INTERVIEWS by guest blogger Tom

written by Tom

I made a Venn diagram of the Italians and Americans

I made a Venn diagram of the Italians and Americans

In two days we’ll be flying back to the USA.  I am super excited, but there was still one more thing I wanted to do in Italy.  I decided to ask four different Italians several questions about their lifestyle, interests, and dislikes.  Then I would ask the four people in my family the same questions.  Below are eight paragraphs containing each person’s answers.


Alessandro is 11 years old and was my classmate this year.  His favorite thing about Italy is the food.  He really likes cheese pizza and pasta Norcina (sausage and cream).  His preferred gelato flavor is milk chocolate.  His favorite region is Lazio, mainly because of Rome.  The thing he dislikes the most about living in Italy is the amount of homework.  The most difficult English word for him to say is “antidisestablishmentarianism.”

Here is Giovanni with his mom, Ray and me when we had lunch at his house.

Here is Giovanni with his mom, Ray and me when we had lunch at his house.

Giovanni is 17 years old.  He is going to America next month as a foreign exchange student for his senior year in high school.  He chose America because he thinks it’s the strongest country in the world and he wants to learn English.  The thing he likes most about Italy is the pizza.  His favorite kind is sausage and mushroom.  His preferred gelato combination is pistachio and pine nut.  He really likes Rome, but his favorite region is Tuscany.  He said the worst part about living in Italy is the bureaucracy.  The hardest American word for him is “rubber” (not because of the pronunciation, but because he learned in English class that it means “eraser”, when in fact, in America, it means something else…)


Christiano is 45 years old.  He works at a pasta shop near our apartment.  He really likes Italy, especially the weather, the people, and the quality of life.  The only thing he doesn’t like is the lack of ability to get things done.  He will eat any food (pasta, meat, dessert, pizza, etc.).  His favorite gelato, by far, is chocolate chip.  He likes Rome and Perugia, but he doesn’t like Milan.  His preferred regions are Sicily and Sardinia.  His favorite word is sole (sun).  He has gone to America three times.  He likes how unique each city is.  The hardest English word for him to pronounce is “teeth”.


Paola turns 50 today.  She tutored Ray and me during the school year.  Her favorite thing about Italy is the history and the food.  She really likes pasta, mushroom pizza, and coconut ice cream.  Her preferred city is Rome, and her favorite region is Lazio.  The thing that she dislikes most about Italy is the politics.  Her favorite Italian word is amore (love).  The hardest word in English for her to say is “literature.”

Ray’s favorite thing about this year has been meeting new people and eating Italian food.  His really likes chocolate ice cream, sausage pizza, and pasta Norcina.  His preferred cities are Rome and Perugia, but he also likes the region Sardinia.  Ray’s favorite word is buffone (buffoon).  The one thing he dislikes about Italy is that so many stores go out of business.  The hardest English word for him to pronounce is “world”.  His favorite thing about the U.S. is the way the schools work.


My mom said the best thing about Italy is the evening walks before dinner with all the people.  Her favorite phrase in Italian is ci mancarebbe, meaning “don’t mention it.”  She likes any pizza with ricotta cheese.  When we go out for gelato, she usually gets blueberry, mango and chocolate with whipped cream. Her preferred city is Rome, and her favorite region is Sardinia.  The English words that she has the most trouble with are “epitaph” and “potable.”  She said the best thing about America is the movies.

My dad said the best thing about living in Italy is being surrounded by beauty.  His preferred food is pasta (sausage, carbonara, garbanzo beans, etc.) and his favorite Italian phrase is ho capito (I understand).  His favorite city is Rome, but he also likes the region Tuscany.  He usually gets strawberry, mango, and lemon flavored gelato.  The hardest part about Italy for him is not understanding the language.  He also misses the efficiency of America.  The hardest English word for him is “synonym”.

For me, the best part about living in Italy is the amount of time I get to spend with my family.  My favorite Italian food is sausage and cream pasta.  My favorite pizza toppings are sliced hot dogs and French fries.  The tastiest gelato flavors that I’ve had this year were peanut butter, lemon-mint, and bubble gum (all from a place called LatoG in Rome).  My favorites cities are Lucca and Taormina, and my preferred region is Sardinia.  My least favorite thing about Italy is the school.  My favorite Italian words are oplah (oops), and bimbo (little kid).  I am excited to get back to America because of my friends, the sports teams, the variety of food, and having a place to play outside.  The hardest English word for me is “abominable”.

11 thoughts on “INTERVIEWS by guest blogger Tom

  1. Hello beautiful Deasy family! So excited your passports will be stamped for a return to America. Tom – what a lovely recap of favorite things. I often do the same at the end of a vacation. We happen to be in the Bahamas airport on our way back to Seattle too! I asked Buckley what his favorite part of vacation was – he said: “swimming and seeing pepper (the chinchilla)” 🙂

    My favorite part was the sun, family time and sleeping in!!

    John’s favorite part a bus tour of the island that took us to ancient forts, a place where they hand-roll cigars, a rum distillery and a chocolate factory!

    I hope some day we can have a BBQ together. Or better yet – maybe we can have an Italian feast (unless you are a bit tired of pasta and pizza). From the looks of the photos on this delicious blog – your Mom has become quite the Italian chef!

    We live right near Husky stadium and I want to report that it looks AMAZING!! The sky walk across Montlake is complete and all of the new suites to watch football games is also done. As is the new track back by the soccer field. We actually scored some tickets to the first game in the new stadium with UW vs BSU (Boise State University). I grew up in Idaho and a few of my friends from Boise are going to come join us for the game. So some of us will be wearing blue and orange that day.

    But I know you’ll be in purple and gold!!

    I’ll be happy no matter who wins. As long as there is sunshine and good company.

    Much love and safe travels.

    Thank you to all of you for sharing your adventures with all of us.


  2. Tom, what a great way to finish up an amazing year. Love to read the perspectives of Italians and to hear what you and your family enjoys and misses most. We wish you safe travels back to Bellevue and wish we could be there to give welcome back hugs. (we may even be passing through the air at the same time)! Alek is counting the hours before he gets to see his best friend, who he has missed so much. He told me about the 2000+ emails between you both this past year. 🙂
    Enjoy your final day!!

  3. Tom what a wonderful blog which contrasted perfectly with “Overwhelmed” written several months ago. The hardest word in any language is “Good-bye.” My favorite phrase is “Welcome Home.” You will be hearing a lot of that one within the next few days by all of us who missed you every day for the last year. Can’t wait to see you. Love, Gramma Carol

  4. I remember when the homework books were piles up to the ceiling in October and now the favorite was school! Awesome! It’s 7am here and all I can think about is pizza and gelato- thank you for the great start to the morning. Lucca and the evening walks were two of my favorites as well. Safe trip home family- what great interviews and adventures!

  5. HA! Tom — when I read your first interview I thought “the hardest word for me to say is “abominable” (did I spell it right?)
    Cannot wait to see you all. The year went fast, but I still missed you very much-
    Love and safe travels to you all!!

  6. Hey Tom. Excellent post. My favorite Italian words were “Mi dispiace” and “Grazie”. Thing I loved most about our visit to Italy was being able to see the Room of Tears in the Sistine Chapel with Luciano – so moving. I loved Rome and all the history (and the food.) Favorite food was the Carbonara and gelato flavor was kiwi and strawberry. Least liked about Italy, the public toilets…Yikes.
    For English words, Mary is studying for the SAT so I am getting a refresher on lots of words. Remuneration is a confusing one for me. Mary said “pulchritude.” I’ve never even heard of it before.
    Love you all and can’t wait to hear your voices coming down the street.

  7. Tom, What a great idea to sum up the past year you and your family have spent! Can’t wait to see you guys again, in August. Safe travels and love to all.

  8. Dear Tom,
    Interviews… a great way to summarize your time in Italy. I see you as a future sports reporter but perhaps a “cultural reporter”. Be safe as you return to the US with expanded relationships with family members, expanded knowledge of the world, and so many new impressions. Anita Archer

  9. Brilliant. What a great way to formally summarize your year. Safe travels to you! PS – I struggle with the word “conscience.” I never say it right!

  10. Tom, Liked your blog. What a great thing to do: Connect with the people who meant so much to you in Italy. The experiences will forever live in your mind and many in your heart. Love, Grandpa John

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