You might be an expat in Italy if…

written by Tiana Kai

After living in Florence for a year now I’m starting to finally feel like it’s my home… slowly understanding my way around and having my favorite hangouts and restaurants in my back pocket. As an expat in Italy, I’ve seen a few things that other expats (including myself) may do often in their expat life abroad.

You might be an expat in Italy if…

  1. you start referring to your girlfriends as ‘bella’
  2. you put ‘la’ in front of any woman’s name before you mention them
  3. you cut pizza with scissors
  4. you are a regular on Ataf
  5. you can parallel park like a beast
  6. your hands start to talk for you
  7. you push people in line, it doesn’t matter the gender or age
  8. you can’t eat pasta in the States anymore
  9. you bitch about politics even though you can’t vote
  10. you drink cheap wine that’s worth drinking
  11. you’re used to air drying your clothes
  12. you watch movies in Italian pretending you don’t need the subtitles
  13. you are astonished that people still speak to you in English
  14. your friends in the States think you have a magical life filled with rainbows and unicorns
  15. you can’t stand tourists
  16. you pride yourself on speaking the city’s dialect
  17. you own a vespa
  18. you date or married a local
  19. you’ve picked grapes during harvest
  20. you have more than one job
  21. you say caffè instead of espresso
  22. you drink caffè standing up
  23. you take trains more than cars

This will be an ongoing list like the American phrases that don’t translate well I wrote a while back, which seemed to have been quite a popular one.

Add more in the comments below and don’t be shy share this post and pin that meme!

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Georgette July 4, 2013 at 4:39 pm

great post Tiana, guess I fit the bill, especially when it refers to being an ATAF regular and calling my girlfriends ‘bella’. Its a hard life, isn’t it ;-). Happy July 4th!

Tiana Kai July 5, 2013 at 4:44 pm

Thanks, Happy 4th! 🙂 I use bella in emails more for Italians, I’m not sure if I’ve called anyone that in person… can’t remember. I still use ‘mami’ from Miami sometimes.

Silvia July 4, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Yes. Hate tourists! (except when I’m the tourist in another country and then I make sure to be as cheesy and annoying as possible as payback). I have found myself pretending that I don’t speak English when a tourist — American or other — asks me for help. I swear, I’m trying to become a better person.

Tiana Kai July 5, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Oh boy Silvia! I know you are better than that lol. I am pretty nice to tourists, but get irritated by loud ones taking over places… some people in general don’t know their surroundings.

TashasTravelTroves July 4, 2013 at 10:48 pm

hahaha this is really a fun post – I love it. going to share it with my readers 🙂

Tiana Kai July 5, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Thanks, found it! 😉

Kaley July 5, 2013 at 12:37 am

A lot of these are so true for Spain too! Like:#6 or #14 🙂

Tiana Kai July 5, 2013 at 4:39 pm

#14 for sure—I wish my life was filled with unicorns and rainbows!

Cat of Sunshine and Siestas July 5, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I was just going to second this, Kaley! I use pet names like ‘guapa’ and ‘hija’ constantly (really sets me apart up here in Galicia, as it’s very, very Andalusian), and the part about the lines! Hilarious.

Tiana Kai July 7, 2013 at 10:18 am

Ya it’s incredible how people push here, at least in Florence and up in the Alps in the ski lines. Kind of annoying!

I haven’t called anyone ‘gorda’ in awhile, but sometimes I throw in a ‘mami’.

Jess | GlobetrotterGirls July 17, 2013 at 9:23 am

Love all of these and even tho life isn’t filled with rainbows and unicorns, sounds like the cheap wine worth drinking and well-deserved pasta snobbery still make Italy a great place to live! 🙂

Tiana Kai July 17, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Yes Jess, there is major pasta snobbery going on over here! Who needs unicorns when you have €4 a bottle wine that would be $18+ in the states?!

Ire September 17, 2013 at 6:32 pm

Perhaps point 2 belongs better to a “You might be an expat in northern Italy if” list 🙂

Tiana Kai September 26, 2013 at 1:04 am

Ire, I’ve heard someone from Twitter mention that as well, but I hear it loud and clear in Florence. They use ‘la’ in front of names in Latin countries/cultures too, so I’ve been ‘La Tiana’ for many years even in Miami. Perhaps the difference is how often it’s used and if you are referring to someone or calling them ‘la xxx’ to their face.

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