With 23 years of military PCS (Permanent Change of Station) moves under my belt, this was the most challenging. In two weeks we managed to sell our truck, move out of our home, ship our cars, drive from Miami to Norfolk VA to catch our flight to Italy. All during the COVID-19 pandemic with Europe being off-limits to America.
It took months to get our paperwork, multiple passports and Visas in order to travel to Italy. The only flight that could accommodate our dog, Gunnar, was the military chartered “Patriot Express”. After hours of checking bags, filling paperwork and more waiting, we finally boarded our flight.
18 hours later (wearing masks the entire time) including a 4 hour layover, we finally landed in Italy. After clearing customs, we were finally dropped off in our temporary lodging on base to start our 14 day mandatory quarantine.
14 days. That’s a long time to be stuck in a hotel room. Luckily we made our reservations months in advance and instead of staying in the hotel on base, we got a “villa”, which was a 2 bedroom apartment with balcony, kitchen, and even laundry!
Our sponsor so graciously went shopping for us many times. Delicia found out a Navy JAG she used to work with lived on base too and he dropped off an amazing spread of food from what would soon be our favorite local grocery store, Eurospin. As if that wasn’t enough, he brought us Napolitan pizzas one night!
When our time was up, we moved into our on base apartment and used government supplied furniture while the long wait for our household goods continued. Next up, our first tour of downtown Naples!