The visit to the school was positive on the whole and we feel comforted by the fact that the building is new, the classes small and the teachers look competent.
The house hunting turned out to be better than expected. Prices are still ridiculously steep for the region and for what you get, but once you've accepted the fact, it's just a question of finding something that you can live in and with for a few years.
At the end of the day, we were deciding between 3 houses : (1) a beautiful big house in Modena City, 6 bedrooms, marble, parquet, small garden... (2) a modern Villa with 4 bedrooms, huge nicely-landscaped garden in Montale surrounded by luxurious Villas of which one is the second home of some Italian football star; and (3) a renovated farmhouse standing alone in the middle of a huge field in Colombaro (near Maranello), 6 bedrooms, ceramic floors.
Believe it or not, I've decided to go for option 3. As I have no way of living in a big city like Paris, London or NYC, I've decided to go for the other extreme and live in the middle of nowhere. The farmhouse is divided into 2 parts, the 2nd of which we would be inhabiting. The first part would be left empty and boarded up.
I was reticent at first as I believe in ghosts and spirits and empty houses as one can imagine should contain quite a number of them. But what the heck, this is going to be a new adventure and I like the idea of having no neighbours and living in a very old building in the middle of nowhere - for a few years. And of course the middle of nowhere is just an impression as in reality the main road is just a km away and the school and Hubby's office just 10 minutes by car.
I'll post pictures when I return to Stuttgart in 10 days.
Meanwhile, I am happy to say that I've survived thus far in driving a manual car after nearly 2 years of driving automatic. And I must also say that the Alfa Romeo Q4 Crosswagon that I've been driving in the past week is a pretty neat machine and that one certainly can get used to driving almost lying down after all. Still I think that I shouldn't regret the Lancia Phedra that I've ordered as we'll need boot space when we go on a family holiday.