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The Italian Way Of Communication

People talking in the Jewish District

With all of the bad news coming out of Italy these days – the catholic church abuse scandal, the electoral shift to the far-right – I thought it was time to remember why so many of us love Italy: The italian way of life has an unique charm about it which can paint even the bleakest of situations a pretty pink. … Continue Reading

Riding A Motorino in Rome

Traffic in Rome

Buying a motorino is something that has tempted me from the minute I moved to Italy. However – at present – I only have second-hand experience of riding a motorino in Rome. My family is convinced that I will seriously injure myself, if not die, the second I dare to drive such an obviously dangerous vehicle. … Continue Reading

A Coffee Break With… Rebecca, 1


We have all had our share of strange and even bad experiences with taxi drivers in Rome. But then, today, I came across this video which shows a taxidriver who serenaded his guest all the way to his destination, driving and singing all at the same time: … Continue Reading

A Coffee Break With… Keith, 1


I have been wondering: Why has Italy lost its status as a PIG?

For many years a (derogatory) term was routinely applied to the economies of Southern Europe – PIGS. It stands for Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain. (Club Med was the parallel term denoting a holiday mentality to economics). … Continue Reading

Encounters: Do Visitors Pay More In Roman Bars?

A coffee bar on Campo de' Fiori

Do visitors pay more in Roman bars and restaurants? Er, yes. Of course they do!

I remember a sunny afternoon when my visiting father said to me, “I’ll just meet you at the bar opposite your apartment for a coffee in half an hour”. Secretly, he went there early, to take in all the italianità (and coffee) he possibly could, before leaving again for his cold home country. … Continue Reading

Public Morality In Italy


In a new article published in The Guardian, John Hooper offers an insight into the nation’s values by analysing how Italy is commemorating the 10th anniversary of the death of Bettino Craxi, the Italian prime minister for four years in the 1980s, who died in exile as a fugitive from justice. … Continue Reading

Appreciating Trastevere: Shut Up And Watch

February 1, 2010 Cultural Musings, Culture & People Comments Off
Vicolo del Bologna at night

This is a response to the previous post (“False Promises of a Romanticised Trastevere?“). As the article says, Trastevere is full of foreigners (and that includes Romans and Italians who just aren’t locals). And they are there to get a feel for the local delights.

But you need to look deeper. In most places around the world you look deeper and just find nothing or worse. The falseness or absurdity of it all. But not in Trastevere. … Continue Reading

Living With Parents At 36: Interview


The case of young (or not-so-young) italians living at home is generating a lot of international media interest right now, especially as one italian minister is now provocatively calling for a new law forcing young italians to leave their parents’ homes at 18. The Guardian has just published an interview by John Hooper with 36-year-old Maurizio Schiavi, living in Rome with his parents. … Continue Reading

Parent Allowance At 32 Is Adequate


A judge has ordered an Italian father to pay a monthly allowance of 350 EUR  to his 32-year-old student daughter, who is living with her mother, while writing her thesis for a degree in philosophy and supporting herself by offering dance lessons. … Continue Reading

White Christmas In Italy


International commentators observe that Italy is experiencing a rise of xenophobia. Martin Kettle of The Guardian even goes as far as to say: “My love affair with Italy is over. The romance is dead. Now I see the country for what it is: rightwing, racist and corrupt.” (I’ve changed my mind about Italy – The Guardian) … Continue Reading

Soaring Divorce Rate: Blame Mamma?

A wedding in Rome

The strong, catholic family values apparently prevalent across all levels of italian society have deeply impacted on the way in which the country is viewed – by italians and foreigners alike. However, changing reality may be quite different than the static prejudice arising from such observations. One way in which Italy’s society may be changing is indicated by the sudden and explosive rise of divorce rate over the last few years. … Continue Reading

And What Did You Do On The First Day Of 2010?

Bridge over the Tiber in Rome

Apart from a leisurly cappucino-and-cornetto breakfast in your favourite bar, probably not much. (Or maybe that is just me.)

In contrast, four courageous Italians have celebrated the New Year by diving into the Tiber … Continue Reading

Streets Of Rome: Anarchy, Primal Fears

November 24, 2009 Culture & People, Traffic No Comments
Small vehicle historic centre

The traffic situation in Italy, and especially in Rome and Naples, is notorious enough to frighten countless visitors from every part of the world. When confronted with the italian driving style, the incredible amount of traffic, and the poor state of most roads, many vow to avoid cars for the length of their visit, … Continue Reading

In Rome? Consider Going Home

Locals and visitors in Rome

With his excellent article about quality of life in Rome, Sebastian Cresswell-Turner (Telegraph, August 2003) has managed to thoroughly depress me. Several years after his article was published, his descriptions still ring true. To build a life in Rome is as difficult as ever, especially if you are a foreigner without family connections. … Continue Reading

New Drinking Habits For A New Generation

Young people on Piazza di S. Maria in Trastevere

As highlighted by several influential news services (last by the BBC in August 2009), Italy is battling a new problem: Drinking and randalising youths, touring the city centres, and drinking on the street. Italy was once better known for its refrained attitude to drinking, but the new phenomenon of binge drinking is rapidly growing among the younger generations. … Continue Reading

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Sneak Peek At Upcoming Articles

  • The Process of falling for Rome.
    30 November, 2012

    I never knew the minute I stepped off the train from Grosseto at Rome’s Termini station in late June 2012 that six month’s later I would be planning a move to the Eternal City.

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