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How to Survive Italian Bureaucracy

Anyone who has spent more than a brief stay in Italy has likely had some sort of experience dealing with the Italian bureaucracy. Whether it’s studying abroad, getting a visa or even getting a speeding ticket as a traveler, the system is draconian. Blogs detailing the horrors of the Italian bureaucracy abound from a more positive… Read more »

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Death from a Distance, Grieving from 36,000 feet

  Living far from home means missing out on parties. It means missing out on birthdays, holidays, father’s and mother’s days. I’ve missed bridal showers and wedding showers and weddings and babies’ births. I’ve sent my heartfelt love through cards, mail-ordered gifts and Skype calls. I’ve given presents months later when I finally came back… Read more »

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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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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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What I’ve Learned From a Year (and a half!) Abroad

Being an expat teaches you a lot of things. It’s a delicate balance between the times spent riding your graziella bike through the charming streets of Italy as you flick your long beautiful hair over your shoulders, smiling briefly at the ciao bella!’s that are thrown your way and the time spent throwing your shoes across the room… Read more »

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Moving into Our New House, in Numbers

I’ve always been quick to acclimate to change. For new situations, new locations or, in this case, new homes, I ride my emotional roller coaster then move on, taking the change as a normality. It’s officially been a week since our move to the new house and though I already feel like the queen of the… Read more »

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On Moving, Again

I didn’t even see the apartment in Monza before we moved in. Desperately trying to finish school and save money, searching for an apartment overseas was not the easiest. Seeing that we were lagging, Marco’s mom served as our realtor, finding for-rent signs and ads and driving to multiple places on her own; touring, deciding. Finally she called… 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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A Year in Italy as an Expat – My Italianniversary

Last week I cried out of frustration – again. Maybe I was tired, or hungry, or already frustrated by a frustrated Marco. Maybe I’m just one to easily cry – but that’s not the point. The point is, even after nearly a year of my life in Italy, I still have my moments. I still… Read more »