How to Almost Get Your Italian Residency Permit

Old iron gate with spikes partially lowered over stone arch

Italy is a gorgeous country with delectable food and fascinating history, but (1) You already know that. (2) It’s more fun to write about dumpster fires. So, here’s another one of my infernos.

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Pain in the Neck or Cultural Whiplash? How to Get X-Rays in Italy

Fake skeleton looks at x-ray against window

“Niente di grave,” the doctor begins, pausing to look at me intently. Nothing serious. He either senses my anxiety or he doesn’t trust my language skills. Probably both.

Motherhood from Italy to Taiwan (or 2019 Women’s March Sign Inspiration)

Pregnant woman holds stomach

“I need a job for a woman. Un lavoro per una donna,” this earnest, bright-eyed 19-year-old said to me.

Health Care in Italy: A Tale of Three Doctors

Medical supplies on table and doctor's hand with clipboard

“Take off your underwear,” the doctor instructed. Right now? In this moment? Here? Can I get a gown or glass of wine first?

On (Not) Dating a Macho Mammone Italian Man

Statue of David

“I’m very sorry,” my teacher Sara replies when I share that I’m married to an Italian.

Casa Dolce Casa (aka We Told You Not to Move)

Apartment building with balconies

The gurgle of an air conditioner dying is a most terrible sound.

4 Ways to (Not) Move Out of Your Italian Parents’ Home

Wiener dog popping out of cardboard box

After all we've done for you, you ungrateful son-of-a-me.

7 Reasons You Might Be Sick, According to Nonna

Sick person under bed covers

“But it’s good for your cholesterol!” she protested before going on the stoop to smoke.

Being a Pacifist (or How Americans Can Avoid Getting Punched in the Face in Europe)

Silhouette of peace fingers against sky

Despite my best efforts to avoid a fight on the first day of school, I have to flee a brawl.

Being a Newbie (or How to Learn Italian and Make Friends)

Women studying at table

My husband has many talents (e.g. making risotto, doing mental math, assembling IKEA furniture), but teaching me his native tongue is not one of them.