Friday, May 31, 2013

New Blog Series-YCMTSU

My friend Shannon (she's my person here) and I were recently talking about all the craziness we as Americans experience here in Italy that is impossible to describe to anyone, especially someone who has never lived outside of the United States.

She is a frequent blogger also and so we both decided to add a new series to each of our blogs entitled "This Doesn't Happen in America" or as we like to call it between friends, "You Can't Make This Shit Up..." I cannot tell you how many times a day I think these exact thoughts in my head or say them out loud.

Don't get me wrong, living in Europe and Italy can be amazing!  The opportunities and experiences we are having and that are kids are having are life changing.

Making sand castles in Paris 

But for every amazing thing, there seems to be just a little craziness to go along with it....

So, it's here in my own little corner of the blogosphere that I'll try and enlighten you with (or at least share in the humor of) the craziness that is our Life in Italia...

Back in December, when my father had just arrived for Christmas, we noticed that the exhaust fan in our fireplace wasn't working.  We have a giant fireplace in our kitchen--it's one of the things that I liked best about our house when I first saw it.

Our fireplace (before we moved in)

 Keep in mind that Italians actually use their fireplaces for heat because they frequently keep their thermostats set in the 50's.  Gas for heating is VERY, VERY expensive! Without a fireplace, your house would be freezing. When we first moved in back in January of 2012, our downstairs would frequently drop into the high 40's INSIDE.  It is COLD without a fireplace!

This is what it was like the first month we lived in our house....

We contacted Claudio, our landlord, about the exhaust fan not working and he arranged a time for himself and Lucca, the electrician, to come over.  It was a Saturday when they decided to come and I had run out to the market.

When I got home, I had missed them.  I had started to put away the groceries I had bought, when I noticed an empty wine bottle--a big one--and 4 wine glasses sitting on the work table we have in the kitchen....and next to it all was an empty container of fudge that my cousin had sent for Christmas.  Keep in mind, it was barely NOON by this time....

I said some thing to my dad and Steve about who was drinking wine at 10:00 in the morning and Steve laughed and said that when he had asked Claudio if he and Lucca wanted something to drink, Claudio had pointed at the giant wine wrack we have in the corner of our kitchen...and then he went over and PICKED OUT A BOTTLE !

All of this might sound fine up until this point. Claudio, though he doesn't speak a word of English (except for Wednesday, flip flop, and Mercedes--he has one, the other two he learned from me), is the NICEST man and we honestly couldn't ask for a better landlord....I had NO problem with them socializing...

BUT, keep in mind these important facts...

1. It was 10:00 in the morning
2. They had come over to fix something involving ELECTRICITY
3. They had to climb up on the ROOF to do so
4. Italian wine is much, much higher in alcohol content than American wine is--the bottle that they drank was 13% alcohol...
5. They drank the wine BEFORE they climbed on the roof
6. They ate all the fudge... :(

My dad, seeing the humor in the entire situation and not wanting me to miss it, took a picture of the whole thing from my yard...thankfully HE had some sense!

The men on the roof--Steve is in the red shirt, Lucca is to the left and Claudio is in the center

You can see the chimney just peeking out on the corner of the the house. This picture is just to show you HOW high up the roof actually is...

Can you imagine this happening in America?  Honestly, I can't make this shit up....  

If you've enjoyed my new blog series, leave a comment and become a follower!  And as always, don't forget to vote...


  1. This is hilarious! I've tried to document these experiences over the years, but I think the shock value of all of it has worn off a bit after being here a while. I'm looking forward to your "fresh" perspective. I think the behavior documented here is weird even by Italian standards! In fact, I find that my American friends consume much more wine than my Italian ones. Maybe it just says something about my taste in (American) friends ;)


  2. If you’re talking about your small-time repair guy, then yes, it probably happens in America more often than you think. But if you mean like those hired by a professional company, then no. In their defense, I don’t think they consumed the whole bottle before they went up there. Though I get your point; it can still be dangerous to climb up the roof inebriated.

    Staci Severns


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