 2 dehumidifiers, it's never cold enough for my Ugg collection, and the occasional frana cutting us off from civilization for a few days. Pluses and minuses, that's life. P. S. Happy Thankgiving to All.

Post a Reply

00abuse

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Italy.

International Moving Quotes

Moving to Italy? Get a moving quote.


Mail Forwarding to Italy

Mail Forwarding to Italy.


Expat Tax

Expat Tax Preparation, Expat Tax Professionals

Join Today (free)

Join Expat Exchange to meet expats in your area or get advice before your move. It's FREE and takes 1 minute!

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Italy from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Culture-Shock-in-VicenzaAn Expat Talks about Culture Shock & Living in Vicenza, Italy

An expat in Vincenza, Italy offers a quick glimpse of his impression of life in Northern Italy.

An expat in Vincenza, Italy offers a quick glimpse of his impression of life in Northern Italy....

Living-in-GenoaAn Expat Discusses Living in Genoa, Italy

Lots of hills. Lots of rain in the winter. bitter cold. Head south for the winter.

Lots of hills. Lots of rain in the winter. bitter cold. Head south for the winter....

10-Tips-for-Living-in-Italy10 Tips for Living in Italy

Italy is a dream destination for many, but some expats have difficulty adjusting to the rustic Italian lifestyle. Expats share their top tips for living in Italy.

Italy is a dream destination for many, but some expats have difficulty adjusting to the rustic Italian lifestyle. Expats share their top tips for living in Italy. ...

5-Great-Places-to-Retire-in-Western-Europe5 Great Places to Retire in Western Europe

We asked expats about great places to retire in Western Europe. While many Western European countries have prohibitively high living costs, there are a few areas that fit the retirement bill. These are some of the recommendations!

We asked expats about great places to retire in Western Europe. While many Western European countries have prohibitively high living costs, there are a few areas that fit the retirement bill. These ...

The-7-Best-Places-to-Retire-in-ItalyRetiring in Italy: The 7 Best Places to Retire in Italy

Italy's villages and cities appeal to retirees for many different reasons - the beautiful beaches, breathtaking countryside, amazing food, wonderful nightlife, bustling town markets and welcoming people. In this article, we cover several of our readers' favorite places.

Italy's villages and cities appeal to retirees for many different reasons - the beautiful beaches, breathtaking countryside, amazing food, wonderful nightlife, bustling town markets and welcoming peop...

Italy Guide
Other Links
Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2020 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal