All we got from the company was a house hunting trip. Most you learn after you arrive.
We started Rosetta Stone before leaving. It's really best to have as much Italian as you can prior to going. Younger people do speak some English, but most people say they do and don't really. Beware if they say ok, ok - they may not get your intent.
Yes, I knew the living spaces were significantly smaller and wondered how I'd adjust.
Huge! It's like a 3rd. world country except for the cell phones everywhere you look. Lots of graffiti. Run down buildings. Many business still running with paper and pencil. Store closures. Limited shopping hours. The extreme heat without a/c in the summer - and the heat indoors anytime it's slightly chilly outside. The medical care - no records kept at your doctors office, no lists of your meds at the pharmacy so you don't get drug interactions. And don't get me started on services for special needs kids...
Went from a few days of "honeymoon" to dying to leave.....It takes a good year is where everyone told me. I'm thinking it takes longer...
Depression, homesick, definitely. Especially when the internet has iffy connections or when it took months to even get it set up. The continual mold on the walls of the bedrooms-- that no Italian we met thought was a problem. Anger at the continual bureaucracy where ever you go. The sheer amount of paperwork needed to come. And then being told much of what the Italian embassy told you in the US was wrong or not had an apostle or wasn't an official translation of your child's birth certificate.
Medical care -- waiting hours for an x-ray at a facility you wonder is sanitary.
Cheap wine, Fresh food , Rich history, learning a new language and watching my kids learn it.
The claustrophobia of living so close to others, the small living accommodations, and tight spaces. Even the parks are small. And are only built to fit preschool sized children. Hard to find places for older kids to play outside. I think elementary school children must stay locked in their apartments when they aren't at school.
The crime: all the door locking, alarms, bars on the windows of peoples bedroom even in the suburbs.
I do it all the time....most due to mispronunciations or verb tenses.
I wore shorts and a t-shirt out in my "garden" (think no grass, just bricks) due to what I'd call heat. I swear I have permanent heat stroke here. My landlord comes out of his apartment in long pants and a coat. I'm from the northern US. I got the funniest look from him. He can't understand why we haven't turned on the heat yet.
Please find out as much as you can about what life is really like there. See apartments of people - coworkers - so you can see how they really live. It takes hours to do a tiny load of laundry. While it is running, don't turn on any other appliance or you'll blow your fuses. And you may have to air dry that laundry all over your apartment because it rains for 3 days straight. You can hear all the neighbors all the time. And the ones across the street.