Home Italy Forum Italy Guide Moving to Italy Real Estate Healthcare in Italy
Italy
Resources
City Guides
JoinSign In

Living in Italy > Florence >

Expat Advice: Culture Shock in Florence, Italy


Florence, Italy

One man who is living in Italy loves the history and beauty, but finds that many locals have a complete disregard for hygiene, manners, self control and courtesy.

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

Florence

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

None. I personally find that being thrown into the fire is the best way to get warmed up... Quickly!

Expats living in Italy interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Get a Quote

Expats living in Italy interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

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?

I do not speak Italian, I am now learning it but I have only found a few resolvable problems with language since many young people speak enough English to help me maneuver the Italian maze. I plan to learn the basics when it comes to conversational Italian, but at the moment I do not plan to be fluent but who knows!

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

No. I have visited here before and I came prepared for anything.

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

N/A

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?

Being an American and having traveled much of Europe, Africa and North, Central and South America little surprises me. The one thing that surprised me about Italians (especially in Florence) is the complete disregard for the history and beauty that they daily shit all over. They, and their dogs, do their business all over the place. They lay their garbage everywhere. The most disappointing fact is that Italians seem to have mistaken "pride" with honor and integrity and this is a monumental mistake. The complete disregard for hygiene, manners, self control and courtesy are the main reasons most I talk to hate Italians but love Italy.

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.

Nothing. I came to observe and live my life with while exploring and seeing the historical beauty. I generally ignore the idiots and take a few deep breaths and chill. It's their country, I'm a visitor and I plan to move on.

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

The under 40 are very supportive and helpful. Negotiating is easy. They all love to negotiate. Mostly they like to talk in circles, and never really get anywhere but they have been this way for years!

What are the most challenging aspects of the new culture?

Cost of goods. Lack of respect for themselves and their surroundings. Sad...

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

Yes. A man pushed my daughter out of the way to get by to take cuts in line at the Poste Italiane and I grabbed him by his jacket collar and pulled him to the floor. I laughed when he his pissed his pants. He did not.

Do you have any advice or thoughts about culture shock you would like to share?

Go with the flow but always be true to yourself. Life is for living. Be patient and don't get mad except for when it's absolutely appropriate to get mad. The one time I got mad (see above) it was a split, and I feel, appropriate decision. When a 40 something man gets impatient enough to lose his cool and push a child, he's should pray to God the father didn't send him to his maker.

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Italy from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

More about Florence

Guide to Living in Florence

Guide to Living in Florence

A beloved tourist destination known for its art and architecture, expats in Florence have mixed reviews of living in Florence.

Healthcare in Italy

Healthcare in Italy

An overview of the healthcare system in Italy - public and private hospitals, Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN), getting your Tessera Sanitaria (healthcare card), vaccinations for Italy, prescription medication availability and more.

Moving to Florence

An expat shares tips for moving to Florence. She wishes she hadn't brought so many heavy suitcases, because clothing and shoes are less expensive there. The cost of living in Florence is much higher than her home town.

Culture Shock in Florence

An experienced expat provides amazing insight into life in Florence, and how unpredictable the settling in process can be - even for someone who has lived all over the world! From the beautiful countryside to struggling with the health care system, read about the experience of moving to Florence, Italy.

Culture Shock in Florence

An expat who splits his year between Florence and Miami discusses expat life in Florence. Like many other cultures, Italians are very proud of their culture and nation. He says that the key to acceptance is to avoid bragging about how things are done differently in your home country. In time, he says that your Italian acquaintances will ask you many questions about your home country.

Join our Italy Expat Forum

Visit our Italy Forum and talk with other expats who can offer you insight and tips about living in Florence, Italy.

More about Italy

7-Best-Places-to-Live-in-Piedmont,-Italy7 Best Places to Live in Piedmont, Italy

Piedmont (in Italian: Piemonte) is an expansive region in Northern Italy that borders Switzerland and France. This is a region of great variety - you will find everything from small hilltop towns to cosmopolitan cities set against the snow-capped Alps. If you're thinking about moving to Piedmont, check out our list of the 7 best places to live in Piedmont, which is based upon advice and recommendations from expats already there.

Puglia,-ItalyPuglia, Italy

Why is Puglia described as the new Tuscany? People are drawn to Puglia's low cost of living, amazing climate, beautiful beaches hidden away in coves, and, most importantly, the wonderful Pugliese people. If Puglia is on your shortlist, this overview of life in Puglia, Italy is an essential read.

10-Best-Places-to-Live-in-Puglia10 Best Places to Live in Puglia

Puglia or Apulia is sometimes referred to as the new Tuscany. With its low cost of living, friendly Pugliese people, beautiful beaches and villages of whitewashed homes, Puglia is a hidden gem among expats. If you're thinking about moving to Puglia, our list of the 10 best places to live in Puglia is based upon expat advice and recommendations.

Healthcare-in-ItalyHealthcare in Italy

An overview of the healthcare system in Italy - public and private hospitals, Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN), getting your Tessera Sanitaria (healthcare card), vaccinations for Italy, prescription medication availability and more.

5-Expat-Moms-Talk-about-Having-a-Baby-in-Italy5 Expat Moms Talk about Having a Baby in Italy

5 expat moms offer candid insight into what it's like giving birth in Italy - from bringing towels and toilet paper with you to the hospital to being refused pain medication. And, like most advice in Italy, word of mouth is the best way to find a good OB/GYN.

Cigna International Health Insurance

Write a Comment about this Expat Report

Sign In to post a comment.
addacomment

Comments about this Report

pistachio
Aug 26, 2013 10:09

I endorse your taking issue with the person who pushed your daughter and you were kind to not escalate the situation. His penance was well deserved. Personally, I am saddened by your having a 'not so sweet' experience in Florence. I am from the states but now living in Peru. I can say that here, infrastructure needs work, the folks are friendly, the driving is like mario cart..... LoL!, and the food is r e a l l y v e r y n i c e ........ pistachio

guest
Aug 26, 2013 12:59

Wow. I appreciate your candor. I think Americans have a rose colored glasses view of Italy. We always idealize other cultures. I would love to read your blog, if you have one. It sounds like you have an interesting take on things.

HelenBack
Aug 28, 2013 02:44

I lived in Florence, Italy for two years and absolutely abhored the people!! Sure, there were some nice ones, but 80% of them were inconsiderate, rude, self-centered, inefficient, shallow and arrogant. I've lived in the Middle East, Africa, North America and Asia. It was the most miserable place I ever lived. If you must, go as a tourist ... DO NOT live there!!

pistachio
Aug 28, 2013 10:52

hmmm!...... it would appear to me that the Florines would benefit from a little more Fiber in their diet ! ! ! ! [ LoL ! ]

Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Italy from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Guide to Living in FlorenceGuide to Living in Florence

A beloved tourist destination known for its art and architecture, expats in Florence have mixed reviews of living in Florence.

Healthcare in ItalyHealthcare in Italy

An overview of the healthcare system in Italy - public and private hospitals, Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN), getting your Tessera Sanitaria (healthcare card), vaccinations for Italy, prescription medication availability and more.

Restaurants in FlorenceRestaurants in Florence

Support your favorite restaurants in Florence as they recover from the pandemic. Submit a free listing for them on Expat Exchange to help spread the word about them to the expat community.

Moving to Florence

An expat shares tips for moving to Florence. She wishes she hadn't brought so many heavy suitcases, because clothing and shoes are less expensive there. The cost of living in Florence is much higher than her home town.

Culture Shock in Florence

An experienced expat provides amazing insight into life in Florence, and how unpredictable the settling in process can be - even for someone who has lived all over the world! From the beautiful countryside to struggling with the health care system, read about the experience of moving to Florence, Italy.

Culture Shock in Florence

An expat who splits his year between Florence and Miami discusses expat life in Florence. Like many other cultures, Italians are very proud of their culture and nation. He says that the key to acceptance is to avoid bragging about how things are done differently in your home country. In time, he says that your Italian acquaintances will ask you many questions about your home country.

7-Best-Places-to-Live-in-Piedmont,-Italy7 Best Places to Live in Piedmont, Italy

Piedmont (in Italian: Piemonte) is an expansive region in Northern Italy that borders Switzerland and France. This is a region of great variety - you will find everything from small hilltop towns to cosmopolitan cities set against the snow-capped Alps. If you're thinking about moving to Piedmont, check out our list of the 7 best places to live in Piedmont, which is based upon advice and recommendations from expats already there.

Puglia,-ItalyPuglia, Italy

Why is Puglia described as the new Tuscany? People are drawn to Puglia's low cost of living, amazing climate, beautiful beaches hidden away in coves, and, most importantly, the wonderful Pugliese people. If Puglia is on your shortlist, this overview of life in Puglia, Italy is an essential read.

Italy Guide
Other Links
Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2020 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal