Hi guys! The post below is my first in the Dolce Vita Bloggers Italy Link-Up. Each month, I’ll be posting (along with other “Italy bloggers”) on a central topic, and they’ll be “linked up” for you guys to read! Find more information about this here. This month’s theme is “Your Italian connection.”
Starting this site has taught me that the internet makes the world so much smaller. In October, I did a collaboration with Jasmine from Questa Dolce Vita. Since then, we have kept in touch through our socials, and she is one of the hosts of the Dolce Vita Bloggers. Thank you, Jasmine, for this awesome opportunity to participate! Alongside Jasmine, Mammaprada and Italian At Heart are hosting the linkup as well. I hope you take a second to check them out!
Anyway–Put simply, my connection with Italy isn’t so linear! My connection with the country has stemmed from a few different aspects of my life.
The first aspect, I was born with. I am Italian-American, second generation on my dad’s side, and third on my mom’s. I often spent the weekdays with “Nana”, where I first learned that my family was different. However, I LOVED that. Over the years, I heard so many stories about Italy and the way my grandparents grew up. One of my fondest memories of Nana is learning how to make gnocchi. She’s an amazing cook, and still cooks for us each week! I grew up basically a monolingual English speaker, but my cousins, siblings, and I took it upon ourselves to learn Italian in school. We can all speak it at an at least basic level.
Honestly, it could have been left at that. Italian-Americans are aplenty, and many of us have no connection with Italy; we have a connection with the Italian-American subculture. After traveling to Italy a few times to visit family, it was time for the next natural progression–moving to Italy to study.
I spent the spring semester in my junior year of college at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan. I don’t care how cliché it sounds, but I found myself there. It really put my identity of being an Italian-American in perspective. I appreciate my identity for what it is: separate and distinct from that of Italians. The country my grandparents came from is important to me, and I admire the culture with which they were raised. I learned how lucky I was to live in America, yet also how lucky I was to experience the “true Italy.” I miss Milan a lot, especially my friends and the ones I made from around the world. But, our world remains small, and I am content with the experience I had.
Now, I work in the study abroad field and help students obtain Italian visas and make sure they have what they need to have the experience I had. Italy is the reason I even fell into this job or started a blog at all.
I know this ends with a bit of a cliffhanger, but I hope you all will continue to follow me throughout this linkup. I encourage you to look at the other posts in the link-up as well! As a reminder, follow me on my NEW INSTAGRAM here.