13 Things That Marrying An Italian Man Has Taught Me About The World

1. Everyone is trying to steal from me. This includes children, animals, and department stores.

2. The best way to get something done is by going through a long network of connections. “I know a guy,” means, “this will take four or five hours but by God we’ll save a buck-fifty it is kills me.”

3. People REALLY want to see into our apartment. At this moment there are probably hundreds of people in the bushes with binoculars just waiting for me to open the blinds. That’s why the blinds always have to be shut. Always.

4. Nothing expires ever. Salmonella doesn’t really exist. Many people have died from air conditioning.

5. The best way to accessorize a t-shirt is with chest hair.

6. Wildly waving hands, screaming, making intense eye contact, can be used not only for anger but also to ask, “Where are my glasses,” or, “You have an adorable dog.”

7. You can still be masculine while wearing a pink shirt and riding a bike that has a wicker basket.

8. Google knows significantly less than any grandmother or mother.

9. Pesto does not go on bread. EVER. Seriously, like fucking EVER.

10. You can catch a disease from walking barefoot but not from going to the bathroom without washing your hands.

11. Every activity has to have a special outfit. You cannot wear your day clothes to the park. The park requires your park outfit which is basically your day clothes but with ugly tennis shoes.

12. Everything can be done tomorrow. There’s little or no reason to do anything today.

13. There is no privacy when it comes to family. This includes lengthy discussions about my underwear choices:

Father in law: I can see your underwear. Does your husband know that your pants are transparent?

Me: Uhm, I don’t think so. He didn’t say anything.

Father in law: What color are your underwear? Red? Black? Blue?

Mother in law: BLUE!

Father in law: Red!

Me: Uhm…They are black? Okay. I get it.

Mother in law: You cannot wear black underwear with that. You need to buy white, or skin-colored, or off-white, or a thong. Maybe not a thong. You need something like this, [leaves and returns with a pair of white granny panties].

Me: Awesome. Yeah. I’ll buy some. Okay, thanks. I’ll change before I leave.

Father in law: Because if you can see your underwear people will stare at your bottom.

Mother in law: And your HUSBAND should know better! Everyone is looking at his wife! SHAME! Shame!

Me: Dear god. I said I get it. The whole town is not staring at my ass. I’ll change.

Father in law: You can’t wear black with that.

Mother in law: White or nude colored.

Father in law: Your husband! Shame! I would kill my wife!

Mother in law: He would. He’s jealous! Francesco should care more!

Me: Sigh. [Face in hands].

And this is the life of marrying an Italian man and being an American expat in Florence. Did I miss anything?



88 thoughts on “13 Things That Marrying An Italian Man Has Taught Me About The World

    • Yes, I keep saying the same thing. So we just have to pair up more Americans with Italians, and then maybe we can breed them out? Bring some logic, listening, and line-waiting to this befuddled country.

      • Italy is great the way it is. Italy has been a highly developed country full of history long before the United States even existed. It has the best food the world over. Learn some logic, learn how to cook, how to make the best gelato, how to make bella figura and dolce vita from the Italians. No one wants Italy to be like the US – bad fjunk food, fat women and men and frighteningly crime ridden.

      • The problem with Italian men is what is beneath the appearance (bella figura). Under the veil there is often an immature man still behaving like a boy and letting mama in charge of all. Mother-in-Law intrusion in couples intimacy is the cause for Italy’ soaring divorce rates. It always existed but know Italian women are not as financially dependent on their husband as before… so now they can afford a divorce.

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  4. Question! So if an Italian man Sara he wants to marry you after knowing u for only a week…do u think he us being truthful???

    • I don’t know. My husband was REALLY enthusiastic about marriage as soon as we met and we really did end up getting married. However, I’ve met a good amount of guys who like to talk the talk but suck when it comes at walking the walk. I think you’ll have to just trust your instincts.🙂

      • Also depends on where you’re from. If you’re American, he definitely wants to marry you, and today. Because then he gets his ticket to paradise at your expense and sanity.

  5. Ha! My weird Italian wants to keep the blinds down only because he’s convinced that Albanian circus performers are on the verge of breaking into our apartment. On Monday morning. At 8am. Using their acrobatic training. I look up the weather online before leaving for work rather than raise the blind because my spirit has been broken.

      • I don’t think they’re Albanian, rather Romanian or Hungarians in our area. My Albanian friends are about as athletic as I am which means they don’t just fall while walking they find the nearest deep gorge to tumble into as well, so they aren’t scaling any drainpipes anytime soon.

        We just had a nimbled-knee ladro come through our apartment on the 3rd floor. I was naive enough to leave the blinds up. They climbed up like a monkey, and stole the gold. But I must say this, they earned it. They only slightly dissheveled our bedroom, and left the rest of the rooms alone – very polite thieves. We called the police (pointless), they took some blah-blah-blah statements, no fingerprints, surely they will catch the culprit.

  6. I recently discovered your blog, I love all your posts, this one particularly! Even my Italian husband said everything you wrote is true (Can’t wait for the book! Foreign women all over Italy will read it like a bible).
    Congrats on the blog award!

  7. I’d like to move to US, unfortunately doing the opposite of what you did is really hard.
    Please americans, let me in! I’m nice and I can cook italian food very very well.

  8. Oh my gosh your posts are just killing me , cannot stop lol, let me tell you, n.5 was too much , I did n.9 many times haha, btw i married a italian too but he grew up in south América, he and his family arrived there after the war (dont ask me wich one) , and now we are coming back to Italy but from eastern europe , hope i would make it so good as you did! Thanks for posting so useful tips and funniest too!

    Ps: I apologize for my poor and basic english, learning english is in mi list to do too😉

  9. BTW this looks a little like “what marrying an Italian man from ‘la provincia’ has taught me”: in big cities we tend to accept more naturally the obvious idea that everybody will stare at your ass (particularly, yes, if you wear transparent thongs that emerge from the trousers).

  10. HI!
    Nice one!
    I have a chat mate from Rome,Lazio. He is educated and 47 years old. and i’m 32. He is single and never been married and he is so eager and willing to invite me to Italy as a tourist and he said he will let me stay at his mom’s house. That’s sweet ayt? But feel nervous cos I don’t know what will happen if that time come. He wants me to experience the life being in Italy but I know 90 days is not enough. Of course aside from living there if ever, I want to have a job also to earn. I know its not that easy.
    BTW I’m a Filipina.

    • That’s very sweet! My advice would be to go first with a friend. Online you ALWAYS want to be careful when you meet people in real life because there is a lot of sex trafficking in Europe and a lot of women get kidnapped in this way. I’ve met a lot of great people online who I’ve become good friends with but there is always a slight chance of danger so don’t come alone the first time.

      • That’s some great, common sense advice, and something that not all women are aware of (men too) when travelling to Europe or any other country for that matter. Be aware, and be cautious. There are some bad people out there!

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  12. Your blog is hilarious! I (a Canadian expat living in Milan and married to an Italian from Tuscany) just found out about your blog through a friend (an American expat living in Milan and married to a man from Liguria). I was reading this post on my phone while walking and laughing to myself out loud and probably freaking out all of the Italians around me. They are all sooo true…but I particularly love and can relate to #1, 3, 10 and 11 the most. #13 had me in stitches. How about eating fruit….god forbid you try to eat a piece of fruit without peeling, coring and slicing it first. My hubby also refused to let me salt the pasta water until very recently, convinced that I couldn’t possibly do it right since I’m not Italian….and he doesn’t cook! Oh the adventures of being married to an Italian man. Keep up the good work on behalf of all of us.

  13. the “pesto on bread” thing is fucking annoying when u travel abroad. I spent 3 yrs in London and i’ve never get used to it.

    Always thought: WHYYY ?? who came up with that idea of putting pesto in to sandwiches !? and WHY everybody is thinking: yeah that’s so italian.

    anyway your blog is very nice! BRAVA!

    (i’m an italian guy so i’m just lying to make love to you)

  14. Why Italian Fathers and Grandfathers pass their handguns down through the family (with apols to my Italian relatives!).

    An old Italian man is dying. He calls his grandson to his bedside, “Guido, I wan’ you lissina me. I wan’ you to take-a my chrome plated .38 revolver so you will always remember me.”

    “But grandpa, I really don’t like guns. How about you leave me your Rolex watch instead?”

    “You lissina me, boy. Somma day you gonna be runna da business, you gonna have a beautiful wife, lotsa money, a big-a home and maybe a couple of bambinos. ”

    “Somma day you gonna come-a home and maybe finda you wife inna bed with another man.

    What you gonna do then? Pointa to you watch and say “Time’s up?”

  15. I was surfing on the web when i met this site, and really really really love the description you did about an italian family, really i still laugh yet.

    Its all so TRUE…..i am italian and i am used to see this kind of behavior by my relativies and i consider it normal, but, now, thinking about your point of view, it is so ridicolous .

    thank you for your post. please, write more on , i really love it.


  16. Hilarious, as always! My husband is very much behind point 1), everything is a “fregatura” and everone wants to “fregarti”. Drives me insane. Oh, and NEVER drink anything straight from the fridge or eat passato di pomodoro, it will give you “mal di pancia” or you will die.

  17. What are the signs and how can you tell when an Italian man loves you and want to marry you? This is coming from a New Yorker and currently involved with an Italian living in northern Italia…..

      • His name is Francesco as well🙂

        He never asked me to marry him. F has his own business in northern Italy, and asked me to move there once. He also asked if I want to help his business and start another shop and in NYC.

        Really no reason for F to move to the U.S. since he is doing well in Italy.

        If time comes, I am hesitant to move to Italy as the medical system appear to be a nightmare. And I am concerned about schooling for my young son.

      • Ah interesting! Well, if youre interested in something “fun,” i think it might be nice to move to Milan for a bit but i wouldnt assume marriage or love are in your future. Italian culture can be super confusing for Anericans because being nice, romantic, intimate, etc., doesnt necessarily mean anything in Italy. Until he announces to his family that he wants to marry you I would just assume he doesn’t. I’m sure you’re a total badass and like Denise said, he’ll probably want to cause American women are totally badass! As for the healthcare, it depends on where you go. Ive been to horrifying hospitals in Italy and also pretty good ones. Depends. As for schooling, I personally prefer the US system in a lot of ways but a lot of people would disagree with me.

      • Thank you for the advice Misty. Myself and my friend love reading your blogs, and can not wait to read your book.

        My first trip to Italy was in Sardegna. I came across a Sardinian jeweler and we became very close friends. Loredana’s brother in law, Francesco, heard a lot about me and he took time off and met me during my third trip back to Sardegna. We had an amazing time and he showed me how to love again. F barely speak English and I barely speak Italian. But we understood each other. We both have wild souls, as my girlfriend would say. Keep in mind, I already met his parents in Sicily and most of his family and Francesco was the last family member I met.

        Spent a few days with him in Milan and experienced how he live everyday life. Not sure what is in store for us, but we are both taking it day by day.

        And….I start Italian classes next Saturday. This should address the communication barrier some. Looking forward to stop using translation apps in order to have convos with him 😄

  18. pretty much like the french actually, especially the comments on your underwears it’s totally normal to talk about those things here

  19. You are amazingly funny yet accurate! I thank you for the smile and laughs! I just married an Italian! He is a Chef, he is TOTALLY Italian and I am a 50 year old valley girl from California and we are making magic! You would be proud of me after 9 months of marriage I have finally gotten used to csreaming and yelling about nothing! LOl Thank you so muchand you are an incredible writer!I want more! -Laurie

    • Laurie, thank you so much for the kind words! You’re so sweet! Yeah, it took me a while to get used to what we refer to in the US as SCREAMING OVER NOTHING. When I tell my husband that his people scream a lot he answers, “Huh? We do?” Haha. Congratulations on the marriage! Welcome to Surviving In Italy! So happy to have you!

  20. Spot on except the pesto. I have this home made (is there any other?) spicy hot pesto that… when put on really, really good crusted brick oven bread… now I’m just talking about good bread and just the pesto, not a sandwich… like a drug.

  21. this is the typical southerner italian family brainstorming.
    No way upper than Lazio.
    I assume that my comment confirms your stereotyped view about italy and italians.

  22. “1. Everyone is trying to steal from me. This includes children, animals, and department stores.”

    Oh gawd, so true! haha

    Don’t forget *blocco* and wet hair. The sight of me in wet hair sends them into a panic.

  23. Sweet. I absolutely love the one about everyone wanting to steal from you… I remember the first time I saw the 5 locks on a door with the “anti-furto”. I was disappointed to not see at least a Renoir in the foyer.
    On my list is the fact that anyone who is not a close friend/family is either malicious or an incompetent, but when they become my friend they will be magically transformed.

  24. I just f*cking love your blog! Seriously!!!! This one sent me into mulitple blurts of laughter in the cafe!!! I’m living in Florence now and love all the advice. Grazie!! xoxo american expat, keep it real!

    • C.C. Leigh Welcome to Italy. Hope you’re enjoying your time here. You picked a great city – Florence is beautiful. I’m living up north just outside of Milan, but have some amazing photos of Firenze. Where in the states do you hail from? I’ve been living in Italy for close to 4 years now, and I’m from PA/MD/FL….. (moved around a lot.)

  25. Hi Misty, did you ever have culture clashes with your husband when you started dating? I recently got out of a relationship with an Italian because we could not overcome our differences and beliefs in culture. I wonder if each Italian man is like this, or if he was the exception…He was very blinded and was not able to see how much I did for him (I moved to another country for him!).

    • Britt, in short, yes. Many, many, many arguments because of cultural differences. Once we finally got onto the same page, then we both had to battle his parents which took years. YEARS. Cultural differences are always a challenge, at some point I just had to start laughing to balance out all of the screaming and ugly crying I was doing.

  26. Omg!! No WONDER I’m having problems explaining to my Italian fiancé what this American psychotherapist describes as appropriate “boundaries.” His response when I brought up boundaries?…”I don’t what you mean by ‘boundary.'” Ahhhgg

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