About us

On July 9, 2012, my husband  starts his 12-month sabbatical, and we are moving with our 9-year old  and 11-year old to Perugia, Italy.  We have enrolled the kids in public school.  Matt intends on biking, golfing, cooking, and experiencing a culture whose principal goal is something other than “production.”  I’m Jill.  I can’t wait to return to my favorite destination. This trip is a dream come true.  I want to have a big year, a big adventure.  I want to drink wine and eat prosciutto.  I want to wear high heels when I go out for coffee.  I want to learn how to fit in to an elegant, ancient and passionate country.  I want to remember how to speak Italian.  I want to avoid the temptation to hope for an easy year and instead be inspired and courageous enough to confront the required difficulties of living an interesting life story with its disappointments, frustrations, embarrassments and even desperate moments.    And I want my sons to eventually come around and actually thank us for taking them abroad and offering them a chance to experience this really awesome year together before they turn into teenagers and wear baggy pants.

24 thoughts on “About us

  1. I can’t wait to experience this big adventure with you, thank you for this blog. I will vicariously learn to fit into an elegant, ancient and passionate country. And in a moment of solidarity, the next time I go out for coffee I will wear high heels. xo.

  2. Wonderful blog. Feel badly about your challenges the 1st couple of days. Like you said it will be part of ethe memories. Keep us posted. Love, Grandpa John

  3. Greetings. Matt looks very Italian in front of the Post Office. Looks like the boys are adjusting to the good life of sun shine and gelato. The meal in front of you with the discription of the bread looks very interesting. Continue to love your blog. Love, Grandpa John

  4. Dearest Jill, Matt, Tom and Ray — We are eating up every delicious word and picture. Can’t wait to continue to share your year with you. Love, Shannon & Phil

  5. You are an amazing writer and photographer Jill! I’m so inspired by all of it. And loving seeing photos of Perugia – I remember fondly the 9 months I lived there so long ago. Will be following your blog closely….and wearing high heels (hopefully Italian) as often as I can in your honor. xo Lisette

  6. I am finally “on” in time to wish Tom a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! HAPPY BIRTHDAY! There will never be another one like this. Just two weeks before he returns to jeans (the uni.) I love following your adventure and love you all. MB

  7. I love (and will borrow) this quote:
    I want to avoid the temptation to hope for an easy year and instead be inspired and courageous enough to confront the required difficulties of living an interesting life story with its disappointments, frustrations, embarrassments and even desperate moments.

    Words to live by. You are a great writer, I am captivated by your blog. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Happy Halloween to Ray and Tom. It’s raining hard here in Bellevue and getting dark so early in the afternoon that the ghosts and Star Wars kids are going to be real soggy. Boys, thank you for describing so beautifully your school, classmates and teachers. It looks like you have some fun classmates. Your Dad is a real handsome male dude in the Italian clothes from the elegant clothing store in Perugia and Mom’s great boots from Florence are “to die for”! I’m completely enjoying reading the posts and look forward to them. Next year, you can trick or treat, and this weekend you go to Rome. I’ll bet you can guess which one I would pick.

    Love from Suzi Albrecht, (Kyle and Julia’s Grammy Sue)

  9. Thank you for writing this blog; my wife and I are classical archaeologists on sabbatical in ’13-14, and Perugia is near the top of our list of locations (with Rome). We have begun conversations to find an apartment in the city (we won’t have a car), and to find out about schools for our three boys (13, 11, and 5), which is our largest concern. As you can see, I’ve a WordPress blog as well; if you are willing to take a few questions as we sort things out this Spring, we would be very grateful. Mille grazie! Pedar Foss (pfoss@depauw.edu).

  10. I just stumbled across your blog when I googled “thrift store shopping in Perugia”. My sisters and I are coming to Perugia in March, after a 33 year absence. We spent two years of our childhood in Perugia, and I can honestly say those were the two best years of my childhood. We lived on Via Quieta and then in an old farmhouse in Ponte d’Oddi. It will be fun to follow your adventures, and maybe get some tips as we plan for our trip.

  11. Dear Jill,

    I came across your blog and learned that you live in Perugia. My company publishes an iPhone app consisting of self-guided walking tours in Perugia. However, these walking tours were compiled three years ago and some of the information may be out of date. We are looking for people who currently live in Perugia to review the tour content and give us feedback.

    Would you be interested in reviewing our walking tours in Perugia or posting a “Look for reviewers” announcement for us in your blog? We offer reward to people who send us feedback. The reviewers will receive gift codes for our iOS walking tours apps. Each gift code is good for a free walking tour iPhone app download, normally priced at US$4.99. We have walking tour apps covering all major cities in the world.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best regards,

    Xena Copilova

  12. Thank you so much for sharing this enjoyable and informative blog. I loved the stories of your adjustment to Perugia, the adjustments and attitudes of the kids, and your loving remembrances of Luke. Plus the photography was fabulous! I enjoyed your blog so much I stayed up until 1a.m. last night to finish it.

    I’m heading to Perugia in May 2014 for a month of language studies and only just discovered the Perugia-Seattle sister city relationship. Congrats on winning their trip to Perugia in 2014. Very cool! I’m a Seattle resident (pastor of a downtown church) and after language classes in Perugia this summer will be researching and writing a guidebook for a walk from Florence to Assisi to Rome. Any tips or ideas for me during my Perugia sojourn would be very welcome! Meantime, all the best to you, your husband, and the boys.

    Rev. Sanford “Sandy” Brown
    Seattle WA

    • Thank you for your comments. I’m so glad you enjoyed reading about our year in Italy. What a fantastic project you have in front of you. May will be such a wonderful time to visit. As far as recommendations, I wrote about most of our favorite Perugia places in the blog, but if you have any specific questions, please let me know. Do you have a place to stay? Are you looking for an apartment to rent or a hotel? I will look forward to reading your book. Best of luck. Have a wonderful time in May.

  13. Hi Jill, I’ve been looking for a summer camp in Perugia for my five-year old and came across your blog. What a fantastic adventure! My husband, daughter and I are planning to spend July in the city. Do you happen to know of any summer camps or international schools that might have summer programs? My daughter doesn’t speak Italian, so we’re thinking at least a hybrid English/Italian program would be best. Thank you so much for any help. Best, Andrea

    • Hi Andrea,
      I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog. July will be a wonderful time to visit Perugia because of Umbria Jazz. It will be crazy there. It’s so much fun. As for summer camps, I can’t help you on that. There are no international schools that I knew of for kids in Perugia. Good luck with your adventure.

  14. Hi Jill! thankyou so much for such an informative blog. We are heading over with our three boys from. Australia in a few months, and I was wondering how you found your apartment? Thanks heaps.

    • It’s pretty easy to find an apartment in Italy. Most of the real estate companies will assist you. We used Quality Living, a company with an office in the historic center of Perugia, but there are many others all over the place. Good luck. Let me know if you have any more questions.

  15. I miss your posts so much! i’m still living in Italy and I figured out that I’m staying one more year. Finally I will have enough time to visit Perugia, and when I think about this city your blog automatically comes in my mind. I’m sure your posts are gonna help me 🙂 Baci from Milan!

    • Thank you! We just returned from our “raffle winning” trip to Perugia this month. It was as beautiful as ever. I hope you have a wonderful time when you visit.

  16. Loved your blog! We are about to visit Tuscany and Umbria, and your posted information is invaluable, entertaining, and touching. All the best!

  17. I really enjoyed your blog! I kept going back and reading more entries! I am going to spend a month in Perugia and had some questions. Would you be able to contact me via e-mail?

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