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Kay Ballard

Megan, this contest is wonderful! Very creative and simply delicious to read! Of course, I am overcome by envy. I will try to console myself with a cup of Illy. And, perhaps I will parade around my condo in my favorite Prada sandals--maybe that will help. (smile)

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso

Woohoo! Looking forward to all the new entries :)

Cherrye at My Bella Vita

Oh my goodness this list is *so* good!! I also thought of

* you say you need (fill in the blank) and 3 people bring it right over.

* your doctor tells you are getting too old to have children, then pinches your cheek as you leave his office.

* English-speaking foreigners are here to see the house their dad lived in and the townspeople come together to make them lunch, give them homemade wine, find a translator and tell him stories of his grandfather and father when they grew up. (This JUST happened to some of our guests at the B&B... it was amazing!)


Hi Megan,

I'm a former expat who lived in Bologna for several years and love your contest on "You know you're in Italy when...."

I have 3 to contribute:

"you know you're in Italy when a phone conversation ends with at least 5 ciaos....... ciao, ciao, ciao, ciao, ciao."

"When it take an hour and a half to wash one load of clothes in your washing machine..."

"it's 11pm and your just heading out to dinner not worried if the restaurant is closed."


I love this contest....here is my

You know you are in Italy when you have to keep buying la ricarica's so you can send a simple SMS.

...a motorino runs into you and the teenagers laugh and ask this: hai fatto male??

...the italian waiters gasp when a tourist orders a cappuccino after a meal.

Thanks Megan!

a presto Katie :)

Megan Fitzgerald]

Thanks to all who have responded!

@Kay - you will make it someday - rest assured!

@Cherrye - those are great! Keep em coming!

@Michelle - I am excited to hear the new ones as well!

@Joe - Laundry! Sometimes I would give the world for a dryer....:)

@Katie - ah yes...the joys of recharging your phone..

Looking forward to hearing more...

Ciao ciao!


Linda at Milanese Masala

This is so much fun! I've come up with another one. You know you're in Italy when men aren't afraid to wear colour. Just a few hours ago I saw a man wearing a violet polo shirt and matching sweater and a minute later I saw another guy wearing a mauve shirt.


This list is hilarious and so apropos! I can relate to so many of the items mentioned - too funny!!!

I've also discovered some new expat blogs from amongst your contributors, which is always fun, too.

One of the first things that popped into my head was:

...when you see men strutting their stuff in bright orange pants and hot pink shirts.

In fact, your contest inspired me to dedicate an entire post to the phenomenon: http://tinyurl.com/3wnlwq

Thanks again for the laughs! I'm pointing all the Italyphiles in my address book to this entry.


Ben Licodo (2italy2)

Here are my contributions --

You know you are in Italy when:

...strangers can pronounce your last name without hesitation.
...you look at the phone book and for the first time there are people listed with the same last name.
...you pass the first Ape on the way home from the airport.
...tourists are taking pictures of you on the balcony of your apartment.
...you stand in the doorway of the house your grandfather lived in before he went to sea at the age of 12.
...you pass a scooter with a family of 4 with several shopping bags on it.
...some official looks at and examines your Italian passport over and over again while your answer his questions in broken Italian.
...you enter a contest that states a day of the week to end but has a different date for that day.
...you almost run over someone who stops to pick up something in the middle of the road.
...you are asked by a tourist in broken/bad Italian for directions and they are amazed that you speak English so well.
...you are asked by your neighbors and some new Italian contacts why you moved to Italy since you were not born in Italy or come from this or that region.

Ciao, Ben

Sue H

I live near the border with France so I notice the contrast..., but you know you are in Italy when
- no driver ever uses his indicators, especially on roundabouts,
- the question 'dove si mangia bene?' starts a half hour discussion...

Claire Nelson

...when you wake up and smell the coffee...


Here are my latest contributions from not being able to sleep last night:

1)...you can't fit into an XL dress when your normal is XS or S

2)...people openly discuss their hemmorhoids with strangers at a business do

3)...police pull you over on the side of the road and then end up quizzing you about your life over a quick vino in the local bar

4)...the simplest things to solve are always the most complicated and the most complicated are always the simplest

5)...your boyfriend/girlfriend is automatically considered your fiance/ee, with the expectation you'll run off into the Italian sunset and produce lots of beautiful chubby bambini

6)...the dangers of tanning are unheard of. Where else would you be described as white as a mozzarella or, even worse, as palid as a corpse?


You know you're in Italy when you step into someone's spotless apartment and they greet you by saying "Please excuse the terrible mess".

(I know I'm too late but I thought I'd share!)

Jason Pittelli

You know you're in Italy when...

1. "security" checks at the Vatican Museums entail walking through a metal detector but realizing that the guards don't care... because they're too busy checking out the hot chick behind you.
2. Soccer, not Catholicism, is the national religion
3. You've witnessed at least 50 near death experiences involving a scooter(s) and a bus.
4. "breakfast", once the most important meal of the day, now consists of an espresso and cornetto
5. The local "gym" is actually a shoe box designed to look like a gym and the equipment is from the 70's.
6. A "bank" is more like a "black hole" into which your money goes and some seems to inevitably disappear.
7. Police officer job description: check out hot chicks in St. Peter's square
8. Stiletto vs. Cobblestone - enough said.
9. Stiletto vs. Cobblestone vs. the dog poop nobody picks up - again, enough said.

Sanne de Boer

You know you’re in Italy when...you wonder if winning this contest, however ottimo the prize may be, could entail the risk of cutting a brutta figura when you’d pour your neighbors a caffè that’s different from their regional roast (if their favorite brand is Guglielmo, you know you’re in Calabria!)

Michelle Bottalico

You know you're in Italy when...

you tell someone you don't drink coffee and they offer you a cappuccino.

(By the way, what's the alternative prize?!?!?)

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