Whence last we spoke, back in October, I was very focused on cocktail creation. Why? Well, drinking helps, right? 🙂 K, maybe that humor is a little dark for the moment. Joking aside, the short and diplomatic version of my story over the past few months is this…
A somewhat serious look at a common theme in bella Italia – furbizia. Is it ok to become a different person, a harder person, in the face of it? Does it make us better or just more cynical?
I’m just dropping in today for a minute to BLOW YOUR MIND. Ready?
“Authenticity… consists in having a true and lucid consciousness of the situation, in assuming the responsibilities and risks that it involves, in accepting it in pride or humiliation, sometimes in horror and hate.” – Sartre
See, this is why Italian is cool. Even a New Year’s resolution sounds like poetry.
I am back from my recent adventure, and I am overwhelmed by the quantity of material that warrants this blog’s attention and your comments. Take, for example, Tony.
Fossacaprara, in the province of Cremona, is a little town that leaves a big impression. Get ready for August 22nd and the summer festa to end all summer feste.
Ferragosto: the blessing and the bane of the Italian summer, and the subject of this week’s COSI post. Some people adore this Italian summer holiday, while others find it to be incredibly annoying. My sentiments lie somewhere in the middle… here’s why:
I occasionally get asked to summarize my vast (ha!) knowledge on life in Reggio Emilia to those who are looking to visit or move here. The following is what I usually tell them… (UPDATE: Plus, get info on our live Q&A session on what it’s REALLY like to live in Italy)
Yesterday I was supposed to publish a post for you all to read, as part of our super-cool expat blogger group, C.O.S.I. (Crazy Observations by Stranieri in Italy. My fellow bloggers have dutifully presented theirs to you, but not me. Nope, I’m sorry to say that you will not be getting my thoughts on our…
It took six years (to the day) to glean this little pearl of cultural wisdom… just one of many in the long pearl necklace that alternately chokes and adorns my neck.
I’m writing to you on this beautiful Sunday morning with a quick post that perhaps differs from my usual jesting with the Italian culture. My marito and I woke up to an Italian news article by La Repubblica that surprised us quite a bit.
One of the most difficult things to learn in a new country is not the language itself, but how to use the language in the right way. In Italian, we have to disagree a bit before we can agree.
It’s hard not to love the Tico team. They’re like the little engine that could.
It’s hard not to hate the Italian team. They sucked it up pretty hard.
I have put myself in harm’s way to write this post, so you better read it. And like it, dammit.
Our fearless group of expat bloggers returns to you this week with a doozy. We’ve asked our Italian (and one French) partners to talk about what it’s like being with us crazy expats. Oh, how the tables have turned.
A link to an article I wrote for Houzz on the subject of dealing with culture shock through home design and decor.
This week, a group of us stranieri pazzi expatriate bloggers here in Italy have decided to join forces and tackle a common subject: Stuff we didn’t do before moving to Italy.
Many of the culturally shocking aspects of my life here in Italy cannot actually be attributed to living in Italy, but instead to living in a small town. Case in point, this past weekend I voyaged to rural Ireland and found it shockingly comparable to a small town experience here in Italy.
A Collective Post By Some Of Italy’s Best Known Expat Bloggers – Rick Zullo of Rick’s Rome, Misty Evans of Surviving Italy, and me… of here. (Spoiler alert: We all came to the same conclusion.)
Please allow me to introduce you to someone very special. She is but a concept, yet at the same time very very real. She is the true heart of Italy. And she is the thorn in my side.
Che pèis, ragas! This month Italy has kicked my butt a bit, but a weekend in Barcelona was just what I needed to recharge my expatteries. Snort snort.
My tips about how to watch American men in spandex… with an Italian husband.
A serious post for a serious day. In respectful remembrance of the Holocaust, here are some of my grandfather’s WWII photos, including those from Buchenwald concentration camp.
The super stealth detective skills of yours truly, put to the test in the ultimate question: “did my Italian man cheat on me?”
A look into the gifts of the Befana and her sneaky, witchy ways.
A slightly pensive and (dare I say?) sophisticated introduction to 2014… that does involve both peeing AND pooping on things.
Beer + Christmas Season + Crazy Italian Ladies = This.
When I find the missing pieces, I’ll come back to posting. Until then, I’ll be huddled in a ball in front of my stufa, trying not to think of analogies between Italy and Inferno.
A somewhat stretched, but ultimately fun, analogy between The NeverEnding Story and the saga that is the installation of our new stufa.
Speaking on the phone in another language is difficult. Successfully achieving this step represents a whole new plateau in your language skillz (with a z). Here’s some tips on how to artfully conduct a phone conversation in Italian.
In an effort to stay on the happy side of life, I’ve decided that I should first point the finger at myself. So, let’s all breathe and take a look at some of the crazy crap we foreigners in Italy try to pull, shall we?
A quantification of the amount of life being sucked out of an expat, as well as a measurement of the subsequent reaction one can expect.
A cryptic, yet literal, ‘How To’ guide for the logistics of buying land in Italy. (By the way, we now own 0.000023% of Italy!!!)
Somewhere in Sweden there’s a well designed room of blonde people eating meatballs and discussing how to best debilitate various consumer groups into subjection. I am here to report that they have yet to conquer the Italians!
I am telling you, there is old stuff everywhere in Italy. Stuff just lying around all over the place. It boggles my mind.
Adapting to a new culture can be a tumultuous process. It’s a mistake to not talk about the difficult parts of living in Italy, for fear of ruining the fairy tale image. (For those of you who don’t like to read, I made a graph that sums it up pretty well.)
You ain’t got the blues ’til you lose what you got. I may have met the love of my life, but at what cost? Fluffy towels, baby, fluffy towels.
My marito pointed out to me today that the infamous “Striscia Notizia” has made a rather large and perhaps revolutionary change to it’s format. Does objectifying men make up for the years of objectifying women?
What do you think – unfairly perpetuating Italian stereotypes or cleverly playing on what some view as Italy’s charm?
Those of you expats who are particularly strong-willed (read ‘stubborn’) may be able to relate to this short, yet accurate, assessment detailing the three phases of submitting to the way things are done here in Italy – or, as I like to call it, “1,2,3, é così”‘.
An analysis of the keys to a fulfilling life, according a Reggiano farmer.
What is sisso? Some would say it’s like gold. It’s the fuel of the regional agricultural industry. It’s the byproduct of the rich food culture of traditional Emilia. It’s a farmer’s most essential source of nourishment. It’s the smell that fills the air at dinner time in the summer. It’s the taste that lingers in your mouth after exhaling.
It’s pig poo.
The second week after arriving in Italy, as I was knee deep in my attempt to nest in my boyfriend’s bachelor pad, our toilet broke… it was a Friday morning. This is the story of my naive attempt to have it fixed.
The architectural standards guide that answers all questions, both about architecture… and life… let’s take a look, shall we?
Wednesday is market day here in our little town. Yesterday, as I was sharpening my elbows in preparation, I started to reflect on the naïvety with which I approached my first market day almost five years ago.
One of my favorite things about living in Italy is the public health care system… Then comes the day when I need to go to the doctor, and my faith falters.
That’s what I’m doing right now.
The following story has been one of my favorites to tell and retell over the course of my time here in Italy. It was one of my first culture shock experiences, and it took place the first month I was in Italy – about 4 years ago. It exemplifies the understatement that Italian do all business by word-of-mouth and personal recommendations.
disclaimer: This is me just venting (ha!). I actually am not a big fan of air conditioning (ha again! I kill me.). Here’s what I really think helps indoor air quality: http://emuarchitects.com/2013/08/20/mold-and-condensation-problems/ ______________________ I am originally from a hot climate. My home state in the US regularly sees summer temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I remember…