On our previous trips to Italy I have been able to manage enough Italian to order food, find the bathroom and read the street signs. Living in Italy will require a bit more.
One of the biggest challenges with this move will be learning the language. I have been taking an Italian 1 class this fall and we just finished up this week with enjoying food at the last class. This class is through continuing education and of the 60 people that signed up at the beginning of the two classes, only 6 were there on the last day. I will start Italian 2 in January while Valerie is in a conversation Italian class and taking some private lessons. Needless to say Valerie's grasp of the language is leaps and bounds beyond me. I need to spend more each day learning just a little at a time.
Our teacher is a wonderful lady from Trieste who speaks several languages and has lived a fascinating life. She mixes practical and fun into the textbook part of learning the language and the culture. One does not exist without the other.
People ask what we will do in Italy and one of our primary goals will be to learn the language. We will spend four weeks when we get there going to an intensive language school where you have 4 hours of class everyday in a speak Italian only setting. This we hope will give us a basis to work on to build our language skills in everyday use.