Tell me about yourself: who you are, where you’re from, your experience in Italy, etc.
My name is Domenic (I also go by Dom), I’m 22 years old, and I grew up in Kenosha, WI (halfway between Milwaukee and Chicago). I’m Italian-American. I went to school at Marquette University in Milwaukee where I majored in International Business and Marketing, with a minor in Italian Studies. My Spring semester junior year (2016) I continued my studies at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan. While in Milan, I blogged for my university. Before studying in Italy, I was fortunate enough to visit three times before that, twice with family (to visit family I have in Calabria) and once with my high school.
How did you learn about my blog, Questa Dolce Vita?
Honestly, I was just poking around the internet searching for different blogs about travel and Italy. I stumbled upon Questa Dolce Vita by chance and really liked your content!
Why did you start your site and what is it about?
I decided to start Day By Dom in May 2017 for a few reasons. I took a digital marketing class in college and thought that the whole concept of running your own website was pretty cool. I also use it for networking purposes. On the other hand, I had a good amount of reverse culture shock coming back from Italy, so I started this as an outlet for my travels, tips, and thoughts.
I grew up in an Italian-American family, where many of my family members spoke the Calabrese dialect of Italian. Unfortunately, I grew up a monolingual English speaker. So, I studied Italian in high school, college (both in America and Italy), and continue to do so on my own. I can speak/read/write it at a near B2 level, but it starts to slip if I don’t use it much!
Seeing as you’re back in the US, how do you keep your Italian “trained” on a day-to-day basis?
While I was in Italy, I was studying for an Italian exam and was not understanding congiuntivo for the life of me (I think all foreign speakers of Italian can relate to this). This is when I discovered Learn Italian With Lucrezia, who helped me understand this for my exam. I use her YouTube channel along with a few others to hear Italian on a pretty regular basis, and have become a huge proponent of learning languages (or anything) on a platform like YouTube.
What surprised you the most about life in Italy as a student?
Students in Italy are pretty easy to mesh with. I found students, both international and Italian, very easy to talk to in between classes and much more “chill” about enjoying life despite being a student. In America, we fall into this really easy trap of “school is hard and I’m busy” where we don’t make time to hang out for a few minutes. It’s pretty common to be an American student at an Italian university for a semester, and in general I felt very accepted. A few of my friends even called me “American boy,” but in a super endearing way!
Comment on what it was like being an American boy in Italy, did it make you more popular with the local ladies at all?
Haha, good question! I’ll have to say, introducing myself in perfect English then launching into decent Italian was a good icebreaker! People could obviously tell I was American, but I also have super Italian features: black, curly hair, average height, and eventually, a more Italian way of dressing. So, I felt pretty comfortable fitting in in Milan.
Any particular feelings about being a male blogging about Italy (quite a female-dominant niche at the moment)?
Honestly, I never really thought of it in that way. I like that I’m crossing boundaries a bit. I believe experiences in Italy can be enjoyed and written about in the same way by both males and females, and I’m glad that I am doing it.
American girls vs. Italian girls? Any notable positive differences on each side?
I think American girls are in usually genuinely kind, but I think that stems from American culture in general. It’s not that Italian girls are unkind, but American girls are more outwardly nice. Italian girls (to me) seemed very comfortable in their own skin, and I find that really admirable. They give off a sense of confidence. Looks wise, Italians always beat us. I know that won’t offend because we as Americans admit to that. :)
Thanks for this awesome collab Dom, looking forward to your future posts!
Want to know what questions Dom asked me?
Head over to his blog Day by Dom and find out!
To follow Domenic on social media, check out his Twitter and Instagram.
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