41 Comments

  1. Avatar Virginia Mastroianni
    September 21, 2018 @ 11:12 am

    I am so glad you are happy, John. My recent 8 months of living in Rome turned out to be life-changing, but extremely disappointing. I moved to a suburb with nasty tenants who wore me down with insane complaints about hearing me walk barefoot on my marble floors. I have been back in the states for two months now. I should have moved to the center of the city Trastevere, Testaccio — maybe I would have had better luck. But, I do miss the fresh produce. The free medical care, the kind people at the I became familiar with at the local supermarket. My son did visit me and that was the best time I had in Rome. It did change me. And even only for eight months, it was for the better. I took up painting and writing. Rome does change you. Someday I will go back. Enjoy October! The weather is perfect in October and Springtime in Rome is magical even if you are alone.

    Reply

  2. Avatar Virginia Mastroianni
    September 21, 2018 @ 11:12 am

    I am so glad you are happy, John. My recent 8 months of living in Rome turned out to be life-changing, but extremely disappointing. I moved to a suburb with nasty tenants who wore me down with insane complaints about hearing me walk barefoot on my marble floors. I have been back in the states for two months now. I should have moved to the center of the city Trastevere, Testaccio — maybe I would have had better luck. But, I do miss the fresh produce. The free medical care, the kind people at the I became familiar with at the local supermarket. My son did visit me and that was the best time I had in Rome. It did change me. And even only for eight months, it was for the better. I took up painting and writing. Rome does change you. Someday I will go back. Enjoy October! The weather is perfect in October and Springtime in Rome is magical even if you are alone.

    Reply

  3. Avatar planetmargo
    September 21, 2018 @ 11:16 am

    This article is so awesome. I lived in Rome in 1978-81 as my dad was stationed there with the Embassy during “gli anni di piombo.” You really captured what was going on at the time. I recently went back in October, and fell in love all over again. Wishing you a great life in Rome. Keep writing!

    Reply

    • Avatar planetmargo
      September 21, 2018 @ 11:18 am

      Ps: My pic is of me scratching off a Bucket List item, riding down the Appian Way on horseback.

      Reply

    • Avatar Brian Storrar
      September 21, 2018 @ 9:33 pm

      John, do you have tips for Rome AirBnB or similar for those who wish to come for the summer? Where to stay and not to stay, what to expect and what to pay if you want to live like a local?

      Reply

  4. Avatar planetmargo
    September 21, 2018 @ 11:16 am

    This article is so awesome. I lived in Rome in 1978-81 as my dad was stationed there with the Embassy during “gli anni di piombo.” You really captured what was going on at the time. I recently went back in October, and fell in love all over again. Wishing you a great life in Rome. Keep writing!

    Reply

    • Avatar planetmargo
      September 21, 2018 @ 11:18 am

      Ps: My pic is of me scratching off a Bucket List item, riding down the Appian Way on horseback.

      Reply

    • John Henderson John Henderson
      September 21, 2018 @ 12:20 pm

      Thanks, Margo. While that was a difficult period, it was cheap. And to hang with the embassy crowd would be a real treat. You should consider getting a long-term AirBnB and stay for an extended period. See if you could handle living here again.

      Reply

      • Avatar Brian Storrar
        September 21, 2018 @ 9:33 pm

        John, do you have tips for Rome AirBnB or similar for those who wish to come for the summer? Where to stay and not to stay, what to expect and what to pay if you want to live like a local?

        Reply

        • John Henderson John Henderson
          September 21, 2018 @ 11:20 pm

          Sorry, Brian. No tips on where to stay in Rome. Locals are the last people you want to ask. We live in apartments, not AirBnBs. Just find the neighborhood you want to stay in and go to AirBnB.com. That’s what I do when I travel.

          Reply

  5. John Henderson John Henderson
    September 21, 2018 @ 11:18 am

    Thanks, Virginia. Yeah, you had a tough run. That can happen. I always tell people that if someone from Mars came and stayed with me for a month, he’d have a totally different impression of Rome than if he stayed with my neighbor. It’s all about your experiences. I always hated Seattle. I lived there a year and a half and met absolutely horrific people. Other people spend a weekend there and move there forever. Then Marina and I went back last month and I had a lovely time. The people were wonderful. It’s all timing and luck, or bad luck in your case.

    Reply

  6. Avatar Lisa Rosenberg
    September 21, 2018 @ 12:02 pm

    Hi John,
    I loved this post among your others. I have been travelling to Italy and other places in Europe over the last 16 years. In that time i got divorced, good for me! I toyed with the idea of retiring there but it would be impractical..so if i can get there for extended vacations in my “dotage” i will be happy…for many reasons..
    And i hope my Italian boyfriend (who lives in La Spezia) will be happy too! Buone auguri! Stai molto bene…

    Reply

  7. Avatar Lisa Rosenberg
    September 21, 2018 @ 12:02 pm

    Hi John,
    I loved this post among your others. I have been travelling to Italy and other places in Europe over the last 16 years. In that time i got divorced, good for me! I toyed with the idea of retiring there but it would be impractical..so if i can get there for extended vacations in my “dotage” i will be happy…for many reasons..
    And i hope my Italian boyfriend (who lives in La Spezia) will be happy too! Buone auguri! Stai molto bene…

    Reply

    • John Henderson John Henderson
      September 21, 2018 @ 12:19 pm

      Coming to Italy frequently is a good plan. The boyfriend should keep get you places other visitors will never see.

      Reply

  8. Avatar Lisa Rosenberg
    September 21, 2018 @ 12:03 pm

    Scriva di piu, non vedo l’ora!

    Reply

  9. Avatar Lisa Rosenberg
    September 21, 2018 @ 12:03 pm

    Scriva di piu, non vedo l’ora!

    Reply

    • John Henderson John Henderson
      September 21, 2018 @ 12:17 pm

      Ti trasfererai a Roma or verrai in vacanza?

      Reply

  10. Avatar dennyho
    September 21, 2018 @ 3:37 pm

    Truly enjoyed this piece, every word. You managed to drag me in with your opening comment…my daughter is an anthropologist and I think she has a terrific wardrobe! So I just had to continue to see where it was you were going. And glad I did. I only had the opportunity to spend five days in Rome a few years back but give me any Italian city on any day and I will jump at the chance to drink their wine, stroll their streets, and as you mention enjoy their delicious food! Congratulations to you on re-creating your home in this lovely part of the world…ciao!

    Reply

    • Avatar dennyho
      September 22, 2018 @ 12:03 pm

      Oh, she has a good sense of humor. She’d laugh…at you first and then probably agree that her on duty uniform of black tshirt and khaki pants is rather drab.

      Reply

  11. Avatar dennyho
    September 21, 2018 @ 3:37 pm

    Truly enjoyed this piece, every word. You managed to drag me in with your opening comment…my daughter is an anthropologist and I think she has a terrific wardrobe! So I just had to continue to see where it was you were going. And glad I did. I only had the opportunity to spend five days in Rome a few years back but give me any Italian city on any day and I will jump at the chance to drink their wine, stroll their streets, and as you mention enjoy their delicious food! Congratulations to you on re-creating your home in this lovely part of the world…ciao!

    Reply

    • John Henderson John Henderson
      September 21, 2018 @ 11:31 pm

      Thanks, Denny. I’m curious if your daughter would’ve enjoyed that comment as much.

      Reply

      • Avatar dennyho
        September 22, 2018 @ 12:03 pm

        Oh, she has a good sense of humor. She’d laugh…at you first and then probably agree that her on duty uniform of black tshirt and khaki pants is rather drab.

        Reply

  12. Avatar Dan Raley
    September 21, 2018 @ 4:27 pm

    The John Henderson Story. I read Dog-Eared and felt like I had watched a movie. I was rooting for you every step of the way. Glad you’ve found a home. In my travels around the world the past two years, I’ve noted how similar people are everywhere I go–they want a good job, want to laugh, want to have a beer. Sometimes I think the leader of the free world should visit some of these places he belittles and find out for himself. But he’s never been outside a penthouse apartment or golf club. One of these days I’ll get over there and visit you. I’ve got 357,000 air miles now.

    Reply

  13. Avatar Dan Raley
    September 21, 2018 @ 4:27 pm

    The John Henderson Story. I read Dog-Eared and felt like I had watched a movie. I was rooting for you every step of the way. Glad you’ve found a home. In my travels around the world the past two years, I’ve noted how similar people are everywhere I go–they want a good job, want to laugh, want to have a beer. Sometimes I think the leader of the free world should visit some of these places he belittles and find out for himself. But he’s never been outside a penthouse apartment or golf club. One of these days I’ll get over there and visit you. I’ve got 357,000 air miles now.

    Reply

    • John Henderson John Henderson
      September 21, 2018 @ 11:29 pm

      I couldn’t agree with you more, Dan. I firmly believe that if every American spent six months of their life overseas we never would’ve even invaded Iraq. Trump, Bush and their ilk play on fear, fear of the unknown. As Mark Twain said, the biggest enemy of racism and bigotry is travel. Yeah, we’re pretty much all the same. We all like good food, spare time, good friends. So many Americans think people who are different are wrong. They’re not wrong. They’re just different. With so few Americans owning passports, it’s no wonder who’s sitting in the White House and embarrassing our country. Thanks for the note. I’m enjoying your Huskies coverage. Not a lot of Pac-12 news out here in Rome.

      Reply

  14. Avatar Un po' di pepe
    September 21, 2018 @ 8:10 pm

    ‘Like anthropologists but better dressed’ I love that! I have love Roma since my first visit at age 11. I go once or twice a year for about 3 days, but one day I need to stay for a long time! Ciao, Cristina

    Reply

  15. Avatar Un po' di pepe
    September 21, 2018 @ 8:10 pm

    ‘Like anthropologists but better dressed’ I love that! I have love Roma since my first visit at age 11. I go once or twice a year for about 3 days, but one day I need to stay for a long time! Ciao, Cristina

    Reply

  16. John Henderson John Henderson
    September 21, 2018 @ 11:22 pm

    Thanks for the comment. Yeah, I found it harder and harder to leave the shorter my stay was, especially when I was visiting my girlfriend. That’s when I knew I had to move here.

    Reply

  17. Avatar awtytravels
    September 22, 2018 @ 11:42 am

    Glad I read this post, and glad I found your blog.

    My dad worked as clerk in a FIAT sub-contracting factory in the Anni di Piombo, and studied Political Science in Torino. They had a BR column in the factory, one of his mates was shot in the legs. A few of his fellow students turned out to be terrorists, a few Maoists and a few Fascists. Compared with then, today’s Italy is nothing short of paradisiac, but go tell it to all those dimwits who think it’s all going to the dogs because of immigration.

    Welcome to Italy, hope you’ll contribute to make it a better place! And if you like Barolo, how about a visit to the Langhe this autumn?

    Fabrizio Soggetto

    Reply

    • Avatar awtytravels
      September 23, 2018 @ 4:46 am

      Well, if you do autumn’s the right season! (apologies for the shameless plug of my region in a post about Rome)

      Reply

  18. Avatar awtytravels
    September 22, 2018 @ 11:42 am

    Glad I read this post, and glad I found your blog.

    My dad worked as clerk in a FIAT sub-contracting factory in the Anni di Piombo, and studied Political Science in Torino. They had a BR column in the factory, one of his mates was shot in the legs. A few of his fellow students turned out to be terrorists, a few Maoists and a few Fascists. Compared with then, today’s Italy is nothing short of paradisiac, but go tell it to all those dimwits who think it’s all going to the dogs because of immigration.

    Welcome to Italy, hope you’ll contribute to make it a better place! And if you like Barolo, how about a visit to the Langhe this autumn?

    Fabrizio Soggetto

    Reply

    • John Henderson John Henderson
      September 23, 2018 @ 3:24 am

      Fabrizio, you make a great point comparing Rome in the ’70s with terrorists and Rome today with immigrants. I never thought about that but you’re absolutely right. I’ve been meaning to go to Barolo forever. Thanks for the note and reminder.

      Reply

      • Avatar awtytravels
        September 23, 2018 @ 4:46 am

        Well, if you do autumn’s the right season! (apologies for the shameless plug of my region in a post about Rome)

        Reply

  19. Avatar Frank B.
    September 23, 2018 @ 5:55 am

    Thanks John, loved your story and the article. I visited twice in the past three years, both trips were in June. What is the weather like in central Italy in April?

    Reply

  20. Avatar Frank B.
    September 23, 2018 @ 5:55 am

    Thanks John, loved your story and the article. I visited twice in the past three years, both trips were in June. What is the weather like in central Italy in April?

    Reply

    • John Henderson John Henderson
      September 24, 2018 @ 2:08 am

      The weather is real good in April in Central Italy, usually highs in the 60s, lows high 40s. It gets some rain but not too bad, not like in the fall. Fewer tourists come in April although Florence gets them all year round. Still, it’s comfortable walking around weather.

      Reply

  21. Avatar Hal Madsen
    October 1, 2018 @ 12:07 am

    Great job, John. Truly from the heart.

    Reply

  22. Avatar Hal Madsen
    October 1, 2018 @ 12:07 am

    Great job, John. Truly from the heart.

    Reply

  23. John Henderson John Henderson
    October 1, 2018 @ 2:56 am

    Thanks, Hal. And every day I read news about the U.S. I’m more thankful I’m here and not there.

    Reply

  24. Avatar planetmargo
    July 18, 2019 @ 9:05 am

    Another great article. Especially:
    “absolute musts when you return home — like souvenir booze.”
    Che risate!

    Reply

  25. Avatar planetmargo
    July 18, 2019 @ 9:05 am

    Another great article. Especially:
    “absolute musts when you return home — like souvenir booze.”
    Che risate!

    Reply

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