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?
A ponderous post from my stressful position in a Costa Rican hammock. Jealous yet?
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.)
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 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.
A poorly timed holiday tale about the difference between “aroma vaniglia” and vanilla extract (with recipe tips for expats in Italy).
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.
I feel like I’ve climbed Everest. I’ve cured cancer. I’ve solved world poverty. I’ve lost ONE WHOLE KILO in a week, whilst remaining inside the geographical confines of Italy! AND, I am fairly certain I didn’t offend anyone in the process.
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!
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.)
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.
The most interesting discoveries can come from lack of reading material while you’re on the toilet.
I would like to put forth a prediction that this refreshing, fizzy, chilled red wine soon gets picked up as the go-to drink in trendy wine bars all over America. Here are my reasons:
The title of this post may be misleading, in that it implies that I already know how to porcini like a pro… Which is not, in fact, the case. It is the quest! Join me…
Exploring my thoughts on tight versus loose, regarding men’s lower body garments.
This is the Hollywood-like (only not really) dramatic retelling of our persistent loathing of the vista from our balcony: ‘La Casa di Sand and Fog’.
am I the only one that is finding these two marketing campaigns hilarious?
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.
How do you tactfully beg this of your fiance’s brother at their mother’s dinner table? This was the task I was charged with one memorable evening two years ago.
My crazy cartoon depicting my lack of willpower when it comes to seed planting.
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?
This post provides photographic and definitive proof that Permigiano-Reggiano is Reggiano first and foremost.
The story of an Italian husband saving his own hide with none other than… food.
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.
What Valentine’s Day is complete without an extensive discussion of Italian slang derived from female private parts?
Somehow, between the chocolate covered strawberries and the bottle of passito wine, my husband and I ventured into this graphic subject late last night. It was actually kind of fascinating.
It’s that time of year again here in rural Emilia… that time of year when La Famiglia gets together for a full day of literally pigging out. The Maialata (‘maiale’ means ‘pig’ and ‘-ata’ kind of makes it a ‘fest’) is a traditional meal that takes place in January, when farmers used to butcher their pigs for the coming year’s supply of prosciutto and salame.
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.
Looking for a fantastic gastro-destination in the province of Parma? We stumbled across this incredible restaurant (which we had heard stories about before) while we were on a weekend trip.
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…
The word ‘fighetto’ has recently become somewhat of a staple in my ever evolving Itanglish vocabulary. Let’s dissect, shall me?
To “romp one’s palles“ is a fantastic Italian phrase that I have Americanized to the point of sheer embarrassment. In order to get the full effect, remember to use this with a heavy American accent… leaning towards Californian (think ‘surfer dude’). Keep in mind the added ‘s‘ is simply to make it sound plural in…