Cecilia: Italian by birth, Spanish at heart

Today we speak with Cecilia, born and raised in Milan, but currently living in Barcelona, Spain. Cecilia tells us about her experiences living everywhere from Spain to Bali, and why she is loving the Spanish lifestyle.

Tell us a bit about yourself. How would your friends or family describe you?

I’d like that my friends and family would describe me as a sensitive, reliable and sunny.

You are from Milan, but live in Barcelona and have also spent time in the US and Bali? Can you tell us a little about what inspired your move and desire to live in all these wonderful places?

I was born in Milan and I lived there for 24 years. At the moment I’m living in Barcelona, Spain, since July.

I’m studying in a master of translations in the Pompeu Fabra University. I really like Barcelona because is full of art and culture, and so multi ethnic. In this city there are also a lot of events and activities for young people. It’s amazing!!!

Two years ago I went to US to study English and to work like a babysitter in an American family. I looked after the two funny children and I learned a lot of English! I really liked this experience because I had the opportunity to know many people of different culture.

Last year I travelled to Bali, Indonesia, for two months because my ex  boy-friend was working there in a Diving company. It was the first time that I saw a place so different form my country.

At the beginning I was on holiday trying to find something to do and one day I read on internet an announcement of a family from US looking for a nanny and I immediately contacted them. It was what I wished!  I love children and I really enjoy to spend time with them. I knew the family and I began to work in their house looking after their so sweet 1, 5 old boy.

Tell us a bit about what culture you most identify with and why.

I identify more with Spanish culture than with the Italian one.  I really like the Spanish lifestyle. Spanish people are more relaxed than Italian people (I mean the northern part of Italy), the day is larger, lunch time is at 3pm and dinner time is at 9/10 pm.

What is the best part of living in your country? The worst?

I think that the best part to live in Italy is in the countryside of Tuscany. This place is so beautiful and quiet.

The worst I think is Milan, my city. It’s very grey, industrial and the people are quite cold.

What language or languages do you use on a day to day basis?

Here in Barcelona I speak Spanish with the majority of the people and Italian just with Italian friends who are living here and in Skype with my relatives and friends who are in Italy.

 Describe a favourite typical meal from your country

A typical meal of Milan is the “Cotoletta alla Milanese”.

It’s Veal cutlet coated in breadcrumbs. It is a typical dish cooked by grandmothers! So good!!!

May 17, 2012 1 comment

Day of lovers and literature

It was recently Sant Jordi in Catalunya. The day of lovers and literature, tradition holds that the man gives the woman a rose in return for a book. Not a public holiday, it seems to be as the streets come alive with people strolling amid the colorful book and flower stands.


Watching the day unfold over a coffee and cigarette, I recalled past girlfriends I’d had in the states and some flames from my first year in Barcelona, but mostly I thought about my Spanish wife. Love and relationships are complex topics, which like dark matter, I only vaguely understand. I will say, though, being with a person from a foreign country definitely adds an element of unpredictability to the equation.


May 5, 2010 1 comment

Long distance romance

Maria (Catalunya) and Fuat (Turkey)

I met Fuat in Germany, in a course of the Goethe Institute, I was coming from Catalunya and he was coming from Turkey. The first week we were in the same class, sitting side by side, but his level of German was higher so the teacher told him she would send him to a higher level. However, he insisted that his level was not that good and that he’d rather stay in the current class in order to be in the same class than me. Well, I didn’t learn this until later, so we were in the same class for a month, afternoons and week-ends we might also coincide as all the students were doing more or less the same kind of activities. The course finished and we bid goodbye.

Internet use was starting to be common in those years so we kept contact through email and ICQ (similar to Messenger). The following year Easter he invited me and another friend I had gone with to Germany to Turkey so we went there for a week, and September the same year he came to Catalunya. And that was the beginning of it, we kept seeing each other at whatever opportunity we had, for business reasons he was travelling couple or more times every year to Europe and I would join him in the weekend whatever city he was going to or he would make a stop over in Barcelona. After 8 years, however, he decided we could not go on like this and we had to make a decision. So after weighting all the possibilities we decided I was moving to Turkey, and after a year of living together and seeing I could live in Turkey we got married.

Thanks very much to Maria for sending this story. If you would like to post your story on My Partner is a Foreigner, please send to

December 1, 2008 Comments disabled