If you had asked me what I thought would be challenging about living in Italy before we moved here, I would've said something like, "Getting too fat from eating a lot of pasta," or "learning how to drive in what is essentially a daily commute of Mario Kart" (all things that turned out to be valid concerns). What I did not expect would be difficult, among many others thing (i.e. how to pee in a squatty potty or how to get mundane tasks done around the Italian nap schedule), was hanging shit on walls.
Italian homes, at least where we live in northern Italy, are made of concrete, not the soft, friendly sheetrock walls from back home. Initially, this doesn't seem like an issue, until you go to hang a beautiful photograph of you and your husband on your honeymoon, go to drive a nail into the wall, and are met with the wall crumbling around your now bent-beyond-usability nail. This is what happens when you try to hang stuff up the American way into concrete walls — the wall literally just falls apart.
Because I have an aversion to white walls and Pinterest dreams of gallery walls on every bare surface, this was not going to do. Over the years, I've honed a few ways to hang things on these walls — everything from tiny calligraphy prints to giant maps to heavy shelves filled with books. And because this is a question I'm constantly asked from visitors of my home, who have met the faults of their concrete walls with disappointing results — well, I wanted to help y'all cure the white wall blues, too.