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Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Vicenza, Italy

Sep 20, 2016

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The Teatro (Olympic Theatre) in Vicenza, Northern Italy

An expat in Vincenza, Italy offers a quick glimpse of his impression of life in Northern Italy.

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


Did you receive any cross-cultural training for your move abroad? If yes, was it before or after the move?

I have lived in Italy before.

Moving to Italy soon?

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If they speak another language in your new country, do you speak the language? If yes, did you learn the language before you moved or while abroad? If no, are you planning to learn the language?

Some, but not fluently.

Were you worried or concerned about culture shock before you moved abroad?


How significant was the culture shock you experienced when you moved abroad?


Expats often talk about going through the "stages of culture shock." Examples include the honeymoon phase, the irritation-to-anger stage, the rejection of the culture stage, and the cultural adjustment phase. Do you feel like you went through these or any other stages as you settled into the new culture?

A little, in trying to get my permenant residence papers, driver's license, etc.

What, if any, were some of the changes you noticed in yourself that might have been caused by culture shock? These might include things such as anger, depression, anxiety, increased eating or drinking, frustration, homesickness, etc.

A little homesick sometimes.

What are some things you appreciate most about the new culture?

The food, the ancient cities and towns, the overall culture and natural beauty of the country.

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Dealing with the noise of the city.

Did you "commit" any embarrassing or humorous cultural blunders? If you did and you'd like to share them, please do tell!


On the Italy Expat Forum

Join our Italy Forum and talk with other expats in Italy who can offer you insight and tips about living in Italy. Here are a few of the latest discussions on the Italy Expat Forum:

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Medicare, Part B (47 replies)

Looking ahead, I'll be 65 next year and will incur a penalty unless I sign on Part B of Medicare. I met with someone at Social Security yesterday, who said the only way I can opt out of Park B and not be penalized is if I am working for an employer who is providing health insurance. (The Nat'l Health System in Italy doesn't qualify, nor does purchasing private insurance.) The penalty is pretty stiff - if out of the country for 1 year, it's a 10% penalty for the rest of my life. If out of the country for 5 years, it's a 50% penalty, and so on. Has anyone found a way around this? I will likely move back to the U.S. at some point in time -my son is here, but could be 1 year, 5 years, 10 years...who knows?

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I know that I will need to bring certain documentation with me to the Sanitario to sign up for National Healthcare. I believe I need my residency document, codice fiscale and identity card. I know the amount you pay is based on your annual income from the previous year. Does this mean that I need to bring a tax return dcoument to show what my earnings are from 2017 so they can make that determination? Also, I have heard about a "Stato di Famiglia" document to register family members. Am I correct to assume if you are single without other family members to insure then this document is not needed? Thanks for your feedback.

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Citizenship Translations by Spouse? (9 replies)

I've decided to apply for citizenship while living in Italy. I've been here for almost 5 years and my wife is native Italian. I received the message below when I submitted some documents online. My wife believes she can translate my birth certificate and criminal history docs. I have doubts they will accept her translations. Not because she can't but because we are related. According to the message below, she cannot be listed on the documents. She's not but I feel this might be a grey area. I'm curious if anyone had their spouse translate citizenship documents or has an opinion on the subject. Si prega, prima di presentarsi per la convocazione, di far regolarizzare la traduzione del Certificato di nascita e del Certificato penale statunitensi, facendone asseverare (presso la Cancelleria di qualunque Tribunale o Giudice di Pace o da un Notaio in Italia) la firma di un traduttore (chiunque conosca la lingua del certificato e l?italiano, ma che non sia una persona menzionata nel certificato); in caso contrario, la documentazione non potrà essere accettata.

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Comments about this Report

Sep 24, 2016 15:26

I am an Anerican Soldier who has lived in Vicenza for a total of 7 years but not over the past 3. Is the expat in this story employed on the U.S. Army base? If not do they in any way stay connected to the American community?

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