In this episode of The Italian American Podcast, we speak with Rick Zullo, an American writer, teacher, and relentless Italophile. He was born in Chicago, raised in Florida, but always dreamt of Italy. In 2010, he left his career in the United States to live in Rome, where he met his wife.
When he’s not writing for his blog, he enjoys exploring the hidden areas of Italy and studying the Italian language, trying to become fully fluent before his two-year-old daughter Demetra beats him to it.
We also talk about the feast of St. Joseph in the Italian American Stories Segment.
“You may have the universe if I may have Italy.” – Giuseppe Verdi
Tweetables (Please Share):
- “Wow, I am actually really American.” – Dolores Alfieri on how she felt as an #ItalianAmerican, the first time she visited #Italy [click to tweet]
- “Your pants are too baggy and your teeth are too perfect.” – Italian who told Rick Zullo how he knew he was American [click to tweet]
- “The cultural diversity (in Italy) is a wonderful thing, and I hope it doesn’t go away.” – Rick Zullo [click to tweet]
- “They’ve really had a lot of invaders that have influenced their culture. It is beautiful.” – Rick Zullo on #Sicily [click to tweet]
Rick Zullo discusses his move to Italy and how he tried to assimilate as much as possible. Some topics discussed include:
- When trying to learn the language, be bold and just use the language; it’s the only way to learn.
- Italians are extremely patient when helping people who are trying to speak Italian.
- Many older generations didn’t want their kids to learn Italian and hold onto the heritage, because they wanted their children to assimilate into American society.
- Going back and actually seeing the villages where your families are from can be a much more enriching experience than going to the major cities.
- You can find “aperitivo” meetings with Italians and expatriates throughout Italy.
- Rick recommends traveling to southeast Sicily, in the area of Siracusa; he also recommends the Ligurian coast.
- When you travel to Italy, travel really light and use trains as much as possible.
Anthony Fasano and Dolores Alfieri
Co-Hosts, The Italian American Podcast