Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Herbie gets ready to take on Arenzano

When you’re a talkative New Yorker set asunder in one of the world’s most notoriously talky cultures and you don’t speak the language, it’s a challenge. Thus the need for a way to express myself, keep in contact with friends and family, and find a way to pass our year on the Italian Riviera (known locally as the Liguria region).

First, some history on the blog’s nomenclature: “Martello” is translated as “hammer,” my husband’s nickname (and no, he is not Tom DeLay). Kudos to those of you who guessed this one. Now the second portion of the name is a double entendre. And before anyone thinks that I’ve abandoned feminism after less than a month of marriage, rest assured. “Trofie” is actually a delectable Ligurian specialty, a thin, rolled pasta of light consistency best served in a luscious pesto sauce teeming with haricots verts. Of course those who know me well know that I am anything but a trophy wife, and throughout this year I will likely struggle with my new identity, which while exciting and an avenue to new opportunities, has also placed my career on hold at a crucial juncture. Nevertheless, I hope the pun makes readers chuckle.

So how did these two New Yorkers end up in Liguria? The prelude to this adventure begins back in the Summer of ’07 when Martello (then my long-term boyfriend) and I started discussing our life plan post-grad school (design for him, nonprofit management for me). He, ever the dreamer, expressed a fleeting interest in “living and working in Europe.” I, ever the planner, wanted to know the particulars immediately: “Where exactly (city, postal code, census tract) would we live? What would I do (full schedule, each of 24 hours)? How do the visas work? Would there be health insurance?”

“Details, details; not the point,” said Martello, as he would then table the discussion to stop me from asking any more questions of a fiscal, tax, or real estate nature. This passive–aggressive repartee would go on for an hour or two every few months, but the discussion basically faded away as semester deadlines approached.

Flash forward to June 2008. On an eight-hour layover between travels through South America and a family trip to Italy, Martello received a phone call; he was being invited to interview for a post in, of all places, Italy, where neither he nor I spoke the language! Since circumstances were favorable, Martello scheduled the interview to coincide with his travels. Not yet having heard of “trofie,” nor yet a “wife,” the soon-to-be christened Trofie Wife started doing what she always did when a new circumstance arose—research! I found out everything I could about Liguria, how to pull off a quickie wedding, and how to become an American expat (of course this was all fully documented prior to Martello even stepping foot in Liguria). Needless to say, the interview went well, Martello was offered a job in July, and he offered his hand in marriage in August. Trofie Wife duly earned her moniker in early October, and the duo arrived in Liguria just as Daylight Savings Time ended in Italy.

We will try our best to post new information several times a week so that you can fully capture the flavor of our adventures. Trofie Wife will be the blog’s primary author but Martello will (somewhat) regularly submit guest commentary— his schedule pending—and bring his unique voice and observations to our dispatches. (He will also likely be responsible for any noteworthy photography, although I do have my moments.)

So benvenuto to our site! We hope you visit often.

Coming up next: A tour of the apartment and a visit to Voltri.

Baci e gelato,
Martello e Trofie Wife

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