I’m Miss Expatria, the Internet’s leading enabler of travel addiction! But my real name is Christine, and I grew up on the Jersey Shore. I spent a couple years of my childhood traveling around the U.S. with two national touring companies of Annie, and was a union card-carrying actor and singer until my early twenties.
I moved to New York at 17, and graduated from NYU. Various jobs followed: Running an experimental school project in the South Bronx; being the leather and suede expert for a Famous American Designer; and working at an ad agency, where I kept track of the money and logistics necessary to mail half a billion credit card offers a year. (Yes, that was me. Sorry!)
In late 1999, I took a trip to Rome and decided I had to live there. I came home, convinced my bosses to let me do my job virtually, and moved to Rome in 2002. In 2004 I met Paris-born, Jersey-raised Cal, where he lives in Montpellier, France; now I kind of live here, too. We are both freelance writers.
I say “I kind of live here” because I spend a significant portion of each year living my “real” life in Rome; I hope to return there permanently, soon, with Cal. Or maybe we’ll move somewhere else. Who knows?
Sure, everybody knows Paris. People swoon when you say Paris. But even the French Riviera – which in my experience is the thing that people know the most after Paris – is not nearly as touristed as the many cities in Italy that people feel they “must see”"
I just spent the most hallucinatory three hours getting back to Mandrione from Trastevere. Here are some things I witnessed:"
So, when I’m in the States my mom and I watch House Hunters and House Hunters International."
In no particular order; more coming soon:"
There is something about the green of Rome that is so appealing to me."
Damage controlling the Eyjafjallajokull volcano ashpocalypse"
There’s nothing like morning in Europe."
I've recently switched from a stop-over in Nice to a stop-over in Ventimiglia."
I complain ENDLESSLY about the length of time and amount of effort it takes to get to Rome from Montpellier. But, a confession must be made:"
Yesterday I showed you the shops of Montpellier all dolled up for Christmas. Tonight, let’s take a walk around town and see what’s happening!"
Say what you want about Montpellier – and you know I do every chance I get – but the town really is gorgeous, and at Christmas time the shops put on quite a show."
While on a bus in New York, I observed someone point at Bergdorf Goodman’s and say, LOOK IT’S MACY’S. While on a bus in Rome, I observed someone point at a small public fountain embedded in a facade on a busy avenue, and say, LOOK IT’S THE TREVI FOUNTAIN."
I’ve been tagged by the Artist At Large to divulge my three best kept travel secrets. I’m horrible at keeping travel secrets, so faithful readers will no doubt remember these. But without further ado, let’s get to it!"
So, there I was, in the backseat of a taxi with the Spanish driver and the Middle Eastern passenger in the front seat. It was inconceivable to me that for a majority of the day, this was the only way to travel from Spain to France."
I’ve spent seven years bungling my way through variations of several languages, but after three months back in the States I felt like I had lost it all."
When it came time to return home from my lengthy, satisfying visit to the States, my only goal was to find the cheapest flight possible. The search included arrivals into Barcelona, Paris, Nice, Milan and even London."
I'm fond of saying that I did not move away from New York, I broke up with it."
The first time I came back to the States, the people I spoke to wanted to know all the details of my shiny new adventure. In subsequent visits, it still seemed like a novelty and there were questions about whether or not it was really going to “take.” But"
I’ll admit it; I was nervous about coming back. Even though it’s where I grew up, and where my family and most of my friends live, it had come to seem so far away."
Ms. Adventures in Italy, patron saint of Italiaphile foodies everywhere, recently wrote a comprehensive ebook of 101 American Foods to Try for her Italian friend"
A week from today, I’m heading back to the States for the first time in three years on a month-long visit with friends and family. This is the longest I’ve been away, and a significant percentage of the total seven years I’ve lived overseas. And I am brac"
"A ray of sun falling across my face wakes me. I lie in bed and listen to my father get up first. He puts the coffee on, which smells so good, and he tiptoes out of the house to get the newspapers from Wawa."
Hotels are my passion. From Motel 6’s to five-star luxury resorts, I love everything about them."
When I was six years old, my parents and I moved to their favorite vacation spot on the Jersey Shore."
Miss Expatria’s gentle readers already know of my fierce and abiding love for hotels. But today, I came across an interesting argument for vacation apartments – and this has prompted me to give full disclosure:"
I am thinking of great hotel rooms in my time, in no order:"
On July 14, 2009, Italian bloggers will muzzle themselves in the Web as well as in Piazza Navona in Rome, at 7PM where they will meet to protest against an Italian government bill (the Alfano decree) introducing a number of new rules which will limit the"
The Tour de France Team Time Trial Hits Montpellier, France Today… and I’m not ready for it."
Back in the halcyon days of summer 2004, my best friend from college visited me in Rome. On a whim while in the airport she picked up a copy of Angels & Demons, and promptly became engrossed in the story – not only because it’s a good read..."
I’m now going to tell you about Levanzo. You won’t believe me, nor will you trust your eyes when looking at the photos. But I was there, and all this happened, and you just need to do what I tell you after the jump to experience it yourself."
1. The overwhelming majority of people we saw were either very old, or very young. People from, say, 20-55 years old seemed nonexistent."
You might remember that Perugia was not my favorite day trip from Rome – if anything, the distance alone would probably make it a better day trip from Florence. But, it’s worth visiting, if only to check out the freaky train station waiting rooms."
Many of my dear readers seemed to agree: Orvieto beats out Perugia in my battle of the day trips. I’ll be doing a similar post to this about Perugia, too; but first, let’s talk about the particulars of a day trip to Orvieto from Rome."
I don’t normally recommend day trips or really, much running around at all, for people who are on vacation. This is probably why I would make a terrible tour guide. But, if even a lazy bones like me can haul my ass up the hill to Frascati for a delightful"
For years, I told people to go to the rooftop bar at the Hotel Mediterraneo, on via Cavour, which boasts stunning views and Italo, the most charming old waiter in town. But recently I went there, and it was CLOSED. Now they only serve dinner up there, a"
First let me just say that once again, I love looking at my stats to see how people come to my blog. But yesterday there was one – “i can’t tell you how much i miss rome” – and it made my heart hurt."
Almost every day, I walk down the best street in the whole wide world to pick up some cigs and/or a tramezzino, which is a triangle-cut white bread sandwich half with no crusts filled with a slice of prosciutto and formaggio, or artichoke and hot dog, or"
I’ve been trying for four days to describe what I did Easter Sunday. It’s really annoying, because I want to write well; but I can’t find the words that put you there with me."
My mother has discovered video calls on Skype, which has made me a frequent guest at various family gatherings recently. It’s been amazing, seeing everyone and talking and laughing with them."
I had lunch this weekend with Leo, Vincenzo and Hasan, a Pakistani student here in Rome whose parents are friends with Leo from his Pakistan years."
Jessica at WhyGo Italy recently told the story on Robin’s blog, MyMelange, about how a single Italian sealed the deal on her abiding love for Italy."
One advantage of living in this fake-ass movie set town is that no one is ever on the back streets."
Much like Jack Bauer on 24, I find that Friday has come around and there is NO MORE TIME to do all the things I wanted to accomplish by week’s end. But, I have so much cool stuff I want to tell you about! So, here we go!"
The Count did not believe me when I told him that I do not function when awakened at 7:30AM by an alarm clock. We drove cross the Swiss-Italian border blasting Frank Sinatra at the Sands with Count Basie and he avoided me until..."
So, Montpel had their annual Mardi Gras celebrations last night. Kind of. Sort of. Well, in a way. Actually, unsurprisingly, in the only way that seems fitting for this town."
I’ll be heading to Rome this week, where I’ll be until late May. I’m going to be hitting the ground running, with some exciting things happening! But first, a word about train travel into Rome."
"Hello, my little chickadees! In my seemingly never ending quest to educate my readers, here is yet another installment of “How to Say it in Italian.”"
There is some right, but so much wrong with this website; and yet, if I were booking a trip to Budapest, I must confess I would be tempted to stay here. And do you know why?"
Because he has my dream job, I get these little alerts about what’s showing every week on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations. Tonight he’s going to be in New York, revisiting all his old haunts and eating nostalgically."
With a name like that, you know I had to check it out. And, just as I suspected, SuperHotel’s website did not disappoint. I have so many items to cover, I actually needed to make a list."