I am Italian and I have always liked pizza, I am not totally sure about spaghetti and I definitely do not like the mandolin.
After high school, I have moved from city to city every 4-5 years, going from Venice (where I was born) to Triest, then Brussels, Verona, and Frankfurt am Main. Now, the time to settle has arrived. Luxembourg!
At the moment (a moment that started almost 20 years ago…), I work as a freelance translator.
Which reason took you to Luxembourg?
I arrived in Luxembourg in 2015 thanks to my girlfriend’s new job. Moving to the Grand Duchy was the best decision ever.
Tell us few things that have surprised you when first arrived?
The first thing that struck me was the amount we would have to pay for the rent of our apartment. But after a couple of pints and a football match at the Tube, everything was OK again. Then, I started going around and gradually understood the beauty of this country – the woods, the curvy roads, the greenery, the events, the beers, etc. – and it was like being in Südtirol (even though without the mountains). Nice.
Can you give me 3 adjectives to describe your life in the Grand Duchy?
« Footbally« , as there is always a match to attend somewhere, at the stadium or in a pub. I am actually willing to complete a tour of all the stadiums in Luxembourg: groundhopping is the way to go.
« Diverse », as there is a wide range of things to do, in spite of all the people that describe our new city and country as boring (Whaaat?)
« Eastern », as I met a lot of people coming from Eastern Europe (weirdly, a first in my life), especially from Bulgaria: if Bulgaria were as populated as, say, San Marino, then I would know all its inhabitants, I guess.
What aspect of Luxembourg would you miss if you had to leave tomorrow?
The social life and the contact with people from all over the world, no doubt. And the fact that I can be in four countries in two hours or less. And the supermarkets, that have the widest choice of products I have ever seen altogether (I am a marketing victim, I admit to that).
Tell us what is your preferred district in Luxembourg and why?
When I am a bit down, I take my car and drive around Luxembourg, but I often end up in Echternach. There must be a reason for that… Within the city, I like walking around between Clausen, the Grund and the city centre.
Do you go often out to eat and if yes what is your favourite type of cuisine?
Oh, yes, I do go out often! I am one of those guys who would drive a lot to get to a beloved place… I like to try all different kinds of cuisines, but my favourite places are a couple of burger joints. Plus a burritos place in Trier, where there is also a small and nice Japanese restaurant. In general, I have a penchant for the Turkish cuisine. And then there is pizza. Well, pizza is above everything, but since the one I make at home is the best you can have here in Luxembourg (yeah, well…), I usually do not hang out at pizzerias.
Can you give me one word in your language which is impossible to translate into other languages?
I like neologisms and playing with words – not only because I am a professional translator – so I kind of believe that you can always find a solution.
What is almost impossible to translate into other cultures, not languages, is a peculiar Italian experience: the ‘chinotto’ experience. I have embraced it a long time ago, when I was little, but when I try to explain it to my foreign friends, I usually walk into a wall of loathing for the beverage (did I tell you that chinotto is a soft drink – most likely the soft drink of the gods?) or, worse, indifference. Mind you: you can love it or you can hate it, but indifference is unacceptable!
As a conclusion, I feel at home in Luxembourg. Of course, there are ups and downs, I mean, that happens everywhere and to everybody, but I reckon I was lucky to find the right things to do almost immediately after arriving, which usually is the right time. Having lived in different countries, with mixed fortunes, I know that it might be really difficult to integrate in a new environment, especially when you are alone or work from home, like myself. So, if I can help someone to fit in, I will be happy.