Yesterday, the girl and I rode up to Bozen. We could have taken the train, but her father generously offered us the car, and that gives us a chance to maybe go on a hike tomorrow. Or today, but today we already changed the plan and will be house-hunting. However, we’ll be returning to the hotel not too late in order to make use of its enormous spa. There is even a water slide on the roof, where the roof-pool covers two floors! In our room leaflet, it says the roof-pool is only open in Summer. I hope Summer ain’t over yet.
We are house-hunting because at least for some time, the girl and I will be moving apart. Again. But that’s great news. In spring, she had applied for a research position at the Freie Universität Bozen. I give the German name here, because I have already studied at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Université libre de Bruxelles. Hence, that’s the third ‘Free University’ I will be sorta affiliated with.
unibz is a very young university. Just this year, they celebrate 20 years. It’s situated in what formerly was the hospital of Bozen, until that one needed more space and moved outside. It’s also a small university. The entire business faculty is made up by just 70 people (excluding PhDs, but including all researcher positions and post-docs). That’s actually still pretty much the same as at my
Alma mater home university in Berlin, which indicates that the quality of supervision is quite high. Beefed up with substantial money from the local government, which sees this university as a symbol of pride and autonomy of Südtirol, they’ve climbed the Italian rankings and some international rankings fast. It’s maybe not a top-tier university. It’s maybe not second-tier yet by recognition. But it’s a good and growing place to be.
She’ll be there for at least a year on a post-doc position. Afterwards we’ll see. There are some possibilities, they told her after the interview, but nothing can be said for sure. What holds, however, is a great start. They immediately had her join an aperitivo, and two other researchers later took us out for dinner. I had amazing tagliatelle with deer sauce. Really, I love Südtirol. For me, it’s an amazing fusion of things that are dear to my heart. Or deer to my stomach.
While the girl interviewed and then spent time with her future colleagues, I went on a small walk that then turned into a mild hike. I left Bozen towards the North, where one of two cable cars connect the mountain villages with Bozen. There, two streets climb up as well that are famous and legendary among local road cyclists. Their gradients reach 30% and stay above 15% for a major part of their trajectory. They are no joke and even bring cars to their limit. I walked up one of them to get a shot and a feel. Not sure I’ll ever try it, but I certainly would do it on a mountain-bike. Descriptions (these are in German, but some certainly exist in other languages) are rather entertaining.
I then continued to Schloss Runkelstein (Castel Roncolo in Italian). This just sits two-and-a-half kilometers North of Bozen. On the way back, I didn’t walk through the valley, but on a more elevated route. I wanted to catch a panoramic view of the city. This paired nicely with the looming sunset, so that it was something special even though the weather was rather misty. Half-way up, I realized that I didn’t have a spare shirt and would need to wear what I had for dinner. Or buy another one. This got a bit sharp with local opening times, but accelerating a bit, I made it into a local Esprit shop five minutes before they closed. The shirt I bought at first glance was so similar to the one I was wearing, the girl didn’t even notice. Or maybe that was the aperitivo effect, who knows.
Back to Gertirolia – I proposed this as a slight variation to Gertaly. It will be the name of our/her next apartment in Bozen, once we find it, This will be quite a challenge. For one, Bozen is expensive. But unfortunately, offers are also scarce. On Immobiliare.it, one of Italy’s leading housing websites, 66 rental properties were listed this morning. Of any size, price, location, and condition – and including garages. In Trento, Bozen’s near-identical and equally large twin city just 50km to the South, 270 rental properties were listed. We are a bit time-pressed as well, since she’s officially starting already mid October. At least, the university is okay with her working from remote until she finds something.