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My 2019 Italy Travel Wish List

How to make a list when your dream is to see it all? In 2018 I made an Italy Travel Wish List based on momentary inspirations. We made it to the Isole Borromee with a wonderful late-summer day-trip and have a trip to Palermo planned for March! Though we didn’t get to Bologna we did travel in Emilia Romagna,… Read more »

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Being Pregnant in Italy

It’s impossible to fully understand pregnancy until you’ve been pregnant. We all have an idea, but beyond that there’s really no preparing. I spent hours with my £36 What to Expect When You’re Expecting book shipped from the UK to my otherwise-Italian speaking home, desperately searching for answers. Is that normal? What about that? Holy hell what… Read more »

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How to Be the Best Houseguest Ever

Summer is here, bringing with it vacations, road trips and impromptu visits. Whenever I’m invited to a friend’s place in another town, I always go. (Making me, of course, either the worst or the best friend….but at least now you know). I absolutely love visiting a new place with the help of someone who lives there…. Read more »

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Life Abroad: Do You Like Living in Italy?

An English woman, an Irish woman and two Midwestern Americans sat around the table, spritz’s in hand and classic Italian aperitivo snacks littering the table, each discussing the merits of their own country. The question asked by an Italian acquaintance was “do you like living in Italy?” So innocuous. So loaded. Eyes were immediately averted, smiles forcibly… Read more »

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How I’m Able to Live in Italy’s Most Expensive Region on the Cheap

Lombardy, Italy is one of the most expensive regions in all of Europe. With about a sixth of Italy’s population producing about a fifth of Italy’s GDP, Lombardy is the most populous region in Italy and one of the richest regions in all of Europe. Yet even in expensive Lombardy, it’s possible to live very well… Read more »

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When in Italy, Get The Cheese

“Wait,” my Italian father-in-law commanded, as I reached for a slice of cheese on the overflowing cheese platter. “Start with the brie, it’s the weakest. Then try this soft taleggio. After, the branzi and then you can finish with this gorgonzola,” he said, using his knife with a flourish to indicate each type of cheese…. Read more »

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What I’ve Learned After Five Years in Italy

I’ve officially been in Italy for five years!  In the past five years I’ve graduated college, found and changed and negotiated jobs, lived in an apartment and moved into our home, married, traveled and passed nearly a year with our beautiful baby girl.  It’s been a whirlwind.  Looking back, I can still understand  the small… Read more »

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Raising an Italian-American

I have a little Italian baby. Of course she’s Italian-American, but the novelty is the Italian part. Having a baby is an adventure, but raising a baby in another culture brings a whole new set of challenges.  Being pregnant in another country means immersing yourself in another culture’s convictions, both philosophical and physical. I regularly… Read more »

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To Every Thing, a Season

Recently Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like An Artist, linked in his newsletter to a piece about living with the seasons by Matt Thomas, writer of the Sunday NYTimes Digest (if you can follow that). It reflects on our typical thinking of time and suggests a better way to measure it: by seasons. He asks: “Should one… Read more »

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My Life With An Infant, in Numbers

Adeline is just over two months old and I finally feel like I can exhale and take a second to take it all in. How crazy was that birth? How fast did these first two months fly by? How many times has Adeline pooped today? All super important questions.  36: hours of contractions 3: epidural injections… Read more »