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Breaking Nails in Paradise

The sweet and sometimes sour notes of living in Italy (from Tuscany to Basilicata)

Cristina Pinton

Cristina PintonSix years ago Cristina moved from Boston to Florence with nothing more than a dream inspiring her. Since then she's learned Italian to the point that she's no longer recognizable as an American, re-founded relationships with her Italian relatives in Milano, Vicenza, Roma, taught studio arts at a study abroad program, taught English to some of the major Florentine institutions and local banks, worked in the field of wine tourism for almost four years and the cult foodie world for two, met some truly amazing people, battled many a bureaucratic battle (e.g., she's still waiting for my citizenship) and in the end was able to celebrate a tri-mix of cultures (Italian, Albanian, American) and marry the man of her dreams (the very one she met the second weekend she moved to Florence in 2004).

Then in 2010 life gave them the option to leave the comforts of Florence, to move to a new part of Italy, a new territory to mark and scratch out a nest. And so in 2010 she said her farewells to Florence. After months and months of mental preparation, she and her husband headed south to Basilicata, to a more rugged, agricultural and manual "terra," less-trekked area of Italy, though still rich with tradition and cuisine and history ... and in many ways that much more genuine, but the change is going to take some time. And they will readjust our compasses home.

Cristina also writes articles for Suite101 specifically on Italy: wine, cuisine, local customs, bureaucratic issues.

Breaking Nails in Paradise

Chestnut Harvesting: Cristina shares her experience harvesting chestnuts with her family.

The Silence of Its Hills: Initial impressions of the differences between living in Tuscany and Basilicata.

Our Olive Oil in Bernalda: description of the olive harvest and oil making process in Basilicata.

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