- 17 Nov 2022 11:18 AM
Born in Italy, Irene worked in 6 different countries before landing in Budapest in 2018. She is also the editor-in-chief for the Italian online newspaper Economia.hu.
1. When did you arrive in Hungary, and what brought you here?
I arrived in Budapest at the end of the summer of 2018. The story is quite funny, and it starts years earlier. While working for an Italian NGO that uses sports against racism, I bonded with one of our partners, Viviana Premazzi, the founder of Global Mindset Development, over the same passion for New York City. After working and living there, we struggled with the idea of working for an "old-style" company in Italy.
So I moved to The Netherlands and worked as a digital nomad. One day, Viviana messaged me from Canada, asking for my CV on Whatsapp so she could share it with her former NYC manager, who was looking for a Communications Manager to start a business in Malta. Two weeks later, I moved to the sunny island, and a few months later, she joined as well.
Time passed, the project was going differently than I expected, and a photographer friend of hers came to Malta. She wanted us to talk as I do some photographic projects, mainly circus and theater. He was looking for an assistant in Budapest. Many people in the Netherlands had told me, "you would love Budapest and its vibes"...Long story short, I moved here! I fell in love with the city, with the company where I currently work, and my biggest life challenge turned out to be learning Hungarian :)
2. Have you ever been an expatriate elsewhere?
I spoiled this answer in the previous question, I guess... I have also worked while traveling to several countries, but I consider it different from expatriating.
3. What surprised you most about Hungary?
The similarities and huge differences between Hungary and its nearest countries.
4. Friends are in Budapest for a weekend - what must they absolutely see and do?
A tour with Sfumature di Budapest, enjoy the city view from the top of the Basilica or the Buda castle, and a glass of wine at Cintányéros.
5. What is your favorite Hungarian food?
Gombapaprikás and lecsó, as I am vegetarian, I feel that the list of typical vegetarian options ends almost here :D
6. What is never missing from your refrigerator?
Sun-dried tomatoes and pesto.
7. What is your favourite Hungarian word?
Paradicsom, for its double meaning of tomato and paradise!
8. What do you miss most from home?
The beach, focaccia, and eating focaccia at the beach.
9. What career other than yours would you love to pursue?
There is plenty, but mostly within my area of expertise! Writer, Media analyst, Photographer, Collage artist, researcher about political subjects, full-time journalist, Managing Director... or on another vibe, did I mention trapeze acrobat?
10. What's a job you would definitely never want?
A job in a team lacking of motivation, enthusiasm, or imagination.
11. Where did you spend your last vacation?
Uzbekistan; loved it.
12. Where do you hope to spend your next holiday?
Istanbul for a long weekend next month.
13. Apart of temptation what can't you resist?
To jump in the sea when it's sunny; to write down a list of things to remember, or, as I have been told, to roll my rings while I am thinking.
14. What was your favourite band, film, or hobby as a teen?
My evergreen hobby is writing. As a teenager, I wrote my journal daily and also wrote for the school newspaper. Now, I write my diary every second day, and I publish daily news, not in the school newspaper anymore but for Economia.hu
15. Red wine or white?
Anything good, but rosé.
16. Book or movie?
17. Morning person or night person?
18. Which social issue do you feel most strongly about?
19. Buda or Pest side?
KOBUCI Kert in Óbuda is one of my favorite concert places.
20. What would you say is your personal motto?
Close to my heart is a quote from an Italian kids' book about a curious, brave leaf by Mario Lodi. In English, it sounds something like: "The world is beautiful, but to be happy we need to fight, always".