Too English, Not Italian Enough

by Francesca Crisante, German and Italian:-To state the painstakingly obvious: I never really considered what the word ‘foreign’ meant to me personally before living in another country. By foreign I intend a sense of ‘foreignness’ that goes beyond being a tourist with a camera, someone’s guest or a visitor. To try and vaguely grasp at what I mean: The kind of foreign where you’re trying to buy a coffee and even during the simplest of linguistic exchanges that you practised a dozen times in year

My New Favourite Non-Country

by Simon Posner, Italian:- It was early afternoon in Northern Italy, and I was already on my fourth train of the day. Ever since Mussolini famously “at least made the trains run on time”, Italy has been unified by the rail network Trenitalia, a fleet of questionable locomotives with blue rubber seats, broken air conditioning…

In Defence of Naples: Seeing beyond a bad reputation

by Laura Shanahan, Italian and French– It’s early evening on a Sunday, still warm and light outside, and I’m sitting in one of Naples’s main squares, Piazza Dante. The scene before me is one of chaos. The piazza is dominated by a group of teenagers who have stretched a bit of rope between two lampposts…

An evening of dolce far niente

by Simon Posner, Italian Behind Italy’s messy façade of fast cars, bustling streets and lively personalities there lies a calmer aspect to life which has allowed my year abroad to live up to its reputation as 16 months of lazing around. This aspect is known as the dolce far niente, the ‘sweetness of doing nothing’.…

Italian Stereotypes

by Aurelia Specker, Italian –    Pizza, Dante, Berlusconi and football. Italy may well take up less than 1% of the surface area on Earth, but nobody can claim that they know nothing about it. Whether positive or negative, the stereotypes that stem from our conception of the country are endless. Having lived and worked…