Sharp Monica

An honest voice in Italian paradise.

Latest Blogs


Firenze: A Different Life, Part 3

Cars. I do not need a car in my life to feel happy. In fact, the opposite is true. They cost a lot. Don’t like shopping for them. I have bought three cars in my life – in 1997 and in 1999, as a single

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Firenze: French Lessons / Lezioni di francese

About a month ago, I decided that my time of intensive Italian language learning in student mode had run its course. All Italian, all the time: my brain, initially whetted by the grammatical explanations and structured conversations, had naturally transitioned to a feeling of relative

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Firenze: A Different Life, Part 2

I always hated the produce at the Norman Super Target, and yet that was, for years, our regular grocery destination. Nothing tasted like anything. Purchasing tomatoes or strawberries or plums felt more like a semiotic exercise than a reliably positive tastebud experience. You bit into

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Firenze: The Discomforts of Home

The longest summer break known to the whole of mankind came to an end yesterday as Victor began first grade today. September 15, people.  By this time in the school calendar I had usually already been at school for a month and had drafted a

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Firenze: Feeling at Home

I feel increasingly at home in Firenze. The streets are slowly seeming more intuitive as I get around on bike and mentally plan my circuits through town. I know which caffes are welcoming, and which are better to just skip. I can source a good,

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9/11 – Sixteen Years On

The 9/11 anniversary for me will always mark the end of my international innocence. When flight and travel ceased to be my chief amusement and entertainment, and became a weapon of war. When the hatred between peoples became clear. When my little worldview was, in

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