Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The beginning of the Italian Adventure

In September, my husband Robb and I found out he had been accepted for a research sabbatical in Italy for 7 months. What a huge change this is making in our lives.  I quit my job (early retirement!) at the end of October and the time since then has been spent preparing for the adventure.  This blog will cover a lot of different topics from our trip starting with the preparation trip we made in November.  I finished working on the 30th of October and flew to Warsaw to join Robb on a three week trip ending in our city in Italy- Verona.

I just arrived in Warsaw last night and already it feels like home again.  I love this city-!

My first visit I remember thinking it should be in black and white like the old 40's movies with everyone in long wooly coats and furry hats.  I could not have been more wrong.  Fashion is the ticket in Warsaw.  There is an astonishing number of ways to wear scarves and there are hats- many different types from real fur to fedoras.  Walking in Warsaw is much like being in Paris- everyone dresses to be seen.

Today I walked from Hotel Mercure Grand around my neighborhood.  I love this area, it combines local with global.  There is everything from Polish linens and antique jewelry shops to designer brands like Zegna, Tods, etc.  Not to mention every possible place to eat. 
Within one block of the hotel is a killer cupcake place, an Udon shop, Italian and Chinese.  All very different from the Poland I first loved 12 years ago.  Back then all you could get was Nescafe instant coffee- now there is a coffee chain on every corner including Starbucks! 
The EU has made it's mark on the country with globalization, and progress after the fall of socialism has been incredible.  It is now the healthiest economy in Europe next to Germany.
Later today I will post some photos of local street art.  Graffiti was the original way to decorate the soviet style buildings of old and it is still a thriving art form.

The city is slowly redecorating itself with new architecture and remodeling of what's left of the old buildings.  It is the one of the best walking cities in Europe- I feel so safe here.

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