Italian Blog Scene: Rubber Slippers & Bleeding Espresso

italian-travel-blog-2Imagine a country in which the denizens are experts at il dolce far niente (sweet doing nothing). Italy is a country in which a great day is one spent sipping espresso (the national breakfast) and people- watching in a piazza. Elizabeth Gilbert in her book Eat Pray Love says she learned from her time in Italy that “the more exquisitely and delightfully you can do nothing, the higher your life’s achievement.”As a recovering Silicon-Valley workaholic, the idea of living this sort of existence both titillates and terrifies me. But I wanted to know more about it…This is the first in a series of blogs that will introduce you to cool people blogging about their lives in venerable Italy.Most Italian blogs I found carry the same observations from the authors: no matter how long they lived there they would always be outsiders, they miss clothes dryers, that the continual juxtaposition of the pope and naked bottoms in the media is amusing.zoomata: Nicole Martinelli, based in Milan, writes in a smart and sometimes snarky style on politics and current events in Italy. Her “daily life” articles are a hoot – read about the recently found Mafia 10 Commandments and official love parking lots. Nicole also writes for Spot-on.

  • Italy From the Inside: this blog is billed as “Italian Culture explained with new Media.” I love the “pop-culture” tone of their blog and they make heavy use of videos and podcasts as they dissect Italian culture, both traditional and new. Topics include Italian food misconceptions, Venice crowd forecasting sites, and their daughter’s adorable podcast, Italian for kids. A lot of the blog content is a push for their ebook, but if their book is written as conversationally and practically as their blog posts, it’s well worth the dirt-cheap price of $14.99.
  • The Verge: Jennifer, the author, lived in Italy for 16 years and recently moved back to the U.S. with her Italian husband. Although the link is to her posts mentioning Italy (in which she is equal parts romantic and realistic), she is a gorgeous, poetic writer and I highly recommend reading everything else on her blog as well.
  • Cross-cultural moments: ooh now this was a find. Elizabeth Abbott counsels individuals and companies on developing “intuitive cross-cultural skills” and she writes about her real-life experiences living in Italy to explain some of these concepts. She says,

“I have found that the most interesting part of living abroad is finally understanding my own American culture in contrast. I no longer ask, “Why do they…” and instead ask, “Why do I….” This is what I address in my blog.”

Her posts are full of such compare and contrast insights (pleasing to my analytical mind), and topics include why 80% of Italians are happy with their lives, the tradition and equality of pot luck, and Italian family murder dynamics. Another plus is that her posts are peppered with great book references! (It would be even nicer if all the books were linked to Amazon!!) Yes I’m internet lazy.

  • Rubber Slippers In Italy: Rowena, a Hawaii native, puts my favorite things in a blog: pretty pictures of her adventures and Italian food recipes-also with pretty pictures.
  • Bleeding Espresso: This wouldn’t be a complete blog post from me if I didn’t include some reference to chocolate or coffee, so I present Bleeding Espresso, a blog by Michelle, an expat and coffee junkie living in Calabria. Italy is a perfect place for coffee nuts, aficionados – apparently Italians will not even visit an establishment with bad coffee. Thanks to Michelle notifying me about World Nutella Day, I don’t have to feel silly about being an American who likes Nutella (try it on crepes, YUMMY).


  • Several folks wrote me and suggested the At Home In Rome Blog, but it looks as if she’s taking a blog hiatus, darn it! But she’s got plenty of archives to keep you happy until she comes back!
  • Expat Interviews/Italy: great site (organized by country) which features interviews – all the same questions -with expats living abroad.
  • Expat-blog: Italy: Expat-blog has lists of blogs from U.S. Expatriats living all over the world! Note: while there are some great blogs on here I’m not sure they are updating it very frequently as I’ve found some dead blogs on there.

If, after reading all these blogs you decide to MOVE to Italy, check out:

  • Expats in Italy, a site chock full o’ helpful information that new residents need,.
  • Expattalk Forums, (a segment of Expats in Italy) which appear to be pretty active! Too bad Expattalk is only for expats in Italy! Note: the navigation is a little confusing…when you click a link on top, the available sections appear on the left side in a box entitled “section navigation.”
  • AngloInfo: AngloInfo is a resource for “Anglophones” in a foreign environment, linking English-speaking residents with each other and the organizations that serve them.

BONUS: For reading all the way to the bottom of this post, here’s a link to Learn Italian Pod, a podcast that teaches you Italian in practical short bursts, like, How To Ask For A Better Room.”

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  1. Austin Says:

    This is a great list of blogs. One that I like reading is At Home In Rome(, which is run by a an American ex-pat who runs a hotel in Trastevere with her Italian husband.
    Keep up the good work!

  2. rowena Says:

    It’s always a pleasant surprise to see who’s linking to me, but might I add another side to *my* version of the dolce vita? It’s running around chasing down animal races/parades. Make that small animals, and parades with snakes. You’ll never catch me going to see Siena’s Palio. I wouldn’t be able to look those creatures in the eye given the fact that every so often, I’m happily taking a knife and fork to one of their cousins.

  3. bleeding espresso Says:

    Ah, it is truly an honor to be mentioned in the same post with these lovely bloggers…and chocolate and coffee!

    Also, I’m always happy to indulge your love of Nutella. You are not alone my friend ;)

  4. Elizabeth Says:

    I agree, Shelley’s blog,, is missing from the list, but she has been on an official break for a few months (hint: maternity leave). She has been my guide into the blogging world, so encouraging, helpful and full of expertise.
    Thanks for the great review (your post showed up in my “google alerts” this morning). You are right about linking to…and I am the one who is lazy.
    I have been busy getting a proper website up, but now I am inspired to get back to blogging more regularly!

  5. Charlene Jaszewski Says:

    yay! I’m glad you guys liked it!I’ll add the blog you recommended to the roll!

  6. noble pig Says:

    You know, come to think of it, my times spent in Italy were sitting around and eating, and eating and sipping wine and coffees and eating little chocolates. Sounds good doesn’t it? Time to go back.

  7. Deirdré Straughan Says:

    Hmm, I guess I’m the guastafeste (party pooper) since I am about to give up on living in Italy (mostly) and return to the US, in order to have meaningful and well-paid work. But my site Countries Beginning with I still contains plenty of info about living and travelling in Italy, with large doses of Italian slang, song translations, and other language topics.

  8. Carolina Says:

    You have to include
    in your list.

    The blogger’s keen observation, years of Italian living and witty writing style make for a good read.

    a presto.

  9. aannttiiittnnaa Says:

    Love your post… so many italian blogs to explore!
    Thank you ;)

  10. darvenginzks Says:

    I’ve recently joined and wanted to introduce myself :)

  11. Carrie Michaelis Says:

    Hi there, I found your blog via Google and your post looks very interesting for me.