Monday, October 13, 2008


I finally had a chance to do a little blog reading and came across a nice piece written by Cherrye in Calabria about girlfriends.  It made me smile that she has been able to find friendship and company amongst other expat gals down in the south.  But it also made me think about the fact that after 5+ years here, I can count the number of Italian girlfriends I have on less than one hand, and have very few expat girlfriends close by.  Without sounding too "whoa is me", sometimes it really stinks.

Truth is, I did choose a place to live where the locals are notorious for being "chiuso". There isn't the warmth and open arms policy of many other areas in Italy.  I spent the first 2 years up here on our hill over Lerici, just trying to be accepted.  The stares have waned but the concept of me being an outsider remains (minus a few old men who seem to get a kick out calling the California blond their friend!).  I've have met some very nice expat girls but they're not exactly close by and have lots going on in their lives, so get-togethers are few and far between.

My solution has been to drown myself in work.  Be so busy that I can't find the time to worry or think about cultivating friendships.  Che scema sono! (What an idiot I am!)  The "season" is coming to an end and there is a lot of satisfaction in what I have been able to accomplish work-wise.  But I give myself about a "D" in the making friends department.  Despite the challenge it is to make or find them, I am not making it any better by cocooning myself behind a computer or constantly taking off to meet clients in another Italian destination.

It's time to make girlfriends.  It's time to make the effort.  It's time to get off the hill and be social!


Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

So I guess a trip to Milan is in your immediate future ;) You are always welcome here.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, Megan it really *IS* hard. I think many of the expats who have managed to make good Italian friends are either
1) In a different stage of life i.e. in school with them, etc.
2) Work with them
3) Very lucky

This makes it that more difficult for those of us who work from home. You are also welcome down south anytime you can get away.

Anonymous said...

Good Luck, keep us posted on your progress.

Megan in Liguria said...

I would love to make a trip to Milan and to Calabria! Going to CA for the month of November and then when I return, I can look into planning some trips. Thanks girls! :)

'A Tuscan view.....from Umbria' said...

Hey Megan fancy a trip to Umbria I'm in exactly the same situation here!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Good luck Megan. It is harder to meet people when you are not working in an office.

I'm surprised there aren't more Expats in your area.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

It must be really hard, so pleased that your blogger friends have invited you to see them..hope you go. :-)

Anonymous said...


You are a great girlfriend to all who are lucky enough to call you their friend! Now get off the italian butt of yours and show those Italian girls how fabulous you are! Your California girlfriends think you are the best friend EVER!!!

Diana Strinati Baur said...

Meg, I just saw this. Ok, I am as busy as you are :). And we WILL see each other more this off season. I still remember the great time we had when you and Lucy came up in the spring and we ate and drank and laughed like fools. It is really hard to have this lifestyle and cultivate friendships. Friendships take longer to cultivate as we get older anyway and then the added dimension of being outside the comfort zone does not make it any easier. But I am happy I have you my dear and will always be there for you as you know! Ti voglio bene....

Em and GC said...

Bologna isn't tooo far away!! Us california girls gotta stick together!

p.s. all tagged up...go chargers!

Anonymous said...

Ciao Megan, I am resurfacing to life at the end of the season. Just like you, every year this time I think: how comes I do not have a social life?
I am not an expat, in theory, but I am in exactly the same situation as you are. The funny thing is that I have been in the same situation in different countries. The thing is, no matter where you come from, if you move to a new place it takes you a very long time to build a social life. The "locals" have been there for that long time. They do not need you, so you have to make the effort, create opportunities. Eventually you will get lucky and someone will be nice enough to become a friend. Meanwhile I can only add my invitation to visit us to the list!

Unknown said...

hello bella vita,
I am new to your blog and blogging in general, but being an expat in Sicily for 6 months now hasn't been so successful in the making new friends category. Sure, I know all the locals that hang out in the piazza where I take my boy for a walk, but so far only 1 other mamma and I have actually connected and started a 'friendship'. I admire your determination to put more effort into building friendships and feel inspired to do the same! So thanks, and I'll be checking back on your blog again soon. And have a great trip home. I am from the LA area so am a little jealous to hear about a fellow Californian making the trip back.

Anonymous said...

Hi Megan,
What a lovely Welsh name you have.
I have both Italian and Welsh family roots !!!

I am relatively new to the land of Blogs, and it is a steep learning curve. Only just found your pages.
Just love your doggie. We used to have a Lab too, named Shappy.

Since moving to Italy 3 years ago, we have made so many Italian friends. I have one or 2 Italian friends in particular, who are always there when you really need someone. They are amazing, so very warm and generous. I am very lucky.
It is not always easy living away from friends and family. Believe me - we have been through some very difficult times during the last 3 years.
But I do love it here, at "Tre Cancelle".
I have recently started 2 blogs.

One is the story of how we came to change our life completely and move to Italy,
and the other is about our day to day life here in Itri, South Lazio.

Back to the subject of dogs, we now have 10 of them, some of them adopted strays. They are all faithful friends. Who could ask for more !!!

It would be lovely to keep in contact via the internet, and share experiences of our different lives in Italy.

Ciao for now, Louie and Paul

- Susan - said...

Hi Megan,

love your blog and your location! I might be back in Lierci in early spring to visit my father in law. Maybe we can meet?

Is your italian good?
Italians don't speak much or don't like to speak english. You need to invite them and cook a lot. Then the invitations come back to you. That's a start.

Anonymous said...

Dear Megan,
I enjoy reading your Blog so much and must congratulate you on what you are doing. I live part time in San Remo and know how difficult it is to meet people; but then again my italian is terrible. If you are ever in this part of the world, please come and visit. Will be here until the 16th of December. Angela

Anonymous said...

How can you visit me when I am annonymous!!! Sorry not very good at