TWO MONTHS LIVING IN ROME
Today officially marks two months that we’ve been living in Rome. After reaching out to over 50 places, talking to a dozen realtors, viewing over 10 apartments, and placing offers on five apartments, we finally have a place to live. It’s a beautiful 2,000 sqft, two-story apartment with marble floors and a top floor terrace which is perfect for the dogs. Because we’re here with the government, the landlords have to agree to a specific contract. This created many hesitations from the landlords and is what caused us to have to place offers on five different apartments and live in a hotel for over 60 days. If you’re moving to Italy and looking for an apartment, be sure to use the websites https://www.immobiliare.it and http://casa.it. In addition to the websites, stop into real estate offices around the city and work with various realtors to find your perfect Italian home.
Parioli is not the most centrally located neighborhood in Rome, but if you’re looking for a long-term stay hotel we highly recommend Residence Hotel Parioli. The staff is incredibly kind and helpful, there are various hotel accommodations from single hotel rooms to one bedroom apartments, and there is free laundry on-site. Make sure to email them for long-term hotel rates.
Jaime still hasn’t started work, which is perfect for me but frustrating for him. We found out that because I’m here under the SOFA agreement (basically allows me to reside in the country while Jaime is here on orders), I’m not allowed to work in the country or remotely for an American company without giving up my SOFA protections. The only jobs I can have under the SOFA agreement are U.S. Forces jobs, but unfortunately, the majority of the government jobs are near the larger base in Naples or at the embassy (which I’m also not qualified for due to complicated reasons). I don’t feel like I’ve exhausted 100% of my options, so once we move into our apartment and are more settled I plan to do more research before calling it quits on working in Italy. If you’re an American military spouse living in Italy, be sure to read THIS article for more information regarding working and the SOFA agreement you’re here under.
We’ve continued spending our days exploring, checking out the markets, trying restaurants all around the city. We’re learning more Italian and now know how to order at restaurants and identify ingredients on menus. We both signed up for Italian classes and start at the end of April. People appreciate when you speak their language even if it’s not perfect. Don’t be embarrassed if your skill level is really basic or your pronunciation isn’t great because (1) you most likely won’t see that person again and (2) you won’t get better without practice. If I don’t know the Italian word or how to pronounce something I always ask and the staff is always happy to help me.
When we first left the states, I had a lot of anxiety about the fact that we had no plan or timeline surrounding when we were returning for our first visit. We didn’t know if we’d return within the year or after the first year and honestly, we still don’t know. But after being here for two months, the anxiety of living abroad with no immediate plan to return is almost nonexistent. I’d be lying if I said thinking of going home didn’t cross my mind multiple times a week, but when I think about it now I’m at peace with knowing we haven’t made plans to return. We knew we’d be here for three years, so we jumped in with both feet and didn’t treat it like a temporary situation. Modern day technology has positively impacted our move abroad with social media, text messaging, and FaceTime. Even though we only know a handful of people in this country, it helps us stay connected to our family and friends.
In five days we’ll have our first visitor! My mom is coming to visit and will be staying with us for two weeks. The last time she was here was when we came as a family over 10 years ago. We were in the city for a few days and only visited the main tourist attractions, so I’m excited to show her around our new city and to temporarily live with her under one roof again. This week one of our best group of friends purchased their tickets to visit us for a week and a half in October. We plan to spend a few days visiting the Alamfi Coast and found a yacht to stay on! We’re really excited about their visit and are excited to have more friends and family in town.