Allison Bozzi of Rome is living la dolce vita. Born in Philadelphia, Bozzi attended John Cabot University in Rome for college. After graduating in 2019, Bozzi began doing marketing at the university. She currently works for the United Nations in Rome. To follow Allison, find her on Instagram: @allisonbozzi.
When did you learn Italian?
I always spoke Italian with my family, but I guess I really learned it thoroughly after college. At John Cabot University, everyone spoke English. I have both American and Italian citizenship.
How did Rome react after Italy won the 2020 Euro?
People were blowing off smoke and colored bombs in the street. They were also driving around on their mopeds and honking their horns until 5 am. It was wild. I made a reel of the night on Instagram, which gained over 16,000 views!
Which team member does everyone love the most?
Everyone loves the entire team! The team is made up of the best players from Milan to Rome to Turin. I can’t name a favorite.
What was the energy like leading up to Italy winning?
The energy was incredible. The restaurants had huge screens outside so people could sit and watch the game. People had a lot of adrenaline!
What’s a typical day in Italy?
A typical day would start with a typical Italian breakfast, which is an espresso and croissant. We walk ten to fifteen miles a day. We like to visit friends. A lot of friends have beautiful terraces. We like to go to parks. Italians like to be outside.
The COVID-19 virus completely devastated Italy in the spring of 2020. Describe Rome in the weeks leading up to it.
I was working at the university then. As a staff member, we were constantly getting updates on the pandemic all the time. At the end of February 2020, officials shut down the whole city. We could only go to the supermarket or pharmacy. Only one person from each household was allowed to go out and you had to have a government signed form to go out. It was very chaotic. A lot of people were furloughed in Italy. There was a curfew that was just lifted two weeks ago. It was very scary.
How long did you have to stay in your apartment?
I had to stay in my apartment for two months. I literally did not leave my apartment for a whole month. The only thing I could do was go to the pharmacy or go to the supermarket. The supermarkets were a mess because workers were doing crowd control. There couldn’t be a certain amount of people within the store at the same time. There were long lines and a lack of food. The lockdown began Feb. 17, and we weren’t allowed to go walking around outside until June 3.
What did you do during that time?
I worked from home every day. I was working 9 am to 6 pm. I moved in with my boyfriend during lockdown. He’s from Rome and he has his own house. We’ve been together for five years and we were together every day. Each night at 6 pm people would sing outside their balconies.
Why do you think the pandemic got so bad in Italy?
There are a lot of old people in Italy. When old people catch COVID, they typically can’t fight it off.
Did you get COVID?
No, but I took 24 COVID tests! When I worked at the university, we had to get tested every Thursday. I also went traveling a few times. I’m sure I had it. I was sick in January of 2020 but doctors didn’t know what I had!
It’s incredible to think Italy was locked down not that long ago, but Italians came out in huge crowds celebrating the 2020 Euro win.
Yes. This Euro cup will go down in history. We haven’t won the Euro since the 70’s. I was shocked. I haven’t seen people out like that since 2019.
What advice would you give Americans who are going to Italy on vacation?
I would say to explore places that aren’t typical tourist destinations. Instead of going to Venice or Florence, go to Southern Italy. Go to Calabria, Sicily, or Naples.
How often do you get to visit your family in Philly?
I haven’t been back since 2019 due to the pandemic. I don’t go back often. I also have family in Rome, so I have an aunt and cousins that live close.
Where else in Europe have you visited?
I’ve been to Malta, Copenhagen, Denmark, France, Spain, Greece, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. My favorite place besides Italy is Spain. The most beautiful beaches are in Malta.
Where’s your next travel destination?
Next week I’m going to the Amalfi Coast with my family. I like to stay in Italy during the summer. I’ve traveled all throughout the country. I dedicate a lot of time to see Italy as much as I can. It’s the best country.
What is the biggest difference between Italians in Italy and Italians in America?
I think the Italians in Italy have very rich traditions. In America, the traditions are exaggerated. Italian Americans use slang terms such as moozadell instead of mozzarella.
Would you like to stay in Italy?
Yes. I love it. It’s such a different lifestyle.
Allison’s Guide to Rome:
Favorite Date Spot: Anywhere in Monti
Favorite Pasta: Ivo a Trastevere
Favorite Espresso: La Coppa D’Oro
Italian Celebrity: Everyone is obsessed with Chiara Ferragni. She’s a very famous Instagram influencer.