March 11, 2011

Happiness Project - Settimana 1

I have mentioned in previous posts about my college friend & fellow blogger Leigh at She has a weekly project for her and her friends about all the good stuff going on in their lives. Each week you select something that makes you happy. I have decided to take the 52 week challenge to blogging once a week about all the things in my life that bring me happiness.

Anything from a small cup of coffee, travels with friends, and experiences with new people....The list can go & on, and I am looking forward to the next weeks of discovery into all the big & small things that make me happy.

This week I would like to write about my love affair with Italy and how it started. When I started university back in 1995, during the orientation of UGA, they gave us a pamphlet about their study abroad program in Cortona, Italy. I knew at that moment that I wanted to finish my college career studying abroad. I spent the next years revolving all my classes around ending in Cortona. Fast forward to 1998, I was a plane to study art in Italy.

Months later I fell in love with all things Italian, except for how rude people can be at times. I remember complaining to my parents back then about how rude some of the Italian locals were to all of us students. Not all of us are loud & obnoxious, so it was frustrating being treated like you didn't appreciate Italy. The interesting thing is that this happens a lot in Florence too, again, mainly directed towards the inappropriate behavior of some, makes it harder for the people that really love living here.

Since coming back from my study abroad I always wanted to move back to Italy in some capacity. I think I talked my friends & families ears off about it. I loved the small markets in Cortona, how easy it was to access Florence & Rome by train, the beautiful Tuscan landscape, the laid back atmosphere. I always  dreamed of coming back here, but never had enough courage to do it. That was until another failed relationship with someone I loved kicked me into gear. We had talked about spending some time in Italy after we got hitched, so after we went splitsville I decided I was still going to do it. It was my dream afterall, not his. Three years later, three jobs later : I moved to Florence.

Recently for my 35th birthday, I organized a small day trip to my first home in Italy...Now, Cortona is bustling with cute cafes, trendy shops, art galleries and antique stores. It still has the small town charm, but there are more things to see compared to when I lived there in 1998. I felt lucky to have a fun group of friends from Florence come with me to celebrate. Like I have mentioned before, that living as an expat, your friends become your family. The people who you rely on every day. 

It brings me great happiness to discover and re-discover all the beauty of living in Italy, whether its the stunning landscapes or the relationships I have made.


Elaine Poggi said...

Great story, Christy! Glad I'm a part of it!!!

leigh said...

This is a great post. I never knew what had pulled you there. I had just assumed that it was pasta and cute Italian men. I look forward to doing this project with you.

Can't wait to find out new things about you!

Love you!

Christy said...

Thank you Elaine! You are one of the foundations of my experience in Florence! If I had not of met you, heard your expertise of living in Italy, things would of not been the same. I feel lucky to know I have a Florentine Mom!!

Leigh, Thank you for the kind words and doing the Happiness Project! I think it is so wonderful, and look forward to reading more of your fabby stories too!

Big hugs to both of you! -Christy

LindyLouMac said...

A great start to your happiness project.

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