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Falling in Love With Italy, Imperfections and All

“Other than the culture, which is beautiful for sure,” the question from a ‘Catherine’ on the online expat forum began, “why would a non-Italian national want to subject herself to the hassle, inefficiencies, high inflation and debt, illegal immigrants and corrupt political system, to retire in Italy?” It ended: “I am beginning to think there… Read more »

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Midwest vs. Italy: We’re not in Kansas anymore…

It’s easy to think that life between Italy and the United States isn’t so different. Both are first world countries, both are Western, relatively well off and relatively educated. With the safety net of Italian family abroad, it’s easy to think that an American expat would fall right into the swing of things and pick up the Italian… Read more »

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Teaching English in Italy: An Irreverent Guide

I teach English in Italy. I also teach in English in Italy, but I’ll explain that later. Most Americans my age come from a lifetime of following a direct path: preschool, school, sports, friends, college. It seems that lately that train that has since been chugging along at a steady speed comes to a screeching halt at the “job”… Read more »

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Round Peg, Square Hole – On Fitting in Abroad

At first you’re thrilled by finding your very own coffee shop. You know that you’ll go every single day. You’ll get your typical brioche and coffee until they know your order by heart; until you’re arriving to friendly faces who deliver a happy ‘buongiorno bella!’ when you walk in. Considering you have a house with a perfectly… Read more »

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How to Survive the Post Office in Italy

It’s no secret that the Italian post office is hell. Small boxed-shaped buildings, the ufficio postale replaces flames with little old ladies, torture with numbered tickets and inefficiency. Then of course there are the poor, spiteful devils who work there. Past post office visits include: – Trying to buy a roll of stamps only to be told they… Read more »

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On Hesitation, Adaptation and Postcards – The Truth About Moving Abroad

Originally, I didn’t want to move to Italy. When I showed my hesitation my friends usually responded, “What! Why?”, then looked off into the distance, imagining driving through sun-kissed fields of olive trees and vineyards while stories of love and laughter filled pages of their newly-penned novel. But rehabilitating myself as I rehabilitate an old… Read more »