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12.01.2017

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE 2017 {GILLIAN'S LISTS OF LINKS}





This year Italy got 100% on-board with the Black Friday thing. This caused a lot of grumbling on Facebook by Americans who saw it as some kind of cultural appropriation or adopting the worst of US culture at the cost of their own. Conversely, my Italian pals were just bemused by the advertising frenzy that ranged from regular retail items to meals to parking spots and stretched through the weekend to the end of the week with the name Black Days. Me, I thought the entire affair was pretty hilarious and figure it will probably not be a thing at all here in a few years.

My after Thanksgiving shopping was done from my couch where I bought plane tickets and booked an Airbnb for Noah’s graduation from college in May. How did four years go by so quickly?

With that major life event planning out of the way, now I have to start my Christmas shopping. Here are some of my picks for terrific gifts for the Italophile in your life. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to find previous years posts of my suggestions for Italian themed Christmas gifts.

11.08.2017

Osteria der Belli - Trastevere {Eat Like a Roman}


Where to Eat in Trastevere


I don't eat out that much anymore. I am not exactly sure why that is. My best guess is because after over a decade of living here in Rome I have a few favorite places and would much rather go with a sure thing where they know us than try somewhere new and be disappointed. I guess I am becoming more and more like a Roman. 

That said, I am always happy to try someone else's neighborhood favorite, so I was thrilled to have lunch the other day at Osteria der Belli in Trastevere with my pal Maria to celebrate her new book

10.16.2017

How to plan a Birthday Weekend in London

The Perfect Weekend in London Itinerary

The Perfect Weekend in London Itinerary

The Perfect Weekend in London Itinerary


50 turns around the sun. A half a century. I am still letting that sink in. It is a long time to have been alive. To celebrate this milestone I decided to spend a few days in a place that I have a long history with. London is a city where I have been a teenager, a college student, a young bride, and a new mother. It is where I left from to go live in both Niger and Zimbabwe. It seemed like it should be the place to launch the next few decades too. Here is my guide for a weekend in London. Whether you have something big or small to celebrate.

9.01.2017

How to Eat Your Way though Naples {Culinary Backstreets: Culinary Secrets of Backstreet Naples}

Naples Food Tour

Naples Food Tour

I used to visit Naples pretty regularly, but somehow I had let the months slip by and it was now years since I been. A few weeks ago Culinary Backstreets invited me down for a few hours of non-stop eating. 

8.01.2017

Rome in August - 2017 Edition

August in Rome

Rome in August

Rome in August, love it or hate it there are a few things you need to know.

Click on over to my updated post to see what is open here in Rome this August.

Right now here in Rome there is a heatwave they have named Lucifero. You can read a few of my tips on how to cope. I am escaping to my favorite island paradise.  

See you all in September! 


6.27.2017

Home Leave in 15 pictures


home leave expat life

home leave expat life

One of the hallmarks of expat life is the bi-annual home leave. If you are not familiar, a home leave trip the most important thing to know is that it is less vacation than flurry of bureaucratic paperwork, Target shopping sprees, too short visits with family and friends and as much Ramen, tacos, donuts and iced coffee as I can possibly eat in a few weeks. Imagine trying to squeeze in two years of life back home into 19 days and you start to get an idea of the pace. 

We have been doing this for close to a quarter of a century so we are pretty good at it. We managed to see our parents, all of my brothers, lots and lots of friends, get our drivers licenses (in two separate states) and still have time for a few days on Cape Cod and in New York City and see a Sleeping Lion show.  Here is a brief visual guide to our whirlwind trip.