I’m closing in on my first full week back in the bel paese and have just finished unloading my loot. With my creative airline connections and day-long London-based layover, I not-so-voluntarily had to reduce my amount of American-flavored imports.
But some things always make the cut.
Here is a quick pic of some of the food items that made my list.
Earlier this week I was asked to report to you guys what American items I bring back with me when I visit Texas. Well, aside from the obligatory edibles, there are several other staples that will remain forever on my “to buy” list.
And I am not alone. Other American expats living in Italy stock up on their favorites when relatives visit, when friends send packages or when they are state-side and I asked them to weigh in.
Here are the Top Five Things American Expats in Italy Import from Home
Ziploc Bags – Oh yes, Italy has a version of the plastic sandwich-style bag that one could use for … well, for … for carrying peanuts to the beach, maybe? I don’t actually know what Italians use their little plastic bags for, but trust me, folks, these aren’t Ziploc. This was actually the #1 response from the people I polled and is always – always – on my list.
English Language Literature – Or to quote one of my favorite American expats in Umbria “English language anything!” I know how you feel, Judith, I brought four books back this go around – and 3 mags.
Over-the-Counter Medicine – Pills such as Aleve, Advil and NyQuil, or generic versions of said meds, are a top priority for most American expats in Italy. Ibuprofen has recently hit the shelves of my neighborhood pharmacy here in Catanzaro disguised as Vicks Flu Medicine, but weighing in a whopping €12 euros (for 12 pills) importing these bad boys is still a money-wise option.
St. Ives Apricot Scrub. I have to admit I was surprised this one made the list. I mean, it is always on my list and I always bring an extra stash for my pal down the street, but I was surprised other American expats agreed. Long live St. Ives!
Clothes – I know. We live in Italy and Italy is one big fun-filled shopping experience, right? Well, uh no. Wrong. Many expats I know prefer to shop at home. Clothes here tend to be odd-fitting, too tight or hugely overpriced. Shoes are a priority for me and I have another expat friend who loads up on blue jeans when she is the states.
Other interesting items American expats like to bring back to Italy are regional food favorites, such as Velveeta cheese and chili powder for me, marshmallow cream for my pal, Michelle and Cream of Wheat packets for the globe-trottin’ Miss Expatria.
What about you? If you are an expat, what things do you bring from home? If you aren’t an expat, what would you miss the most? Please share … and have a great weekend!