By Silvia Marchetti | CNN
The pandemic’s enforced interval of no journey led an American couple to rethink their life and retire to sunny southern Italy.
Seventysomethings Glenda and Randy Tuminello from Spokane, Washington, retired in December 2022 to Polignano a Mare, a stunning white, cliffside city within the Puglia area, famend for its beautiful seashores and turquoise waters.
The pandemic outbreak, they are saying, compelled them to rethink longterm life tasks, and search for a tax-friendly spot the place they may profit from their Italian dream.
“We had initially deliberate [pre-Covid-19] to go spend a 12 months in Italy, celebrating retirement. However then Covid struck and through these two ‘no journey’ years we started to rethink our unique plans,” Glenda Tuminello, a, a former highschool math instructor and residential designer, tells CNN Journey.
“We determined to promote our dwelling, our automobile and all superfluous possessions and make Italy our retirement dwelling for good. We selected stunning Polignano a Mare, it provided a flat tax charge of seven%” – launched by the federal government to lure overseas retirees.
Different plus factors had been the city’s improbable historic heart, pleasant residents, and coastal location with distinctive attractive views – in addition to the very inexpensive life-style on supply.
“We don’t want a automobile right here. It’s only a few minutes’ stroll to the practice station that might take us anyplace we need to go in Italy, in addition to any European nation that we need to go to,” she says.
The couple have made new buddies, together with different American residents, and adore Polignano’s festive vibe with celebrations and music all the time happening within the picturesque piazzas.
“Locals convey their garden chairs out at evening to the promenade space by the Adriatic to take a seat out and speak, go to, snort into the late hours of the evening. It’s so beautiful, so upbeat, so family-oriented. We by no means ever really feel something however protected right here – [there’s] by no means a risk of hazard strolling the attractive streets at evening,” she says.
Retracing their roots
Randy Tuminello, a former consulting supervisor in structure, had an extra ancestry lure: his grandparents migrated to the US from the Sicilian fishing village of Cefalù within the early 1900s, settling in Louisiana.
“My roots have been an enormous think about choosing Italy, it’s like coming dwelling, and we really feel extra at dwelling right here than we ever felt within the US. Then once more my spouse is an Italian at coronary heart and loves all the pieces Italian,” he says.
The couple checked out completely different southern Italian areas providing a 7% flat tax for brand new immigrant retirees, earlier than choosing Puglia.
The home they lease, situated in Polignano’s historic heart, prices $1,200 a month. They noticed the advert on-line and it was love at first sight. The house was good – proper right down to the best element. It got here partly furnished, together with the tableware.
“We had been going to purchase it at first, however now with the financial system not sure, it was finest to lease,” says Randy Tuminello. “It was a choice made on the proper time as leases are actually skyrocketing, and houses on sale are fairly costly as there are few and most are taken as B&Bs.”
Dwelling the dream
The 2-bedroom home has an workplace, spacious eating room, balcony, entrance porch with a bit backyard, and one other coated terrace space the place the Tuminellos take pleasure in morning espresso.
It’s a typical white stone dwelling tucked in a picturesque winding alley, with an arched portal entrance, vaulted ceilings, terracotta flooring and thick partitions dotted with jutting-out rocks.
Randy Tuminello says their “overriding need” to relocate to Polignano a Mare got here from their desire for Italian tradition over American.
“The materialistic facet is just not as predominant in Polignano as within the US, and there’s extra a way of group – of household and buddies,” he says.
Despite the fact that they’ve left behind at dwelling children and grandkids, the couple says their new life is comfortable and lacks nothing. All they must do is to ensure they’ve time each single day – as in the event that they had been on vacation. Going out for dinner and night walks alongside the promenade overlooking the Adriatic are their most popular actions.
Regardless of dwelling on the coast, the pair aren’t beachgoers. Regardless of spending almost a 12 months in Polignano, they’ve but to go to the city’s little seaside, which is enclosed by cliffs like a fjord, nor had the pleasure of a pleasant dip within the translucent sea – which the Tuminellos desire to admire from afar.
The downsides of paradise
However southern Italy’s allure comes with challenges – like after they needed to repair the air conditioner one sultry summer time day.
The sudden rising temperatures in southern Italy are an excessive amount of even for Louisiana natives. This previous summer time the warmth stored them from transferring round and finishing up every day plans – they needed to exit early in morning when it was nonetheless bearable.
And so they miss some American meals, like barbecue sauce, peanut butter and lemon curd – although they’ve discovered a spot in Polignano the place they will get some US condiments.
The language barrier is a matter, too. Glenda Tuminello thinks they should be taught Italian to point out respect to locals. As it’s, after they go to the grocery to purchase pecorino cheese, they all the time concern they’re not asking for the correct amount, ending up with an excessive amount of or too little. In addition they get misplaced in translation on the yogurt retailer.
One optimistic that the Tuminellos have famous are the unbelievable driving abilities of southern Italians who all the time “cease on a dime.”
Glenda Tuminello says transferring to Italy was merely “a kind of no-brainers that you simply higher pounce on whilst you can!”
That’s as a result of the couple was supported all through the whole relocation course of and by Discovering La Dolce Vita, an Italy-based agency that assists would-be expats.
“There’s a large amount of labor that goes into the authorized preparations in Italy if you wish to truly reside there,” says Glenda Tuminello.
The pair utilized for the elective residence visa, which requires a passive revenue of 38,000 euros ($40,700) per couple. There have been loads of hoops to leap by.
“It took virtually one 12 months to finish all of the required background paperwork wanted. We wished to get it proper the primary time,” she says.
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