A couple in their 70s have moved their entire lives to Italy to escape “materialistic” America – and its high taxes.
Glenda and Randy Tuminello, of Spokane, Washington, originally planned to spend a year in Europe to celebrate their retirement until the coronavirus pandemic disrupted their plans.
This caused them to rethink their long-term dreams and the duo decided to move full-time to the Puglia region of Italy in December 2022 instead.
But it wasn’t without problems, as the couple doesn’t speak a word of Italian and misses American food anyway.
Glenda and Randy Tuminello originally planned to spend a year in Europe to celebrate their retirement until the coronavirus pandemic disrupted their plans
The couple, from Spokane, Washington, instead decided to move full-time to the Italian region of Puglia in December 2022 (stock photo).
The couple said they initially moved to Italy after Randy’s own grandparents immigrated to Louisiana from Cefalu, Sicily, in the early 1900s.
He told CNN Travel: “My roots were a big factor in choosing Italy, it’s like coming home and we feel more at home here than we ever have in the US.”
“My wife is Italian through and through and likes everything Italian.”
The duo spent time researching various regions that attracted newly retired immigrants with a flat 7 percent tax — before finally making the switch.
Glenda, a former high school maths teacher, said: “We have decided to sell our house, our car and all our unwanted possessions and make Italy our retirement home forever.”
“We chose beautiful Polignano a Mare, which offered a fixed tax rate of seven percent.”
The couple now rents a partially furnished two-bedroom home for $1,200 a month.
The white stone house with vaulted ceilings and terracotta floors has an office, a spacious dining room, a balcony, a porch and a covered terrace.
The couple, who have lived in Polignano a Mare for almost a year (stock photo), cited a number of other advantages, including the town’s historic features, seaside location and affordable lifestyle.
“We originally wanted to buy it, but given the uncertain economy, it was best to rent it,” said Randy, who previously worked as a consulting manager.
“It was a timely decision as rental prices are now skyrocketing and the houses for sale are quite expensive as there are only a few of them and most are used as B&Bs.”
The couple, who have lived in Polignano a Mare for almost a year now, cited a number of other advantages, including the town’s historic features, seaside location and affordable lifestyle.
Although the couple left their children and grandchildren behind in the United States, Randy claimed that the motivation for the move was due to their love of Italian culture.
“The materialistic aspect is not as prevalent in Polignano as in the US, and there is more of a sense of community – of family and friends,” he said.
The changing perspectives in the region also make them feel safer that “there is never any danger when you walk through the beautiful streets at night.”
But the move was not without drawbacks.
Glenda and Randy already miss some American dishes, such as barbecue sauce, peanut butter and lemon milk.
They also struggled with the language barrier as they do not speak Italian.
James is an author and travel journalist who writes for The Fashion Vibes. With a love for exploring new cultures and discovering unique destinations, James brings his readers on a journey with him through his articles.