On TikTok, @CarloAndSarah shows the hilarious – and often endearing – situations that arise when cultures collide. In real life, they want to bring people together.
Sarah Mollica, 25, and Carlo Bruno Longo, 26, live together outside of Boston. Their cross-cultural comedy has amassed over 4.3 million followers on TikTok in less than two years. It gave them the opportunity to put their nursing aspirations on hold and create videos for their full-time mass audience.
The secret recipe for their success? A passionate Italian meets a smart American, and harmless pranks ensue. Mollica films Longo, originally from southern Italy, reacting to the best (and worst) that America has to offer. A spaghetti breaking video made it an overnight hit.
did someone say… DRAMA??? 🤣
♬ original sound – carloandsarah
“In one day, we had a million followers,” Mollica, a Massachusetts native, told Boston.com.
The newly married couple have crossed global borders to be together, attracting a massive online following at the same time.
“No matter where we go, people come to see us and tell us about their links with Italy,” Mollica said. “It’s one of our favorite things to come out of social media.”
When Carlo met Sarah
Beyond TikTok fame, Carlo and Sarah share a love story that spans years and countries. The couple first met seven years ago at a southern Italian beach club owned by Longo’s parents.
“2015 was the first time I saw Carlo,” Mollica said. “He was a lifeguard there. I had a boyfriend at the time, so I didn’t really pay attention to him, but I guess he did pay attention to me because that summer he waited for me to come back.
Mollica continued to visit the beach club every summer, as she also had family nearby. Unbeknownst to her, Longo continued to notice and began to learn English so he could talk to her during her visits.
“I tried so hard but she wouldn’t [go out on a date]”, Longo said. “Before, I didn’t speak English. So I said, ‘Okay, if she comes back, I have to be ready to talk with her.’ So I started studying English from YouTube videos.
Mollica moved back to Italy in 2019. When Longo learned she was finally single, he asked her father for permission to take her out on a date — the first of many cultural differences in their relationship, according to Mollica: “I have never experienced this with my American Boyfriends of All Time.
“We went out on our first date and spoke with Google Translate for 10 hours straight. And we’ve been together ever since,” she said.
Mollica and Longo have remained at long range throughout the year, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made things much more difficult. The two still made efforts to see each other through security measures and travel restrictions: “We researched every day – literally every day – all day, about the countries that allow us all both to enter its borders.
The couple were able to reunite in Ireland after nine months apart, and Longo seized the moment to propose.
@carloandsarah my forever 🤍 #proposal #longdistancerelationship #mylove #surpriseproposal #italy ♬ original sound – Tik Toker
But the newly engaged couple went their separate ways again. That’s when Mollica turned to TikTok.
TikTok and cross-cultural comedy
Mollica began posting videos to catalog their relationship, but says she “didn’t really focus on the Italian-American stuff.” The first videos on @CarloAndSarah mainly focus on the couple’s perseverance over long distances.
That is, until one of Mollica’s pranks on her husband went viral.
In June 2021, Mollica posted a video of her breaking up spaghetti before boiling it — a big Italian no-no. Longo immediately rushes into the frame, shocked: “It’s not spaghetti, my love! Go on! You know it’s illegal in Italy. The video was a hit for the couple, gaining nearly 700,000 subscribers overnight.
“That one exploded, like literally 15 million views in two hours. I remember Carlo and I looked at each other and were like ‘what’s going on right now?’
Their following videos have accumulated millions of views from fans around the world. Mollica deliberately breaks the rules of Italian cooking, like asking Carlo to put ice in his wine (“I’ll take you to the airport and you’re leaving tomorrow,” he scolds), or making him react to American phrases like “rain check” (“But there is the sun?”).
To an average viewer, Mollica looks like an innocent American who doesn’t know that oat milk in coffee is a sin for most Italians. But Mollica said her time in Italy taught her a lot about Italian culture – and exactly how to prank her husband.
Gotta start the day right 😮💨
♬ original sound – carloandsarah
“Honestly, it’s easy for me, because Carlo is very easy to prank,” Mollica said. “I know his personality so I know what will make him mad or laugh.”
Longo said he was unlikely to play a prank on him, as Americans don’t share the same customs as Italians: “We Italians are more proud of our culture, especially food.”
Mollica agreed, saying the small Italian town of Longo is steeped in tradition.
“In America we have a bunch of different cultures that we can immerse ourselves in, but in Italy that’s really not the case, especially where Carlo is from,” Mollica said. “They’re definitely expanding their horizons, but before it was just, ‘Don’t mess with pizza and pasta!'”
The couple now create content full-time and have successfully expanded to Instagram Reels and YouTube, where they create videos longer than their 15-second TikToks.
Mollica has created all of the couples videos since the channel’s inception, as Longo was under intercontinental work restrictions. Although he recently got federal work authorization, he said we might not see him behind the camera anytime soon.
“She’s the genius behind it all, she’s the creator. If I try, I’m horrible,” Longo said.
“Not horrible, but it takes forever,” laughed Mollica. “So I’m like, ‘I get it. “”
Carlo and Sarah’s Favorite Places in Boston
Mollica and Bruno recently moved in together outside of Boston.
Famous for his views on American culture, Longo also has views on Boston’s Italian scene. Complementing the North End “vibe”, the couple enjoy restaurants such as Monica’s Mercato and Salumeira (which is said to have the best Italian sub in Boston) and Antico Forno – touted as “The Most Authentic Italian Restaurant”.
Longo said he was still hesitant about America’s influence on certain Italian traditions: “He was nervous when he saw fried ravioli at the Saint Anthony party,” Mollica laughed.
The couple love places like Eataly, but Longo said while the food is authentic, the prices certainly aren’t.
“He lists the things he misses in Italy and it’s always like, ‘I miss the cheese!’ I say ‘Okay, we can go to Eataly and get the cheese.’ It’s like ‘no, I miss the cheap cheese,” Mollica said.
Above all, the couple said their favorite opportunity social media gave them was the people they met along the way.
“It makes us so happy when they say ‘Thank you so much for sharing, make us laugh.’ We are very grateful,” Longo said.
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