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50 Things Americans Think About Italy

Any trip to a new country ignites a storm of comments and questions. It’s only natural to compare, to delight in the novelty and be shocked by the foreignness. After my recent post, 50 Things Italians Think About America, I realized that that’s really only half of the story. For every time an Italian is marveling at the… Read more »

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The 2,000 Year History of the Verona Arena

The Arena di Verona has been standing tall for nearly 2,000 years. Actually, our best guess is that it was built sometime around 30 AD, which would make the structure exactly 1,985 years old. In any case, it’s still been around about 50 years longer than Rome’s Colosseum and about 1,746 years longer than the United States has enjoyed independence…. Read more »

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Indonesia, a Tropical Italy

The first thing we did at the 2015 Milan Expo was head to the Indonesia pavilion. With a honeymoon already planned to the archipelago, we were excited enough to hitch more than a kilometer all the way to the edge of the fair grounds. Qatar had built an enormous megaplex, Brazil had created a web of rope that visitors… Read more »

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Photo Essay: A Tuscan Road Trip in Val d’Orcia

Last April Marco and I went with two friends on a weekend road trip. The first road trip we went on together was from Milan to Umbria, in a weekend tour of just a small part of the region. This time, we decided to tour the Val d’Orcia region in the south of Tuscany. The region is characterized by… Read more »

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50 Things Italians Think About America

As the blog so clearly states these past few weeks, Marco and I recently (and finally!) had our wedding ceremony. We decided to have it in Columbus, Ohio, where I’m from, and we were lucky that so many Italian family and friends were actually able to make the trip. Our friends took the opportunity to see… Read more »

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The Start of a Journey, The Best Part of a Journey

We often talk about our lives as a journey. “Enjoy the journey,” they tell us, “Happiness is in the journey.” As an American with a very linear perspective of time, I identify with this idea. For those of us who are always thinking of the next step, it’s a good way to try and remember the present. That said,… Read more »

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Milan Restaurants, Cafés and Bars

Far too often publications ask me to write a list of the “Top 10 Milan Restaurants” without any attention or care to whether I’ve actually eaten there or not. Truthfully, I haven’t eaten out in so many places in Milan – it costs money. I’m not paid to eat out and I don’t accept free meals… Read more »

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My Big Fat Italian-American Easter

I’ve always considered Easter as a quintessentially Italian holiday.  Most likely because it was one of the only holidays hosted at our house, organized primarily by my exaggeratedly Italian-American father. He did it like his parents did, which meant tablecloths, family, and enough fresh food to feed a small army. Our Easters were like no one else’s… 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 »