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Last Days and Euros in Italy Well Spent

After having spent a year studying abroad in Italy, my final grades were in and I had passed. Breathing a sigh of relief, I realized I had about 10 days left in the country and little to do but party and say my good-byes to a year's worth of friends from all over the world.

Then I got a phone call from an American friend who wanted to know if I would accompany her to the piercing parlor that was the geographic midpoint between our apartments in Bologna, Italy, and everything changed.

Obviously I said yes. Soon enough, we were there looking at jewelry and talking to a fabulous girl who had tons of piercings and really cute short black hair. My friend just wanted to get a barbell through her cartilage, and I was thinking of getting an Industrial done. Then it occurred to me that an Industrial and a Nape piercing would be the same price, and Shoulder Devil kicked right in.

My friend thought I was insane (It should be noted that my parents STILL think I am insane). Not ten minutes later, we had the paperwork filled out and were sitting in the piercing booth, deciding who would go first. My friend decided to go first, since I still had to mentally talk myself into what I was about to do. Her piercing went off without a hitch, and the piercer offered her some pop and snacks while she waited. I asked her to stay with me so she could see what happened with mine, because I assumed I wouldn't be able to see it.

I should take this opportunity to say that Body Bags is a fantastic place to get pierced. If you know Italian pretty well and you're willing to try to do something any normal Italian would do, go on in. Their place is clean, the girl described to me for a good 15 minutes what the piercing would involve, she answered all my questions about scar tissue, recommended a piece of jewelry, everything I wanted. She really went above in beyond in that she let us stay for an extra ten minutes, drinking the free Coke products and eating cookies while sitting on chairs there, since I was REALLY high on adrenaline at that point.

Ok, back to the play-by-play. The piercer (whose name I have forgotten) had me sit in a chair while she sat above and behind me on the bench. She sterilized and marked out a spot on my neck and had me look at it in the mirror. I thought it looked good, so she clamped it and gave me a count of 3 for when the needle would go in. I squeezed my friends hands and started screaming English obscenities as the piercer said (Italian first, then English) "VERY Tough skin!!" It didn't even take 10 seconds for her to get the needle in and then the jewelry in its spot, though, and my adrenaline was all built up with nowhere to go. She asked me to sit still for a while as she discarded all of the used things (properly!) so I wouldn't faint from my head rush.

She grabbed me a pop and I finally finally got to look at my piercing—it was the most beautiful, most sexy thing I have ever had in or on my body. If you have ever seen a nape piercing and have ever thought it was hot, then you should get it, because it is a LOT hotter once it is in your body. I was so happy I couldn't stop looking at it. We stayed and chatted and the piercer asked me about 20 times how I was feeling, and all I could reply was "Molto bene—e' bellissimo!" ("Very good—it's beautiful!")

We met up with some friends right afterward, and they all thought I was insane, but that it was really cool. No one knew I was having it done, because I walked into the piercing place not knowing I was having it done, so the shock factor was through the roof. Turns out the jewelry the piercer used is a little bit longer than usual (about an inch and a quarter), but it still drains just fine and looks bad ass. Advice? If you have a length in mind that you're set on, get the first bar a little bit longer, because it will swell up and look deceitfully small at first. You can change it after you've healed completely.

It wasn't that sore, looking back, immediately after having it done. I must recommend that if you love sleeping on your back, wearing necklaces, or hate wearing your hair up/short, avoid this piercing. It will change your routine a little bit at first, as it gets hard to wash your hair around it. If you have long hair and want to keep it long, invest in head bands and hair ties right away. As far as aftercare, I used Dial soap and salt water soaks at first, but I think that's too much. If I had it to do over again, I would just use H2Ocean Spray and nothing else. If you are going to soak it though, my advice is to get a roll of paper towels that leaves very little lint when wet and soak those through with whatever salt water you want to use—trying to bathe it a couple of times a day is messy and time consuming and ultimately ineffective. The paper towels are nice because they will cover the whole length of the nape piercing and you can just toss them out, so you won't have to worry about whether it is washed well enough to avoid infections.

After having messed with the soap a little too much, I've developed a couple of keloids that I hope disappear soon. Now all I do is a hot compress once a day (hello paper towels!) and then the aforementioned H2Ocean spray. There is really a lot to be said for the LITHA theory (Leave It The Hell Alone!) as touching mine has been my downfall. Another downfall has been collared shirts—I work in a business casual environment and often have to wear high-neck shirts to work. I would advise doing this piercing at a time when you can be bare-necked, because you will hate the feeling of cloth rubbing against it at first, and even more later if you develop keloids like me.

So three months later, parents hating it and all, I think I made the right choice. For me, it was completely random at the time and not much thought went into it. I had read about different piercings on BMEzine before, so I had a vague (vague) idea of what I was getting into—but I love having this piercing now and wouldn't take it out for double the price I paid to have it done. I could not have picked a better tribute to my year of studying abroad!


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 12 Sept. 2007
in Surface & Unusual Piercing

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Artist: Una+ragazza
Studio: Body+Bags%2FLove%26Piercing
Location: Bologna%2C+Italy

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