I was 16 when I first came to Amsterdam. I was living in Maastricht at first, and came to visit the Red Light District in Amsterdam for New Year’s Eve with some friends. Unfortunately, my first encounter with Amsterdam wasn't so great. I hung around Central Station like a proper tourist, seeing nothing but the crowded neighbourhood and loads of drunks roaming the streets. I remember thinking: ''This city is disgusting!'' Dirty, cold and grey. I’d always heard people say: ''Wow, Amsterdam!'', but I told myself I’d never want to live here.
In 2007, I moved to Amsterdam - to Amsterdam Zuid. It was a totally different Amsterdam from the one I had seen before. Smaller, quieter, nice little coffee shops. That's when I started to love Amsterdam. All everyone thinks about when they hear the name Amsterdam is drugs and prostitutes, but that's not the case at all. Amsterdam is so much more. For example, it also has a large elderly population and lots of fancy hotels. The city has really changed with the years, and the quality of the restaurants, museums and cafes has greatly improved. It's starting to become like London and New York. The northern district of Amsterdam is like the Meatpacking district of New York. The only difference is that everything is pretty regulated here. Everything opens at nine. In restaurants, the kitchen doesn't open until 6 p.m. and you can’t eat at a restaurant before then. In New York and London it's more client-friendly. They have restaurants where you will only see the cream of society. In Amsterdam, everything is mixed together. Check out Café Hoppe, for example. There you'll see students and middle-aged politicians sitting elbow to elbow. Everybody is welcome in Amsterdam.
In 2013, I had had it with Amsterdam, as well as with my job. I took a sabbatical and moved to Columbia. This is also a country that makes you think of drugs, but I met the nicest people on the planet there. I stayed in Columbia for three months and travelled round for a while. In between, I went back to Amsterdam for a couple of months before moving to Berlin for work. It was only after Berlin that I realised, ''I want to go back to Amsterdam.'' Back to my home, my friends. Amsterdam is my home. Sometimes you have to mess around before going back to your partner. The best thing to do is to cheat on Amsterdam once a year and see if it really is the place for you. “
6.981 people in Amsterdam have the Italian nationality