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An Expat Talks about Living in Arona, Italy

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

Arona

How long have you lived there?

6 months

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

There really aren't any here.

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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.

Arona is not very diverse. I believe that there are not more than 10 mother-tongue English speakers living in the town of 15.000 people. There are perhaps several hundred black Africans too. In general, pretty much everybody is white and Italian, and most are local.

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

The main business in Arona is tourism, though in the surrounding towns there are many companies that manufacture water taps. The labor demand here is generally for unskilled labor or techies (mostly AutoCAD and design).

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

Arona (on Lago Maggiore in Piemonte) is generally a closed city. People will be curious about you, but in general they are only comfortable with people they have known for many years. The people are very sociable, but it is difficult to break into their well-established groups.

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

Unless you have connections or otherwise know people here, Arona is a tough place to move to. Prepare to be lonely for a while, and you probably need a car.

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:

Italy expat forum topic
Italian Drivers Licenses (50 replies)

I am looking for any feedback on obtaining an Italian Drivers License during the first year in Italy. While I speak fluent Italian, my wife does not. Any insights on the process or Italian Driving Schools that work with individuals who are not fluent in the language? I have also read that some expats"fly under the radar" on this which seems risky and would prevent you from legally buying car. Thoughts?

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Italy expat forum topic
Expat Fatigue (188 replies)

Expat Fatigue Since people look onto this forum for guidance to how to make the move to Italy, perhaps this forum should also discuss the problem of Expat Fatigue. NeoExpats are full of hope, wonder, anxiety, sense of adventure, willingness to new experiences and tastes and meeting new people. When you first make your move everything is new. Everything is a challenge to be solved. The amazing restaurants with wonderfully fresh fish and vegetables, the incredible variety of local and regional wines, the exotic scenery and the wonderfully mild weather vindicates that difficult decision that you had to make to make the move. There are problems. There are always problems but they are quaint and humorous. Waiting online at the post offices while the customer at the only open window discusses her life with the teller who does not appear to have any urgency. Having to wait hours with immigrants to see government officials so you can get the documents you need only to find out that the officials had to go to another city to process the latest boat load of immigrants, is also quaint. After all what else do you have to do with your time?………………… Overtime things and attitudes change. The new and exotic becomes the old and mundane. All those restaurants now appear to have the same few dishes with only aesthetic differences but basically its all the same food. That huge variety of local and regional wines do not include the great wines of the world, just the same local stuff all the time. If you want a California Chardonnay or a Rhone Cote Rotie, you’re out of luck. Those quaint driving habits of the locals become reason for road rage on your part when you finally recognize that its actually incompetence behind the wheel. And then you really get angry when you consider that for you to get a license you have to go to driving school knowing that you already drive better than most of the people on the roads. That includes the police……………….. It’s not so much home sickness. Two weeks in the States proves to me that its not the USA that I miss. It’s the reason I became an expat in the first place. Its the New, the exotic, the change, the new experiences. Those things are easily found and more easily lost. Its important to consider this when making your plans. Are you leaving your old home because you’re tired of the same old, same old? Well then you are likely to find it again wherever you go. For me the solution is to keep moving. Give each place a few years and then seek some other place. Its not a longterm solution because eventually I will be too old to keep doing that but for now that is the plan. I understood this from the beginning and that is why we have not purchased a home. We rent so that we can easily un-rent and move on. Thats my solution but it may not be yours. However I just wanted to let the NeoExpats know about this. Looking forward to others points of view.

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Italy expat forum topic
Buying vs leasing car (11 replies)

If I am not mistaken, to buy a car in Italy you must be a resident? My wife and I won't to start our retirement with a year in Italy, but it looks like there are way to many hoops to jump through. So now we are planning just a 90 day visit, but we would like to have a car so we can see as much as possible. Is there such a thing as leasing a car for just 3 months?

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