October 25


FCI 023 – The Rome Expat Interviews, Session 1

By Rick

October 25, 2015

rome expat interviewsFollowing up on my previous episode where I interviewed Patrizia, the “ring leader” of the Expats Living in Rome group, I now present a smorgasbord of chats with a few of the members who make this group the eclectic slice of culture that it is. This episode represents the first half of the interviews, and I’ll be posting the second half in a day or two.

I suppose that most large, international cities attract a variety of people from all over the world who relocate, either temporarily or permanently, to pursue career goals or simply to find a better/more interesting life.

Rome, however, is particular, in part because daily life is so challenging and non-intuitive—even for Italians who come from other parts of Italy. There is a certain comradery in “surviving” the chaos of the Caput Mundi.

In this episode, Session 1 of my interviews, we have a nice mix of male/female, expats/Italians, from different age ranges and career paths. We settled into our Campari cocktails at Antica Biblioteca Valle in the Piazza Navona area for some candid conversations. Let me briefly introduce this first group to you.

Rome Expat Interviews – Session One

rome expat social eventsMaria is a flight attendant who often finds herself in Rome just for a night or two while awaiting the return trip to the US. She gives some tips for seeing Rome if your time is limited. (And “grazie” to her and her friends for sharing their wine with me!)

Michael was born in Rome to an Italian father and an American mother. He attended primary school in Italy, but then moved to the US during his high school years. He talks about the advantages of being fully bi-lingual. And he is: totally fluent with no accent in either language.

Susan is a dual citizen of the US and Italy. She inherited part of her family’s business, which is—get this—a thermal spa/hotel in the province of Salerno. Nice! Check out her website: Rosapepe Retreats

Alessandro has had an interesting path that led him from Rome to Walt Disney World in Orlando to EuroDisney near Paris back to Atlanta and now back to Rome again. I talked to him just one week after his reentry into Roman society. We discussed some of the things that we like/dislike about both life in Italy and life in the US.  And no, it’s not only about the food!

IMG_9172Lisa is a freelance writer from the US, now living in Rome—and patiently waiting for the cable guy to connect her Internet service. She was formally an entertainment writer, but she’s transitioning into the travel industry and also researching a book on Bernini. Check out her blog here: Searching for Bernini

John and I have hung out a few times lately, and it’s great to swap travel stories with such an avid adventurer. He was a career journalist at The Denver Post, writing about sports, travel, and food before making the permanent leap to Rome as his base. I say “base” because it seems John is traveling almost as much as he’s in town. Check out his excellent blog for tales of his travels: Dog-Eared Passport.

So check out the podcast to hear what these folks have to say about their individual experiences with Rome. And you can see more pictures from the evening on the Expats in Rome Facebook Page.

And if you’re in town this Tuesday (or any Tuesday), come to the weekly expat aperitivo. This week it’s at REC23 in Testacccio, Piazza del Emporio 2.

Tomorrow I will be posting Session 2 of this series. Ciao!!

Click the link to check out other episodes and see my list of the best podcasts about Italy.

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About the author

Living in the Caput Mundi and trying to decipher Italian culture for the English speaking world.

  • Hi Rick: Loved your comment: (not verbatim but close) “Italians are the nicest people in the world, until they get behind the wheel of a car. They morph into …” Excessive Amaro apparently precluded your making an ideal analogy. Or maybe it wasn’t the Amaro because the ideal analogy is quite difficult to make. I mean, WHAT’S UP WITH THAT? There is absolutely nothing that is done in Italy that is done quickly, EXCEPT FOR DRIVING. There is almost nothing that is done in Italy that is done without courtesy, EXCEPT FOR DRIVING. What’s up with that? How does a culture that is so much better at congeniality than our own American culture become so uncaring, selfish and demonic when they get in a car? Why the profound paradox?

    • Paul, it’s one of those mysteries that makes Italy such a fascinating place! And if I can ever fully answer that question, then it will be time to go back to the US for good!

  • Very interesting. I have a question regarding visas, residency documents, etc. When I lived in Rome with my Italian family some time ago, they took care of that by going to the” Questura”(spelling). What is it like now?

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