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An Expat Talks about Living in Cingoli, Italy

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


Describe how you "dreamed" expat life would be before you moved overseas. Please provide as much detail as possible.

I dreamed of living in Italy for many years, running my own B&B. I dreamed of sitting around a large table with many friends and neighbors, eating wonderful Italian dishes. I dreamed of exploring the countryside, other towns, even other countries nearby. I dreamed of living a simple life, of having my own garden where I grew my own vegetables. I dreamed of learning to cook Italian dishes, learning the Italian language, and settling into a different way of life.

How has your expat experience met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?

Almost everything I dreamed of came to fruition, with one important exception. I lived on the side of a mountain, overlooking the Le Marche valley all the way to the Adriatic Sea. I sat for hours at friends' dinner tables, talking endlessly. I explored much of the Le Marche region, and some to the south. I sang in the local choir, became part of the town of Cingoli (wonderful people!). I loved, loved, loved living in Italy, even when we had only one room with heat in the house, and cooked off a small heating element, before we renovated the house.

How has your expat experience NOT met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?

The only problem, and it was a big one, was our visas. We needed work visas to open a B&B, and the consulate in the U.S. told us it would be no problem to convert our visas into work visas. But when we had the renovation completed, we were not allowed to convert the visa. We were told to go back to the U.S. and start the visa process anew. We were not willing to spend another year just doing that, so we sold the property, got a good price and now we are in Mexico, just weeks from opening our B&B. (Love it here, too.) No one asked for my advice, but if they did I would tell them to just let life in a foreign country take you where it should. Let the little things, such as visa problems, or standing in line at government offices for hours, roll off your back. Complain to each other, get it out of your system, then let it go and realize what a wonderful experience you are having. Do not expect the same way of life you had in the U.S., which is supposed to be the point, no? "When in Rome..." certainly applies here. Stay open to how life is in other countries. You have to go to a laundromat? Oh, well. Think of the interesting people you will meet there - I know we did. Cannot find peanut butter in your local store? Try nutella. Stay open.

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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Transporting Personal Belongings Within Italy (10 replies)

Just pondering.. I am exploring the possibility of moving to another part of Italy to experience something new - someplace that is close to the sea and doesn't require a car. My question is....I don't have a lot of stuff, but I have enough that I'd need a way to transport my personal belongings: clothes, shoes, etc., but also my printer, small items I've purchased for the kitchen, etc. since I've been here, that could easily fit in a car, if I were able to drive in Italy. The problem is - while I have a valid US license, I can no longer legally drive in Italy, as I've had my residency for over a year and am required to have an Italian license. Should I want to relocate, I am wondering if you have suggestions or know of any resources that could help with transport at a reasonable rate? I have looked into storage facilities in the past, (in case I want to go and check someplace out for a short period), but I haven't found much in my area. As always, thanks for your suggestions!

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Italy expat forum topic
Ponza in November? (5 replies)

Just wondering if anyone has any comments and/or information about visiting Isola di Ponza in November? We are thinking of taking a day trip to Ponza and wonder what to expect? Will there be any restaurants open etc?

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Italy expat forum topic
Health Insurance while waiting for Italian ID Card (27 replies)

Hello all My wife and I are living in Lombardia, having entered on an elective residence visa a short while ago. We have been to the local questura, who sent us to our local post office where we filled out and mailed in a set of completed documents there along with the required fee. We have an appointment at the Questura for fingerprints etc. about 5 months from now, and hopefully we will receive our ID cards thereafter, but likely not for some additional months. I am 75, my wife is 34. I have had medicare plus a good supplemental plan when in the US. My wife has had private health insurance we paid for in the US. Both my supplemental health insurance plan and my wife’s private coverage will expire the end of December 2018. I understand we cannot get into the public Italian National Healthcare system until our ID cards arrive. However I don’t know if we can buy into the private healthcare system in Italy before that time. Can we? If so, what’s the best way to go about it? If we can’t get into the private Italian system, I assume we will have to get private coverage from companies outside Italy. I have checked a couple of firms online, but I am beyond their age limit. So in spite of my excellent present health and excellent health history, the only figure I have been able to get for me – for fairly limited coverage -- are around US$ 600/month. Quotes for my wife are, of course, less. I’m not sure whether or not I should continue my supplemental plan in the US, at about $250/month, which is, of course, only valid for treatment in the US. What is your experience and your suggestions about the above?

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Comments about this Report

Sep 11, 2012 03:00

What a wonderful story! And a very true insight!! Thanks for sharing! - btw: where in Mexico did you end up now? Greetings from Germany to you (just returned from Italy, Verona+ Suave)

Feb 25, 2013 22:57

Great comments; thanks.

Sep 18, 2015 22:53

Having lived in Italy off and on for many years, I definitely can commiserate with your ordeal. Italy doesn’t seem to care that we foreigners bring a lot of money into the country. And yeah, I’m sure all those African and Middle Eastern street vendors have all their visa paperwork tied up in a neat bow, i’s dotted and t’s crossed. Because THEY are the true businesspeople, right?

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