The Ultimate Sicily Road Trip, Part One: From Catania to Modica

There’s no trip better than a road trip. We set off to Sicily for for the first week of January, much to the dismay of beach lovers everywhere. With some limited research and several possible itineraries in mind, we booked a car and took off into the wilds of Sicily to explore the coasts of this beautiful but bedraggled island. And, of course, to eat as … Continue reading The Ultimate Sicily Road Trip, Part One: From Catania to Modica

Holiday traditions and more cultural mish-mashing: My first Christmas in Italy

Most years I head back to Michigan during the holidays for a brief snowy winter (very enjoyable when there for only a couple short weeks). This year, though, my husband and I stuck around Rome for the holidays. I love the idea of combining traditions and cultures to create our own unique customs. I think that if we view traditions rooted in our families’ pasts and our cultural customs as flexible and adaptable, they can be powerful and relevant parts of our lives. Continue reading Holiday traditions and more cultural mish-mashing: My first Christmas in Italy

How to deal with the “I-hate-it-heres”

After almost five years in Rome, I rarely get homesick. I miss my family and friends back home, and sometimes I’m nostalgic for places I no longer live in, but these days, I feel that Rome is truly home. What I do get is a bad case of something I like to describe as the “I-hate-it-heres”. It’s an emotion like PMS and road rage all rolled up into one. Here in Rome, I like to describe this feeling as Rome Rage. Continue reading How to deal with the “I-hate-it-heres”

A Roman Horror Story: There’s Something Wrong with the Rain

Last week the forecast showed that the “storm of the century” was about to hit Rome. This might have been frightening if it wasn’t the billionth time this has happened in the 4 years I’ve lived here. Schools were closed. So were many offices. Mine wasn’t. On my way to work I actually found myself enjoying splashing through puddles with lightning flashing above the empty streets. Continue reading A Roman Horror Story: There’s Something Wrong with the Rain

Five Ways to Celebrate Halloween in Rome

I love Halloween. I’ve never been one to spend a lot of time on my costume (I’m more of a last minute find-something-weird-in-my-wardrobe sort of girl), but I love Halloween celebrations, horror movies, admiring other people’s outfits and decorating my house with spooky gore. Most of all, I love remembering the joy of transformation it gave me as a child, as I became a pirate, a football player or a Jedi (and, of course, ate way too much candy). Continue reading Five Ways to Celebrate Halloween in Rome

Don’t Be Afraid to Walk: On My Move to Rome

I’ve recently had the good luck to have one of my best friends move here from the US to get her degree at my own alma mater, the American University of Rome. In between being absolutely thrilled to have her here with me, I find myself very nostalgic about my own first few months in Rome, remembering the sheer joy (and occasional fear) that filled me every time I went out of my house, struggling to close my front door with the strange, bulky clump of foreign keys. Continue reading Don’t Be Afraid to Walk: On My Move to Rome

Four Lessons I’ve Learned from my Italian Neighbors

Ok, it’s true that strange neighbors are certainly not unique to Rome, or even Italy. When we were living in London, our upstairs neighbors spent so much time hammering we were convinced that their apartment doubled as an art gallery. But in my time living in Rome I’ve had seven different apartments, and along the way have encountered a host of characters and strange situations requiring either careful navigation or just some really thick skin. Continue reading Four Lessons I’ve Learned from my Italian Neighbors

MACRO museum Rome ex-slaughterhouse Roma ex mattatoio

Contemporary Art, Culture, and Organic Food: Rome’s Ex-Slaughterhouse Revived

Rome’s MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art in Testaccio and the nearby Città dell’Altra Economia are must-sees for any expat, visiter or local interested in art, urban spaces re-vitalized, and good food and drink. Once a slaughterhouse, the space is evocative in and of itself, more so now that it is utilized as a series of innovative art galleries and shops filled with locally crafted goods. Continue reading Contemporary Art, Culture, and Organic Food: Rome’s Ex-Slaughterhouse Revived

Tall, Pale, and Foreign: Life as a female in Italy

Living in Rome, I’ve found that there are certain things that I just can’t seem to do as a tall pale person with (naturally) fair hair. Buying shoes, foundation and cover-up is nearly impossible. Buying hair dye is another chore. This, coupled with all the unwanted attention looking like an alien in a world filled with petite dark-skinned women, can make day-to-day tasks an epic journey, and walking down the street can make you feel that you’ve fallen into some sort of unwanted celebrity. Continue reading Tall, Pale, and Foreign: Life as a female in Italy