Today I’m back with Session 2 of my interview series with the Expats Living in Rome group. These short conversations were recorded on October 6, 2015 at an aperitivo in the historical center of Rome. Last time we heard from six diverse people; four expats from the US and two Italians born in Rome. This time we’ve included a few more countries into the mix.
The aperitivo is one of my favorite aspects of life in Italy. For someone who has never participated in one, think “Happy Hour,” but a little later in the evening, and with more food but less drinking. No TVs and lots of conversation. For expats in Rome, this nightly ritual is paramount to your assimilation process.
During this particular fall evening, the weather was perfect, which is a crucial ingredient, because a good aperitivo should spill out into the adjacent streets. (Not only is this pleasant, but it also allows for a rare socializing opportunity between smokers and non-smokers. Kidding…sort of.)
The venue was Antica Biblioteca Valle in the Piazza Navona area, right in the very center of the historical district. To get there, I walked past such sites as the Pantheon and Bernini’s Fountain of Four Rivers. No wonder folks are always late for social engagements in Rome; there are just too many distractions.
Expats in Rome Interviews – Session Two
So now let’s meet the nice people that I spoke with during the second half of the evening.
Becca is from Atlanta in the US, and she’s working as an au pair in Rome, using the opportunity to finance her dreams to live abroad. She’s also passionate about photography, and finds plenty of inspiration in her new city.
Inger is one of the first people that I met when I started attending these expats events. She’s a certified tour guide in and around Rome, and spends her off-hours binge-watching American television. She also seems to have a thing for Pope Francis, who she says has significantly increased tourism to the Vatican due to his global popularity.
Mercedes is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and like me, she fell in love in Rome during a sabbatical and then decided to make it her home. She’s very involved with the Expats Living in Rome, helping Patrizia host the events and teaching Spanish. She also is a translator and does social media work, as well.
Monika is from Poland. She has a masters degree in languages and has been a freelance interpreter and translator (English, Polish, Italian) for 15 years. She also works with the Expats, teaching Italian and taking photos of the events. She loves Rome and plans to live here indefinitely. She also confirmed my assertion that Italians aren’t quite as open as they initially appear, making it difficult sometimes to make friends outside of expat groups.
Mary is from the Baltimore in the US and teaches English privately. Like many foreigners in Italy, she’s taking advantage of Rome’s ideal location in the center of Europe, allowing her to take off to other countries whenever she gets the itch.
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.
In case you missed it, you can go back and listen to Session 1 of this series. Then in a couple of weeks I’ll have a similar episode where I talk to representatives from regional tourist boards in Italy, as well as a few specific travel destinations, recorded during my participation at the big TTGIncontri travel convention in Rimini.
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.
Click the link to check out other episodes and see my list of the best podcasts about Italy.