Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Try Montecarlo for a lively yet uncrowded Tuscan hill town

During the final 10 years before I retired from teaching, Lucy and I visited Italy almost annually, looking at different places we might want to live. Each time, we stayed in a different city or two. We wanted a hill town with a view that was near a train station and small enough to compel us to learn Italian (we’re still working on that part). We didn’t want some remote town in the mountains that was losing population and services.

We settled on Montecarlo, which met almost all our criteria and had the added bonus of being the comune where my grandparents grew up and married before leaving for America. We’ve never had a moment of regret.

I’ve recently been doing some freelance writing for magazines, and when I pitched the idea of an article on a lively and picturesque but largely unknown city near Lucca, Chicago-based Fra Noi magazine gave its approval. My article on Montecarlo was published in the January 2020 issue and can be seen below.


  1. Excellent article. I am wondering how you and Lucy managed to own a car. Do you not need an Italian driver's license in order to purchase one? Are you residents? We're contemplating a part-time residence and are curious about such things. Thanks

    1. Since we are there only about 4 months a year at this phase of our lives, we rent each time and use our U.S. licenses. I can give you a little more advice and info if you message me on FB or send me an email.


Comments welcome.