Things just keep getting better and better for us. When we knew we were coming back to Italy, there was of course only one place we would consider living: Caldogno. Caldogno is where I lived my entire six years here before. We have several friends here, including our old neighbors, Giampietro and Agnese who pretty much adopted us when we lived here before and are surrogate grandparents to our two kids. As I mentioned before, Giampi is adamant about walking the X Man to school every day once he starts. For all these reasons, we were determined to find a place in Caldogno. We had a long list of things we were looking for however and I anticipated that it would take at least a month or two to find something that fit the bill. I was also prepared to accept the fact that we probably wouldn't find a place that matched our list 100% so we'd have to sacrifice a few of them. Turns out I was wrong on both accounts.
We'd gotten word that a high ranking officer living one street over from where we used to live was leaving soon and his place would be coming open. When I mentioned it to Giampi the other night, he not only knew exactly which place I was talking about but he also happens to know the couple who owns the place really well. He called them immediately and it turns out the people had moved out the day before so he set up a meeting for us to look at it. I didn't get my hopes up because the two places we looked at prior were disappointing. But both the wife and I - and even the X Man - were blown away when we saw it. It has everything on our list and more. Three bedrooms, as well as a couple other rooms that we could use as bedrooms. Big front yard that I can use for my kettlebell workouts as well as play soccer or catch with the X Man (something we didn't have in Germany). Huge two car garage. Big garden for the wife as well as rose bushes and other flowers around the yard. Huge, furnished kitchen as well as a big porch/terrace right off the kitchen. No less than three balconies; one in the living room, one in the master bedroom and one in the guest bedroom. Downstairs, there is a finished basement with a huge rec room and a separate room we'll use as a gym/hobby room. There is also a big brick fireplace/stove in the basement that is perfect for barbeques. When Giampi saw it, he went ga-ga; he said they are coming over the first chance they get and we're going to cook some big steaks on it. And one of my favorite features: built-in air conditioning in almost every room! I had anticipated looking at a few other places before we made a decision but the place was so perfect that we took it immediately. Fortunately the owners liked us - I'm sure that Giampi being there and me conversing with them in Italian didn't hurt. Perhaps the best part is the location, about a two minute walk to Giampi and Agnese's house. Giampi says that as soon as we move in, the X Man will sleep over their place a lot so they can get his Italian up to speed quickly and he can start school. We're very excited. For those of you who saw our house in Germany, I honestly think this place is nicer - the only difference is that it's not in the middle of the Heidelberg Altstadt (sorry Eric), an admitted disadvantage. I may not live in the shadow of a castle anymore but we've got more room, a yard for the kids, a garden for the wife, and neighbors one street over who are practically family.
I'll post pictures after we move in and get settled, which should hopefully be in about a week or two. And rest assured, if you're one of our friends or family, we'll have plenty of room whenever you want to come visit!