An Italian in America for Thanksgiving

The first year I came into the United States I realized how much I loved Thanksgiving. This great holiday is only common in the US and not really in Italy. However, as soon as I came here I started loving it. Not only for the great food that is present on the table, but also for the way that people love to get together and give thanks for all they get and are. I think it is one of the best holidays just because of the reason that is behind it.


I still remember, my first fall semester three years ago when I was invited to the Friends-giving of my teammates and we all got to cook something to bring and hang out together. It was awesome and still this year we are going to be able to do it next Sunday.


However, the thing that I most love is going to my friend Erin’s house for Thanksgiving. I’ve gone there since my first semester and I became a part of the family. I could not have asked for anything better and all the time they welcome me as I have been always a member. It is great and I will always have great memories of it.


In the end, of course the part that I love the most is the food. The delicious turkey, ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes and even the rolls are what make it my favorite holiday and even when I will go home for good I will try to bring it back with me.


5 benefits of having an older brother


How many of you have a brother? If you do you will understand how lucky I feel about having one that cheers me up and supports me with everything I do. There are many benefits of having an older brother in our lives and today I will explain 5 of them.




  1. They are your best friends

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First of all, they become your best friends and you can call them for everything and at every hour of the day because they will be there for you. They will try to cheer you up with a hug or with a long phone call if they are not next to you.




  1. Help you with relationship with friends and boyfriends

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Another positive side of having an older brother is that they understand how friendships goes because they probably already pass through all of it. And most important they are guys so they know how they behave better than girls and they will tell you the truth without lying to make you feel better.





  1. They are your role model

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One of the things I love my brother for is to make me realize how important it was for me to leave home after high school and start my own life, exactly how he did two years after. He is my row model beside being my best friend and I could not ask for anything better.





  1. They always protect you

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The main characteristics of brothers is that they are always trying to protect you and make sure that you are happy however they can. Sometimes you do not even realize it but if you think about it they have always been there to make you smile and protect you from others because that’s how they are!





  1. They will always have your back

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In the end, the best things about having a brother is that they will always have your back. No matter what you do or say they will always support you and make sure that you are okay. It is crazy how they can be there all the time for you but it is also the best feeling to know that you will always have someone beside you to help you get through every step of life.

5 things you know only if you live far away from home

Sometimes when we are young and living at home, all we want to do is leaving the house and finally being able to live by ourselves and create our own lives. However, when you finally make it you realize how great it was to be home and having your parents do most of the things for you. I realized all of this when I finally moved to American, from Italy, for college. And these are the five main things that I realized after a sometime.


  1. Homesickness


This is one of the major things you hear around and trust me it is so true. Especially when you first came back and you realize how much you miss being home and hanging out with your family. It is hard to get pass these times but luckily it gets easier with time.

  1. All the time you go back is harder to leave again

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I don’t know if this happens to everybody but for me, after I stay away for a little bit I kind of get used to it. However, as soon as I go back home and I realize all that I missed so much, it is even harder to leave again.

  1. Your friends become your new family


The most important support that you can have while living far away from home is the one given by your friends. When leaving your family one of the main things that you will miss is their support and their help with anything you need and the only people that can replace that need are your new friends.

  1. You spend most of your free time on the phone with family and friends from home


However, I also realized how most of my free time I spend it by talking with my parents and brother or with my friends from home. Sometimes it is hard to keep up with everything that goes on of the other side of the world but it is also a way to try and keep in touch with them.


  1. Social media and electronic devices become your best friends


For this reason, the use of social media and electronic devices, such as phones or laptops is very common in people that live far away. I think that I would not be able to stay so far away from my family and friends if I didn’t have the chance to call them and talk to them every day and I am very glad that I get to have this opportunity.


An Italian girl in America for Halloween

Growing up I was able to celebrate Halloween because one of my school mates was born on the 31st of October, so she would organize a party every year. However, for my family, Halloween was never that important, especially because it is not an Italian festivity but more an imported one from the US. Most of my costumes were represented by a witch or something really easy to do just because the other kids would dress up too and most of the time it was something picked up at the last minute from my mom’s closet.


After being in the US for three years however, I realized how important it is here to celebrate it and to dress up. For example, if you need to find a costume for Halloween, there are shops designated just for it, while in Italy that is not very common. In addition, the tradition of treat or treating and pumpkin carving it is very important in the US for the younger population but also for older people. The tradition of pumpkin carving is so common that it is brought to an art level and in some cases, we can find some expositions of the best and prettiest ones.


I definitely would have liked to experience Halloween a little more growing up because it can be really fun for a kid to dress up and go out to get some candy from neighbors. In fact, now that I’m here for Halloween I will definitely dress up and go to a Halloween party with my friends.



Difference between cooking and dining in America and in Italy

One of the major differences between Americans and Italians is the way they eat and the amount of time they spend at the dining tables. In Italy, like in America, food is one of the most important things in life. However, the two populations have completely different views about how to eat the food and how much importance they give it to cook it.


One of the major ways of eating food in American is named “fast-food” and like the name says, it is something to eat fast and easy. All around, the US you would notice a lot of fast food restaurants and way less real restaurants places where you can sit down and eat while talking to others.


In Italy, instead, the only places where most people go to eat are restaurants where you sit, you eat and more importantly you talk to others. Food in Italy is not only something you eat, but it also a way to find time to talk to friends and family or even to meet someone new, and spend time together. In these situations, Italians usually talk about the food they are eating or even other type of food that they would like to eat or that they have made once.


Another big difference between Americans and Italians, is the way the cooking is done. Americans prefer to don’t spend too much time making their food. In fact, in most supermarket and most commercials around the state present mainly pre-made things or easy to make food.


For Italians, instead, it is important how much time they put in making the meal and they love spending a lot of time doing it. It is majorly in the weekend when people would spend more time cooking, instead of the week because of work or school, however, it becomes also a way to bond with others and spend time with them.

The two cultures have two completely different ways of perceiving food and cooking and there can’t be a good way to do it but we can always be aware of the way things go and happen.

American myths about Italian food

Have you ever wondered how much of the food that is presented to you as “Italian” in the US it is actually Italian? Today, you are going to discover some of the myths that characterized the American thinking of Italian food.


  1. Spaghetti and meatballs


The first type of food is the most common meal of “Spaghetti and meatballs”. This plate was first seen by all Americans in the Disney movie “Lady and the Tramp”, however, this is not something that Italians are used to. A type of dish that is similar to this one can be found in the south of Italy, however, the meatballs are not bigger than an inch, definitely not as big as the American ones.


  1. Alfredo sauce


Another type of dish very common in the US is the “Pasta with Alfredo sauce”. This type of sauce was invented by a person named Alfredo that came in the US and one night decided to try a new way of making pasta sauce, by adding parmesan cheese to cream. By that night he proclaimed he invented this new sauce and gave it his first name Alfredo. The only restaurants where you will find this type of sauce in Italy, are those restaurants where usually only tourists go and where you will never find a real Italian.


  1. Italian dressing


When eating a salad in American, you will probably find yourself in front of a list of dressings and sauces. When eating a salad in Italy instead, you will have a choice of olive oil, vinegar and salt and nothing else. With that being said, the “Italian dressing” is definitely something that was invented by Americans and that spread around the US as something Italians usually eat.


  1. Italian sandwich


Another common meal found in the US is the so called “Italian Sandwich”. This sandwich is normally full of “Italian dressing” and meat like salami, prosciutto, spicy cold cuts. Mozzarella, basil and peppers. As already explained above, the so called “Italian dressing” is not something you will find in Italy and another sure thing is that you will never find this kind of sandwich either. The culture of sandwiches is not that common in Italy so a full sandwich like this one is definitely something that Italians will not eat.


  1. Garlic bread or bread sticks


The last dish is the famous “garlic bread or bread sticks”. It is very common in the US the use of bread sticks in Italian restaurants as a beginning of the meal. When coming in Italy, however, the only kinds you will find are smaller kinds of bread sticks that are not served with olive oil or anything but left on the tables in small plastics bags.

5 stereotypical things about Italians

Since I arrived in the US three years ago every person that I met was asking me always the same questions. It is interesting to see how many stereotypes characterize my country and today I will talk about some of them that are very common and most of all not that true. Before starting reading these five explanations understand that the only personal goal is to clear some thoughts about Italy that have been generalized and are not the real characteristics of a beautiful country as that is.

  1. Talk with our hands


Let’s start with a common thing that is known to characterize the Italian population, the hands gestures. For the last three years I have been meeting a lot of people and I can assure you that most of them would show me their hands with the “usual” Italian gesture and start talking with an Italian accent. I’m sure we use our hands more than others but I cannot see great of a difference and push for using it as a stereotype for Italians.

  1. Mafia


The second thing that seems to characterize the Italian population is the MAFIA. Now it is known that a lot of things are owned by the mafia power in Italy but there are many more things that characterize Italy and that make it one of the most beautiful countries in the world and I can assure you the mafia is not one of them. So maybe we should concentrate more on the positive thins and the history of a country instead of the negative things that characterize it.

  1.  Mopeds

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Another idea that is very common in America as regard to Italy is the use of mopeds. This common thought comes from different movies about Italy, like the Lizzie McGuire movie, in which it seems that the only thing they go around, is a moped. These ideas are a little generalized to the whole population but the reality is that it is not that common. I know that all our thoughts are just a consequence of stereotypes but I think sometimes we should look forward and realize what is the reality of things.

  1. Loud


A thing that it is very true though is the loudness of people. It depends on which part of Italy you visit but most of the population can agree on the fact that Italians are really loud. It is not only when they are mad but in every kind of situation, especially when they are happy. I would say that one of the loudest places in Italy are the fresh markets where sellers would yell what they are selling. It is a very loud place but also a great experience.

  1. Pasta at every meal

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The last common stereotype is the presence of the pasta at every meal. In the past, the meals in Italy were characterized by three main courses. The first one would be characterized by pasta, the second by meat or fish and vegetables and the last one with fruit or desert. However, now most of the meals are characterized by only two courses, so only pasta or meat and veggies and fruit. I wish I could eat that many courses and still be in shape, especially with pasta.


Florence and the culture of saving leftovers

Have you ever found yourself with many leftovers of different types of food and not knowing what to with them? In Florence, it is important to not waste food like old bread, chicken liver, trippa or lampredotto, which are different parts of the cow’s stomach, or the peas skins. Today I’m going to talk to you about the main 5 meals that Florentines eat and that are majorly made with these types of food.


  1. Ribollita


The first plate is the “Ribollita”. This meal is a type of minestrone but made with beans, good olive oil, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, red peeper, tomatoes puree, cabbage, kale, fresh basil, chicken stock and for the best part sourdough or homemade bread. In Florence, we usually make this meal when we have a lot of stale bread that we’re probably not going to eat otherwise. It is a great way to save some bread and to now waste anything.


  1. Crostini Toscani


The second plate it is known in Italy as “Crostini Toscani” and it is a pate made with chicken liver, carrots, celery, onions, white wine, anchovy and capers. By looking at the recipe I’m sure most of you will say “oh I would never eat that” but let me assure you that after the first time you try them you will never stop. There are a lot of parts that we are not eating from different animals and this is a great way to save some of it.


  1. Trippa e Lampredotto


Another plate in which we save a lot of rests from an animal is the one characterized by the tripe, or Trippa in Italian and the lampredotto. These two types of meat are coming from different parts of the cow’s stomach and before served are cleaned and cooked for an appropriate amount of time. Personally, I do not like the taste of it but it is one of the favorite meat to eat in a sandwich with the bread drenched in the broth and covered with green sauce, for Florentines.


  1. Pappa al Pomodoro


This is another plate in which Italians are able to save some stole bread. To make this plate we need tomatoes, basil, olive oil, garlic and of course bread. It is called “Pappa al Pomodoro” in English tomatoes soup but it looks more like a mush. It is really good and tasty, something that really needs to be tasted.


  1. Minestra di bucce di piselli


For the last plate, we have a kind of minestrone made with peas skins. It is commonly made when after having pealed the peas, all the skins that we would normally throw away are put in a big pan and used to make an incredibly tasty minestrone. After being cooking for some time the skins are then mashed until forming a kind of soup.

5 unknown things to see in Florence, Italy

Have you ever visited a city and felt like you never really got to know and understand the real story of the place? Today I’m going to try and tell you what are five of the best things to see in Florence when you don’t want to be around too many tourists and get to know better the city and its history.

  1. Istituto degli Innocenti



The Institute of the Innocents was built in the first half of the 15th century and it was the first institute in the world to be devoted only for childcare. Mainly the children that were hosted in this institute were abandoned and across the time it was adapted also to the needs of families. The building, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, is one of the first representations of the Renaissance architecture in Florence. Since 2006 the Institute has been transformed in a museum to show the population the story and secretes of the buildings.

  1. Santo Spirito Church



The Church of Santo Spirito (Holy Spirit) was finished in 1488 and designed by Brunelleschi, over the old Augustinian Convent that was burnt down by a fire in 1471. One of the two main characteristics of the Church are the Crucifix placed over the high altar and made by Michelangelo Buonarroti, followed by the plain main facade. This Church is one of the most beautiful churches in Florence and definitely not seen enough by many tourists.

  1. Mercato Centrale



Another not touristy place but that definitely is important to see in Florence is the Mercato Centrale (Central Market). This Market was built in a building of cast-iron built in 1874. Around this building you will find a lot of stalls of the market of San Lorenzo. By entering the Central Market you will be able to experience a series of streets food vendors that dedicate their time to ingredients of the Tuscan and Florentine cuisine. An experience that can’t be missed if wanting to know a place not only for the arts but also for the food that characterizes it.

  1. Giardino Di Boboli



The fourth place that needs to be seen is the Boboli Garden. Cosimo Medici commissioned this Garden for his wife Eleonora di Toledo and it was designed by many famous artists of the 16th century as Ammanati, Vasari and Buontalenti. It covers 45,000 in the center of the city and it is hidden by the Pitti Palace, one of the most famous palaces in Florence ruled by the Medici family. Visit this Garden is a good way to be around green and fresh air in the center of the city, a great escape from the hot weather especially during the summer.

  1. Società Canottieri Firenze



The fifth and last place that needs to be experience is the visit of the Rowing Club of Florence, called Società Canottieri Firenze. The club was founded in 1886 under the Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio (the Old Bridge). By entering the club you will be able to see some of the oldest boats of the club and to enjoy something to drink or eat at the bar or outside on the river shore. Thanks to the great position the view of the outside is stunning. You will be able to observe Ponte Vecchio and some of the palaces on both of the river sides from a different point of view.

The relationship between mental health and what we eat

What can improve our mental health has been the topic of many researches done by a new field called nutritional psychiatry, which looks at how diet can help us reduce the chance of mental health conditions. In the article “how what you eat may affect mental health” the author stays that in the past year, more than 16 million people in the US presented cases of depression. It is hard to individuate the main reason of mental conditions but it has been proved that a healthy diet can lower the number of chances to engage in mental disorders as anxiety and depression.

By engaging in a healthy diet the individual most of the time starts to loose wait and this can bring to an improvement of the personal relationship with his/her body. It is hard to live in a body that does not fit in your expectations and this is one of the major problems for girls and one of the major reasons of mental and eating disorders. For this reason, when starting to lose weight and getting closer to the personal goals, it will be easier for the individual to not face anxiety or depression. However, the author of the article “can what you eat affect your mental health” stays that it has not been found what relationship characterize mental health and what you eat. It could be that some food or the absence of them could bring to poor mental health or it could also be the other way around, in which the mental disorder could change what you decide to eat.

Whatever is the answer to that question, it is important to notice how they can both influence one another. By only eating healthier and watching what we eat, we could improve our personal health and resolve many disorders issues that characterize this country.