Holly Herrmann was 20 years old when she travelled to Bolzano, Italy, a picturesque city nestled in the foothills of the Tyrolean Alps, to participate in the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition. She placed second in the competition. The aspiring concert pianist, who is originally from California, was fascinated by a culture that was so closely intertwined with classical music, gastronomy, and natural beauty. She made a promise to herself that she would one day call it home.
In 2004, I was living in Seattle at the time, and this was my first trip to Italy. This coherent, beautiful, historic core was so beautifully alive with life and activity,” Ms. Herrmann, now 63, said of the mediaeval heart of Bolzano.
It would take 38 years to relocate permanently to Italy. Following her victory in the piano competition, she travelled to New York to begin laying the framework for her upcoming transfer to Manhattan as a professional pianist. Then she travelled to Seattle, where she was introduced to Jim Herrmann by college classmates on her first day back at work. The two of them rapidly developed a close bond. They became the parents of two children over the following many years. The couple already had two children from a previous marriage when Mr. Herrmann married this woman. The hopes for New York were dashed. Italy got much more indistinct.
Her idea of relocating to Italy, on the other hand, never died. In 2015, at the prompting of her daughter, she travelled to Orvieto, a historic hill town in central Italy, for a month to see if she might rediscover her enthusiasm for the Italian way of life. Mr. Herrmann accompanied her for a period of ten days. The excursion persuaded them both that this should be their new reality, and they returned home. With the sale of their house and the distribution of their retirement funds, they were able to realise their long-held dream of living a different lifestyle.
In 2016, the couple relocated to Seattle and began their new lives. In the midst of uncertainty about their future, they initially leased their four-bedroom house, which they eventually sold along with their two automobiles and other belongings that were too big to take with them. They boarded an aircraft destined for Italy with just one carry-on and one luggage between them. They spent two years in Lecce, a bustling city in southern Italy with Baroque-era churches and small alleys dotted with rustic eateries, where they met. However, because of Lecce’s isolation, it was difficult for them to travel across Europe, so they relocated to Padua in 2018, an old city with arcaded streets and chic cafés that is just a 33-minute train trip from Venice.
The pair now resides in a two-bedroom apartment with a view of Piazza dei Signori, a delightful small square in the ancient heart of Padua.
In the sense that we no longer have a vehicle, our situation has drastically altered. We reside in the heart of a magnificent historic town, which includes a nearby river that we walk along virtually every day, eventually arriving at the “Specola,” which is an observatory erected on top of an antique tower, and which we visit almost every day. We may go to Venice for lunch or supper anytime we want by taking the train there. Before the epidemic, we were able to travel freely across Europe.
Regret is a waste of time. You will not be able to go back and modify any decisions you have made. Try to be content with where you are right now; this will help you uncover the future. You will find that life unfolds smoothly when you are concentrated and focused on the pleasure and beauty of your existence. That ideology does not allow for the expression of regret.