I’m living in Italy for a year and loving every minute of it. I’m writing because it’s fun. And because every book I’ve read about living in Italy involved wealthy people building a villa. I can’t relate to books about wealthy Americans in search of their Italian farmer roots. Such agony over contractor delays: when will the workers finish planting the olive grove and the authentic italian farmhouse master bedroom suite?  Between meetings with contractors, the whiners go to five-star restaurants and eat and drink themselves into a mellow Italian farmer stupor.

Hello? Real Italian farmers work hard. The only people who live in that Italy are writing those books.

Although my great grandparents were Italian farmers, I can’t relate. I can’t afford a villa, I don’t have an olive grove, and I’m just trying to stock enough food to keep my teenage son from eating the drapes. This blog is about living in Italy when you don’t have an expense account and actually have to do all of the living yourself; I can’t contract any of it out to anyone. It’s fun, fascinating and frustrating. And funny. I hope you like it.

An update:

We’re back in the US, but the stories on this blog will show you the Italy I loved and that still makes me laugh. To  meet the gorgeous Italian neighbor who made my heart stop every time I hung out the laundry, read “Fabio on the Balcony.”  Enjoy Italy’s fresh and fabulous food  with “Reality Bites.”  Experience the insanity of trying to get travel documents from a country that institutionalized anarchy in “Permesso, Signore.”  There are stories about travelling through Europe by train “Cross Training,” and by plane “Flight Risk.” I wrote about crazy love in Paris “Paris Scenes,” and about Welsh badgers and weird Britishisms in “Signs.”

And so many stories about what it is like to live in Italy: laugh about getting wounded in Cinque Terre when you have no car and iffy insurance in ” Cover Me.”  You’ll discover the sweet beauty of Modena, Pavarotti’s home town “Italy is God’s Attic,” “Modena Remembers 9/11,” and “Il Maestro.”  Ride with me on an ancient bicycle through Modena in “Bellezza,” buy a dress in an Italian shop, (“Piccolina,”) or buy a cell phone from the cranky and mean “Phonezilla.”

So many stories!  So grab a cup of cappuccino, and I hope you enjoy Italy as much as I did! Please leave a comment to let me know what you think, and thanks for stopping by.


  1. Oh My God! I read all of them. Hilarious. I will tell my kids. As funny as they are I get squeamish with the idea of dealing with all the red tape.

    I’ll watch for the next one.

  2. Hi Andrea! David Guad send me a link to your blog, it is really funny. I’d wish you and your family a fabulous adventure but it sounds like you are having one already. Have fun, your little cousin, andrew

  3. I Love love your blog…. what a cute idea for a blog…. and now giving travel tips. So I shouldn’t wear a BIG white shirt with an American flag on it? :”=) haaaaa

    • And a baseball cap. And biiiig white sneakers. No, Ratna, no!!! But I love your blog, at cluelessincolorado.blogspot.com !

  4. Hi there! I’m currently trying to plan a 6-12 month trip in Italy, but am struggling to find the right visa. Which one did you get?

    • Hi back! Email me at agelfuso@rocketmail.com – and I’ll tell you everything! And hey, my name’s Andrea, too!

      • I guess I was just meant to find your blog! Haha

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