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Being Pregnant in Italy

It’s impossible to fully understand pregnancy until you’ve been pregnant. We all have an idea, but beyond that there’s really no preparing. I spent hours with my £36 What to Expect When You’re Expecting book shipped from the UK to my otherwise-Italian speaking home, desperately searching for answers. Is that normal? What about that? Holy hell what… Read more »

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The Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna

If you only see one thing in Ravenna, make it the Basilica di San Vitale. On the outside it’s an unassuming brick structure. On the inside it’s a jaw-dropping work of genius. In a country awash in churches, it’s easy to get church-fatigue. The cross-shaped naves, dark paintings, tiny windows and ceiling frescos begin to blur… Read more »

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The Mosaics of Ravenna

We had one long weekend, a bad weather forecast and a demanding toddler, but I planned a trip anyway. A popular holiday weekend in Italy, flights were prohibitive, trains nearly as much so and long-distance car trips with a car-sick prone baby less than attractive. So I knew we had to stay close to home. We’ve… Read more »

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A Guide to Ravenna, Mosaics and More

A small city in Emilia Romagna near the Adriatic coast, Ravenna glitters like a jewel. It’s richness isn’t jewels, however, but the glass and gold-plated stones used to create most of the city’s magnificent 5th-century mosaics. Once the capital of the Western Roman Empire and then of Byzantine Italy until the 8th century, today that period is visible in… Read more »

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The Downside of Florence’s San Lorenzo Market

The San Lorenzo Market is in a massive, covered building in the heart of the San Lorenzo neighborhood. It’s big. It’s bustling. And yet, I wasn’t able to immediately find it the first time I went looking for it. Actually, the San Lorenzo Market is comprised of two markets: an outdoor one selling goods and… Read more »

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November in Italy: What to Expect and What to Do

November is the worst month to travel to Italy. Let me preface that by saying: The best time to visit Italy is whenever you’re able to visit Italy. But.  If you do have a choice, Avoid Italy in November. There’s no festive holiday and the weather tends toward dismal. While much of America is cold… Read more »

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How to Vote from Abroad

US Citizens abroad can vote and should vote. After all, moving abroad doesn’t mean you don’t identify as a USA citizen. You still support your country from abroad, you still pay taxes and your voice still matters. Living abroad doesn’t take away my rights or responsibilities as a United States citizen. And though voting from overseas can feel a… 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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Autumn in Italy: Chestnuts

“Are there any: Pumpkin patches Corn mazes Apple picking Hay rides In Milan or nearby?” This post on an expat women’s group perfectly explains fall in America. Those are the fall activities. That is how you celebrate a temperate climate’s best season.  Fall in Ohio means weekend trips to the orchard, spiked apple cider and getting lost in… Read more »

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Photo Essay: The Curated Beauty of Isola Bella and Isola Madre

Isola Madre and Isola Bella are apart of the Borromean islands on Lago Maggiore in Northern Italy. Originally created for the Borromeo family, the islands along with much of the tourist attractions in the Gulf of Borromeo are owned to this day by the family. Originally rocky outposts, over the course of nearly five centuries… Read more »