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Time to Get Back to Business – Il Rientro

Buon Rientro! This Italian phrase, translated literally as “Good Return!” is heard a lot after the Christmas, New Years and Epiphany festivities end and everyone has to get back to business. After nearly a month of holiday celebrations and vacation time, the rientro can be rough. I understand most Italian expressions wishing someone goodness or well-being, but… Read more »

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Huh? What did you say?

After discussing the language used in mixed-culture relationships in a previous post, I realized that there are more nuances than are immediately noticeable. There’s one syllable in particular that can’t be ignored. It’s the question-word noise. The “word” that means “what?” in any of its forms of incredulity. In America, it’s “Huh?!”.  In fact, the… Read more »

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Photo Essay: Climbing the Duomo of Milano

I have admired every angle of Milan’s Duomo. I’ve seen it in daylight and lit up by lamps at night, in hazy summer and crisp winter air, in peak season and off. I’ve even toured the inside, sat for mass, examined dark angles and detailed stained glass. Yet I had never climbed to the rooftop. A… Read more »

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So Like, What Language Do You Talk To Each Other In Anyway?

Since we met Marco and I have fielded the question, “Sooo…what language do you use with each other?” Asked continuously and repeatedly by friends, family and a surprising amount of strangers, I think it’s time to address it head on. It’s a fair question. Marco, native Italian and my husband, didn’t speak much English when… Read more »

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What I’m Thankful For – Italy Edition

1) Italian food Because let’s get real … it’s amazing 2) Italian Men Ahem, I mean MY Italian man 3) Italian Mountains [youtube=http://youtu.be/9Ng_0cDMkps] 4) Italian Beaches 5) Old Italians They ditch you in line and mean mug you on the streets, but these vecchietti still have some serious style. 6) Italian Food 7) Italian Mamma’s They… Read more »

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When Plans Go Awry

I kind of stumbled into teaching. I started teaching private English lessons when I first arrived in Italy because I needed money to do things like eat and pay rent…but it was just temporary. Then I started teaching English at companies to businessmen…but just because it was more secure pay than private lessons. Until I… Read more »

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Halloween Across Cultures

“Do you celebrate Halloween? What will you do?” Not everyone in Italy celebrates Halloween, but with the holiday approaching I still bring up the subject in my ESL lessons. Still, I didn’t expect it when the sweet, obedient 12-year-old girl I tutor responded, “I’m having some friends over for trick-or-treat and if they don’t give us… Read more »

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Tradition, Land and Culture at The Festa dei Crotti

Rain. Rain. Rain. It seems that northern Italy missed the memo that it’s fall, aka a time with beautiful, hot colors, crisp temperatures but not too crisp – vest weather. Nope, it’s raining (maybe that is fall here, but I refuse to admit it yet) and winter-cold. So even though I woke up deathly ill (or… Read more »

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The Weird People in My Neighborhood

I like to brag that I was the one who chose to live in Monza. Me, the American, rather than my Italian husband who grew up in the area. I chose Monza mainly because it was the only city I was familiar with, but also because it was a nice compromise of all our wants…. Read more »

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Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story

“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” It’s easy to form concrete opinions about a person or place from the one story we have about them. In my opinion the beauty of travel – and what separates… Read more »