American in Italy, culture, expat, food, italy, tips, tuscany

Celebrating the 4th of July abroad

bilancino with friends

Without actually consciously knowing it, living abroad can make you more patriotic that you ever imagined you actually were. For me personally, it’s informing myself of the daily news back home, taking the time to vote, and celebrating holidays in Italy such as thanksgiving and July 4th with more planning than I normally ever would back home. I distinctly remember having not-so-special celebrations while in Los Angeles or Texas because it just never seemed worth the hassle and headache of being out and about with a million other party-goers (who were probably drunk) in the city.

After seeing the massive Diamond Jubilee celebrations in England  and all of the union jack flair all over the internet world, I decided why not have a little fun celebrating where you come from and be proud of it. After all, everyone is entitled for a patriotic moment (alla 2006 world cup  Italy-winners style) to ham it up with some good friends on a hot summer day. Hence our need to hop on over to my new favorite summer watering hole, Lake Bilancino. We organized a casual pot-luck with everyone bringing their favorite dish and drinks. Since the 4th actually landed on a Wednesday we postponed the fun until Sunday since after all we don’t live in America therefore most of us had to work that day.

I think it’s actually important to take the time to embrace these holidays because when your feeling homesick, hanging out with friends in a similar situation really helps to combat that omnipresent feeling. Luckily my friends are a really fun group of gals and we lean on each other for support no matter how trivial the situation. The Italians/English members of our group got a kick out of the bison beef jerky, rice-krispy treats and cole-slaw that we brought.

Plus it was extremely hot this particular Sunday and we all welcomed the chance to jump in the water and avoid the seaside crowds. In fact I think we as a group probably swam half of this rather large lake which meant more room for sloppy joes and ranch dip.

can you spot what’s wrong with this photo?

I would love to hear from you guys. How did you celebrate this July 4th? How do you keep from being homesick during holidays abroad? – not just a question for Americans but anyone living abroad.

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0 Comment

  1. Reply
    09.07.2012 at 18:39

    Not an expat, but we had grilled burgers and dogs. Then listened to and watched local fireworks. Love how there are two of you in the picture!

  2. Reply
    Alexina Navarro
    10.07.2012 at 21:24

    Greetings from San Francisco! I visited Firenze in March-April, and loved it so much (I knew I would) that I’m coming back for two months, mid-October to mid-December. I’d love to meet other people, and celebrate Thanksgiving!!
    About the photo: our flag has too many stripes. There should be only 13, for the original 13 colonies!

    Ciao, Alexina

  3. Reply
    12.07.2012 at 22:06

    The flag has too many stripes.

    1. Reply
      12.07.2012 at 22:06

      it’s a scarf..made in Italy so lets say I’m not surprised 😉

  4. Reply
    Chelsea Ward
    14.07.2012 at 2:02

    I was in Italy last year for the 4th, it was one of my favorite 4th celebrations I’ve ever had! My American friends and I made tacos for all of our Italian friends. I think we scared them away from Mexican food with the spices but it was a lot of fun (and way more fun than I had stateside this year’s 4th!)

    1. Reply
      14.07.2012 at 12:13

      I have to say it’s wonderful introducing new cuisine and sharing a holiday with those not from your culture, it makes you appreciate it even more. 🙂

  5. Reply
    JL Walker
    23.07.2012 at 11:51

    Hello ggnitaly! This reminds me of my first 4th of July in Italy when I didn’t really know any other people from the US at the time. I was so depressed! So the year after I made sure to organize a pot luck at the park similar to yours and everyone had a great time. I need to do it again next year!

    1. Reply
      23.07.2012 at 11:52

      The best thing you can do it just surround yourself with good friends and good food. We had such a great time

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