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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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Life Abroad: Do You Like Living in Italy?

An English woman, an Irish woman and two Midwestern Americans sat around the table, spritz’s in hand and classic Italian aperitivo snacks littering the table, each discussing the merits of their own country. The question asked by an Italian acquaintance was “do you like living in Italy?” So innocuous. So loaded. Eyes were immediately averted, smiles forcibly… Read more »

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How I’m Able to Live in Italy’s Most Expensive Region on the Cheap

Lombardy, Italy is one of the most expensive regions in all of Europe. With about a sixth of Italy’s population producing about a fifth of Italy’s GDP, Lombardy is the most populous region in Italy and one of the richest regions in all of Europe. Yet even in expensive Lombardy, it’s possible to live very well… Read more »

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What I’ve Learned After Five Years in Italy

I’ve officially been in Italy for five years!  In the past five years I’ve graduated college, found and changed and negotiated jobs, lived in an apartment and moved into our home, married, traveled and passed nearly a year with our beautiful baby girl.  It’s been a whirlwind.  Looking back, I can still understand  the small… Read more »

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Raising an Italian-American

I have a little Italian baby. Of course she’s Italian-American, but the novelty is the Italian part. Having a baby is an adventure, but raising a baby in another culture brings a whole new set of challenges.  Being pregnant in another country means immersing yourself in another culture’s convictions, both philosophical and physical. I regularly… Read more »

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To Every Thing, a Season

Recently Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like An Artist, linked in his newsletter to a piece about living with the seasons by Matt Thomas, writer of the Sunday NYTimes Digest (if you can follow that). It reflects on our typical thinking of time and suggests a better way to measure it: by seasons. He asks: “Should one… 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 »

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My Life With An Infant, in Numbers

Adeline is just over two months old and I finally feel like I can exhale and take a second to take it all in. How crazy was that birth? How fast did these first two months fly by? How many times has Adeline pooped today? All super important questions.  36: hours of contractions 3: epidural injections… Read more »

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Why We Chose to Live in Italy

Italy had always felt like a dream, so it took some getting used to hearing again and again: Why would you leave America to come here?! Italians were incredulous, as if I had left the golden land for the desolate streets of insecurity and unemployment. Not realizing just how serious they were, my responses were usually flippant. In a… Read more »

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The Truth About Getting an Italian Work Visa

Ever had a dream where you’re running and running but can’t seem to arrive anywhere? Your surroundings are as unclear as the reason that you’re running and the more you realize it, the more anxious you become, the more out of breath. That’s how trying to navigate the Italian visa system feels. Each and every North American… Read more »