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Everything You Need to Know About Italian Beaches

I come from a landlocked state. The closest beach is at least eight hours away and honestly, I probably haven’t even been there. I love the water, but have no expertise when it comes to beach vacations. So, I had a lot to learn when I came to Italy. Here, the summer traditionally means a… Read more »

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Italy’s Traditions: Italian Proverbs about Food

These days Italy might have fiber optic internet, sushi and matcha, but it is still a very traditional country. Family still reigns supreme and dinner time is still sacred. In fact, I find that the vast majority of Italian’s traditions and have to do with food and their values can be found in the daily rituals… Read more »

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20 Things Everybody Should Do in Italy

There are a few universal things that belong on any trip list to Italy, no matter what your Italian destination!  1) Eat gelato twice or three times in one day Gelato once a day is normal, but the real treat is to indulge more than once in one day! We’ve all done it on a trip… Read more »

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The Language Barrier: When The Two Families Meet

Marco and I had been married for nearly four months when our parents met each other for the first time. My parents had met Marco, and his parents knew me and each had to hold that as good enough for a marriage. Trans-atlantic relationships being what they are, the two sets of parents had never… Read more »

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What’s The Deal With Adult Italians Still Living At Home?

Italian young adults have a terrible reputation. Absolutely babied by their moms, Italians basically remain children well into adulthood, enjoying the benefits of full-time emotional unpaid labor. I know many a 30-year-old who doesn’t cook, clean, do their own laundry or even, at times, buy their own clothes. Their mother’s grocery shop, make their appointments, cook three… Read more »

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The True Romance of Italy

Search for “most romantic places in Italy” and the lists seem endless. There are the perennial favorites: Rome, Venice, Verona, Tuscany bla. bla. bla. Sometimes a smaller, lesser known location will stick out with a beautiful photo and intriguing location. From tip to toe Italy is full of incredibly romantic cities, towns and villages. All of Italy is romantic, because… Read more »

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A Guide to the Christmas Season in Italy

Few places know how to do Christmastime like Europe. Between feast days and lights, Duomo-sized Christmas trees and pastries galore, there’s enough Christmas cheer to attract a North Pole elf. Or, you know, a traveler who likes pretty things.  Instead of a sea of tourists, you’ll find yourself in a sea of Italians, out to… Read more »

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A Note on Italian Time

Let’s dedicate some time to … time.  We all generally follow the same societal standards of time: a decade, year, month, week, day. Seasons, minutes, appointments, dates.  And yet how we relate to those standards of time is radically different across cultures.  “On time” in Germany seems to mean at least five minutes early. On… Read more »

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Italy: North vs South

Let’s talk a little bit about the north-south divide. Most countries have it. The food, culture, languages and economies of the north have nothing to do with those of the south in India, Argentina, Mexico, Italy. In some of these countries, both areas are accepted and prized. More often, however, an undercurrent of competition and entitlement… Read more »

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Adventures in Language Learning

“Gina, are you boring?” my Italian cousin asked me, her eyes worried and sincere. After regularly repeating this question the next two weeks I lived with her I finally came to terms with the slip up. My sweet, odd Italian relative who I connected with via email was worried about my boredom, not inquiring about my personality. Anyone who has studied a… Read more »