This is the question that people from Umbertide ask me, not people from the U.S. There are several things that trouble the people here about our impending move. There are those people who can easily imagine moving, leaving everything behind and going on an adventure. These people, however, yearn for an AMERICAN adventure. The city that calls to them over and over is San Francisco. They cannot imagine why any one in their right mind would exchange San Francisco for Umbertide. Ask any Italian what city in the US they would like to live in and I would bet 90% say San Francisco. Don't you think you will be bored in Umbertide, they wonder.
Then there are those people who love Umbertide. They can never imagine leaving here. They do not want a foreign adventure. They can never imagine abandoning friends and family and leaving Umbertide, the place of their birth, for any where else. But what about your family, they ask?
There are those who understand intellectually that living in a place is not the same as visiting and that maybe they wouldn't love living in San Francisco but then again maybe they would love it. Then there are the Americans who are already here. Let me tell you about all of the problems in living here, they say. Like what? The bureaucracy, the inefficiency, the rigid social and institutional systems. It is not like being on holiday to be here. Would you leave, and go back the U.S. I ask? No...
To all groups, I say you are right. Yes San Francisco is a vibrant and exciting place to be. Yes, I may be bored in Umbertide. Yes, I will miss my family and friends. Finally, yes I know that Umbertide will be different once we are married rather than when we are only having an affair of the heart.
We are fickle creatures. Always in love with the fantasy of something other than what we have. It is hard to explain what draws me to this place, this culture, this language. The Stoic One could list his advantages, mainly financial and life style. For me, it is harder to put into words. Some deep longing from my youth. A feeling of being loved and being special. That is why Italy.
As for Umbertide, to me it is the most beautiful, unspoiled of places. I love that my window looks out over the Tiber River and over the busy Piazza. I can be in the city and in the deep country in footsteps. The light here is remarkable. It makes the colors of the trees stand out agains the horizon. There is a sense of peace and mysticism that soothes my soul.