In Italy you only find a family trattoria by chance. They don’t advertise, no road signs. Their fame is spread by word of mouth, the fastest way to become known here, and the only way to stay in business.
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So, you want to live the dolce vita in a small town in Sardinia? Eat handcrafted gelato in the middle of an August heat-wave and sail away on the Mediterranean Sea forgetting reality exists?
Sounds pretty awesome, right?
La dolce vita or the sweet life has a very colourful, sour inside. In this post I will step out of my comfort zone, to show to you – the endless Italian dreamer the sour side to paradise.
There are no beautiful photos of pristine perfect beaches or snow-capped mountains or even ancient alleys that lead to paradise. No, this post is raw facts about living and working in a small town in Sardinia, Italy.
As many Italians annually escape the burning streets and dense humidity of the ancient cities to the breezy sea side and beach towns for Ferragosto, my main man and I decided to take a different yet surprisingly delightful route.
Ferragosto, for those who are unfamiliar with the term, can be translated more or less into August Holiday coming from the Latin phrase “Feriae Augusti”. The week including this holiday (the 15th of August) refers to a modern day period when shops shut down, bigger cities become abandoned by locals and ironically filled with tourists, with limited options in restaurants and even some historical attractions. It is a time of rest and escape. But instead of buying into the typical lavish coastal getaways, we started thinking outside of the box… a box normally filled with overpriced, overcrowded amenities, and dry of any true value, especially during this infamous summer week.
The Tuscany coast has always been a favorite escape for me and my boyfriend when Florence starts to boil us like an egg on a sidewalk in Arizona. My boyfriend is Italian and has had the very fortunate luck of being able to “summer” every year at his family’s seaside house located in the tiny town of Mazzanta (near Vada & Cecina).
Last Sunday I finally had the chance to go visit the long talked about beach destination of Sperlonga!! Only a two hour drive from Rome, it’s still conveniently close enough to our area in Monteverde where we easily made a day trip out of it. Having left pretty early around 8:30 am we were in the town of Sperlonga with enough time to catch some rays before lunch. Quaint and refined in it’s curb appeal, the little ancient town still exudes vibrant character with stories to tell if only the cracks in the hillside dwellings could talk. Once we finally found a parking spot, and paid the toll for the day (unfortunately in the summer, parking must be paid 7 days a week with no flexibility in hours), we threw our beach towels over our backs, cooler & umbrella in hand, and trekked down to the deep blue sea.
Here in Umbria, this year has been an exceptional one for apricots: avalanches of them from trees which rarely produce anything at all. So, what to do with all this abundance? Here are some (fairly) easy ways ensuring that summer fruit (apricots and others…) last through the winter months
Living abroad, you sometimes learn to celebrate your own national holidays (specifically Thanksgiving and the 4th of July, for an American) on a ‘convenient’ day near the actual holiday, since they aren’t holidays where you are living. This year AICR (American International Club of Rome) hosted its ever-popular annual Independence Day Picnic last Saturday, July 7th, at Marymount International School in Rome and Insiders Abroad was proud to participate.
Ohhh I do like to be beside the (Italian) seaside!! Here’s a quick guide to Termoli, a seaside town on the Adriatic coast in the Campobasso province.
I thought I’d share a rather life changing experience I had a couple days ago. I live in Rome, a city I love and cherish. But being an expat doesn’t always come with comfort and ease. In fact moving to a new city, having to make new friends, adjust to new climates, jobs, etc. is never really easy. Of course moving to a place where they speak a completely different language than you makes it that much more difficult and frustrating at times. (Note: I am now studying Italian on a serious basis to lower this hurdle) Nonetheless, any expat will tell you, there will be some ups and downs.
I have lived in Rome, as an expat no longer a student, for the past year or so. In that time many things have happened and many….well adventures have taken place. Many of those adventures include the public transportation system here in Italy. Most recent adventure begins now: