Thank God, because I'm well and truly on my way.
I'm now based in Lecce, which you'll find way down on the heel of Italy's proverbial boot shaped peninsula.
It's a reasonably compact city, but is considered one of the jewels of Southern Italy. It's famed Baroque architecture, gleaming sandstone old town, enviable coastline and universities have in many ways rejuvenated the city and help it to punch above its weight.
I find that the start up culture that I was so accustomed to in Melbourne is more prevalent here in the Salento region than I ever found it to be in Rome. This I think can be attributed to the fact that a lot of people, either originally from these parts, or attracted to it's natural and man made beauty, make the decision at a certain point to move here. Considered a somewhat economically disadvantaged area in comparison to other places in Italy, the difficulty in finding long term work here motivates many to get out and try doing their own thing, and, the net result is a great start up ethic that is quite tangible.
When it comes to the arts, particularly in the current financial context, artists need to be savvy if they want to make a professional go of things.
In the swing of this, La Bellezza Fa 40, is an exhibition that has been organised by Better Days, a communication, events and online content company with the sponsorship of the City of Lecce.
Stefano Bottura, art director of Better Days, curator, gallerist and collector has brought together 40 different artists under the age of 40 for the event, with the aim of highlighting the work of these artists beyond the usual commercial gallery scene.
It's attracting some buzz in this city where people are always up for something new with a cultural slant.
More to come...