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Adventures in Language Learning

“Gina, are you boring?” my Italian cousin asked me, her eyes worried and sincere. After regularly repeating this question the next two weeks I lived with her I finally came to terms with the slip up. My sweet, odd Italian relative who I connected with via email was worried about my boredom, not inquiring about my personality. Anyone who has studied a… Read more »

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Tips for Tourists: How to Do Italy Right

We already have a very succinct, but very precise Manifesto for any and all travelers in Italy (Check it out here, it’s important) but I believe there’s more explanation needed for first-time travelers in Italy (and even repeat offenders!) Everyone wants to seem like a local when they travel,  here are some ways to help:… Read more »

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I have two weeks in Italy, what should I see?

I get a version of this question often. It’s usually a rambling, excited facebook message, chaotic, happy and a little bit naive, like a puppy greeting you at the door. “So, me and [insert friend, lover, brother, family, stranger here] are heading to Italy this summer for 7 days and I wanted to ask you… Read more »

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Elba Island: The Black Rock Beach

“Let’s go to the Black Rock Beach,” he said. “It’s a bit out of the way so there should be less people!” he said. In the summer of 2011 I came to stay with Marco for five weeks and we planned a five day vacation to Isola d’Elba, or Elba Island. I came to Elba knowing,… Read more »

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Snowboarding in Northern Italy, Or Not

I had finally done it! I, with Marco’s help, had finally coerced together a group of friends, planned times and cars and made it the two hours north to our cabin in Piazzatorre for a weekend of skiing and snowboarding. Skiing and snowboarding in Italy! We went to Foppolo, a location near-enough to the cabin with… Read more »

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Weird Conversations I’ve had Since My Number Has Been On The Internet

Shortly after I moved to Italy I published announcements on various websites offering my services as an English tutor/teacher/translator. I needed a job and I needed one fast, and luckily for me there is a high demand for a native English speaker in Italy. I’ve had nothing but a successful, positive experience teaching English in… Read more »

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Hospitality in the Hills – the other, other spring break

“The ticket says we have to be there at least a half hour before the tour!” “What?” “The ticket says we have to be there at least a half hour early!” I yelled again through the door. Marco was in the bathroom, it was already 9:30 am and our tour was at 10. It was… Read more »

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Prague & Berlin!

My fall break is officially over. Now I start a new level of Italian and also my volunteering in an Italian middle school. Thank God for All Saints Day, a national holiday here in Italy and an excellent cushion day between traveling and school. I finished laundry, caught up with friends and family, went to… Read more »

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Not All Things Go According to Plan, and That’s Ok

I’ve taken many, many trains since I’ve arrived in Italy. I’ve taken enough trains that I can honestly say I feel pretty confident at navigating the stations, despite the difficulties that can arise dealing with different languages, platform changes and crowds of equally confused people. Despite this, last weekend I missed my train. I spent… Read more »