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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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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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Florence in Eight Hours

I studied in Florence for 4.5 months. It was 4.5 months of Italian language classes, mostly one-on-one. 4.5 months of living in another country, another city, learning the ins and outs of Europe and Italy and how it all works. I spent 4.5 months walking under the shadow of the massive Duomo of Florence, perching… Read more »

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My Parents’ Visit, in Numbers

6: months since I’d seen my parents last 13: hours of travel 1: layover 4,428: approximate miles flown (3,845.7 nautical miles) 4: people in one apartment 1: bedroom in said apartment 592: square footage of the apartment 12: approximate amount of lemonade packets made 9: cities visited (Monza, Milan, Piazzatorre, Bergamo Alta, Bellagio, Como, Florence, Rome, San… Read more »

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A Tour of The Lake: Beautiful Bellagio

I hadn’t seen my parents since I left Ohio in February so when they came to visit this August I was thrilled to show them my life here, my new corner of the world. In two weeks we went up to the mountains, pit-stopped in Florence and San Gimignano and toured Rome, but we were… Read more »

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Street Art in Italy: A Glimpse of a City

I live on a not-so-pretty street. It’s near the center of the city but not in the center of the city and filled with pot holes and graffiti.  In American suburbs graffiti is considered juvenile vandalism that must be punished puritanically … or maybe that’s just what private school taught me. But vandalism or not, I… 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 »

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Escape to the Mountains

It’s hot. Really hot. The summer dragged its feet getting here this year but after this past week it’s arrived in full swing – swooping in to wither our plants and provide a persistent humidity. During the summer the Milanese, along with nearly all the citizens of Lombardia, either bolt to their seaside homes in Liguria or… Read more »

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We Will Drink No Wine Until It’s Time – It’s Time!

I never did the whole “bike through Tuscany wine tour” when I studied in Florence. I didn’t go to a wine tasting in some quaint farmhouse in the Tuscan hills or take a wine course offered as an extracurricular during my study abroad. And though I grew up under the influence of my nonno, a sort-of wine connoisseur,… Read more »

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To Do: “Reevaluate Time in Italy”

Moving to Italy after graduation didn’t feel like a great leap, but more like a natural path. The idea was to come and try it out, spend a year and see how it goes. That being said, there was a lot of preparation to be done: mentally, emotionally, and literally. So in the final weeks… Read more »