The whole reason it is even possible for me to wake up every morning under the Tuscan sun and look out through the skylight at the busy morning birds flying over head is because I married well, lets face it.
Next month is our 13th wedding anniversary and it is the second time we will be celebrating it in Italy- in my book this is pretty awesome!
A little under thirteen years ago I fell in love with a student who was taking time out to live and work in the crazy world of hospitality. Nic was fun, loved to dance, thought I was fabulous and loved to travel…what was there not to like? Within the year we started dating, he was working full time as a bar manager/server and finishing off his Masters degree. I was studying massage part-time and working full time in a very busy restaurant. Nothing was stressful or exhausting because we were 20-somethings who were falling in love, working, having fun and hungry for more. We were engaged within 6 months, wed by 11 months and heading back overseas by about 13 months- WOW!
My student has a brilliant mind (lucky he doesn’t have control over my blog otherwise he would disagree) and with that mind he applied to one school in the USA with a Professor he truly admires. He put all his eggs in one basket and manage to get a full scholarship to study history- Italian history.
A baby was born, then bags were packed and we headed over to Chicago for the next seven years while he studied like a mad man and I began to try working out how to raise our son on a student stipend (this is a whole other story!). We met some fabulous people along the way and I even tried my hand at working in a few great kitchens. In this time we managed to find time to have another baby, pack more bags and fly to Italy for eight months. Nic lived in the archives of Florence while I met more fabulous people in Italy; cooked some delicious meals on the cheap and wondered what or where this was all going to take us?
Villa I Tatti has always been on Nic’s radar. It is a Harvard University research centre that gives fellowships to scholars of Renaissance Italy. Fifteen such people each year have the privilege of being accepted as a fellow and to come over and live in Florence and have full access to this amazing institute; Nic just happens to be one of them this year.
Am I proud? Words don’t convey how proud I am of him.
So here we are in Florence…..living the dream! I know he has to go to work each day but if you loved your work as much as he does (and all the other fellows I have met thus far do) then work is exactly where you want to be. Nic told the boys and I in the beginning that family wasn’t allow to come to the Villa unless it was a planned ‘family day’.
A few weeks ago a new colleague of Nic’s came over for a glass or three of vino in the evening hours when the heat finally died down to a reasonable temperature that didn’t have you sweating every time you moved. It was then that I found out the true facts about families on I Tatti’s grounds. It is true, kids are not really welcome, however, you can go and have a quick look if the need arises.
The need arose! I am far to nosey to sit back and wait until ‘family day’ so with that bit of information tucked away the boys and I insisted on picking Nic up from work a few weeks ago. I can completely understand why kids and partners are not welcomed with open arms, the place (or you could quite easily mistake it for a palace) is devoted to serenity, calmness and tranquility- I’m actually surprised Nic does in fact come home!
He has one year to soak up this beautiful place, and put his research into material he will one day turn into a book; or perhaps write a few papers/articles for History journals. Whatever he decides to do we support him 100% and along with all our friends and family, we can’t thank him enough for an awesome holiday destination!
To bad he has to walk to work everyday, that traffic can be a bitch…..