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An Expat Talks about Living in Angera, Italy

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Angera Castle in Angera, Italy

There is a huge expat community that comes from all over the world because of the Joint Research Centre in Ispra. So, it's easy to meet expats. It's more difficult to truly befriend the locals who are polite but guarded.

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Angera

How long have you lived there?

1 year +

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

There is a huge expat community that comes from all over the world because of the JRC in Ispra. There are many clubs, events, etc. organised through the Welcome Desk (JRC), the Club House (JRC) and other groups affiliated with the research centre. These are not held in Angera, but in Ispra and neighbouring towns.

To meet locals and integrate is quite difficult. There are local community programs that organise classes for Italian speakers/ residents for skills such as italian language, painting, rowing and masters swim clubs. These local community programs are offered by each individual town/ city and must be searched for by contacting the commune or provincia.

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In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

The locals of Angera are quiet, tolerant and private which translates to them being polite but guarded with any new comers and also with longer term residents who are not locals. I'm not able to comment on racial tolerance but generally they seem tolerant of culturally diverse people. They are not a diverse group (locals) and are generally italian, well off (there is no community housing or lower- class) and there is a large percentage of seniors in the population.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

Expats mostly work at the JRC Ispra and Whirlpool near Varese. Most expats come because of contracts/ jobs already acquired. Work for partners of these expats is very difficult to find and in order to get English teaching work you must go to Milano, Varese or teach privately to people in the surrounding villages. I am not aware of any expats working in other fields in the area, regardless of their Italian language proficiency or professional background.

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

Locals are very private and seem to work and socialise amongst themselves with little desire to interact with expats. There aren't many social meeting places (piazzas, bars, or other) to meet up and in the evenings after 7 or 8pm the city is very, very quiet.

During the day the many sports clubs are teeming with locals and tennis courts, rowing clubhouses and pools in other villages are always full.

As for expats, they generally come from neighbouring villages to meet at the lakefront for aperativos or dinner. There are two distinct groups (expats/ locals) who have very different lifestyles it seems.

If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

Move to this city for your own reasons, but do not expect to befriend locals, integrate or find a job.

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