Top 5 Things Expats in Italy Miss About Home

You are right. I know what you are going to say and you are right … “but you live in Italy!!!”

I know. Again … you are right.

But still, the grass is always greener or you want you can’t have or maybe 30 years or so in one place will do that to a person …

So, beat me now (50 lashes with a wet noodle, my dad used to say!) but we do. We miss stuff from home.

A few weeks ago I posted about the top five things American expats in Italy bring from home and Michelle recently reported on how to make an American expat in Italy happy.

And it got me thinking. If life is nothing more than a series of experiences determined by our choices, then what experiences are us expats missing by choosing to live in Italy?

So I asked.

I emailed a group of my faithful Italophiles with the question … and here is what they said.

* One word, two hyphens … Chick-fil-A

* Going to the movie theater and understanding every word

* Eating at Taco Bell,  The Cheesecake Factory, Benihana, Johnny Rocket and Souplantation

* Shopping for groceries at any hour of the day and 24-hour pharmacies (there was even a nostalgic shout-out to CVS, if anyone is interested!)

* Having Sunday brunch in “one of those uberbitchy places in Soho,” Brooklyn and the West Village, as well as NYC bodegas and getting the Sunday Times on Saturday night

* Browsing in discount stores – where clothes fit – such as Ross, TJ Maxx and Marshalls

* Enjoying an over-sized cup of American coffee and “not the watered-down espresso they call ‘caffe americano'”

* Going to summer BBQs

* Talking about work over an end-of-the-day cocktail with friends

Not surprisingly, spending an afternoon in the bookstore or library was high on the list, as was eating at ethnic restaurants and shopping at one-stop shops like Walmart and Target.

Well, man, am I lucky! I get to go home a few times a year and experience the best of both worlds. And you better believe there are things we’d miss about Italy, too.

So, in honor of next week’s Settimana dell’ Amore (Love Week) I’d like to know what you love most about Italy.

See that new survey in the side column over there? See it? It is on the left … look up!

Click the survey link and let me know what you think. Then come back on Monday, February 16 for the results.

Buon Weekend … and enjoy that survey!

Special thanks to Bleeding Espresso, Ms. Adventures in Italy, Think on It!, Miss Expatria, NYC/Caribbean Ragazza and other blogless expats for their input!

11 Responses
  1. You’re welcome.

    That line about the uberbitchy places in Soho cracked me up. Tell them to go to Milan or come to Rome there are a few “fabulous” places like that.

    I cannot co-sign on Soup Plantation or Taco Hell. One I have an issue eating at a place with the name Plantation in it and two that food is foul.

    Now In-n-Out burgers… I’m down that. 🙂

    Have a great weekend.
    Ha. That is funny about Souplantation and taco hell. I haven’t ever heard of Souplantation, but I’m told it is a fresh salad and soup place – and I love those! 10 pounds in college – Taco Bell. I don’t eat there, either! Bad memories! lol You have a great weekend, too!
    nyc/carribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Flashback Friday – Sense and Sensibility

  2. joanne at frutto della passione

    Donuts. Tim Horton’s donuts. Cheap(er) books and dvds.
    DVDs *are* expensive here, aren’t they? We’ve started ordering ours from in the UK. They ship for free. They aren’t usually in Italian, but they are at least 1/2 price!

  3. I would have said customer service and efficiency of the banks in the U.S. is one thing I missed while living in Italy, but it seems like customer service and efficiency of the banks here has gone downhill.
    Sadly, I have heard/noticed that, too. Overall, we still have better customer service than many places in Calabria. Our banks are getting better, though!
    Ciaochowlinda’s last blog post..World Nutella Day – Nutella Pizzelle Sandwich

  4. I haven’t heard of Souplantation either. But I did eat at Chick-fil-a two times during my trip to the States last month. Target is always at the VERY TOP of my list.

    It is hard to explain, isn’t it, to friends and family back home — or maybe more to casual acquaintances how you can appreciate and love living overseas but still miss lots of comforts of home.

    For me, as I said, it’s Target and more affordable clothes – jeans, basic black pants, etc. That you can buy for a couple of hundred dollars and have numerous pieces of decent quality — basically that was my clothes shopping for the year.

    The funny thing is one can no longer miss Starbucks here in Paris because there are more than 40 of them! And again, lucky to be in a big city, there are several English-language bookstores to linger in . . including the one where I work, which I loved as a client and now love working in! I swear, more than the paltry 9 euros an hour I earn, it’s the huge discount on books, DVDs, and magazines that makes that job a great value for me.

    Can’t wait to see the next chapter of this post! Thanks Cherrye!
    I can’t believe there are 40 Starbucks in Paris now. When I lived there in 2000 there wasn’t even ONE! We had to go to London for Starbucks! lol I do “all” of my shopping like that, too. It is hard, though because then I feel guilty for spending so much at once! Can’t win, can we?!? Ha ha …
    Kim B.’s last blog post..Rendition Effected

  5. Stephanie Pizzo

    A friend of ours is going to Florence Saturday. I went to her house last night and took Sarina her supplies….chili mix, dried blueberries, “Twilight” 1,2,3 and 4. DVD’s and microwave popcorn (carmel flavor). Oh, and sent her and her hubby some clothes from the famous “TJ MAXX”. Ralph Lauren at that! Would have sent more, but our friend was on a tour and cannot take alot of stuff, darn!
    WHAT a great care package! She will be *so* excited to receive that … trust me!

  6. I am expanding my list of where to go on my upcoming trip from your comments. I forgot about Target, TJMAXX and Marshall’s, but I did see that it is time to buy more washcloths from R Lauren. The RL white towels I brought with me are now 12 years old and still fine. I just noticed that Ralph Lauren and real life have the same initials…spooky.
    I love RL towels, too. I can’t believe you have had yours 12 years. That is a testiment to their high quality. Make that list now … trust me. You’ll forget things if you don’t!
    Judith in Umbria’s last blog post..Hey! Katherine here…

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