Primo di agosto. First of August. This is the day I moved to Italy for the second time in my life. Leaving Brooklyn behind, we moved into the house in Anghiari, Tuscany that we bought a few years ago – so I am relocating to a place that comes complete with the comforts of the familiar: a home, relatives, friends and a fairly stable grasp of the italian language. Yet much has changed for me since the last time I lived in Italy – for one, I am now the wife and mother of Italians.
Primo di agosto. Primo of August. This is my son, Primo, born in August three years ago. As I plucked him from his playground in Brooklyn and carried him off to a foreign country, it occurred to me that for good and for bad kids are sculpted largely by the choices we, as parents, make for them. There is little democracy in the governing of toddlers. While the effect this experience will have on him is yet to be seen, for me one thing is clear: returning to Italy as the mother of an italian boy, it is impossible for me not to look at this country through new eyes.
Books and blogs are overflowing with accounts by expats who have moved abroad, detailing the splendor of the italian countryside or the foibles of italian bureaucracy and politics. It’s impossible to write about Italy without a mention of these. Nonetheless, I’m not out to chronicle either. So what’s the point? Admittedly, I lack good correspondence skills and this blog simply serves as a way to keep friends, family, and other interested parties updated on the fumbles and discoveries of a Brooklyn transplant in Italy.