Interview with Angie in Florence
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Date of Interview? Feb. 25, 2005
Let us know a little about yourself?
I am married to an Italian and have been in Florence since 1986 where I came to study for a year while I was attending the Maryland Institute College of Art in Maryland. I spent ten years working as a street vendor with my husband also an artist in Florence before buying my own studio space.
Why did you decide to move to Italy?
I decided to move here in 1988 when I got accepted into the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze. I sold my car for 400$ and bought a one way ticket. There was of course a man here that I was interested in.
What type of process did you go through to be able to move here?
At first I had student visas and then had no visa and then got married. After getting married I obtained dual citizenship and and when I made my oath in Castellina in Chianti I went home and burned stacks of doucments and photocopies; what a cathartsis and what a joy to not have to go to the Questura!
What problems did you run into during the initial process and how were you able to fix them?
I can't remember all of the things that I had to do and all of the documentation i needed I think that it all slipped my mind when the papers burned in the fireplace
How long have you been here?
I have been here since Jan 15th 1986
What type of adjustment problems have you had?
I can't remember having problems, maybe not having any money and living in a house in the country with no heat for five years-- the difficulty to find a worthy job.
What do you wish someone had told you before you made the leap ?
What I wish that someone had told me is that when you meet people here that are rude, their rudeness is NOT your misunderstanding of their culture; they are just rude. Better to avoid them. I dated a man for 5 years that what a rude SOB and thought that we had a cultural misunderstanding how wrong I was.
What inside secret could you pass on to others looking to move over?
Learn good Italian and read up on Italian history and literature.
Do you have any disappointments, things you thought would happen but haven't for whatever reasons ?
What has changed about you since you have been here ?
I have become and adult and an anticommunist. Other than my total disregard for communism I have no political identity and have never voted the same thing.
Do you think that you will stay forever?
It is hard to say. Florence is a magnent.