|Kathy, Judy and Louis 1984|
My roommate Kathy had been lived in Paris for a year and then in Rome for a year. Her famous words to me were "You will love Italy and Italy will love you." Kathy, Louis and another friend Elzbeth travelled with me through France and into Italy. Louis came down to Florence with me and then went home and my solo adventure began.
I never expected to stay, but when I arrived in Florence it was love at first sight. A year later I met Andrea, now my husband, so had an even better reason to stay.
I arrived here with nothing--- a one-way ticket and $2,000. Back then prices were cheap and with that amount, I stayed in hotels and took a month of night school in Italy to learn some basic Italian. When I ran out of money and finished language school I got a job, making beds in the hotel I was staying in and helping out in their kitchen. Next I got a job waitressing as noone would hire me as a chef,kitchens being quite small and I knew nothing of Tuscan cuisine. After about 6 months I met people and then found a job as a pastry chef in a private club. After 4 years of learning how to cook from chefs, friends and at the Central Market. I began Divina Cucina.
Living in Italy is not like "Under the Tuscan Sun" or most other books written by people on vacation. It is mostly a love/hate relationship. Love for the country, the food, wine and people and HATE for the red tape and bureaucracy one has to deal with daily.
We won't get into the nightmare of restoring my tiny little one bedroom house I bought, that they stopped the work for 8 YEARS.
I love the job i have created, although for the Italian government it really doesn't exist yet as a job qualification. As long as I pay my taxes, it all rolls along smoothly.
Thanks so much for following my stories and recipes. I love sharing it all.
When I travel back to California I still say I am going home, although there is no more home at home, since my mom died. But after living here for almost half my life and planning on staying until i die, this is home.
Casa Dolce Casa
For better or worse!!!!