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  • Writer's pictureJessica Alampay

Writing in Turin: Unpacking Two Years with Two Kids in Italy

Updated: May 9, 2022

Why "Writing in Turin"?

“If they asked me, I could write a book…” The opening line of a Frank Sinatra song plays in my head whenever people ask me about moving to Italy with my husband, 11 year-old son, and 7 year-old daughter. The move abroad for a two-year sojourn in Turin, in northwest Italy, contained a great deal of joy, as well as unexpected difficulties (including a pandemic). In casual conversation I try to briefly describe our experience: It was wonderful and difficult. The kids missed Claremont and now they miss Italy. It always feels like an inadequate response but I know that a complete answer could easily grow into something much lengthier, unorganized, and unedited. In short, it would be far too much, and not very helpful in allowing a person to really understand what it “was like” to exit one version of your life and to enter into one that was dramatically different. With kids.

Writing has long felt like the best way for me to reflect on our time abroad. The richness and complexity of our experience seemed to call for it. For this reason, this collection of personal essays and short posts is shared under the heading Writing in Turin. The name “Writing in Turin” was the original name of my website; and although I’m currently writing in Claremont, California, Turin remains the inspiration for so much of my creative work. It puts a smile on my face to remember that many of the essay and post ideas about Turin were generated and quickly jotted down in Turin’s cafés and piazzas.

In this collection, I will do a deep dive into the origins of my family’s decision to move to Italy and will focus on subjects related to adjusting to life in a new country with children. By sharing a little of my family’s story, I hope to offer some ideas and encouragement to other families who are building their lives in new places, creating new paths, and finding new ways to support one another. Other posts will focus on family travel, language learning, and of course my favorite places in Turin and Italy. I might just introduce you to the best gelato you'll ever try in your life. So, although I’m not currently writing a book, I hope to capture the many dimensions of those two remarkable years on these pages.


Update: I will add to the Writing in Turin collection periodically, to give me the freedom to explore other, non-Turin-related subjects as well! Thank you for reading; I hope you’ll be back!

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