A Glimpse Of The Real Florence, Italy. By Kari Varner

I’m really excited to feature photos from this amazing photographer Kari Varner. Kari is also a former SACI student and she’s incredibly talented (Unlike me. My photos look like a child took them after over-dosing on baby Benadryl). I love her style of photography, it’s super intimate and I feel like I’m standing right there with her. But not so much in a stalker sort of way. This series really captures the feel of Florence. I know you guys are going to love them as much as I do. Tell me which one is your favorite in the comments below (I especially like the dead pigeon since I’ve stepped over many of them on the streets of Florence and I have a weird love/hate relationship with bird corpses because of it. But not like a serial killer.).

REFLECTIVE PUDDLES (or, where I fell down)


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What Does It Mean To Be Authentically Italian?

“Yeah, but does the place have real Italian food? I mean, is it authentic in your opinion?” my friend asked when I told her about this new restaurant that was opening in our home town. Since moving to Italy in 2009, I’d been deemed the Great Authenticator by people back home regarding anything related to Italy. No, chicken alfredo is not “Italian.” Yes, I suppose being romantic might be an Italian thing depending on your definition of “romantic.” No, bbq chicken pizza is not really a thing. Yes, real people drive scooters in Italy.


My husband is proudly, authentically Italian. I am proudly not (I’ve got enough crazy up in my life). This is us, in Naples a few years ago. Naples is debatably not “Italian,” depending on who you ask.

Where Italy is concerned, the struggle to pin down what is “authentic” versus what isn’t can be a full time job. Pretty much everything is up for debate and not even Italians can really agree on what makes something Italian or not.

“Prada isn’t Italian anymore, they have Chinese workers in their factories,” my hairstylist said to the old lady with the hot pink lipstick sitting next to me. If a foreign national touches it, it’s no longer authentic, and it’s probably contaminated with icky “otherness.”

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Raising Multicultural Children: The USA Versus Italy

If you follow this blog you already know that my husband, Francesco, and I are talking about having children. For those of you that don’t come here often, it scares the holy shit out of me. Like every couple thinking about having children we have a lot to think about. Like any multicultural family, we have some additional things to consider as well. Here’s my list of things that I’ve been considering/worrying about. Not in the order of importance. Actually the opposite of that. I really just like to delay the not amusing things because I avoid my problems.

*Talking about raising kids in Italy really makes some expats crazy pissed because they think that Italy is flawless and maybe it is perfect to them. I get it, people  want to defend their decision to raise their kids in the US.  But just a warning, if anyone is a dick I’ll change their comments to say something about how they can’t stop eating cat turds or something equally as hilarious to me.

1. My vagina. Goddamnit I like her. But, I did call around to all of my married male friends with children to ask about their wives vaginas and they all said, “Dude, it’s totally the same.” And I was like, “Okay but define the same.” And one friend screamed, “You are fucking crazy! The same means the same! As in it’s the same size and looks the same as before. You need therapy. Er, more therapy. Stop worrying about your vagina!” So that’s the blessing and the curse of having mostly male friends. They can fill you in about their wives vaginas but then they get an attitude when you ask them if they took measurements. This is the problem with testosterone. They hate measuring things.

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Moments In Italy By Lauren Pricer


18 Years Old: Beware


We entered the country with stereotypes and warnings ringing in our heads:

“Beware the Italian men.  They will try to charm you.”

“Don’t open the windows on the train!  Someone could throw in a gas bomb and then steal your backpacks!”

“There are gypsies!  They will throw their babies at you so you drop your bags, then they will steal them!”

“Pickpockets are everywhere.”

“Beware the Italian men.”

First local stop after we crossed the border, a knock at the door of our cabin.  “Ah, scusi, hello.  May I sit a-with you?”  We exchanged knowing glances.  The young man was dressed impeccably and his eyes were gorgeous pools of deep brown.  He seemed polite, modest, and utterly harmless.

But, beware the Italian men.

“I am, ah, learning English?  And if we talk, it will very much help me with my English?  Si?  Yes?”

I rolled my eyes and let out a long sigh.  “O-kay, I guess,” I said.

What started out as a somewhat awkward exchange of pleasantries turned into 45 minutes of enlightening conversation with this intelligent, kind man.  He was studying at university.  He wanted to be an engineer.  He had a serious girlfriend.  He wanted to wait until marriage before having sex (maybe he was lying?).

Clearly there must be some sort of exception to the rule.  Si?  Yes?


A Visit To The Central Market In Florence, Italy


Central Market Florence Italy

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