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.

Becoming Italian Part 3 (or How to Get Legit in Italy – Marriage Certificate)

Marriage Certificate

“You and your husband have the exact same birth date?” the Milan city hall employee asks me. "No, no, we don't," I say, showing her my passport while a nice cup of anxiety brews in my belly.

Becoming Italian Part 2 (or How to Get Legit in Italy – Codice Fiscale + Tessera Sanitaria)

Italian jets in sky form colors of Italian flag next to angel statue

We head to Agenzia delle Entrate to get my codice fiscale (more or less an Italian social security number) and tessera sanitaria, a card that will allow me to enroll in the public health system in Italy (suck it, Paul Ryan).

Flying Solo (or How to Bond with Your Italian In-Laws)

Pouring coffee into multiple cups

In a jet-laggy fog, I wish Alberto good luck -- it’s his first day at a new job and my first Monday alone in a foreign city.