Monday, 7 January 2013

Back Puglia!

Well, the festive period is now well and truly over. Boo! Only another 360 days or so to go before I can once again gorge on mince pies and chocolate log. Until then though, I will have to 'make do' with smooth Italian espresso, creamy buffalo mozzarella and delicious pizza. How on earth will I cope? ;)

As I touched down in Rome yesterday, I realised that, piano piano, Italy is really starting to feel like a home to me. The UK will always be my country of origin, the place where I grew up, the place where most of my friends and family are. But it's dawning on me that, after just over 2 years here in Puglia, I'm beginning to feel like I'm coming home when I arrive at an Italian airport, not just at a British one. What about all you other expats out there? Are you going through or have you already been through the same process as me? Or will your country of origin be the only place you'll ever truly call home?

On another note, I'm already thinking about a whole load of lovely blog posts for you, to brighten up your January. Because let's face it, January really is a rubbish month. Yummy pasta and broccoli recipe anyone? Watch this space! :)


  1. Hello Amy! I completely empathise with your feelings on returning to an Italian airport! Yes, it does feel like I'm coming to another 'home':-) I hope your return to work goes really well this week, I'm sure you'll be very busy.
    Let's trust that 2013 proves to be a more positive year for Italy and the Italians! Looking forward to more of your blogposts.

    1. Hey Sarah! thanks for your lovely comment. My return to work is going fine, and you're right- it's pretty busy! I hope you're having a great January so far, and I'm glad you're liking the blog posts! :D

  2. Can totally relate!
    I am split three ways:
    I love my job I have in England,
    My lovely boyfriend lives in Italy,
    And being Australia, that is where all my friends and family are!
    Something had to give, alas moving to Italy in 3 weeks...
    I've been away from Australia since June 2011 but I still call it my home :) It will be interesting to see how I feel when I go back later this year!
    Thanks for another lovely, cheery read; it gets me even more excited about Italy :)

    1. Italy in 3 weeks- how exciting! Where are you going to be based? Maybe you'll find another 'home' right here! :) So happy you're liking the blog!

    2. I am moving to northern Tuscany, along the Versilia coast. I've booked myself back into a language school, starting pretty much straight after I arrive. I know I need to learn the language - it's kind of crucial!

  3. Funny you say that: for me, after 6 years in the UK, 'home' is now London, and no longer my native Italy.
    Sometimes, though, I feel in some kind of cultural limbo: in London I'm considered the Italian, in Italy I'm considered 'too British and not Italian enough'. I wonder if this will happen to you, too, if you stay in Italy long enough: I have heard similar comments from many expats.

  4. I look forward to the feeling that "Italy" is more home than my home here in Canada....most of our friends know we have a home in Italy and ofcouce ask all those crasy "Canadian" can you feel at home so far away ??'s SO expensive how do you do it ?? are doing work on your house over thier do you get anyone to work in Italy...and it must be very expensive ?? you have to hide your $$ on yourself when your out site seeing ?? ..I am at a point now in and with my responce to "most" of these questions to just egnore them....and in most cases these kill-joy-friends are starting NOT to ask me much about our time in our little piazza....

  5. Isn't it funny how leaving and returning makes home feel more like home? I've only been living in Nairobi, Kenya, for six months, but I've noticed two things - leaving my real home (Australia) made it feel more like home than ever before, and leaving Nairobi for short stints has made me feel more at home here too!

  6. Cara Amy,
    I’d first like to say, as an Italian "expat" (I don’t particularly like this word, but we all get it) in the US, and a long time observer of expats abroad, that I am really impressed by how well and quickly you integrated in my own country (at least that is definitely the feeling one gets by reading most of your posts).
    Granted, you've had your tough times, but all things considered you seem to have done remarkably well in such a relatively short time span.
    If we think that: you are in Southern Italy, where cultural differences from Northern Europe are, if anything, even stronger (I’m from Genoa originally, but my parents are from the Center and the South); that you didn't know the language at all when you first landed; that for almost all practical purposes (infrastructures, bureaucracy, etc.), Southern Italy is a tougher “sell”, especially if you are used to –ahem – different standards, well, then, your integration process has been quite successful.
    I know that every expat is supposed to embark on a serious effort to set aside nationalistic conformism and adapt to the new country way, but….that is precisely what most expats fail to do!!
    Believe me, few other expats I know would start calling Italy, even though piano piano, almost like "home" after one year!
    I’ve lived 8 years in Washington DC and, although I consider myself perfectly integrated here, I have a problem with calling it “home”. I guess that very much depends on how you define “home”.
    If that is the place to which you connect instantly, which you intimately relate to, culturally and personally, then I feel that DC is not exactly “home” for me.
    The persistence of strong cultural differences would prevent me from calling it as much.
    I have an “anthropological empirical” approach to this (Marx will forgive me.) Experiencing the object is a way to experience the subject, in this case yourself. By staying here, I have admittedly realized that I am even more European than I thought I was.
    However, interestingly enough, I wouldn’t feel home in Italy either, but for another reason.
    I am a world citizen and, if I make it back to Europe, I’d need to stay in a very cosmopolitan, multi-ethnic town where you breath and live international affairs (which I have here, thank you DC.)
    Italy’s relative provincialism would simply kill me.
    If all of this makes sense.
    Best of luck for your experience in the old boot and thanks for your nice blog.