Americans who lunch in Rome, thanks to Twitter

written by Tiana Kai
Americans in Rome

It couldn’t have been planned any better. My father was flying through Fiumicino (30m west of Rome) on a business trip this week, so Nicco and I took a train from Florence to meet him for the night. Once we arrived at the hotel, we waited for my Dad to come strolling in wearing his typical uniform, all black. We had some wine, showed him wedding pictures and had a great dinner.


After dinner I started to wonder if I knew anyone in Rome who I could meet up with on my way back to Florence the next day. None of my friends live there, just online expat friends. One popped into mind, @lizinrome. I messaged her on Twitter and she said that she would love to meet up too. Wow, I feel like I’m online dating… meeting a ‘stranger’ in a public space. She and I have parleyed a bit on Twitter and on our blogs as well, check hers out, so it was about time we actually met.

Nicco had to get back to Florence that next day, which left me to my own devices… well, I kind of sent him on his way with our suitcase so that I could lunch with Liz myself. He asked if I wanted him to join and I told him no—that I needed girl time. Then he asked if all of us expats are the new Masons. Now that’s something to think about.

I took the train from Fiumicino to Roma Termini and then Metro B to Colosseo. Yup, just a hop and a skip to the Colosseum. As I walked out of the station I was faced with the Colosseum. It was so great seeing it. The last time was three years ago, but it didn’t give me chills like this time—so impressive. This reminded me that I definitely need to return and spend more than a day to take advantage of the fact that I live 1.5 hours from Rome! So cool.


Once I was over the shock of seeing the Colosseum in my face, I started to look around for Liz. Would I recognize this Liz? Should I ask every woman looking around aimlessly if they happened to be Liz? I waited and soon spotted a friendly smile in the crowd with a vespa helmet in hand. This must be her! I waved and smiled and had a feeling it was her. She looks different from her Twitter image, but I still had a feeling. Yup, it was her.

From the get-go we were non-stop chatty Kathy’s. I felt like I had to cram so much in to get our backgrounds out of the way in order to move on to other topics like family, men, love, reality of living abroad, perspectives, etc. Basically, engaging deeper than you would want to on freaking Twitter.

We spent three marvelous hours at this great spot on via Claudia next to the Colosseum and station. We had some wine, bruschetta and three plates of pasta. One plate was a mistake and was on the house, score! I walked Liz back to her vespa as we continued to get into interesting topics. You could tell we had a lot to say and share, but three hours came and went and it was time for her to zip along on her vespa and for me to get my butt back to Florence.

Lunch with Liz reminded me of how important women friendships are. Women are amazing creatures, we should’t survive on our own. We grow emotionally and personally when we have each other to rely on, share stories with, gossip with, laugh about each other, hear each other out. These are things that men can not and should not fulfill for us. If your man did all of those things for you then he would be a woman, not the man that he is.

So, ladies, rely on your female network, but don’t just tweet them or retweet their tweets or comment on their blog. Build a stronger more honest network with them personally. Share yourself. Remember that we are here for each other, to lift each other up and support one another.

I feel like I’m writing the infamous memo by Jerry Maguire, the one that soon got him fired and shut out for his honesty. He wrote what was in his heart, what others were afraid to write or live by. As we look back on life and our lives abroad you should want to create meaningful moments not just pictures you took or blogs you wrote. As we look back we may be more proud of the women we helped and whom have helped us through life than all the expat articles we have written. Think about it.

Women need to lunch more.

How many expats have you meet since living abroad and what was your experience like?

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Frances November 7, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Come over! I have hummus 🙂 lol

Liz Knight November 7, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Honestly it was one of the best days since I’ve been here!
Cannot wait to do it again! I also could not agree more about women friendships. You’re the best!!

PS My picture on Twitter looks different because it was airbrushed(!) by my old law firm’s photographer! ha ha ha!!

Gillian November 7, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Loved this! I have made some really good friends via twitter and instagram – who would have thought. I look forward to meeting the two of you – in real life – soon!

Tiana Kai November 8, 2012 at 12:03 am

Frances, I wish you were that close to florence!! ;( boooo.

Liz, me too. It’s so great to meet a friendly face who has so much in common! Girl power baby!
Ha, yes, and your hair looks darker in your Twitter pic. But, now I know you have long beautiful blonde hair. Watch out Romani!

Gillian, I would love to meet up next time I am in Rome. Not sure when that will be, but reach out if you make your way to Florence. 🙂 Instagram has brought a lot of really cool blogs into my life and hopefully people too.

Christine November 8, 2012 at 6:50 pm

Couldn’t agree more with what you wrote about girl time. I don’t get enough of it in Spain and it’s always so refreshing when I do!

Niccolò November 9, 2012 at 9:18 pm

I didn’t realize Rome and Fiumicino are so close… 😉

Adrienne November 12, 2012 at 9:08 pm

That sounds like so much fun Tiana!

I remember meeting up with an online friend as well one time when she was in town. I walked into the lobby of the hotel and she called my name and headed straight to me. The funny this is she said you look just like your picture. My goodness, I would hope so. She definitely looked like hers to and it was one of the best days ever.

Spending time with women friends is so important but it’s so much more fun when you’re meeting new friends online too.

Glad you ladies had such a great day! And in Rome too! Nice!!!


Tiana Kai November 12, 2012 at 9:15 pm

Hi Adrienne,

Thanks for passing by! Yes, girl talk is important, it’s so great to listen and share your own thoughts over 3 hours of yummy pasta! I can’t complain. I just hope there will be more moments like that in the near future now that winter is approaching. 🙂

Tiana Kai November 12, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Christine, I agree, I think the hardest part is finding the time. Everyone seems to be on a hectic schedule, but I find that those who make the time are well worth knowing.

linda December 1, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Wandered over from Twitter and have been scrolling through your posts. This one really resonates because we really do need to cultivate friendships. We’re social creatures and while online is a great way to connect (better than many think), it does take on a deeper meaning when we connect face to face. I’ve Skyped with a few fellow expat bloggers who I’ve gotten to know fairly well online, and it’s amazing how the conversation gets going, as if you’ve met in ‘real life’. In person is even better!

Tiana Kai December 4, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Yes, Linda, in person is always better! One can spend months and even years interacting with someone online… and the worst part is that most live within a 30 min drive away from you. We all should put in more of an effort.


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