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By on Mar 16, 2024 in Blog | 9 comments




Out exploring our new home in the Italian Region of Marche with late Autumn snow in the Apennines in the background.


The year 2023 ended not long ago and with it, we marked a decimal milestone. A little over ten years ago, we decided to leave the country in which we had lived our lives, to launch into an unknown future in a different culture, becoming foreigners living in Italy. In this fortunate instance, positive expectations have worked out just fine. Baring the always unforeseen, we are so pleased with the experience so far, we plan to remain immigrant residents in this provincial town in Central Italy that we love.

In the process of uprooting ourselves, the idea surfaced to start a journal to keep track of what were bound to be significant changes over a relatively short period of time.  And so it was, Gelatojournal was started. In addition to providing a memory bank for us, the other collateral benefit we hoped it might achieve if we made it available on-line, was to keep family and friends informed without endless repetition of similar separate communications.

What surprised us was the consequence of the wide outreach of information posted on-line. Before long, we began receiving messages from people we had never met, situated in a wide variety of locations world-wide, inquiring about aspects of our experience. It seems our quest to reinvent ourselves in later life was also striking a resonant chord with some other people.

Over the years of posting Gelatojournal, we have had communication with an assortment of interesting people. With some, it was a pleasant but brief interaction. Some other communication became more interactive for years, exploring the concerns of others as they asked themselves if they might also risk the expatriate adventure. And then, some people we had exchanged thoughts with actually came to Ascoli for a visit, and we were able to connect faces with emails. Over time, a few Americans also came to Ascoli to live in search of new experiences unique to them, just as we had.

Ten-year periods of time bring changes. Now, unambiguously considered ‘senior citizens’, the last ten years have brought a few changes along the way. Some externally imposed such as pandemics in which we were fortunate to avoid direct participation. Although chronologically older, we still have a sense of ourselves as retaining a younger biological state. We hope that fortunate situation continues to last awhile longer. It is interesting to experience recent and younger arrivals repeating variations on some of our early experience here. In the early years, we were almost constantly on the go exploring. We continue to encourage them to do all the exploring they can. Time is not always kind to stamina.


Local transportation in the Sinai Desert on a trip to Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.


Exploring Slovenia at Lake Bled with the Alpine border with Austria in the background.


After COVID intervened, we stayed closer to our adopted home for several years. With the relaxation of COVID measures to reduce contagious infection, people are on the go again. We have been on the go too, only we don’t seem to be venturing as far nor for as long periods as in the past. For any number of reasons, we seem to be staying a bit closer to home and concentrating more on enhancing a sense of tranquility in an increasingly complex world. Perhaps in adjusting to COVID restrictions on travel, we found ways to be more satisfied staying closer to home. A symptom of that was adding a delightful, young canine companion to our lives two years ago. He has become a very important companion to us.

I don’t think we would be celebrating ten years of living continuously in Italy if we were not still people with an energetic sense of curiosity about the larger world. However, an insidious effect of the aging process seems to be a bit of a tamping down of energy resources that occurs over time. We remain incredibly fortunate to say, considering our stage of life, we continue to be in a very robust state of health and retention of mobility. We are inclined to believe that our lifestyle here, over the past ten years, has been a very positive contributor to that fortunate situation.

But to the title, “ALL GOOD THINGS”. It can’t help being apparent the time intervals between our posts on this Blog have only increased over time. Perhaps by doing less travelling, there is less to say. A cardinal sin to be avoided in any written offering is to become boring and its contributing component, repetition.

After a lot of thought, we concluded this would be as good a time as any to retire the Gelatojournal. These postings have crossed the 150 published offerings mark. There have been very kind people who have, over the years, been very generous in their comments of encouragement. That has been one of the most gratifying experiences in doing this Blog. And we want to express our deep appreciation to each of you for that support. It seems, eventually all good things do seem to come to an end.  We will ensure Gelatojournal remains accessible for a while. Unfortunately, increases in the costs of maintaining a non-commercial Blog don’t encourage a longer-term plan.

We will be exploring other, more occasional outlets for creativity. We also look forward to continuing exchanging ideas with people who remain an important sense of connection.

Recently, I printed out copies of all the blog entries we had made. There was a sense of satisfaction in looking at an accumulation that achieved one of our initial goals of creating a journal for refreshment of memories. Our hope is that perhaps Gelatojournal may have provided some vicarious enjoyment in the sharing of our ten-year experience of living in Ascoli Piceno, Italy. And so, a sincere thank you and our best wishes.

Our warmest toast to all of you – SALUTE!

Ciao a tutti

Larry, Arlene, and Cesare







  1. All the best, Larry and Arlene. I enjoyed reading your entries. I hope Craig and I will make it to Ascoli again in the future to visit you both as well as Carmel. Take care!

  2. Your journal has been fun to follow and it’s been a great way to keep in touch. Your decision to discontinue it is understandable and it’s a great idea to let everyone know rather than just fade away and leave us wondering what happened. I raise a toast to the next ten years.


    First of all, the two of you look not a minute older than ten years ago. Italy has been good to you, for you, and we readers and friends have really enjoyed each and every blog. You both are just as beautiful (Arlene) and handsome (Larry) as ever.

    Although I have not been a steady writing pal over the years, I have really enjoyed, SO ENJOYED, reading about your trials and travels in your new life. Never boring at all. You really have provided “a service” to those of us who love to travel but are living where we have been for many years. The enclosed pic of you on a camel, Larry, I totally loved. The “ciao’ photo brought a tear to my eyes. THANK YOU FOR TEN YEARS’ OF DELIGHTFUL ENTERTAINMENT. …..

    I admire you two so much. It takes a lot of fortitude to pick up and start over in a new country, new language. My hat is off to you and I’ll tip a wine glass in your direction tonight. Just like we all did at your wedding – how many years ago was that now?

    Deepest love to you both,

  4. I’ve always enjoyed reading your chronicles and observations of your life in Italy. And your beautiful photographs are always a joy and truly bring to life the words on the page. I am fortunate to be living here alongside you guys to experience some of it with you, so I know I will continue to enjoy upcoming installments of your adventures and insights in real time.

  5. Congratulations on living the life we are all interested in. I know I will miss the journal and all the wonderful adventures you both have and will continue to enjoy. Best wishes for a continued healthy and happy life.

  6. We’ve enjoyed sharing your journey, both in person and electronically. Our time in Ascoli with you was a highlight of our trip 10 years ago, and we felt honored to be your first visitors. We will certainly miss the gelato Journal updates, but knowing we can communicate any time will do. We hold onto the idea that we will return to Italy to see you and to explore some of the eastern part of the country you now call home.

    We’re thrilled for your continued success and happiness, and yes, you should put together a printed and bound compilation Gelato Journal!
    Ciao until we meet again,

  7. Bittersweet post, this last one! Many congratulations to you, Arlene and Larry! And hats off for having lovingly shaped the burgeoning Anglophone community in Ascoli~

  8. When I first read the title of this addition of the Gelatojournal, I sensed this was an announcement of change. I’ve always enjoyed reading of your adventures over time. I am sad to see that it will not be continued.
    What I’ve learned is that there are always possibilities available when one is willing to take a challenge and make the leap to a better life in another country. It has definitely worked for you both…for your health and happiness. I’ve always held the dream of life in Italy, ever since visiting with you many years ago.
    I do hope that you will perhaps consider publishing the Gelatojournal…with all of Larry’s beautiful photos. It is such a wonderful story of adventure and a guide to your life exploration in Italy.

  9. A huge congratulations to you both for the wonderful gift of gelatojournal.We have always enjoyed your posts, reflections and photographs.You both have done a fantastic job and we totally understand that indeed all good things and all that …. However you two are living the life only imagined and May that continue for a very long time !

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