Michelle Tarnopolsky

Michelle Tarnopolsky has called Florence home for 12 years. When she is not working or chasing after her toddler, you can find her blogging at http://www.mapleleafmamma.com or tweeting @michelletarno.

Articles by the author


Growing pains

The election of Congo-born Cécile Kyenge as integration minister back in April 2013 has put a global spotlight on Italy’s race problem and revealed some deeply conflicting feelings among Italians about immigration. Though international observers were already familiar with the racist taunts faced by black


Cursing customs and kids

Once, while out with his nonna, my son, who was just learning to talk, proudly identified the backside of a strange woman standing beside them: ‘Culo!’ My extended Italian family members were highly amused by my mother-in-law’s subsequent retelling of the episode. I, on


Booty for bambini

As Italy’s core empties out come August, with most Italians heading to the coast or abroad, many of us expats head back to our roots. Preparing for the trip home usually entails some gift buying, and while it is fairly easy to find wonderful presents for most recipients,



Choosing a name for your baby can be one of the most fraught decisions in the run-up to parenthood. Not only do you have to come to an agreement with someone who may be bringing very different preferences, biases and perceptions to the table, but whatever you choose will


What happened to Italian feminism?

Renaissance humanist Laura Cereta must be rolling in her grave. More than 500 years after the Brescia native helped lay the groundwork for modern feminism by championing women's right to education, Italy ranks among the lowest in the EU for gender equality.   The numbers are grim. Only 45


Smog art

The next time you see someone who seems to be cleaning the marble exterior of a Florentine monument, look closer. It is likely vigilante ‘smog artist' Alessandro Ricci collecting material for his next artwork.   Born in Florence in 1968, Ricci has been creating his ‘paintings'