First Time On Surviving In Italy?

Your First Time Here? STOP. This is mostly a humor blog. If you’re offended easily or struggle with sarcasm or irony you should skip my website and watch this instead. Also, I swear ALL THE FUCKING time and ramble on about the capybara. You still there? Winning! I’ve Put Together Some Of My Most Popular Posts For You To Start With:


21 Ways To Survive Being An Expat 

Why Everyone Should Live In Italy At Least Once In Their Lives

Christmas In Italy 2013: The Time The Blowdryer Ate My Mother-In-Law’s Head

13 Things That I’ve Learned From Marrying An Italian Man

17 Signs That Italy Might Make You Crazy Or Homicidal

Italian The Hard Way

10 Reasons That I’m Surprised That Someone Married M.E.

In My Husband’s Family, Leaving The Table Is Like Announcing You’ve Eaten A Child 


Dining In Italy: How To Avoid Making An Ass Of Yourself

Rome With Rick Zullo

Travel Bologna With Sarah Dowling

5 Steps To A Non-Conventional Night In Florence

A Weekend In Chianti

Vacation Apartments In Florence: How To Overcome Writer’s Block (Or Just Hang Out).


Moving To Italy: Studying And Living 

Frequently Asked Questions: Jobs, Immigration, Circumcision, Love

31 Reasons You Would Be Better Off In Italy

How To Move To Italy


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What To Expect When You Travel Abroad: How To Mentally Prepare In 11 Steps

Obviously when you travel to another country you know that things are going to be different. You’ve most likely read about your destination, you’re excited, you’ve packed, booked tickets and learned how to say a dozen words or so. If you’ve done any research you know the food will be different, you know you’ll find different art and different houses of worship, but have you mentally prepared for the other things? The things that nobody prepares you for. Those things are the ones that travelers don’t always prepare for and those are the things that will often make or break a trip. What can you do to mentally prepare for your vacation abroad?

Napoléon Bonaparte by Andrea Appiani (1754&nda...

Napoléon Bonaparte by Andrea Appiani (1754–1817) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Get rid of the notion that you’re country is number one. This is important for everyone, but especially those of us from the United States. No other country has accepted that their country is inferior to the US. Everyone takes pride in their own country for one reason or another. If you go abroad expecting to get treated like a God because you’re from ‘Merca, you’re trip is going to suck. If you want to enjoy your trip, leave your ethnocentrism at home, and accept that all countries are equal in their differences. And please, try to avoid saying things like, “We saved your ass in World War II,” because not only do you sound ignorant, you also sound like an asshole.

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You’re Either Smoking Crack Or You’re In Love: Happy Anniversary To My Husband

Five years ago I met this twenty-five year old hot boy in Florence, Italy. Two years ago today I married him, the love of my life, the fuzziest of fuzzies, the yin to my yang, and the classy latin accent to my failing eloquence. These two years have seemed like a million..Wait, no, let’s start again. These two years have went by so fast that it’s hard to believe that we’ve already been married for two years. I know what all of you are thinking who have been married for like 20, you’re thinking, “two years isn’t shit, girl!” And you’re right, in the scheme of things it’s not that long but it’s about celebrating the little steps, right? So let’s celebrate! Two years down and sixty+ more to go (depending on whether or not he starts to help around the house more, otherwise it could be any day now). Everyone help me out with a big, “Happy Anniversary Francesco!” And give me whatever marriage/relationship advice you’ve got in the comments below! Who knows, you could probably save my marriage one day.

And now, the sappy part, guys. I really lucked out with Francesco. He really is my best friend, and is such an incredibly tolerant partner. He’s a great husband, despite his inability to clean up his nail clippings and fallen chest hair that peppers our home, and he somehow always puts family first. He effortlessly puts  our relationship before his own needs or his pride, puts our dog before himself, and puts me on a pedistool that I totally don’t deserve to be on (and after wine it’s just plain dangerous). I know I tease him a lot because I suck at feelings but he’s a badass and I love him. As part of his anniversary card, here is a digital promise to keep trying to be better for him:

Dear Francesco,

Thank you for putting up with me. Remember today when you were all, “I’m so happy I married you two years ago,” and I screamed, “HOLY SHIT WHAT IS THAT ON THE WALL!?” Then you ran away and left me to die. It’s a good thing that I was just trying to scare you because that would have been an embarrassing thing to explain to your friends, that I died because you abandoned me. Remember when you were being romantic and I tried to scare you? And then you were scared? Either we’re both smoking crack or we were made for each other. And also…thank you for laughing when I ruin romantic moments. Thanks for being supportive and always being there for me. Thank you for being exactly the opposite of me in every way so that I could find balance. Thank you for only showing mild concern when I have long conversations with myself in the kitchen, for kissing me every morning before you leave the house, and for being completely and totally immune to my sense of humor that people either get or are totally terrified of. Thanks for not finding me repulsive. Oh, and thank you for letting me buy whatever I want this week in preparation for our trip to NY. And thanks for finally letting me have Dwayne*.  I’ll try to be a better wife this year. I’ll be less naggy, unless you force me to do it then my promise is null. I promise to cook more and take more interest in Italian politics because I know it’s your favorite. I promise to be less neurotic and to work on saying normal people things around your friends and family. Except for Fusco and Leo because they don’t care and have grown immune to my blabbering. I promise to always try, never give up, and never become “too comfortable.” I’ll do my best to love you, forever, until my brain gives out and I forget who you are, or until I die. I hope I die first because I can’t imagine not knowing you. Plus, I feel like I’d also quickly forget about pants and get arrested for indecent exposure.

Til death. Forever, and ever, AND EVER. -ME

*Now you have to let me because everyone read my gracious acceptance letter.


Total Tuscany Interviews M.E.: How Many Inappropriate Things Can I Say In One Podcast?

The awesome guys from Total Tuscany asked me to do a podcast and I gladly accepted because I love their stuff and really enjoy embarrassing myself publicly after having a cocktail (or ten) for lunch. I’m pretty sure that I’ll win an award for saying so many captivating things during one interview. You can find the podcast with M.E. on their website Total Tuscany. We cover a lot of ground during this podcast like my favorite things about Italy, what drives me insane, and threatening public masturbation. Let’s make this a drinking game. Take a sip (or a shot) of something every time I swear, say “camel-toe, unicorn, Capybara, or baptism,” or anytime Travis or Pat are audibly regretting their decision to interview me. In all honesty, it was so much fun, I love these guys and their awesome website. They do great podcasts that are fun and informative with expats I absolutely love. If you enjoy the podcast go ahead and share it with your friends (or use it as an opportunity to talk with your kids about the dangerous of drinking).

As with everything on my site, this isn’t kid-friendly so put on some headphones before you give a listen if you have little ones around. And also? Be happy that you’re not me, or not married to me (Francesco will be sainted, I’m pretty sure).

Italian Bathrooms, The Bidet And How To Have A Sparkling DownTown Area

Hey guys! So, this is a C.O.S.I Post about bathrooms in Italy and bathroom related things. Don’t forget to check out what everyone else has to say about the bidet, bathrooms, and bathroom humor on my COSI page. Want to join us? Leave a comment on the page saying so and we’ll get in touch!

So, ladies and gentlemen, let’s talk about The Bidet.

When I have visitors from outside of Italy I know it’s only a matter of time before one of them shyly asks about that thing in the bathroom that looks like a sink on the floor. “It’s a bidet,” I tell them. They’ll move closer, as if they’re about to disclose a secret, “Weird! So, uh, how does it work?”

A toilet (left) and a bidet (right).

A toilet (left) and a bidet (right). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Let’s start with the first part of the reaction that the bidet is “weird.” I’m not sure that there is anything less than AWESOME about having a sparkling clean vagina twenty-four-seven. SPARKLING, CLEAN and it feels, GREAT. Don’t even get me started on how awesome the bidet is for men, especially the hairy ones whose asses could very well belong on a baboon. I’m pretty sure that most men, without a bidet, leave what could only be described as a murder scene of doody in their whitey-tities (why can you not operate toilet paper!?). The bidet is your friend, guys. It’s your friend. Don’t have a bidet? Get one! Seriously, best investment ever. When I’m in the US I feel totally icky without one of these things around. I’ll never understand why they haven’t become more popular in the US. I promise, once you’ve used it, you cannot go back. 

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17 Signs That Italy Might Make You Crazy And Possibly Homicidal

Italy is a beautiful country and there’s absolutely no denying that. However, when you live in Italy for a while there are certain things that can take some getting used to, and some things that you’ll never get used to, and those things will make you insane. A friend of mine refers to expats in categories based on how well-suited people were to move to Italy in the first place. I’m not exactly sure which category I’d fit into because honestly I can identity with pretty much all of them. There is a part of me that is the Hopeless Romantic: I’ll always love and appreciate small things like bright flowers against stone buildings, entire families sitting down to wine and dine, and old women, widows, in black strolling the streets together. I’m also a Snob: Living in Italy because it’s just classier and a little more “cultured.”At times I’m the Adventurer: I love Italy’s close proximity to other parts of the world. And then, for many months out of the year, I am the Ren-Fair expat. The Ren-Rair expat is a word that my friend coined that means, “renaissance fair” expat, an outcast, quirky but also creepy, bitter, and a little bit insane (to be honest that’s kind of me even in the US…so….

For the Italophiles out there, you’re thinking, “oh no! Not me! If I had a chance to live in Italy, oh boy! I’d enjoy every minute of it!” And you know, you’d probably enjoy most of it but then something totally crazy will happen that can only happen in Italy and you’re suddenly like, “I NEVER WANT TO SEE PEOPLE AGAIN! FUCK THIS PLACE!” Then you don’t leave your apartment for a week except to walk your dog while you hiss at people who pass you on the sidewalk. It’s part of living the immigrant life in a country that could not possibly be more different than most other places on earth. So, here is a list of reasons that Italy might make you (temporarily or permanently) insane:

1.You function best with rules, order, and structure.

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The Difference Between Stereotypes And Cultural Characteristics

I’ll be the first person to admit that when you live abroad it can be pretty difficult to be fair and avoid putting people into one large category. It’s human nature to group people in a way that makes it easier to understand them, identify them, avoid or relate to them. When your world is confusing you’ll try to make sense out of it in one way or another. 

One of the first things that I caught myself doing as I parachuted into Italy was compare everything to my own culture, and figure out how I could fit in. It was especially difficult for me coming from a degree in sociology. People were practically test subjects. Observing cultural characteristics is totally fine, and totally necessary if you ever want to comfortably live somewhere. However, it’s important to avoid stereotypes as much as possible. Stereotypes kind of piss people off, justifiably so. I’ve spent the past five years being stereotyped as, “that probably slutty, stupid American who hates family and love and probably stabbed her teddy bear to death as a child.” Writing a blog about living in Italy can be kind of sticky since I spend a lot of time discussing my experiences, making the occasional cultural and social observations, all while trying not to be too much of an asshole. There is a difference between dialogue, observations, and just being a dick. Even while being conscious of it, it’s kind of difficult to avoid being ethnocentric, though. It happens.  It’s especially rough when I’m away from home, feeling nostalgic, and some crazy lady is screaming at me in the street because MY DOG IS TOO SKINNY, and then twenty old men in the bar are rambling about their hero Berlusconi. It can be really, really, difficult. 

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