When you move to Italy under Military orders there are a number of options for housing allowed to you. You have the option to live out in town. From what I have seen, this is the least selected option because you are far from work, it is harder to meet people you can converse with, and the military housing includes many of the American amenities we are used to. If you are single, there are barracks rooms on one of the bases. If you are married or have children, Maranai Housing will be your home.
My husband and I just moved into our Maranai home. We are still waiting for our belongings to arrive from the US, but we are now in our home! Let me start off by saying that this house has more rooms than I know what to do with! The two of us are now living in a three-bedroom three-bath house. We have a carport, backyard, laundry room, patio, and we even have a little cupboard under the stairs. My old bedroom was smaller than the kitchen that we have here. We are absolutely being spoiled!
When you drive down the streets in Maranai you immediately feel this relaxing energy. Everyone is hanging out in his or her front yard. People are walking down the street with their children and stopping to talk to all the neighbors that they know so well. My husband and I equate it to Pleasantville…minus the creepy factor.
These families have become so well established and they really seem to take care of one another. There are carnivals, holiday functions, and parties thrown by the Maranai families. It is an extremely cohesive neighborhood. The thing that I have found most interesting is that the spouses have even started businesses from home. We have a hairdresser, a barber, a woodworker, a welder, a mechanic, a computer tech, a tamale lady, a burrito lady, a baker, a crepe lady, a salsa lady, a taco lady, a lumpia lady, even people who slow cook different meats and will sell them to families.
It is such an interesting place to live! Before moving here, I had no idea what it would be like being surrounded by military families. So far it has been refreshing to see how supportive everyone is towards one another. They all come to this one location with some sort of common ground.
But now I need to come up with a skill that I can market off. I can play the piano and I could tutor struggling students….but when it comes to cooking, I need some practice with that skill set.