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An Expat Talks about Living in Angera, Italy


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.

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
residency and having a car (2 replies)

Ciao a tutti! Well, my experience in Italy has so far been a bit difficult, not Italy's fault! Maybe some poor planning on my part plus (lots of) unexpected circumstances. I apologize if some of this has been discussed before, but I couldn't find the information I needed. So, the poor planning part is not realizing I should have nailed down a place that would provide legal residency before I got to Italy. I didn't realize all the ramifications of not having that, and I didn't know that it was going to be difficult finding a dog friendly rental. Maybe it's not difficult if the entirety of Italy can be included, but after getting very sick within 2 days of arrival and realizing how helpless I am here, my choices of where I should live for the near future are quite a bit less than the entirety of Italy. I've settled on Lucca although it may not work out if I can't find a place I can afford that allows dogs. Lucca has lots of friendly expats and also friendly Italians. My experience in Todi helped me understand how important "friendly" is. I'm in a B&B in Lucca Centro for 2 months while I try to find a long term rental. I understand hopeless in terms of dog-friendly rentals. In the US I ended up buying houses because there was nothing (decent) for rent that allowed pets. I don't really want to do that here. But I do not understand how real estate works in Italy. Each realtor seems to have his/her own list of properties and they don't know anything outside of that. So my first question is should I go into every every real estate office in Lucca and ask for help? Is it considered "bad form" if I have a stable full of realtors? I don't want to start off on the wrong foot because I don't know how things are done here. I've been told to be patient, but the clock is ticking on my short term rental, and it's amazing how 2 months can evaporate. And at the end of 2 months, it will be high season for B&Bs, and I can't afford those rates. The other concern I have is that I have a car only until the end of June. The current lease is not renewable. Question 2: how do I buy or lease a car in Italy without legal residency? Is it possible? I thought I read somewhere on this forum that I can buy a car (without a legal residence and carta d'identita) if I have some kind of document from the comune where my citizenship is registered (Calabritto). I can't find the post now. Can someone verify that? And what about insurance? Can I get insurance without legal residency? Anyone know anything about long term car leases through this company: www.leaseplan.com/it-it/ Maybe I'm looking at the worst case scenario, but it could be possible for me to end up without a place to live and without transportation, not because there isn't a place, but because I don't know how things work here and I am limited in my ability to communicate. I've also reached out to the expat community in Lucca by way of FaceBook. Thoughts? Suggestions? Advice?

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Italy expat forum topic
Finding real estate agent -- how does it compare to US? (3 replies)

In the U.S. I can go to realtor.com or a myriad of websites, find property, and engage the seller's agent directly or use my own real estate agent. As the buyer I pay no commission. How does this work in Italy? Do all agents have access to a MLS type of service (can I access this for Rome?) Who pays the commission and how is that split between buyer and sellers agent? Do I just find a real estate agent that I like in Rome and engage that person to find me a property? I spoke to some local agents and they seem to be showing me their own listings (or maybe they are just putting their logo and contact info on the listings). It is a little confusing for someone new to real estate in Italy

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Italy expat forum topic
Moving to Italy, but do not meet financial amounts for Elective Residence (7 replies)

Hi all. I am planning on retiring next year and would like to move to Italy. I have seen figures of 31000 Euro and 38000 Euro for and individual and a couple. My pension will be a little short of that. I am wondering if there is another way to move to Italy in this situation. I have seen "after you have lived there legally for 5 years" you can become a permanent resident. So how does one live there legally for 5 years without getting an ER Visa?

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