Misogyny And This Asshole Giovanni From Italy Is Educating Women On Infidelity #yesallwomen


Blogging is pretty badass. For the most part I get to meet really cool people and I’m lucky enough to have really awesome fans who have interesting stories to share, a great sense of humor, and you guys leave me funny comments that make me laugh. However, once in a while someone leaves a comment so shockingly  asshole-ish (or crazy in a scary way) that I have to put it here because I don’t think that anyone would believe the sheer fucked-upery. Take for instance, this crazy asshole who recently wrote a comment in response to a news article I wrote for  on Italian infidelity statistics. My first guess is that he didn’t even read it because the entire article was all stats and interview and not really any of my personal opinion (boring because I have a lot to personally say about it). This guy is crazy and crazy pissed. And guess what he’s mad at? He’s really mad at vaginas. This comment was left just a week or so before Elliot Rodger killed a bunch of people in CA after leaving a terrifying video on Youtube. Haven’t seen it? Watch it here (warning, it’s so creepy it will give you nightmares). I wasn’t going to post this guys comment because he really doesn’t deserve the attention but given the headlines right now I think that people should see just how rampant this kind of crazy really is. It’s even happening here guys, on Surviving. WTF!?


In response to: The Big Cheat

“ahahaha.. a femminazi talking about infidelity! so you wan’t to know the reason why we italian men cheats on our women?

Well, try to take a look at the whole scenarios from the tipical male perspective. Starting at age 11 or so we get uncontrollable, non-stop boners. We fantasize about fucking every woman around us. Its purely hormonal. Chicks on the other hand, don’t seem to have the same intense desire to get banged until much later in life (they hit their sexual peak in their 30s while us guys top out in our early 20s).

So here is the conflict: while most 20 something Italian dudes are on the prowl, 20 something italian chicks are living their last hurrah in terms of their looks. They know that soon they will be in their 30s and look worse (wrinkles, fatter, dull skin/eyes).

So they prance around in pretty dresses and make poor horny dudes insane with desire while playing hard to get. So guys have do what they have to do to get laid. And if that means they have to “bone up” on their game (pun intended) then so be it.

One the little ironies of life that I have truly enjoyed is that when women hit 30 they freak out if they haven’t married and had children (fairly common these days among the educated classes). They get fucking desperate. Meanwhile, their counter parts (guys in their 30’s) have been at the game long enough to have perfected their skills and built up their careers.

So then the rules of the game change completely. Desperate women, looks fading, ovaries shriveling will do almost anything to “land a good guy” to settle down with. At that point, the game of hitting new pussy becomes more like “shooting ducks in a barrel”.

A guy can get laid by meeting the bare minimum standards: have a decent career, seem like a nice guy, and perpetuate the myth that they are looking for a soul mate. After date three, sex is usually automatic. You fuck for weeks or months and then the chick wants to know “where this is heading”. That’s when you drop one of many easy bombs with delicious zest such as “I am just not ready to commit”, “I am not sure if we are truly compatible”, “I just don’t feel the connection”, “my financial house is not in order and that makes me question the whole commitment thing”, etc. Whuhahahaaaaaaah. F.uck you femminazi bitches!!!

That is pay back for all the cold lonely nights. Payback for the many failed attempts. Payback for the bitches who laughed in our faces, rolled their eyes at us, or just plain ignored us. Payback for all the free drinks you comped from us. Payback for all the times when we just wanted to do what was natural with your sexy young bodies and you just let us suffer! is NOT a matter of “mammone”, we just getting smarter more and more with entitled slut.ty pricesses like you!

But don’t worry, eventually you will find a guy who has tired of the game and is actually ready to settle down and knock your tired ass up. He may not be the perfect guy you were dreaming about when you were 23 and had the world at your finger tips, but hey at least he put a rock on your finger and is willing to put up with your bullshit day in and day out for a chance to stick in you once or twice a week.

So you are lucky, he might make you pancakes and even remember your birthday, but im sure you’ll be the one to start the divorce in the future.”

-Giovanni from Italy


Dear Rapey McStabby,

Life must be very difficult for you. This morning you woke up in a cold, lonely bed with only captain Teddy and your golden penis to keep you company. You haven’t been near a vagina since your mom forced you out of hers fifteen years ago, and the only comfort you get from women is the little espresso cup your mamma leaves on the counter before sending you off to high school. This particular morning, however, your coffee must have been cold, hence your tantrum and misogynistic rant on my comment board. However, I’m glad that we all get to hear from you and your thoroughly original manifesto. Everything that you’re saying is really unique and not at all a product of a misogynistic culture that teaches little boys that they’re being denied their rights as a man if they don’t get whatever they want, whenever they want it. But don’t worry, I totally understand you.

I’m really appalled that you’ve been so mistreated. I mean, how could any woman turn you down? You’re exactly what every woman wants. Just look at your bright shining personality, your charisma, your intelligence. You know, you remind me of a famous lawyer in the United States. Maybe you’ve heard of him? Ted Bundy? He was also charismatic and passionate and totally sane, just like you. Seriously, I think you guys would have the best time ever. See, Ted Bundy was also slighted by women, and he, too, was frustrated with how ruthlessly they’d denied him his basic “rights” and dominion over the entire world.

When I think of all you’ve been through, my heart just aches for you. I mean, to think that women turned you down even after you went out of your way and bought them a drink (that’s like EIGHT DOLLARS! You are definitely entitled to someone’s body for EIGHT DOLLARS!). I just don’t get it. How could any woman drink your eight dollar gift of gold and not give you something directly in return? Why don’t women understand that their vaginas can be purchased with a vodka tonic? Someone should tell them that they are really over-priced and holding out because you’re penis deserves to be near them for no other reason than you’re you, and you are fucking special. 

It’s really difficult to be a white male, I know, everyone always denying you all of your rights and not giving you everything you want when you want it. Your life is extra difficult right now as I’m sure you’re in mourning over the loss of your best friend and mentor, the late Elliot Rodger. HIs life was equally as difficult as yours, so difficult in fact that he was forced to murder people to “teach them a lesson.” All of those evil women running around with self respect, not dropping their panties for eight dollars. I mean, nobody can understand why women didn’t like him! What wasn’t to like? He was bitter, resentful, entitled, and sexist, what a fucking catch! When I meet a guy that is all, “Look at my shitty attitude ‘femmnazi bitch,’ give me your vagina,” I think, I AM WINNING SO HARD TODAY! And then I tell all of my girlfriends how lucky we are to have vaginas that men can use however they want, whenever they want.

Teenage girls really are the worst, right?. They grow up being told by men that their sexuality isn’t their own, that if they have sex they’ll go to hell, and their parents would kill them if they knew about it. Their father’s spend their entire lives protecting their daughters chastity because purity was worth a few goats a while ago. It’s really annoying that girls grow up with these ideas instilled in them by the patriarch and they’re not willing to break their ingrained morality for you and your vodka tonic. Seriously, women really do suck! It’s true that our every action is a direct attack on men. When I was a teenager I basically sat around thinking of ways to sexually frustrate teenage guys. That was my entire teenage existence! How can I sexually frustrate men? Teenagers aren’t very smart, back then I had no idea that every guy who was interested in me was entitled to my body whenever they wanted. Have you tried telling the women who’ve rejected you that your mom and dad taught you that you’re special and you’re entitled to whatever you want? Maybe all of these cruel women didn’t get the memo stating that it’s their sole purpose in life is to serve you. Every woman is your own personal roller-coaster and it doesn’t matter what she wants at all because your needs are way more important than hers. #thesebitches! AmIRight? Thankfully, we have guys like you to educate us. Your parents must be very proud that they’ve raised such a great man. Especially your mother. Just think,  if you’d been around when she was growing up you could have also taught her that her entire existence was to get sexed by every guy in her city who bought her a soda. Unfortunately, since you weren’t born yet, she probably waited to be with your father. What a monster. #yourmomsafemmnazi

You know, it’s true, some guy did marry my “tired old ass” even though I was all old and saggy at 30. My face was practically falling off when he proposed but still he went ahead and did it anyway (probably because he was so tired of all that young sex he was getting). He bought me a Rum and Coke and and gave my dad a cow so basically we were good to go. OR maybe, I married him because he’s intelligent, respectful, and he’s a feminist who believes that I don’t owe him shit just because he was born with a penis. Maybe, I married him because he’s a decent person and isn’t a spoiled chimpanzee. Just maybe he married me because marriage is a partnership that is based on friendship and trust, not only sex. You creep.

I highly recommend that you see a therapist and I hope for the sake of the women in your village that none of them sleep with you, ever. You don’t deserve it.

For my readers, while this is a humor site, I take misogyny very seriously and we all should. It’s time to look at the culture we’re breeding where so many men feel like they have a “right” to whatever they want. It’s a worldwide issue, not only an American issue, or an Italian issue. Isolated incident? With the statistics on rape and the sheer number of men who kill their wives (every other day a woman in Italy is beat to death by her husband), I’d say it’s not a few isolated incidents by a few crazies.

Elliot Rodger: More Than A Madman (Great video on how misogyny kills).


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My Italian Family And Religion: To Be Or Not To Be, And Why Is Jesus Punching My Kids?

Corcovado jesus

Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

I woke up this morning with anxiety about babies. Wait. Let’s start again.

I’m a big fan of compromise. I like getting my way like everyone else but I’m also a guilt driven person and getting my way often makes me feel like shit later. Coming halfway, meeting in the middle, helps me feel like something has been resolved without making me feel like an asshole in the process. My friends and siblings are, for the most part, similar so I haven’t had to deal with too many “my way or the highway,” types. I avoid rigid people, or at least I did until I married F.

Our relationship has always been pretty fair. We both give and take and resolve our (many) arguments with compromise or with Rock, Paper, Scissors. It’s a pretty good system. We see eye to eye on almost most issues except for ones involving his parents. Now, most of you who have been reading for a while already know that my in-laws and I were in full on battle mode for the first few years my husband and I were together. There was a lot of pushing and pulling with zero compromise. According to them I was in Italy so I was no longer allowed to be what they view as “American.” Now, for those of you who aren’t expats you’re thinking right now, “It’s true. You’re in Italy so you should adapt to whatever they do.” Being respectful of someone’s culture is one thing, throwing your own culture and mannerisms out of the window and trying to be one of them is impossible. The truth is that culture impacts every single thing that you do from the way you say “hello” to the way you listen to someone who is speaking. For example, Americans usually watch someone quietly while the other person speaks. Italians kind of actively listen, they make matching facial expressions to accompany the story, or they nod the entire time as if they are urging the speaker to move forward. Simply “listening” to someone comes off as odd. Often while F’s parents are talking I’ll simply listen and then the mom will throw her hands up in the air and go, “She doesn’t understand anything I’m saying,” which is odd because I’d have been responding back to her  with words. I’ll look around and go, “The fuck!? Did I forget how to use words again!?” Then I’ll realize that I wasn’t making my listening face so I clearly didn’t get it. This is something I can’t change. It’s not possible. I’ve been listening like this since I was a child and at no point unless I force myself (in a really exaggerated and fake way) am I going to be a more visual listener. There are hundreds of these things that won’t change, so when you’re dealing with people who expect you to be exactly like them or else, life can get pretty shitty. They haven’t fully come to terms with the fact that I am “unfixable” because I’m from a different culture (a REALLY different one, not only am I American but my father is Iranian which brings another level of complication, too), but they’ve realized that they don’t have a choice really because MARRIAGE BITCHES! So we all deal with each other, for now.

So, if we deal with each other for now, what’s the fucking point of this post? Well, my husband and I have started talking about possibly having a baby at some point in the near future. Maybe next year, maybe the year after (my vagina is still afraid of babies, plus I’m worried that one day I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and my kid will be standing at my bedroom door but then it won’t be my kid it will be a zombie kid and the shitty zombie kid will eat my face off).  But I’m not only afraid of physical things like pregnancy-babies pee inside of you because they aren’t potty trained and have terrible manners-but also things that are relevant after the baby is born. The part where we have to be parents. I have the same concerns as most people, I’m sure, like what if Oliver eats my baby, or what if my baby doesn’t like The Last Unicorn, but lately I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about culture, mine versus his, and how difficult it might be for us to raise well-rounded children between two totally different worlds. Also, I’m honestly really freaked out about how the fuck I’ll raise a baby around his very rigid, uncompromising Italian family without murdering anyone. When I think, “baby,” I immediately see screaming, arguing, crying, and some talk about my baby burning in hell, you know, the usual.

The religion thing will be an enormous form of contention for us, enough that I’m already dreading it. I’m not religious. However, my MIL is a BIBLE TEACHER. You see where this is going. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for other people being religious. Weeeee! Whatever makes you happy, guys (unless it involves Kool-Aid, or child-brides). Religion just isn’t for me and if my kids are going to be religious I’d prefer they wait until they can read books and make their own decisions. Every family has it’s own level of religiosity but my in-laws take it to a kind of a terrifying level for me. Our niece has obsessively drawn crosses on things since she was four (at one point I actually worried her head might start spinning as she dug her crayon into the art paper like a maniac, followed by a picture of my husband who she had crucified). A few year later I asked our niece what happened to her leg and she replied, “Jesus pushed me down and hurt me because I told a lie.” Because, you know, Jesus is an asshole and has nothing better to do than bully seven year olds (WTF?). My first thought was, I cannot have children. If my own child said that to me I’d flip my shit and I would be forced to call Jesus’ dad because that’s just bad parenting and maybe he needs to spend less time governing other peoples kids and more time hugging Jesus who is clearly lashing out. Then God would get defensive and smite me and everyone would be like, “Thanks a lot for the locusts, M.E., YOU ASSHOLE.” What a sad, scary, horrible thing to believe that a deity would hurt a child for lying.

My family is a bizarre mix of muslim, catholic, Mormon, agnostic and atheist, so I was raised pretty big on religious freedom and making your own personal choices. Some of my family members are super religious, others aren’t, and we all gat along just fine as we respect each other’s differences. Francesco’s family has been Catholic since the Romans abandoned paganism to come on board the Christian movement. They won’t understand any concept of religious difference or children making decisions at a later age. Catholics baptize at only a few months old and the child is referred to as “catholic” from that point on until maybe they are adults and start saying they are not (which is everyone we know). I don’t really want that. I don’t want my kid to have a religious or spiritual identity until it’s something they choose for themselves. How do I do that with people pressuring, freaking out, crying, and throwing an epic meltdown over it? It’s also a sure thing that the minute my MIL gets near my kids she’ll start on them about how if they do something wrong Jesus will bite off their ear or punch his/her mom (me) in the face.

This is only one of many, many possible fights that I see coming my way. I can be sure that spanking, food choices (I am not a fan of sugar for breakfast), air conditioning, and playing will also be the cause for many fights. After-all, what kind of mother would let her kid go out into a field and roll in mud. ME! That’s who! Being dirty is fun and mud is badass when you’re a kid (or when you’re thirty-two and you’re all MUD! And you’re husband is all NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!). Except when you’re in Italy and the kids are dressed like they’re forty and ready for a fashion show and rolling in mud would be on par with throwing your kid from a balcony. Totally makes sense because dirty kids and thrown from balcony kids are both unloved.

This is not to say that my own parents won’t have their own shit to say. My father is muslim so he equates drinking in front of children with acute child abuse. A glass of wine at dinner? Your baby will be addicted to CRACK! Why don’t you just shoot your baby full of heroine!? This is why my sister and I fuel him by saying things over dinner like, “We need to buy some weed and vodka for when we take the kids to the beach this weekend.” The difference is that I have no problem telling my own parents to back off. My husband however was raised in that old southern tradition that your parents are always right and that questioning them is disrespectful. I mean, it’s awesome that he has so much respect for his parents, I love a man who respects his family, but once in a while I need some backup and a “no, mom, you can’t hang out with our baby Lasagne if you tell her that God will kill her parents if she doesn’t do her homework.” So…that’s where I’m at right now. If he lets his parents unpack and repack my luggage he’ll probably let them send my kids off to bible camp at three months old, too.

Advice? Xanax? Is anyone else worried about a zombie baby eating their face off?


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What Is It Like To Be Married To An American? Blogging Debauchery: Collective Post From Some Of Italy’s Expat Bloggers

If you’re new here I’ll explain our little collect post thing that we have going on every other week. A few of us expat bloggers in Italy get together and think of a topic, then on the same day at the same time we all post about said topic on our own blogs. We started it as a fun way to give many different perspectives on one subject. This week we went a little crazy and decided that we’d go ahead and let our partners write about us. As with many expats, our parters are either Italian or of another nationality living in Italy so we thought it would be interesting. Most of them have put up with our public talk for a while now and we thought it only fair to give them the chance to tell their story. We asked them, “What’s It Like To Be With A Foreign Person?” or in my case, “What’s it like to be an Italian man married to an American woman? And why can’t she have a capybara?” I let my husband, Francesco give it a go. He’ll totally be sleeping on the couch for a few weeks until his mother comes to rescue him but otherwise the list is pretty funny. 😉 Here’s my husband!


Francesco Rossi is married to blogger/writer M. Elizabeth Evans. He has an M.S. in electrical engineering and works for a luxury company that designs and manufactures audio systems. He’s a nerd. He speaks four languages fluently, is incredibly cute, and M.E. is kind of obsessed with him in a creepy way, even if she makes fun of him for a profession (he also clearly made M.E. write his bio, sooo…). F is obviously a unique Italian guy to enjoy his life with his weirdo wife. He also enjoys long walks on the beach, braiding his majestic chest hair and the color peach.


Francesco and M.E.


I had a difficult time writing this list because in my opinion my wife isn’t very stereotypically American but that would be another list about how strange she is (in person even more weird than the blog, I promise you that). So, I’m not sure if the things that she does are “American” or just things that are her because she’s weird. So here is my list of what it is like to be married to an American, and also to M.E. specifically.

1) Her coffee is gross. That thing she drinks in the morning is not coffee it’s “acqua sporca”, dirty water. I’ve tried to explain to her the importance of having a real coffee, what she pronounces “espreso”, but she doesn’t seem to get it. Her biggest thing about American coffee is that it’s a social drink, something that people do to hang out. Really? Who has time for that in the US?! In the states, 90% of people take their coffee to go and the other ones that sit in a coffee shop are working. What is social about that? Coffee in the US it’s a torture. In Italy we drink the coffee standing at the bar, most of the time because there is no reason to stay inside when you have the most beautiful things to see outside;) When we sit down, we enjoy our coffee even if it doesn’t last that long. Plus, it tastes better!

2)  We disagree about a few things. For example, in my opinion, pasta and bread are good for you, air conditioning can make you sick, wine doesn’t make you fat and soccer games are not boring! But, she’s obsessed with salmonella. Everything gives you salmonella death.

3) My wife is not the best nurse. She has this attitude like being sick is for a wuss. She tells me, “Buck up,” which I don’t even know what that means. Once I woke up feeling horribly sick. Everything was hurting: My throat, my head, my muscles and my nose was running. I was almost dying, I swear. I look over the door and there she is, my nurse! She will take care of me, she will make a nice hot soup for me, she will stay next to me and cure my wounds. She’s my wife!

F: Babe, I am so sick!

ME: EW, yeah you look like shit!

F: Will you take care of me?

ME: Yeah! Sure!

She left the room and I was feeling so happy and comfortable until she returned back storming in the room after a few minutes.

ME: I googled your symptoms, you are not dying, you are just being dramatic! Here’s Ibuprofen (she gives me ibuprofen for everything)! Take it and feel better. I got shit to do, see you later this evening!”

F: You and google suck as a nurse! If I am dying I will know for sure who not to call.

ME: Whatever dude…love you! Ciao!”

4) She’s OBSESSED with Google. Google is her best friend. I ask a question sometimes just to start a conversation. I’ll barely finish asking the question and ME already gives me the answer from fucking Google! I hate Google! I can’t even lie about stuff anymore! This is bullshit! Oh! And nothing makes her more mad than when I call to ask someone a question. She say, “Just GOOGLE IT YOU FREAK.” Who is the freak?

5) Needs efficiency or dies. It’s very difficult living in Italy if you don’t accept the fact that things are not going to be like the States or other countries. In Italy things work differently. This doesn’t mean that it’s better or worse, just different. The fastest you adjust, the less pain. Unfortunately, I believe, there are some things that are particularly difficult to accept like how public offices work for example, especially if you come from a country where efficiency is a big deal. Going to the post office or anywhere that requires patience with ME is a torture. She freaks out. Whining until she gets angry and starts with her rant about Italian inability to be efficient bla bla bla. She has no patience. None. Everything has to be done very fast or she wants to get behind the counter and tell everyone how to do the work.

6) She cannot relax. ME has to always being doing stuff. ALWAYS. It doesn’t matter what it is, even if she goes to the coffee shop to sit and chat she is happy with it. She can’t just sit home calmly.

7) There is always “a project.” I lose my mind if I count the amount of things that ME does at the same time: having a company, writing, painting, working with 2 other companies…OMG! And she Is always involved in several different projects. It drives me crazy because I lose track of shit! If she isn’t able to do her work she dies.

8) She’s kind of like having a guy friend. ME can fix cars. Maybe it’s very common in the States that they teach girl to do stuff like this. I like it! Have you ever seen these 90’s commercials where the was the dude with a dirty white beater all sweaty trying to fix a car? Well I get to see that with my hot chick, and believe me…it’s interesting 😉

9) There are lots of options in life. She is always telling people to do whatever they want. She tells my friends to follow their dreams and her advice is always, “get a different degree.” She has more than one so I think in her mind the world is simple. You love something? Do it. Just change everything!

10) She is a pain in my ass and does not back down. You know when babies ask a question and then a question and then a question and then another one until they are out of breath? She does that! It’s frustrating especially if you are trying to hide something (like gifts). Impossible.But I love her and she Is the best. I won’t get her a capybara though (so seriously give up). We agreed on a D&G dress when her book comes out. Or an elephant sanctuary donation. She changes her mind a lot.

11) She cannot handle to be uncomfortable. She Italy a third world country because we don’t use our heat so much in the winter. She walks around the house in a coat and hat talking about how she knows exactly what the depression must have felt like for people.

12) She hates traditional wife things. My parents used to worry so much because she doesn’t rush to do everything for me. She doesn’t iron my shirts or nag me to clean my shoes. Once my father told her that she needed to learn how to act “like a woman.” I thought she might kill him. She doesn’t like to cook or clean. She made all of the women in my family start to yell at their husband’s once because I have to help but the other men weren’t helping. She also thinks that anytime I ask her something I’m trying to turn her into a slave. My mother bought her an apron once for Christmas and it’s just a gift but she almost died.

13) She went to finishing school like in a movie. Weird. Usually it’s impossible to tell but sometimes you can see it when she eats or something. She’s a freak.

14) No “emotions.” When we first started dating I thought for sure that she didn’t like me. She kept all of her feelings to herself and was very distant. She also wasn’t jealous and I thought for sure that meant she didn’t care.

15) She is terrible at small-talk and hates to be superficial. Many, many times she simply stays quiet if she can’t talk about a subject she likes. Integrity is much more important than what people think of her. This is good but sometimes it’s very difficult especially in small villages.

16) Cannot concentrate in stores. She’s like a zombie. I think this is because she has a little ADD.

17. Doesn’t depend on family. She tries to do everything herself and without family. She hates to ask her family for things, even her own parents and sisters! They care for each other very much but do not like to ask for assistance. She asks her friends before family almost always. This concept is very strange for me because for me family will do anything for each other. And money. She has a very individual idea of money. She says, “your money,” and, “my money,” and for me it’s crazy. There is only one family, one money, all together. She’s very giving, too much sometimes, but still has a concept that family is not to support each other.

18. She’s not private at all. If something happens I have to say, “don’t put this in a public place,” because if I don’t there will be thousands of people reading it that week. She loves to document things and share them. Even in person she’s always open about everything. Sometimes too much and I want to kill her. But it’s also something I like about her, too.




Married To Texas 

Maria. Here’s my bio: ‘M’ is a 30-something (something low) American Texpat, living and working in her husband’s tiny hometown in the province of Reggio Emilia. Her blog, Married to Italy, is home to her rants and raves and serves as her therapeutic search for hilarity amongst the chaos.

Rick Zullo - Ricks Rome

Italian Girls Dating American Guys

Rick Zullo of ‘Rick’s Rome – an American expat living in Rome. Born in Chicago and raised in Florida, he came to the Caput Mundi in 2010 and forgot to go back. When he’s not exploring his adoptive hometown or writing for his blog, he spends his time teaching the world English, one Roman at a time. Rick is also the author of the silly little eBook, “Live Like an Italian,” available on Amazon.

Georgette Jupe

What It’s Like Being With An American

Georgette of ‘Girl in Florence – an American social media strategist, copywriter, blogger and a certifiable ‘Tuscan Texan’ living and breathing all things Florence. Social inside and out, she lives in the moment and eats way too much pasta. She blogs about life in Italy, travel around Europe {and the world}.

 Dating An American Girl Means Always Talking About Her Vagina. 

Gina is 26 year old California native whose unhealthy love of cheese, wine and gossip has made her a perfect transplant to Italy.  She blogs about life in Florence, tour guiding for college students abroad, traveling and her dog Gorgonzola.  When she’s not busy writing down all the crazy stuff that happens to her, she’s listening to Snoop Dog and trying to figure out how to open an In-N-Out Burger in Italy. Find her on The Florence Diaries. 

So, You’re Married To A Foreigner: An Italian Perspective 

Rochelle Del Borrello is an Australian journalist by trade, something she has thankfully left behind to write, photograph and taste life in Sicily, an experience she shares on her blogUnwilling Expat (http://unwillingexpat.wordpress.com/) Rochelle is currently hating people’s obsession with the Selfie, Geordie Shore and the confusing world of Italian politics and liking Stromae, The Voice Italy, Springtime in Sicily and collaborating with other certifiable Expats in Italy.


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


Growing Up In Italy: A Dog’s Story

We’ve had Oliver since he was ten weeks old. He was a gift from my husband for my twenty-eight birthday (his friend’s dog had puppies, Oliver isn’t a puppy-mill dog). He said, “Don’t worry, a dog is-a like-a plant.” If by “plant” he means humpy creature that lives for 20 years and requires more work than three human babies (and a prescription for both xanax and prozac “just in case”). Exactly like a plant, Francesco. Anyhow, we love Oliver. We’d be lost without him even if he’s made our lives considerably more difficult. I blame most of his separation anxiety, attitude problem, and general hysteria on the fact that his mother’s name is Sheena, a village dog, who wears an over-sized pink scrunchy on her forehead.

Oliver is from Cassino, like my husband, but he grew up in Florence. He’s been to nearly every region of Italy, and to the United States. He’s a world traveler but I think his favorite place is the Florence center. Why wouldn’t it be? The women in the stores rush to play with him, the shop assistants all know his name and scream, “OLIVER!” when we enter with him. The butcher gives him scraps, the lady at the bar near our home keeps treats on hand for her doggy customers. In restaurants, Oliver gets waited on more than we do, often with water and occasionally with ham. Yes, seriously, people often bring him things to eat and drink while we’re having our meal because “poverino,” he must be so bored and starved. All of the attention has taught him that he’s a rockstar. Wherever we go he looks around like, “Why the fuck aren’t you guys all petting me right now? FUCKING PET ME I SAID! ” Random old women in the street stop me to say, “Your dog is too thin! WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO HIM!?” Then I assure them that he’s at the exact weight that he should be, but to be honest, Italians stuff their dogs like a sausage so he’s possibly the ONLY thin dog in Florence. Old men will stop me in the street and hold out their cell phone for me to see pictures of all of the poodles they’ve ever owned in their entire life. “Here is Mario, he died three years ago, this is Lucy, she died ten years ago, this one is like yours, we called him Vanilla, he lived to be twenty-five,” while their current dog plays with Oliver under our feet (and probably wonders why the hell this guy won’t shut up about dead dogs). Growing up in Florence is a dream for most dogs especially for one as needy as ours (P.S. Poodles are Needy, dogs are a 10-20 year commitment, a lifelong commitment, so don’t rush out and buy one just because Oliver so damn handsome).

Regardless of his crazy, he made our dysfunctionally awesome little family complete. In reality he’s perfect for us with his long list of quirks. When my friends see a dog humping a lion or a dog playing the piano, they think of us. What more could you ask for?

His long list of weird.

These Things Piss Him Off:

1. Sneezing (apparently I’m an asshole if I sneeze).

2. Vomiting (in this case he also bites the toilet while you throw up. It sucks. Google has never heard of this before).

3. Hitting a wall (only a specific part of the wall. It really pisses him off).

4. Gagging (He barks at you).

5. Gypsies (He has bit 3 of them to date, but only Gypsies with the long skirts).

6. Being left along. Being alone is the absolute worst.

These Things  Scare The Shit Out Of Him:

1. Orange peels

2. The wind

3. Arguing

These Things Are So Awesome He Can’t Even Control Himself:

1. His pastel unicorn that his “uncle” Ty bought him, and his “uncle Ty.”

2. Plastic water bottles

3. Francesco. He’s obsessed with Francesco. Like in a creepy way.

4. Peeing on other dogs.

5. Doing training (because treats).

6. Barking in your face for no fucking reason.

7. Flipping his shit right before bed time.

8. Sleeping in a four inch space under our couch.

For throw-back Thursday here is a look at Oliver’s life as he grew up in Florence, Italy. We probably made a lot of mistakes with him (mainly spoiling, but whatever dude) but all in all I think he’s very, very happy.

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Related Posts:

A Table For 2 1/2 Sir: Dogs In Florence 

Dog Bronchitis In Florence: Oliver Is Sick (Again)

24 Ways That Italy Changed My Life For The Better And Weird

San Donato Val di Comino, Frosinone, Lazio

San Donato Val di Comino, Frosinone, Lazio

It’s impossible to live abroad and not come home forever changed. Living abroad, no matter how prepared for the experience you think you are, is always more difficult than you’ve planned. I thought that since my family is multi-cultural that I could easily blend in and figure shit out. Totally not what happened. However, I did struggle, and as a result I became a stronger person. Now I’m so tough I ride unicorns through flame hoops while playing metal on an air guitar. True story.

1. Bathroom habits. I’m now more like a dog. I am fearless when it comes to peeing in public which is way more useful than you’d think. I’m pretty sure that most Florentines have at least caught a glimpse of my bare ass or hoo-haw at some point. My lady bits are like leprechaun sightings.

2. This might not be a “better thing” but it’s funny. Italy kind of made me a wuss in some areas. “Camping” now requires a tiny cabin, with a shower. I expect a dance club, pool, and cafe to be located in the camping area. However, I am no longer used to heat or air conditioning inside the houses so my ability to withstand extreme temperatures is higher.

3. Dogs are members of the family. In Florence dogs get to go everywhere and they do. I am a much better dog haver since living in Florence. I get annoyed when people don’t treat their dogs like family members. Dogs like Prada, too, bitch! I am confused when high-end stores won’t allow my dog inside in the US. It’s not that I can afford to be in there but I like to walk around on occasion to see what not poor people do in their free time. In Italy, the D & G girls would scoop my muddy puppy up and snuggle him. Why the fuck don’t you want to snuggle my muddy dog? SNUGGLE HIM!

4. Dining. I eat more slowly, restaurants are for people and conversation, food just happens to be there. I am the US’s worst nightmare. I fully expect to sit at a table for at least a few hours. If my food comes too fast I get stressed out. Stop trying to force me out! I’m drinking!

5. I don’t care what people think anymore. I’m so used to being stared at that when I go in public and nobody looks at me I feel shunned. Why isn’t everyone watching me? Look! I’m picking up a can of corn. Sigh.

6. I gesture a lot when I talk now which is probably good exercise. I seem violent from far away. “Ma che cazzo fai!” hand gesture, hand gesture, wave like a maniac.

7. I’ve become a food snob. If something isn’t delicious I just won’t eat it (which is fine because more wine!). But I care about the quality of my food a lot. This is good because I no longer have the tastebuds for processed foods or random chemicals that companies chuck into our diet.

8. Yelling doesn’t bother me, at all. Seriously, yell at me. Couldn’t care less. My skin is a lot thicker which is nice.

9. Eating in front of a t.v. instead of at a table seems somehow wrong. I was pretty much raised eating dinner in front of a television but after years abroad I can see how dinner with family and friends is so much more important and necessary for maintaining that connection. In the US, we’ve really lost a connection with each other over the loss of our family dinners.

10. I’ve learned that holy water is a real thing that you can get from the church. I’m much better prepared for a hostile vampire takeover.

11. I’m more confident. After moving to a foreign country, I kind of feel like I could do anything. It’s like being Jane in the jungle, I’m amazonian now. RAAAAR!

12. I am not really the type, but if I wanted to, I could nag the fuck out of someone. Seriously. It’s a skill.

13. I appreciate slow food, the act of eating rather than getting full. The dining experience is much more important now than it used to be. The idea of plopping into a table, shoveling food in, and leaving immediately totally weirds me out. This is good because I can maintain a healthy weight without killing myself at a gym every day.

14. I’m more family-oriented. My husband has been a very good influence on me in terms of family. If I’m mad at a family member, he’ll remind me that it doesn’t matter if they are a total dipshit because family is all there is in life. It’s really sweet unless I want to kill someone. Then it’s annoying. But mostly sweet. When my brother and I fight (which we do pretty much always), my husband will call him and try to work it out. Because family. FAMILY.

15. My priorities have changed. Both of my parents show affection through “things,” so I used to care a lot about stuff. I don’t care about stuff at all anymore. Italians are much less materialistic than Americans and that’s something that really rubbed off on me. I care about clothes, food, wine, going out and traveling, but I don’t really give a shit about stuff. If I have to choose between an experience or “things,” I’m going to choose the experience. It’s made me a much happier person. I also expect less from others. So, yay to not being a spoiled brat!

16. I kind of already said this but it’s important so I’ll say it again. I care about quality more than ever, especially about the quality of things I’m putting into my body. There is a very noticeable difference between produce quality in the supermarkets here and in Italy. I’m way more attuned to preservatives, chemicals, and crap. I can actually taste it now and it scares the shit out of me. “Mmm, this apple tastes like…death. Delicious!” No.

17. My goals are different. Now, everything that I do is about my family and friends. What job is best for my family? What do my friends need right now? What can I do to make sure we get to spend enough time together now and in a few years? Before I moved to Italy I was kind of a selfish asshole. Everything was about me, my personal success, and more me. I mean, I’m obviously not totally cured because I write a blog entirely about my life, but I also do it so that I can spend more time with my husband, travel more, and eventually hang out with kids more (if I have them, my vagina is still scared).

18. Quality over quantity. In the US it’s all about QUANTITY. In Italy it’s more about quality. Now, every year I’ll spend a lot of money on three pairs of shoes, and a few main items, but they are all very high quality and will last for years. Instead, in the US I would buy one thing that was 10 dollars in every color and replace it every three months as it ruined. This is good, for the environment, to support local businesses (in Italy high quality is usually Italian made), and also better on my checking account in the long run. I spent 300 euros on my last pair of winter boots, they were handmade, and are still in flawless condition after four years of daily wear throughout the winter. Seriously, it’s worth it.

19. I can speak another language. It’s kind of shitty in some ways because it also impacts my English (not awesome when you’re a writer) but it’s fun to have a secret language in the US AND a sort of secret language in Italy (English).

20. I wear less makeup and care less about my hair. The au naturale look is more popular in Italy which I appreciate (cause I’m lazy).

21. About the point above, except for high heels. High heels on cobblestone. I can navigate it like a champ so I’m more than ready for the circus. Bring it on.

22. I feel more a part of the collective than ever before. Yes, Italy is a democratic socialism, but it’s also the mentality that you find within the family. There is an idea that everyone is an extension of each other and individualism just doesn’t make sense. Now, instead of thinking, “I paid for this, if I don’t need it I should sell it and get my money back,” I think, “I paid for this, I’d like my younger siblings to have it because money within the family is money spent well.” It’s nice.

23. Cooking. I’m a much better cook. I’m a 10,000 million times better cook. Before Italy I couldn’t cook worth shit and now I can actually make homemade pastas and sauces and all of that. Kind of awesome.

24. I’m more knowledgable about world news. I’ve always been interested in world news and affairs but in the US you have to search out the information on certain channels or in specific newspapers. In Italy even local papers touch on world issues (except for things owned by that fucktard Berlusconi). I feel much better informed on what is happening on a global level.


How To Survive Being An Expat 

Why Everyone Should Live In Italy At Least Once

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Studying In Italy: My First Day Of Graduate School


One Of My Sketches From Art School In Florence

One Of My Sketches From Art School In Florence (I cannot draw, I know, I’m sorry)

The following morning we had to meet our graduate professor. I’m not a morning person. I’ve never been a morning person and that’s probably why I’m not insanely famous or successful. I’ve read that only morning people are winners. So when all of us graduate students had to meet at the artist studio on Via Guelfa, I was late, groggy, and slightly ill. Luckily Amy was late, too, so we ran across the cobblestone through the leather market together. We ignored the “ciao belle” from the two-hundred men working that day. We stopped briefly at Bar Anna that seemed to be owned by a husband and wife. He was drinking a small shot of  alcohol at nine a.m., she was screaming at him over the espresso machine. This place would quickly become one of my favorite bars in the city. Amy and I entered and stared at each other for a moment to figure out who should order. We hadn’t started our classes yet, neither of us spoke any Italian at all. I knew, “where” and “I would like.” We stepped forward and the owner smiled. “CIAO!”

“CIAO!” Amy beamed back. I smiled and waved. 

“Dimmi!” He said. 

“Uhm.” I pointed to the brioche, “Vorrei? Cappuccino. Vorrei?” Which basically translated to, “I would like. Cappuccino, I would like?” 

“Me too!” Amy nodded and pointed to herself, flashing her perfectly aligned and bleached teeth. 

The barista laughed.  

We arrived to our studio space just upstairs a few moments later. We walked through a large industrial door into a carpeted room with plastic chairs and a few Mac computers. A man, who I assumed was the director of graduate studies stood in a corner talking with a young blonde woman. He was Italian, in his sixties, about six foot three, lean, and wildly gestured with his large thin arms and hands, his giant blue eyes framed by round red glasses and were fixed intensely on the woman in front of him. They spoke in rushed Italian. The seats filled up with other graduate students, some i’d seen around, others I hadn’t. There were only three men in the program, two who looked like they’d just won the lottery as they surveyed their chances, the other was only interested in his blackberry so I decided that he must be gay which made me happy because gay men are my favorite kinds of men. I would attach myself to him. 

I settled into a seat next to Amy as the older gentleman with the cool glasses made his way to the front of the group. “My name is Lorenzo, I have been here for many years but once I was like you, a student of art, well not in Italy, I was in the United States and married, but that’s a long story. I suppose we should start from the beginning.” He did start from the beginning. Two hours later he was wrapping up his entire biography. Lorenzo, as he explained, was born and raised in Florence. He spoke real Italian. In his youth he studied accounting. He fell in love with an American student studying in Florence, married her and moved to the United States to study art. They divorced, “tragically” and he remarried a wonderful Italian woman. In all of Europe, he was one of the only parents to have two children with down syndrome. He had been doing “filo” ever since his time in the US for more than a few decades. Filo means “string” in Italian. He uses red, yellow, and blue, to make string with dried acrylic paint, his world is wrapped in primary color acrylic string. There were pictures of performance pieces, paintings, installations, an endless resume of ideas, and a life wrapped in obsession. His enthusiasm for Filo was inspiring, adorable, admirable. I gathered, after two straight hours of “this is my art career” that there was also some deep-seeded narcissism going on there, too. I’d eventually get used to it and learn that it was normal and totally rampant in an art institution. The nucleus of an artist is self-loathing but the mitochondria is obsessive self love. 

“And-a now-a, I-a give deh floor to you all to talk about-a your work that led you all to us here at SACI,” Lorenzo concluded. 

The work that we did before coming to school here? Mother. Fucker. We were supposed to prepare a slideshow of our previous work but I’d somehow forgotten. I didn’t have previous work unless you considered “drunk craft time with Ty” previous work. Craft time consisted of me and one of my good friends, various paints and canvases, and me painting girls and animals in weird sexual positions that I claimed was inspired by Greek mythology but was probably just my inner perf coming out in a weird form. Hardly what I’d consider real art or art experience (this is before I discovered performance art and realized that pretty much anything with a clever artist statement can be art). The one painting class I’d taken in college, I had produced a load of shit (and received a C-) that was stored somewhere in my mother’s basement. I hadn’t seen any of that “art” for years and it certainly wasn’t with me in Italy. I watched as each of my peers took hold of the projector. They’d had real training, some had masters degrees from schools like Berkley and Brown. I went to school in Utah. I didn’t study art. I was way out of my league. What the fuck was I thinking? Where was the wine?

I went last. I had hoped that they would have forgotten about me but no such luck. I cleared my throat and slowly walked to the front of the room. 

“I, uh, so, I don’t have a slideshow because I lost my jump drive somewhere in between Utah and Florence. Actually, no, I didn’t make one, honestly. Before coming here I painted a lot of animals having sex. Like, animals having sex with humans. Leda and the swan, because literature. I’m interested in sexuality. And literature. I like to read a lot. about. stuff. Thank you.” 

Everyone was staring at me probably thinking who the fuck is this idiot? The director of the program, Lorenzo, seemed dumbfounded, his eyebrows in mountainous M’s across his forehead, his hands in a gesture of confusion that looked a lot like he’d went to catch a hot potato but someone froze him just before it reached him. I had officially established myself as the class idiot and probably a sexual predator. My first few weeks in Florence I was constantly making an ass out of myself. If I’m being honest even after the first few weeks. 

Pieces Of Italy You Don’t Always See: A Visual Journey

When you say, “I live in Italy,” everyone imagines gorgeous men and women, pizza, and wine. The men and women are relatively attractive and often dressed well. The wine is great, and so is the pizza, but there are other aspects of Italian life that are weirder, sadder, and more entertaining.

First we’ll begin with this trailer, a documentary called Italy, Love It, Or Leave It. I interviewed the directors recently and they were awesome (I was weird and awkward as usual). It’s a story about real Italy, their problems, and the incredible amount of human shit in their water. Yep. You read that right (it’s the reason it’s illegal to swim in most lakes and river).

Then there is this: It’s supposed to be a mop but is actually just a dirty rag you push around on the floor. I don’t know why anyone still uses this. My mother-in-law was PISSED when I wanted to buy something else. I get tradition, but mop traditions? Seriously? WTF!?


This is a medieval device for torturing women. Rather than clean, it pushes the dirt and hair around on the floor, until the user it so frustrated they just give up and hire a maid.

This is a medieval device for torture. Rather than clean, it pushes the dirt and hair around on the floor until the user it so frustrated they just give up and hire a maid.


A lot of people peeing in the streets. I’ve done a fair share of drunk peeing in Florence alleys, so I’m not judging anyone. But seriously, Florence, maybe a few public bathrooms would be nice?


“Accidental Viewing Of Florence Italy” By Fine Art By Kelly Borsheim


This woman screaming on a bus. Italians consider Americans to be loud but Italians really know how to scream when they’re upset about something (or really excited about food).

These women, a fist fight, nudity, a gladiator, and a vespa getaway (I can’t even make this shit up guys).


And this ad. Whenever I write about Italians screaming or being a little dramatic I always get at least once comment  from people swearing that it’s a “cliche” and even if I experience it regularly with my own eyes it doesn’t actually happen. However, Dolce & Gabbana seem to view the culture the same way that I do. Here is what my in-laws kitchen looks like during holidays. No shit. Let me also add that I don’t actually think that being expressive is a negative thing. I’ll take screaming and yelling to serial killer silence any day. PS. Francesco promised to buy me one of these dresses when I finish my book. I’m not letting you off the hook FRANCESCO. Better start saving.


And this. This has nothing to do with Italy but LOOK AT HIM! LOOK!

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