Less than one week to go before I pack my bags and fly across the pond to return to the Big BO! Everytime I go back to Italy I have a list of things I must put in my suitcase – I call it my “Lista Nera” – my “black list” of all the american things you can’t find in Italy (or that are outrageously expensive in Italy).
This time my lista nera includes the following (ladies – take note):
- Maybelline Colossal Mascara – usually 12 euro and up in Italy. Only $5 on amazon.com. Cha-ching.
- Magazines in English – my guilty pleasure when I just can’t read Italian news anymore.
- Tazo Tea – teas other than plain black tea and chamomile are nearly impossible to find in Italian supermarkets and there is only so much caffè I can drink, so I always bring back a few boxes of peppermint tea and other TAZO tea flavors.
- Greeting Cards – to send to friends and family when the birthdays and holidays come up! Italian cards are, obviously, in Italian and they aren’t nearly as witty as the ones you find in the US.
- Taco Seasoning – Gotta spice up the pantry a bit. Now, does anyone know where I can find taco shells in Bologna?
- GOOD Nail Polish (like OPI or ESSIE)– I’m usually not super loyal to a brand, but seriously, European nail polish brands fanno schifo – they stink! And yes, I know many Italian women aren’t religiously obsessed with painting their nails like us American gals, but thats just what makes us special :)
- Books in English – While there are a couple of English bookstores in Bologna (Fetrinelli International), amazon.it is nearly non-existent and I can find much better deals on paperback books here.
- Quaker Oats – I love oatmeal and making oatmealy snacks for breakfast, but in Italy oats are expensive! I like to buy a giant tub from home (around $2.50) instead of paying 4.00 euro and upwards for a third of the amount in Italy.
- Craft Supplies – I don’t know why craft supplies (glue, markers, notebookes) are so expensive and hard to find in Italy. I guess Italians aren’t so into DIY projects like we are.
- Baking supplies – such as vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and measuring cups/spoons to make my favorite american recipes. I also like to bring canned pumpkin and cranberry sauce to make an authentic Thanksgiving in Italy!
What’s on your ‘lista nera’?