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Thursday, March 25, 2010

La Americana (in Piedmont)

American tourists, we don’t necessarily blend in anywhere we go; fanny packs, T-shirt and shorts, tube socks and sneakers as a ‘travel uniform’, asking to take all of our left overs ‘to go’ (even if we are staying in a hotel), being the most obnoxious and loudest during transit in public transportation, finding humor in David’s nudity, and asking if they make Brunello in Chianti, and pretending to speak Italian by saying ‘pizza and pasta’ with a ridiculous accent that makes me scrunch my face up in pain. Living here in Piedmont almost full time I am no longer considered a tourist, but at the same time – can not hide the fact that I am 100% Americanissima in a region (Monferrato) where I may quite possibly be the only full time red white and blue ex pat.


I hence have on a weekly basis experiences that are life altering, beautiful, educational, but above all incredibly humorous. If you’re looking for political opinions and observations this is the wrong blog. Here you will find comical opinions and observations on food, culture and mostly wine, all based in and around my life at the Iuli winery in the small town of Montaldo in the province of Alessandria in Piedmont.

The name of my blog, ‘La Americana’ and the blog itself are born from the obvious… being ‘THE American’ among a large group of Italian friends and colleagues. I am a novelty, time after time referred to simply as ‘La Americana’, without my proper name coming anywhere into discussion. Upon meeting new guests, before I can reach out my hand to introduce myself I am interrupted by, ‘Ahhhh, you are the American’. Upon answering the office phone, doing my best to pronounce, “pronto” with an accent, am responding, “yes, I am La Americana.” When producer friends are asked to send their web designers or printers text in English, they quickly put me in CC explaining they don’t need to use their hired services for a translator because they have ‘AN’ American. This is stated in the same way one would explain that they don’t need directions because they have ‘A’ GPS system, or explaining to the butcher that they don’t need their Speck sliced because they have ‘A’ machine at home.

I am questioned, ridiculed, challenged, admired, insulted and at times even ‘mysterious’ (mysterious really only to children under the age of 12) all because of one simple fact that before now was completely superfluous to me, I am American. In conclusion (for now- I tend to babble) there are just two many things that happen to me on a daily basis that I need to share – because life is too short not to find romance, lessons and best of all humor in everything we do!