Expat Exchange recently conducted a survey to explore the "Best Places to Live Abroad in 2020." In addition to the information collected during this survey, we have also examined survey and expat report responses to assess the best places to live for expats.
When expats in Italy rated their "level of satisfaction with the expatriate experience," responses indicated that those who live in the Mediterranean nation are slightly less satisfied with their experience than those in other nations throughout the world. However, their responses indicate that with the proper research, preparation, and patience, expats can make the most of everything that Italy has to offer.
A full 24% of expats in Italy reported that they were "extremely satisfied" as expats, while 38% stated that they were "very satisfied." An additional 19% reported that they were "moderately satisfied." Some 14% of respondents indicated they were "slightly satisfied," and only 5% reported that they were "not at all satisfied" with their expat experiences in Italy.
Here are some thoughts from the expats that responded to the Expat Exchange survey and :
An Expat in Umbria, Italy Shared (Best Places 2020):
We love our town and our region. We obtained our apartment (a rental) after vacationing in our town for many years. Everybody knows us. They know when we arrive and they know when we leave. There are several other Americans living in the area, but not what you'd call a community. We will never be locals - we are who we are: Americans who choose to live in Italy.
An Expat in Rome Shared (Best Places 2020):
Rome is a very metropolitan city. It has lots to offer in the way of food, entertainment, art. It has a major airport which makes travelling within and outside of Italy easy. It's a 25-minute car ride to a beach. Maybe not the best beaches Italy has to offer, but still, you want to have a walk along the beach Sunday morning and be back home in time for lunch? No problem. A 2-hour car ride north to Florence (or 1-hr train ride). A 2-hour car ride south to Naples (or a 1-hr train ride).
An Expat in Bologna, Italy Shared (Best Places 2020):
The small medium size lends to being able to get around easily especially with public transport. If you have free time and the desire there is always something going on. Bologna is home to many well educated Italians from all over the country as many studied here and then remained. Healthcare is excellent also because of the university. There are always new treatments and the doctors are almost all (as anywhere there are always exceptions) up to date. One negative is the extremely hot humid summer weather but at the same time having an airport 20 minutes from the city center makes it easy and inexpensive to get away.
An Expat in Puglia, Italy Shared (Covid Survey in May 2020):
Residents seem to respecting protocols for the most part. Puglia never approached the levels of the pandemic that the north of Italy did. Nonetheless, we had a full lockdown. Our mayor was very proactive from the start paying particular attention to the needs of the elderly and the economically disadvantaged. He organized a corp of volunteers to assist the elderly population with food shopping, medicine deliveries, and other essential services. He arranged food donations through local supermarkets. And he was very visible with frequent updates to educate local citizens. This was very touching and reassuring. Now that we travel is possible within our region, we are venturing out a bit more in public but still with masks. I will continue to be cautious and watch local virus stats. I feel particularly empathetic with so many who support their families through businesses that depend on tourism. I also feel for the small business owners that will surely continue to be impacted for many more months. Even the vendors and farmers that depend upon traditional open air markets were greatly challenged. How many will not be able to continue with their pre-virus jobs. Supermarkets here were well stocked and organized through this crisis. Doctors gave out prescriptions online for two months to limit trips. While some of my experience has been inconvenient or frustrating at times, I never felt that things were so dire that I couldn’t function. Life goes on even with the unexpected curveballs. My situation is on average better than many others. I am not in a position to complain.
An Expat in Milan, Italy Shared the Following (Covid Report):
I had Covid in March, and my family of 4 safely separated and no-one else in my family got it. As an American, when I read the news in Italy versus the US, feel so fortunate to be here. My kids go to private school and their safety regulations make me feel they are safe. I did have coffee with Italian friends and they remain very worried. While we have a permesso di soggiorno, we have not left Italy. We feel safer here than other countries, and are concerned if we leave, we may have a hard time returning.
Read our articles 10 Tips for Living in Italy, 12 Best Places to Live in Italy, and Healthcare in Italy
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