On this website, I go by the name Eric Ital.
When I started working here last June, “Eric Ital” was simply the first thought that came to me as I was setting up my new WordPress account. Why? I don’t know, really. BroBible is easily the biggest website I’ve ever written for — according to Alexa Web Traffic, we are currently the 299th most-viewed website in the United States — and I suppose I wanted to maintain some semblance of anonymity. It’s conceded and ultimately pointless — if you wanted to find me, I’m sure you could — but it’s what I decided and I’ve stuck with it since. As the Joker tells the innocent and equally terrified people of Gotham, I’m a man of my word. Plus, I’m a big symmetry guy, so the eight simple letters of Eric Ital always appealed to me.
My real name is Eric Italiano. I was born in Midtown Manhattan and my Father is from Long Island. His parents are from Queens and before that, we came from Sicily.
We do all the things that stereotypical Italian families do, particularly of the tri-state variety. We cut random vowels off of words like “mozzarell” and “calamar”. Garlic and onion are staples of our society. We eat dinner before 4 p.m. on Sundays. We kiss you on the cheek every single time we greet you, even if it’s only been a couple days since we last saw you. Our sauce recipes — to be clear, that’s sauce, *not* gravy — are akin to bibles and football (as we call it here, soccer) is our religion. We tell people we’ve dined in the same restaurants as Tony Soprano.
Despite the fact that I recently told my BroBible co-workers that the tomato-loving nation is “roughly 200 years behind the rest of the developed world” (this frustration is borne out of the racism pandemic that currently infests Italian football, not the scientific pandemic that’s presently ravaging the country), I am immensely proud to be an Italian-American. It is the foundational pillar of my personality. It is tattooed on my arm.
So, when I came across this city-hopping Twitter thread of Italians up and down the luscious motherland taking to their balconies to sing, dance, and be with one another, I couldn’t help but write about it. It brought warmth to my soul and I hope it brings some to yours.
In these times, it can be difficult to resist becoming deservedly jaded, disinterested, and downtrodden. But it’s moments and images like these that remind us… perhaps these little lives we’ve desperately carved out for ourselves on this insignificant chunk of rock that’s hurling through a void in a galaxy that we’ll never truly understand are actually worth fighting for after all.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or contact him email@example.com