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ask an expat, blogger roundtable, culture, expat, italy, language, opinion, tips, uncategorised

How (Not) To Learn Another Language As An Adult

Goncalo Silva for Flytographer

A while back I was reading somewhere online (ok Forbes) that Less than 20 percent of American adults speak a language other than English. It piqued my interest because as a second language speaker in Italy I thought what about Europe? In The Guardian apparently just over half of Europeans (54%) are able to hold a conversation in at least one additional language, which is pretty impressive considering so many university and high school classes in Italy focalize on a more  theory-based curriculum. It got…

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American in Italy, ask an expat, expat, food, interview, interviews, italy, life, locals i love, tips, tuscany, uncategorised

Locals I Love: Shannon Quinn Fioravanti


  It’s funny how you can live in a city for almost 10 years and have a variety of friendships that span that timeframe. I think it has something to do with living in a place that is a bit transient at times. Of course I am not referring to the Italian community, even though plenty of people come from all over Italy to work in Florence too, but more our international group of friends. People come here, are passionate about…

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art, culture, history, italy, life, tuscany, uncategorised

A Charitable Past in Florence: Museo degli Innocenti


Six generations of interrupted charitable work in Italy’s most popular Renaissance city, bear witness to another side of Florence by visiting the Museo degli Innocenti or Istituto degli Innocenti.   The first orphanage in the world.   While the official inauguration of the most recent 12.8 million euro renovations funded by the Tuscan region and the institution over a period of three years happened this past June, I only got around to visiting more recently. And what a tremendous joy…

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American in Italy, art, culture, events, food, italy, life, tips, tuscany, uncategorised

October Events in Florence Italy


Blink and before you know it, September is over. It’s been a fast month, albeit a wonderful one for us. I felt a bit like I had more of a French experience than Italian due to my husband’s parents visiting and our road-trip through Normandy and Brittany. But its great to be home. Sunsets arrive a little sooner, sure, but the current weather brings out the happiest of my moods. The crisp nights mean the humidity spell has finally broken…

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American in Italy, ask an expat, culture, interviews, italy, life, locals i love, opinion

Locals I Love: Rebecca Winke


Everyone in the world needs a friend like Rebecca. Whip-smart, and a way with words that manages to combine humor with pretty much any awkward subject, talking with her always makes me walk away smiling. And I always learn something. Rebecca moved to Italy from Chicago in 1993 and shortly thereafter opened an agriturismo at the foot of Mount Subasio near Assisi, Umbria.   She spends her time writing about the lovely region she now calls home for various print…

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American in Italy, blogger roundtable, culture, food, italy, restaurant, travel, tuscany, uncategorised

Gourmet Tuscany: Restaurants that Embrace a Farm-To-Table Philosophy


Eating local never used to be a “thing.” It was just something people did because they had to eat, before choice was even an option. Eat what you grow, grow what works in your region and voila, regional cuisines are born.   Of course, as i’ve mentioned before in previous posts, I grew up on processed foods. Case in point, I’m pretty sure my favorite dessert was a bag of sour patch kids washed down with diet dr. pepper which…

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