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Americans Living in Italy - How did you do it?

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11/10/2004 19:38 EST

I am trying desperately to find a way to move to Italy. If you are an American living in Italy, who was not moved by the government or your job, I would be interested in hearing how you did it. Thanks.

12/14/2004 16:22 EST

Hi Slaw...

My partner and I are also interested in moving to Italy without the government and/or work relocation. If you find any information to pass along, that would be great. I'll do the same.

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12/15/2004 11:30 EST

Hi, Practical,

thanks for writing. I have actually applied for a few gov positions (how's that for desperate). My other idea is to look for a house that I could run as a B&B, but with the Euro decimating the dollar, that might be financially unfeasible.

Take care and good luck.

12/17/2004 23:24 EST

Hi Slaw... I like your idea about the bed & breakfast. Who better to work for, than yourself. I am trying to use my company to get a position overseas(Italy/Czech Republic) and then like you said, open a motel and/or bed and breakfast and work for myself. Do you work for an international company?

Desperate would be going over there and marrying someone for the convience. Trust me, there are many people that do it. Immigration/Migration laws can be absurd and redundant.

Working overseas ad an expat. is your best bet even though like you said the dollar is taking a dive against the euro.

Good Luck and let me know how you make out?

2/1/2005 09:36 EST

well salw first of all do you have italian blood then perhaps you can access through your heritage

however i would just go and volunteer to work in italy through an agencie or pick a school good luck dont talk about just do it most people are afraid to fail but thats where you learn a lot


2/2/2005 20:13 EST

Very true, carmine - "just do it". You could visit and look around while you are there to see if you like the area, and if you could provide something to a company that they don't yet have - then that company can 'sponsor' you, and you are set.

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2/7/2005 17:54 EST

Hi Practical and Slaws,
My husband and I live in Northern Italy since 2002. We're crazy. He early-retired and we just dropped everything and left. I have the feeling that you are younger than 40 and don't have a pension to live on. And I have no idea as to what standard of living you are used to in the States. We lived well when the dollar was 1 to .88 Euros. We live modestly now with the dollar at 1.28 per Euro.
The major obstacle to settling in Italy is that most business are family business--that is, very closed to outsiders. Depending on the area, people is very respectful of the law and would feel nervous about hiring foreigners without a work permit.
However, you have two things going in your favor: First, Italians love Americans and second, during the summer, they just cannot have enough English speaking people to help with the tourist demand.

2/19/2005 17:33 EST

Hi Ocelle,
My husband and I also are crazy, early retired and moved to Italy about 3 years ago. We live in the mountains above Cantiano(near Cagli and Gubbio) about two hours from Verona. Maybe we can chat and share experiences.

2/22/2005 11:37 EST

I found Caglio in my map. It is near Lake Como, fancy!
We live 4 Km from Lake Garda.
Continuing on the "crazy people" topic, we moved from LA with our four cats!
Now, let's see if you can match that , he-he

2/22/2005 11:41 EST

To Slwas and PracticalNomad:
1) Do you guys speak Italian?
Most Italians DO NOT speak English.
In Northern Italy, to speak English-German-Italian is a winner for summer jobs.
2) Have you looked into internet jobs? Please don't laugh. This is a good option to start.

2/24/2005 18:39 EST

Hi Ocelle, thanks for writing. I am, unfortunately, nine years away from Social Security (and the way things are looking with that...oh, well I won't verbalize it). I check the internet regularly, but it appears that I am WAY TOO OLD for the jobs listed. My Italian-speaking ability is fairly limited, but I do get by and I have never had a problem making myself understood (I think - LOL). Well, thanks again for your suggestions.

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2/25/2005 05:42 EST

hey Ocelle,
No we did not move with cats!! Although the small Borgo where we live has plenty of them around and three have seriously 'adopted' us. We are in le marche, not too close to lake como. Closer to Urbino. Originally from Florida this winter has been a real eye opener for us. The last big snow we couldn't get down the mountain for a week!

3/3/2005 08:57 EST

well i am back in north america and you have not missed anything at all i really would love to come back to italy ;espcially those mountains you describe where i was born /i love when it snows in itlaia

it drives me nuts not being there everything in north america is about makin money borin......................................g

anyways hope to be back soon im 15 years away from retirment and i dont have a nickel waiting to win lootery


3/14/2005 22:58 EST

Carmine, thanks for replying to the topics here, and for being a freindly well-wisher for everyone. I appreciate reading it!

TMC, in another post, would be interested in Carmine's reply, because it would help her decide.

3/17/2005 10:16 EST

oh hi nitelite thanks i really miss the land of my birth italia and i plan on being back however if you are middle aged you need dough and alot of it to survive in italy .

italians respect money and if you have italian heritage you need to come back with lots of it so i plan on winning the lottery ok .
i chose the live of an artist and i love it but i have no finicial security at all or rich parents

but in saying that i miss the magic of italy and also its timelessness /when i am there time goes slow .

i am used to north america but i must say it is going to the dogs

people rush around trying to make lots of money and are lonely for human contact

in europe my firends are like brothers and sisters

anyways off to the lottery store thanks for your compliment


3/20/2005 00:53 EST

^^^^^ LOL!
I'd sure like to meet you, Carmine, you are funny!

3/21/2005 09:07 EST

well thank you nitelite my email is

i plan on going back to italia at some point like i say with the exchange rate and no work it is tough ,

i enjoyed going to europe when the lira was happening ,

but i do plan on getting some land and growing tomatoes and makin wine like my ancestors unfortunately my father was not thining straight and he sold his land for a song

italia si bnot going anywhere but lately i really miss the magic .


6/26/2005 18:07 EST

Ciao Carmine,

I am new to this site and I was just reading your comments. Just came back from Milano 2 weeks ago. I love it there and even though I am not Italian I feel I am in my heart. I want to move back to Milano very much. I am so not happy in the US. Everything is about money and people are just depressed and unhappy. Italy is a totally different world. Ti saluto...ciao Antonia

6/27/2005 08:36 EST

grazie antomia i know i am just miserable since ihave been back now 2 years to the day.

the good news i am going back when i dont know/

but i will happen

my e mail is

dont despair ciao carmine

ps i love the coffee in the morning and the old woman with the wash

6/30/2005 00:59 EST

I am like Carmine - I dream every night of being back in Italy, and if anyone asks me what my life goal is: it is to be in Abruzzo....:)

7/4/2005 15:32 EST

Are you planning to stay there now that you sound acclimated? We are early retirees who wish to live in your area of Italy and plan to house-swap there before making any decisions. Does the Euro impact your living style even after you know the ropes? Is not speaking fluent Italian a handicap, or do many speak English?

Thank you so much.


7/5/2005 09:49 EST

Hi, I've been living in Italy for about two and a half years and will be happy to share my experiences with anyone who would like to contact me directly at

7/31/2005 23:12 EST

Hi Canicassio,
My husband and I are Canadians, planning to move
to Le Marche. Why did you choose Cantiano as your place to live? Did you consider any other towns in Le Marche? How is the cost of living compared with the USA (ie. housing, food, etc)? Did you rent a place first before moving or did you just buy a place in Italy? How is the climate? Do you have any language problems?
Thanks for any advice!

Alice & Mike

8/12/2005 02:52 EST

^^^ excellent questions!

"Il Mediterraneo" is like no where else on the earth!

8/19/2005 09:50 EST

I am in the process of getting ready to move to Italy. Fortunately, my grandparents emigrated so I am able to access dual citizenship - though you have wade through considerable bureaucracy and it takes a fair amount of time.

I have lived in Europe - in Spain and the UK for about six years, which have very similar visa and immigration laws. The easiest way to get your foot in the door is through a student visa - but these are impossible to change to another type of visa once you are there. Work visas are extremely hard to get, and I think, rightly so - they are trying to keep the limited jobs that exist for EU citizens. Americans, when we can get in, have a huge advantage - we tend to have way more applicable work experience and skills. Many Americans I met in Europe went there on Tourist or Student Visas and then stayed on working informally, mostly at language schools teaching English.

8/19/2005 10:08 EST

Do you really need that much money to be happy in Italy? The rat race you can find everywhere  even Europe  but we always have the choice to opt-out. I love what money can buy, its delicious, but not really the substance of life. When I was living in Spain, I saved for two years to buy a TV and found that instead of a house full of things I had rich social relationships  like those you mentioned. It wasnt so bad not to have what we think of here as essentials like TVs and air conditioning. Our lives are incredibly comfortable here in the US and full of an amazing level of luxury I have found no where else in the world. Nevertheless, we are impoverished in our connections to one another, our community, and the land. Europe is by no means perfect, but somehow it has kept this relationship a little more intact, which is why I am pining away to return as fast as I can.

8/21/2005 11:57 EST

im planning to go abruzzo in may06/oct06.Have any idea were to stay?I like the shore(giulianova/alba adriatica)
in the past i stayed for 5 months in pescara(1999)

8/22/2005 10:12 EST

I just got my entry visa (for autonomous professional work) stamped in my passport and I leave in early September. It was a long and arduous process. I worked in Italia for several years back in the 90´s, but the process was more difficult this time. I ended up hiring a great attorney who did the legwork and paperwork on the Italian side.

The consulate in your area should have instructions for how to go about requesting a work visa. In the region governed by San Francisco, here are the instructions:


8/23/2005 13:22 EST

carmine here try a place called momma rosa hotel which is close to lanciano which is beautifil midieval village also francavilla on the coast near pescara is wonderful off season is good

i should know i was born in the area and am going backj some day to stay ok later carmine

8/23/2005 21:44 EST

Well, the first place that comes to mind is a Motel Agip which is actually in Montesilvano, just north of Perscara. It is cheap (at least USED to be :), and is close to the autostrada, convenient if you are going to rent a car. The shore is not very far away, and you might save some money. Also, going south to Francavilla might save lire as well.
If you take pics and host them, PLEASE post a link - I'd love to see how it looks now! :)
I hope you have a great time!

8/24/2005 09:45 EST

yea carmine here

i really must say yea there is great magic in italia all year long and love the rythmn of the country maybe like new york city from 1930 to 1985

after that america has become a wasteland all pardons to the patriots its about money and greed.

i will miss nfl ball baseball and pbs /

also love fast takeout so my suggestion save some money and get back there to all a wonderful day

8/26/2005 17:09 EST

Hi Torch
Sorry it took so long to answer,but we lost phone service for awhile then have just been busy. In answer to your questions, we just lucked out finding Cantiano. We rented a place for 9 months before moving inyo our home. We had visited Le Marche several times before we moved and we knew we wanted mountains, not the sea. We looked around Urbino and Genga then we found Cantiano. We had stayed in Cagli previously and lnew we liked the area. We are from So. Fl. and find the cost of living here less expensive. Gas is high and clothes are expensive but on the whole we find it costs us less here. We are trying very hard to learn Italian but again we have been very lucky. Even when we first arrived and our language skills were rudimentary at best there were no problems accomplishing things that needed to be done.The climate is a definate 4 seasons (great for us Fl. folks) warm summers, great and cool spring and fall and snow in winter. Fell free to ask me any questions. You can contact me @

2/8/2006 16:29 EST

I noticed the post regarding moving with cats. I am interested in moving to Italy sometime in the future and I'm wondering anyone's experience with moving their pets. Thanks

2/9/2006 03:37 EST

Janeth, I moved with a cat 5 yrs ago he was in the cabin with us, other than he molted about a half a pound of hair from the stress. Your vet will have all the pertinant info, requirments etc. A friend just moved to Peru from Italy with 4 cats, they all arrived safely.

2/20/2006 12:09 EST

Thank you all for your interesting messages. My husband and I are plannig to move after the school year. We are older teachers - approaching 60 - who simply want to live in Italy. I am also a Cranialsacral therapist - advanced,certified - Upledger Institute. Thank you apartmentinrome - I will look into papers/visas. If anyone has advice - please let us know
Also - Please let me know how you transported your pets - on the airplane or did you use a Pet Shipping co.

2/21/2006 02:46 EST

I've been living in Italy for about three years. Getting a visa to live and work in Italy is a bureaucratic nightmare but it can be done. The essential elements are 1) that you speak Italian and 2) that you have a "sponsor," i.e., a person or company to support your application for a visa. What makes it difficult is that the process also requires a lot of effort from the sponsor. As for pets, I brought my Bichon Frisé on the plane. I checked out prices from pet shippers and I thought they were outrageous and targeted at high-paid executives with a large relocation allowance.

2/21/2006 08:07 EST

When I moved to Germany in 2001, my friend brought my cats later since I went on a ship. They traveled from Guadalajara, Mexico to Atlanta, had a long layover made longer because it was the firstday they resumed flights in the US after 9/11 and then got a connecting flight to Frankfurt. The cats and my friend arrived in fine shape. The cats were in the cargo hold during the flight. In fact, Anne was supposed to bring 3 cats (2 in the cargo hold and one in the passenger cabin), but they weren´t allowing any carry-ons and would not allow the extra cat in the cargo hold, so one had to be left behind due to the stupidity and intransigence of the ground personnel in Guadalajara.

When I moved back to Mexico, I was on Iberia and, again, had no problem with my 2 cats in the cargo hold.

I am presently in the process of moving to Turkey and will have another German friend bring my 3 cats to Frankfurt. Same deal, 2 in the cargo hold and 1 in the passenger cabin. I will meet her in Frankfurt and fly to Turkey and expect no problems.

The airlines all have different rules and requirements for shipping animals, so you just have to check on this before you book your flight and make sure what that airline requires. Some will allow 2 cats together in a cage if the cage is large enough. Some will allow more than 3 per passenger, others not. Some do not ship animals in the summer becaus of the heat.

I hope this helps.

Linda in Mexico, to be in Turkey via Rome and Germany by June

4/19/2006 05:13 EST

We will be in rome from september through end december. Is it wise to live in the city? Our kids will be in school there. I ask because places outside the city seem really appealing, but we'd have to lease a car. Is that wise, given the traffic situation?

--Michael ()

4/20/2006 22:54 EST

yea michael a friend of mine lived near bracciano

about 35 minutes outside of rome north wonderful

you can commute by car and also by train which then hooks up with rome transit

it was ajoy to go there right in the country also some americans were living not tofaraway if you need more help i can get the nameofthe village ok carmine

4/27/2006 22:21 EST

hello, everyone. I have enjoyed all your posts, and must thank you carmine for your fortitude and loyalty to this forum! I have traveled to Italy several times, from Venezia thru Forenza, Roma, Napoli, Positano, Sorrento, Capri - as you can see, mainly touristy spots, but have loved them all. My daughter will be going to China for 6 weeks this summer, and I have come up with a fantastic plan, why don't I go to Roma for 6 weeks! A lot of my questions have already been answered, but here goes:
1. Any tips on rentals in Rome: which areas: Trastavere? what agencies? contact info, please..
2. I have a 2yr old corgi (dog)- can I bring him into Italy? I know that there is a quarantine for Hawaii, is there any such restriction iin Italy and/or Rome?
3. Will I need any special type of visa for a 6 week stay?
4. I'm familiar with the trains and love them, any tips on weekend getways for safe out of the way places for a single american woman to travel to? I live in florida and love our beaches, I'd like to see some of Italy's.
5. I plan on being there June thru the end of July. Is that "holiday" for most families? will I run into any difficulties with this, and if so how do I avoid them...

That should do it for now. sorry for the lengthy post, but thanks for your experience and advice..

4/28/2006 09:52 EST

really quick here go to fregene on the coast near rome or try abruzzo which is lovely in the summer which is very hot try francavilla al mare near pescara ok its 2 and half hours by train from rome ok

dogs i dont know the beach on the adriatic side is gorgeous all the best carmine

4/28/2006 10:21 EST

Hi, I wanted to speak on the subject of bringing your dog. I brought my Bichon Frisé to Italy. You need what's called a "European Passport for dogs" or EU form 998, which you should be able to get from your vet, the Department of Agriculture or on the web. The dog needs vaccinations but there is no quarantine anymore. It's very important to coordinate with the airline to bring the dog in the cabin with you rather than have it travel in the cargo hold, which is risky. However, my personal recommendation is not to bring the dog for just six weeks because it will be very stressful on the dog, who will be miserable, and very limiting on you. Consider that dogs are very territorial and need a couple of weeks to adjust to a new area. My dog wouldn't pee until the end of the day when she couldn't take it anymore and wasn't able to poop for a week. Plus, you'll go through this evey new "neighborhood" you travel to. Also consider that many restaurants, museums and other places you might want to enter don't allow dogs. Are you going to limit your travel just to places where you can go with your dog?

5/3/2006 21:27 EST

thanks, carmine and dpro...

the beach areas i will research - any tips on where to stay while there?

dpro, thanks for the advice on the dog situation. i hadn't thought of that aspect. corgi's tend to think of us as their pets, instead of them as ours. it could very well be a serious hardship on him.

i am still very curious as to the "holiday" aspect of my timing. if i remember correctly Italians take holiday in August ?, but will July be madness?


6/11/2006 08:46 EST

I bough some property (www.angelfire.com/film/casale) that I rent out and live on the rental income.

3/7/2007 11:29 EST

I'm also interested in relocating to Italy, especially in the Summer. If anyone knows of where I could find leads for Summer help, please let me know. I have found that Italians are very personable, and if you meet them in person, they are more likely to help and/or hire you.

3/16/2007 07:12 EST

how much for the rental in abruzzo ok thanks carmine

3/24/2007 11:28 EST

Just retired and longing to move to Italy. My folks (long passed away) were from the "old country" so I wanted to return to their county to live.

Other then tour books, info such as health care, what I may need to buy a place to live is slim.

Any insight or advise would be welcome

9/7/2007 00:27 EST

I am new to these forums. Like all the rest of you, my husband and I are dying to live in Italy. We just came back from 2 wks over there and it was everything we expected and more. We are of retirement age and have just now started looking into making the move. It's a little bit discouraging when people talk about how expensive it is to live there. We don't have a lot of money but we thought we could make do with what we have. Even considered moving to a neighboring and cheaper country just to be close enough to visit. Is that wise? We welcome any help or suggestions. Thanks, Marcela

9/10/2007 11:19 EST

Not now living in Italy, but soon to be (I hope). My key is dual (US/Italy) citizenship. I am an Italian subject through my maternal grandfather and it is now recognized by virtue of my having filed in my Itallian ancestral town all the necessary vital documents leading up to my birth in the US.

9/11/2007 14:21 EST

how far you whidden to actually moving to italy and make i ask when was the last time you were in italia mine was 4 years ago seem like an eternity
all the best carmine
ps any luck on the b and b

9/11/2007 16:13 EST

Hi Carmine:

I have been going to Italy every year since 1994; but due to house renovations in the states (getting it ready for ultimate sale), I will not be going this year. My last trip in November of last year included Rome (rented an apartment this time!) and the region of Puglia of which I am very fond. The B&B idea is still alive; but a weak real estate market in the US combined with a strong one in Italy AND the beating the dollar is taking against the euro has slowed me down. I can't take all three hits at once. So, I'm waiting for THE moment when one or more of these variables change. I am also thinking of selling real estate in Italy. I have received some positive feedback from Italian agents on this idea given the fact that they need more English speakers and I have at times acted as a real estate broker in the US. For now I am brushing up my Italian language skills and cooking up a storm trying new regional Italian recipes. The bridge to la dolce vita in Italia is nearing completion, I hope.

9/12/2007 11:59 EST

Dear Whidden:

If you really want to make the move, I would, politely, like to suggest that you change your thinking. Unfortunately, the US housing market and the Euro/Dollar exchange rate are going to get a lot worse for a long time before they get better, if ever. For example, I think that you would be a lot better off if you made the move now by taking a 2nd mortagage and renting your home rather than selling it. Once you make the move and have an income stream in Euro, the strong Euro will work in your favor as you pay back the loan on the house.

9/12/2007 16:03 EST

cool tom i think yea its tough but it sounds like you got some dough to back you

if thats the case then go

sometimes you have to just do it

there is no real opportune time

fortune favors the bold tom and if there is anything i can do

let me know

hopefully i can come over soon

i sure miss italy


9/13/2007 11:00 EST

Thank you for the advice. Yours and Carmine's may be just the push I need right now. And you're right, who says the dollar will strengthen against the Euro any time within the next decade! However, I must make a clean break. My US property is unique -- an historic and fully restored home on four levels!! It is not practical for me to rent it out. I don't want the horror stories and would prefer to leave my wonderful homes in the hands of another steward, so to speak. I need peace of mind when I am overseas and would not want to return to this home in the future. I could consider cashing out in the US and renting while I get acclimated in Italy, taking my opportunities as I find them. I truly believe that spring 2009 will be the time. My employment contract ends just before that and it may end up being good timing. Thank you for lighting a little fire under my seat!! Regards,

9/13/2007 12:05 EST

yea the euro is going to be stronger for a while ok

4/8/2008 19:15 EST

I would like some advice on moving to Italy as well.

I think the main advice I'd want is finding employment.

A bit about me and my current plan:

I'm am a 24 year old single male. No family or ancesters are Italian so I can't go that route.

I figure if I am ever going to move then ometimes in the next couple years would be the best time to do so as I'm single, really have no bills, only two credit cards with small limits and of course car insurance, I own my car but no car payments and I would sell it before I move, it's not in great shape.

So my plan:

I have never been to Italy but always wanted to go my whole life. So I plan to go in July of 2009, over a year, I know, but I just moved back to San Diego from Phoenix and took a bit longer to find a job then I hoped so I spent all my savings. ANyways, that gives me enough time to save up money to visit and this summer I am going to start taking Italian as it is something I've always wanted to do.

My plan is to fly in Naples, stay there for 3 nights, train to Rome, stay for 4 nights, train to Florence, 4 nights, and train to Venice, 4 nights, and fly back to San Diego. This plan might change of course, that's just what I got going now...

Ok, now if I absolutely LOVE it as I'm sure I will, how do I go about finding a job, that will be the most important issue for me.

Should I try and get names, numbers, and make contacts/friends while on my trip and call them when I get back to the States to see about getting a job and having that company help with the paperwork needed? WHat are the odds that would go over well, like they wouldn't be like "oh, well he's back in the USA and we just dont want to deal with this, just hire someone local" type thing. Or if I love the city I am in should I just go into a company and try and apply for a job right there? Of course I'd have to leave to continue my trip and get back to the USA so I really can't stay to long or set up an interview for a week later.

So what advice can I get while in Italy to try and get the ball rolling on relocating to Italy if it is something I would still like to do which I believe I will still want to.



4/9/2008 05:35 EST

It is certainly possible to live and work in Italy but finding a job is not your biggest obstacle at this point. You need to speak Italian well enough to make contacts and do job interviews because few Italians speak English well. Instead of making a whirlwind tour through Italy, why don't you try and attend school here, at the very least the Italian school for foreigners in Perugia. It will allow you to stay longer and is a very good way to learn Italian.

9/11/2008 18:16 EST

My family and I would love to spend the summer in Italy but want something that will be very low cost and help us to possibly stay after the summer is over - any suggestions? Never been and would love to live in Italy I hear nothing but GREAT things and understand the politics and such - we are Jewish as well so just in case that plays any part in this. also, we are learning to speak Italiano over the next few months to prepare. I would love to get a place either in the city or a village someplace my kids, 7th graders, would love to be so that IF we can stay they would want to.

Desperate to live in Italy.

5/17/2009 05:13 EST

I was born to an Italian citizen.
You can enroll in school although I heard they are going to modify those rules.

5/26/2009 03:00 EST

HI-- we moved to Venice a year ago from the US,and brought our dogs with us. We have a corgi also! We researched the process extensively, and decided to fly them on the same flights with us. We chose Lufshansa based on recommendations from others and our conversations with the airline. The dogs did well, all the staff at the airline went out of their way to ensure our dogs were well taken care of. If you want more info, please email me directly at

5/28/2009 07:35 EST

ok so i have lived in Florence for 3 years and first because i studied here (the easiest way to come) and then came after graduation. Its pretty much impossible to find a company to sponser you ( sorry if i sound pessimistic) , maybe if you are highly specialized boh. I have several jobs and finally am super happy with them. I teach english twice a week to an italian family ( charge 10euros per hour) , i also find clients for apartment owners and take 10% ( very easy and a GREAT way to make money since the owners cant speak good english) , you can approach them and offer to help and just add your 10 % to what the charge or have them just agree to it. Also i help with weddings here which is sporadic but good money and i work with insiderabroad and sells ads to english businesses. Kinda random but I have alot fo free time and make good money. If you study at a language school you can work legally for no more than 20 hours per week but then again they dont track that! good luck with trying , it can be done if your a motivated enough person. Im always here to answer any questions!

6/8/2009 13:27 EST

tommadaras, just wondering if you spent or spending your summer in Italy. I want to do that next year.
Pls. let me know.

6/9/2009 13:48 EST

Hello everyone,
I am new to this forum. I have been to Italy a few times, from Rome to Florence, Venice, Milan, Lago Maggiore, Torino, etc.
I do not speak Italian however, I speak a little Spanish and my wife is fluent in Spanish. I am sick and tired of living in U.S. even though I run 2 business's here, it is all about money and no quality of life. I am 57 and thinking it is enough for me and I should live a little now.
I have a little money saved, and was thinking of starting a small B & B in the northern Italy (maybe Lago Maggiore area). I would really love to hear your point of view about what I am thinking of doing and how to become a resident. Can you also tell me about health care? At my age I should think about that too. Thank a lot.

8/31/2009 21:55 EST

Considerably large property (close to 2000 square meters with land, comprising of a family home built in the 1970s, 2 rural farmhouses built in the 1920s, 3 sheds and a garage)
set in a private but very accessible location, 30 minutes from the city of Turin (Torino), home of the 2006 Winter Olympics, and Caselle (TO) airport, an hour from any major Alps resort.
The property is ideally placed for visiting this historical city with its Baroque cafes and architecture, arcade shopping promenades and museums and makes a good base for exploring nearby mountains and valleys.

This property represents an excellent example of a traditional Piemontese farmhouse. The internal layout, the number of rooms available and their function, can be altered to suit a potential plan to create a B&B, Agritourism or other similar business.
The farm house is set in the middle of semiprivate grounds with flat meadows.The total land with the property (5 acres approximately) is available to the right project and investor.
This property offers a very attractive business and investment opportunity including a substantial portion of land at a very reasonable price.

If interested, please contact me for more information at:

Tel. 541 389 3468 (until Sept. 15th)
Italy Tel +39 347 5188 608

9/21/2009 14:02 EST

Stay where you are! Believe me, you don't know how good you have it in the US until you move out. Italy is a nice place for a vacation but there is nothing like all the conveniences and freedoms that there are in the US.

I've been living here for almost 4 years in northern Italy. Yeah, nice at the beginning, everything is all new and interesting. But after a while you begin to see how backwards things are here. It's like living in a communist, third world country.

Opening up a business here without knowledge of the language or the laws? Forget about it! I would NOT recommend it. You need so many permissions, you need to pay taxes, then you have "La Finanza" coming down on you just waiting for you to slip up so they can write you up a meaty fine. So many crooks and oportunists here...and most of them work for the government.

Unless you have close family or dear friends already living here who can help you out and explain everything to you and stand by you....because here in Italy it's all about who you know in order to get things done here....don't even seriously entertain the idea.

Medical? Well, I don't know how things are going to turn out in the US with Obama's health changes....but 4 years ago when I was still working in NY....all I did was call up my preferred doctor, make an appointment and show up for it. Perfect system, and I was very pleased. Here in Italy, if you don't have a private doctor (which you will pay anywhere from 90 euros to 200 euros for a regular check up visit) you go to your assigned doctor during his visiting hours. When you enter his waiting room you will find anywhere from 20 to 30 people waiting ahead of you and you just wait until it's your turn. The doctor will listen to your compliants....you are fully dressed, not prepared for any type of examination, and he will maybe ask you to open your shirt so he can listen to your heart or maybe ask you to open your mouth to see your throat....nothing too probing. Then he will either write you up a prescription or give you a referral to a doctor at the nearest hospital to examine you further. God forbid you need an operation, you may have to wait up to a year. First come first serve basis. It's bad....even the Italians aren't happy about this system, and they grew up with it. Just think how an American would feel? The dentist, I go to a private dentist, and pay about 180 euros and upwards depending on what he has to do. Now I konw why so many Italians have horrible teeth, it's too expensive for decient dental care....if you don't have a private dentist then you go to whatever dentist your doctor is linked with. Here, some people don't even use anastesia because either one, the doctor doesn't think it's necessary for a tooth extraction, or two, the person doesn't want to pay the exhorbanant amount. Can you imagine? Horror. When I go back to NY for the holidays, first thing I'm doing is getting a thorough check up from my old dentist just to make sure my Italian dentist was doing an up to par job.

Unless you are very rich and have a load of money stashed away, and the horrible exchange rate doesn't bother you (1€ = $1.46 as of today!!)....STAY IN THE UNITED STATES. You don't know what you got until it's gone.....and you have so much there in the US, it's just that you live there and you're taking everything for granted.

I seriously hope I never get seriously ill while I'm living in Italy, because I know my chances of optimal care and chances of survival are close to nill.

God Bless America! And God Bless Obama and give him strength in his mighty task of cleaning up the mess Bush left.

Take care, and good luck.

9/22/2009 07:36 EST

with no disrespect lost i italy i must respond to this rant
1 if you dont like italy then maybe you should think about moving back to the usa
personally i love america but it has gone corporate big time
it is very commercial and also the gulf between the rich and poor is huge
as a native born italian
italy can be tough on those who expect to be treated like royalty- in italy everybody is the same
family is first then friends
you have to know people to get things done well it sure helps in the states 2
there is a magic and grace to living in italy with the old traditions still intact
women goin to the market before sunrise men playing cards
outside schoolchildren having fun in the park
lost in italy if you dont like italy leave but dont bad mouth her
america aint what it used to be
ok cheers carmine

9/25/2009 00:54 EST

to lostinitaly and all others here on the forum, in regards to living in Italy I complitely agree on what "lostinitaly" said about the healthcare system. I am an Italian and I lived in Northern Italy for more than 24 years. I grew up there and didn't know how good it was in the US until I went to the US to go to school. Talk about customer service? In Italy you hardly find someone who is going to go out of their way in an office when you ask for a certificate for example, usually you have long waiting periods, sometimes short and negative answers and so on and so forth. You have to put up with them and that is what people do there. They don't expect anything different. But when I came to the US and then went back to Italy boy did I see the difference!!! Oh yes. The infrastructure not to mention that.....poor to say the least and to say it respectfully....
Take for example public transportation in Italy, whether is a train, bus, subway and you'll see graffiti, garbage and ..let's not even mention what you will or will not find in a bathroom train....
Now compare that to public transportation in Germany or Switzerland and think....You don't even need to get so far as oversees to realize the services in Italy are rediculously dirty, filty and yes we do pay taxes as much as the Germans or the Swiss if not more for THAT! type of public services.

Finally back to the first item of discussion here. Health care! Once again not that the healthcare system in the US is perfect. Oh no, here you pay a lot but yes you receive a lot, hopefully--yet what about if you can't pay??
In Italy, I agree first of all it is true you like the 'lostinitaly" was saying that going to your family doctor will mean spending possibly hours there waiting and the results are usually just referrals to a specialist for which in Italy you do pay just like in the US, if not even more to see a specialist. Some specialists have outrageous fees. Not sure who sets the fees there....
Now let me close with an horrendous experience I had to go through last year at this time. My dad passed away in October of last year due to complication of a stroke. He was in a small hospital and they didn't took care of him at all. By the time I realized that and was able to get through the burocracy of transfering him to the Milano Niguarda hospital in Miilano ( a good one by the way in case you need to go to a hospital in Italy) he was put in ICU. His kidney were collapsing because in the previous hospital they didn't give him enough Ivs for his body weights.
I am probably going to do a law sut against the first hospital. My dad could have made it if he were in a US hospital. Unfortunately I couldn't transfer him here at that point.
So this is my experience. I do not say to people stay away from Italy. Oh no Italy has wonderful things to offer. But you certainly have to come with a realistic mindset...And in the end if you can afford to live in Italy well, then maybe some of their "disfunctionalities"..... you might be able to avoid it.
Growing up in a middle class environment and simply not being able to afford much I was never able to see the side of Italy that is glamorous...yet once again the bureacracy and the infrastructure are what they are and if you come here with high expectation for efficiency, good customer services, and proper yet affordable healthcare well, stay where you are at.
Chances are if you live in the US, Canada, Germany or Sweden, you might have a better deal over there. Let leave Switzerland out as being too expensive. Not worth it.
Well, now this is one person's opinion. So anyone wanting to love to Italy come along but come prepared!

9/25/2009 08:14 EST

to the last post
like i said if you dont like italy then
find somewhere else to go
my family are peasants and i rue the day we left honestly now everybody eants to own a vineyard
my dad sold all his land and i wish he would have saved some for me and my brother
over 40 generations have lived in the house that i was born in
in abruzzo
to cascinarenzo you have land there in italy understand you want to live
well i lived all over canada and the usa
come over and good luck
most canandians are nice but very reserved
you will get health care
you will get dental work but good luck
in getting a great slice of pizza
good luck in having conversations and discussions
canadians dont interact like italians
yes its clean here but very antiseptic
my friends here in toronto are mostly italian origin you will find some canadians a little flaky when its comes to friendship or food canadians
dont offer a lot of dinners
british colubia is bautiful and i live there for 8 years
after 6 months you become waterlogged and bored everybody is on their own trip good luck
i started to go stir crazy
now yes italia is romanced by us who are italian its not perfect
but i want to die there in the vineyards
plays scopa in the afternoon
enjoy my dear friends and loved ones who are true blue and not fair weather friends
cananda is a wonderful country
italy is simply magical

9/25/2009 21:15 EST

Message for Carmine. Well wishes for your dreams of retiring to Italy will come true. Please don't take it personally, each person perceives things differently and has lived through different experiences, challenges and has been given different blessings.

9/26/2009 12:35 EST

yea thanks casinarenzo for your reply a lot of time i comment here and never here from anybody back grazie
you will love british columbia
if you want to move there
i can give you some tips on where to live victoria is great on the ocean and gets less rain then vancouver
like i said canada is a wonderful country
but a i am searching for soulful experiences in my life
having lived in paris and rome
i found it to be a pleasure everyday
when i am in abruzzo in my hometown i feel like i am on fire
just fantastic and my relatives and the land whisper to me
in ways that are soothing
in retrospect
i hope to spend more time there hopefully as i make more money
in the next few years
and open up an agro- turisimo and put my feet up grow tomatoes
play cards and sleep in the afternoon with that beautiful italian breeze
cheers carmine

9/27/2009 16:02 EST

i'll put my 2 cents in again... yes, carmine, you can put your feet up and play cards and grow tomatoes and sleep in the afternoon breeze IF you have enough money or family inheritance to survive without working your hiney off. I know how it feels to have nostalgia for this place, believe me. But I also know how it feels to get to the end of EVERY month and wonder WHERE all the money went! Life is getting REALLY expensive here - doubing and tripling over the past 5 years. A QUART of milk now costs €1,64 if you want fresh, or as little as €0,80 if you want a really bad brand of disgusting UHT. That comes out to like $9.60 (usd) per gallon!!!
Interesting to hear everyone's comments on Italy's healthcare system at this time when the US is under the spotlight. I, too, personally know of several PREVENTABLE deaths that have taken place in friends' families around here. I find it very strange that Italy ranks so high on the worldwide percentages. I think they just don't know how to organize statistics here. Also, people talk so much about how poor americans can't get healthcare... well, that is not always true because the US is full of foundations, funders, university hospitals, philanthropists... USUALLY there is a way. My sister got a $30K surgery PAID FOR by grants because she had NO INSURANCE. In Italy, she may have died because her surgery was an emergency and most likely the hospital she would have been near in Italy would not have been properly equipped. I take my chances living here... I just try to stay out of danger and stay healthy!

9/28/2009 08:41 EST

rachel listen its tough living anywhere as an expat ok in feudal abruzzo
the customs have not changed in
its tough and i have to complement you
you are doing great there
but please dont humour my dream of going back to italy i deeply cherish where i come from it has not been an easy ride to be an immigrant in north america
in italy the customs and people are more up my alley
italy is not an easy place to live it was meant that way otherwise everybody would go there like in the south of france the italians are smart
that way
at some point rachel we are all goin to die health care or not americans want to live forever and be young
i want to age gracefully under the fig trees that i was born and smell the breeze
thats my dream
and i will stick to it
cheers carmine

9/30/2010 07:17 EST

I used to live in Los Angeles for almost 10 years, and when I finally flew into italy (after not being in Europe since the 90s, when I worked for Air Canada) it was a 180 degree turn for the worse...I went from the laid back, multicultural, live-and-let-live mentality of the Californians, to the critical,negative,clannish, somber,ignorant,narrow-minded,unfriendly and agressive nature of the Italians...definitely not what I expected, from the times I visited italy in the past...I had this idea that I was going to make swarms of new Italian friends, in reality, the italians wouldnt give me the time of day,I was treated like a nuisance everywhere I went, nobody asked me where I was from, not did they know where Canada was! If they were slightly educated, they would at least say "ah, Canada...quindi sei Americana" in their incurious,unimpressed tone. ...

It was my dream to come to Italy, since the first time I backpacked around Europe when I was 19. I fell in love with the architecture,the art, the fashion,the little coffee shops,the little old ladies washing their laundry outside...and vowed to return one day,to live and work.

In 1993 I returned back to Europe, lived in Zurich, and after a few months took the train to Milan, where I was visiting for a few days....a Sicilian guy whom I met when I was there, asked me out on a date, and needless to say I was very impressed and accepted. When he picked me up, i noticed he had his friend with him, and instead of going out, they lead me to an apartment,which I hesitantly went it to,after much convincing on their part. Long story short, I got attacked and raped by both of them,and ran out of the apartment when they both went to the bathroom to wash up...it was my first tarnished and awful memory of Italy...

Fifteen years later, I decided to give Italy another go, after going through years of recovery from the trauma...I was still living and working in LA. ( I quit Air Canada in 1999 to move to Cali) and decided to persue my dream of going back to Europe to live and this time study fashion design, which I always wanted to do. I chose Milan, in spite of the horrible experience I had 15 years ago, one because I have always loved Italian fashion, and two, because their intensive program at the school was only one year, and figured I could get my professional diploma in shorter amount of time, so after a few years of saving up my money working 3 jobs, I finally had enough tuition and lodge money to spend a school year studying in Milan. I registered online at the school, then went in Sept 2008 to Italy...it was a rude awakening from the non critical,informal,friendliness of North America,and right away the vibe of the Italians and their constant disapproving stares was giving me a sick feeling in the stomach...in the school I was put into the Italian speakers side (Im proficient in italian) and tried to socialize with other students in the class, most of whom were italians from all parts of the country...it was a failed attempt at befriending anyone...once they heard that accent, they pretty much snubbed me and gave me cort,one word answers,and unreciprocated conversations...at this point I knew I had made a mistake coming to study here, as for fashion that also had changed...it seems that all the greatness of italian fashion or the glamorous lifestyle was no longer, as the economy has forced the fashion industry to outsource everything to China to be made, as well as textile mills in italy being taken over by the Chinese....the italian styles were mediocre at best, no longer the coined "fashion capital" it was pretty much globalised and had the same clone fashion as youd find in Davenport Iowa...

Anyhow, about 2 months into the school year, I was coming home from class, and got followed off the tram by a very persistant Italian guy,he said he was Sicilian, and his name was Giuseppe, he was in his early 20s,and had really bad teeth...he continuted to follow me to my place after much bellowing out for him to "GO HOME" but he wouldnt budge. He then forced himself into the door of my buliding and into the elevator,where he was already making advances on me...i screamed and cried and told him to go or Id call the police, and he cupped my mouth with his hand. We got out of the elevator, and i tried to get into my apartment, as luck would have it, my 2 roomates were not home, so the apartment was dark, and this creep knew they werent home. I started to cry and yelled NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! i dont want to do this!!!" and he pulled both my hands to my back so i couldnt move them...nobody came out to see what the yelling was, and it was only about 8 pm! He pushed my head against the wall,pushed my back down.. and forced himself into me. So there it was, another rape in my beloved " italia"...this time I reported him to the police, they found his info, had his picture, and did nothing! Nothing at all...they explained to me that its a process and could take years before it gets to trial...I told my italian roommate about what happened, and her reaction was looking up and down at me to judge me on what I was wearing, not a drop of understanding! (as for clothing, I could not have looked more unfeminine in my life, I was wearing ugg boots, a long homely skirt no make up and hair in an unfashionable ponytail,no i couldnt be judged on looking provocative)
I finally mustered up the courage to tell my husband ( boyfriend at the time,who was not in milan, but living south of rome) what had happened, and he was so livied that he flew into |Milan the next day after i broke the news to him. He tried to investigate himself by going to the police station with me, but the Italian police do nothing at all to help women, and we waited for hours, only to be yelled at by one of the stupid officers who told us that nothing could be done...

I left milan in may, 2008, diploma and all, and stayed with my boyfriend in the south of Rome, for another month, still messed up from the situation, After a month i left back to Canada and went through the whole reentry shock, although also a bit relieved to get out of italy...and when he came to canada, we got married at city hall in Ottawa...he went back to italy to work, and after 8 months in Ottawa, i got my paperwork to return back to europe,unfortunately italy once again...this time we stayed with his parents, until we got a place of our own....his parents have always been really cold and unwelcoming to me,and i know this ha somethnng to do with the fact that i wasnt italian. We moved out to our own place,and for the past 8 months have i been looking for fashion work in italy, not one single solitary response from any company here, and i have a great portfolio!

Moving on, we decided for me to have bunion surgery here instead of canada,since I was already here, and i already had my healthcare status. So after getting "connections" to a supposedly good podiatrist, from my husbands sister in law doctor, I went for surgery,...which was yet another horrifying experience! After the local anesthetic wore off, I was given NO painkillers and had to sit and endure 18 hours in a mosquito infested hospital rooom of the most violent excruciating pain that i have ever had to endure in my whole life...everytime i called the help button, the nurses came in looking annoyed at me and the fact that i was crying and in mega pain...they said that nothing could be done....i was shocked!! I was told repeatedly that id just have to "put up with it" and the countless mosquitos biting my legs,face,neck and arms...this wwas the wonderful and great italia that people rave about!

So now our plan is to go to Canada for a while, my husband is going to get his permanent residence card, and enroll in government subsidized ESL classes,and i will start my own line of clothing, as well as continue to work..then if we return to Europe, we move to the UK..my husband is beyond thrilled to be going to Canada, and i have to say, that in spite of the cold Caandian winters, I have always felt warmer in buildings and homes in Canada, because there is always central heating...in italy, even though its not nearly as cold in the winter, homes and public buldings rarely have central heating or AC, i remember how much i froze to death in the winter time here! People here dont want to be hit with a big heating bill, so they almost never have the bloody heater on or the city also had control of when something can be turned off and on! Plus in Canada, winter is fun, there is the rideau canal, tubing, skiing, all there for the asking, and deinfitely not a costly luxury like it is in italy....here there is no freedom to ever do what you want. Plus, here in italy, im just so tired of my husbands friends and family purposely ignoring me, pretending that i dont exist,and never letting me in one any kind of conversation...unbelievable culture,these italians...needless to say, i will never return here, not even for a visit...:-(

I have nothing nice to say about italians period, they have been the absolute meanest, coldest, rudest people that i have ever met in my whole life...

9/30/2010 16:54 EST

my depest sympathies go out to futurista .
my family lives in the mountains of abruzzi
and to be told the truth they are one tough bunch
i was born not in a hospital
but in my granfathers house where my father was born and where his father was born.
the early immigrants to the new world face both abuse and horrible working conditions
in canada when the italian men would come out of union station in toronto there greeting to canada was men with baseball bats telling them to go home and calling them oil greased wops.
men frequently would do the most dangerous jobs
4 young italian men were killed building
the toronto transit system when their english bosses
told them to go down
an unsafe shaft they drowned to death.
no body was ever charged.
on st clair avenue in the fifties the police would come by with sticks and tell the italians to go back inside their cafes .to stay away from the sidewalks so the english could walk freely

9/30/2010 18:13 EST

wow, so sorry to hear about what happened to you futurista. I hope you carry pepper spray (or some other form of self defense) with you now! I can see where you're coming from regarding the other points... the inlaws, the fashion, the way that Italy has changed... it's not the Italy that it once was.
I think that some regions of Italy are better than others, if one is looking to find that "old italy", but still, the old italian mentality can be really frustrating to deal with, no matter where you are. The main point you are making is a serious point that bothers me every day here in Italy: WOMEN'S RIGHTS ARE NOT DEFENDED IN THIS COUNTRY like they are in other G8 countries.
Obviously millions of other expats enjoy Italy in some way, and haven't all had experiences as bad as yours. However, everyone should be aware about these issues that SERIOUSLY AFFECT WOMEN. Thanks for your post. Hope everything works out for you in Canada.

9/30/2010 20:17 EST

I'm SO SORRY what happened to you. My experiences with the authorities in Italy have been similar. Unless you know someone - the person just gets away with the crime. They could care less that a foreigner had troubles.....so terribly sad.

10/4/2010 18:31 EST

I am moving household items for individuals from the US & Canada to worldwide locations. My contact info is: or 253-736-3422. Enjoy your adventures!

10/5/2010 10:11 EST

I live and work in Italy (been here 2 years) but to be honest with you I was born in England and have an EU passport but came here from Canada so the visa thingy is not necessary for me


Why do you want to come to this third world country to live and work?

For the person interested in the B and B..the whole business of employees here is another world to america. You cannot just hire and fire as you can in america and if you get rid of someone the problems are endless. People here get jobs for their LIFETIME! The labour laws here are NOT the same as in America. If you want to terminate someone after 3 months then you cannot hire anyone else for at least 2 weeks in that position. Nothing here is the same as in America. When you are self employed you will pay about 46% of your income to tax after 5000 euros.

Stay home and come here for holidays. You will be better off. I live here legally and I am telling you it is NOT an easy place to live when you come from a civilized country.

Come to live here when you win the lottery and money is not an issue. Speak the language fluently and be able to tell people where to get off.

You cannot get a mortgage or any other loan without a job contract for the life of that loan. If you need a loan to buy a car and the term of the car loan is 4 years then you must have a work contract for 4 years.

HOw can I stress how DIFFERENT things are here to America and Canada? The moon to Venus. EVERYTHING is different.

10/8/2010 14:24 EST

i have never asked anyone in italy to "kiss my behind" Carmine,I asked to be treated as an equal as i have done to italians and every human being.. you really have quite a bit of nerve judging someone you dont know...anyhow whitten39 and carmine,you clearly have no idea what life is like in your beloved bella italia...the italians, and I speak in in general, because as in every culture there are always exceptions, are extremely RACIST, they have a hatred for Africans,Central Europeans and Arabs.Sorry but its the truth, and whitten39,your pompousness of being ital-american....("Not now living in Italy, but soon to be (I hope). My key is dual (US/Italy) citizenship. I am an Italian subject through my maternal grandfather and it is now recognized by virtue of my having filed in my Itallian ancestral town all the necessary vital documents leading up to my birth in the US.")
will wear off when you reach the old country, because nobody here cares about whether you have italian blood or not. My mother is italian (once I was proud, now I am ashamed of this fact) and I speak italian almost fluently,but that does not score any points with anyone. and NO whitten39,I am not nor have I EVER been a brutta figura nor a disrespectful human being, I have always treated people as I would alos like to be treated...fairly. That is the bottom line. And furthermore, I am not here to discourage you from living your sogno italiano (frankly,you can have this fascist dump run by one of the most corrupt politicians in Europe) I was writing my experience living here in italy, and yes, commentators, a rape can happen anywhere, but it didn't ,it happened in italy...twice. If the rapist was Romanian or Morrocan,the police would have arrested him in a heartbeat,but they knew quite well that he was italian, therefore hes a delinquent,but not such a serious crime. And remember, I am only the straniera,not the pure as driven snow italian girl.

Anyway...good luck to all, you can have "bella italia"its government, its faulty infrastructure,its clannish racist people and its lousy social system. p.s. most italians I know are dying to get out of this run down,crumbling country....

p.s. whitten39, you're in for a treat in italy...you wont be scoring too many points with the locals...and save that blue blooded attitude of being italo-american...its a destitute dump run by the mob...hope i didnt bruise your ego too much..lol

anyway, out of this forum ,its wasting my time..

10/8/2010 15:19 EST

Futurista: i need a full bottle of digestivi to fully absorb your rant. You either have an unattractive agenda or you can't find peace within yourself no matter where you live. There are many folks who actually seek out 3rd world countries (of which Italy is not one) and pursue fulfilling lives there as well. What's this crap about wanting to live a glamorous lifestyle in Italy. Most of us here never talk such garbage. Your are negative and a brutta figura. I don't think you'll find solice here. I can counter with real life situations where people are lliving in Italy with great pleasure. You sound totally disrespectful, miserable and combative. I give you credit -- you've drawn me in like you and a very few others have in rejecting your foolish notions. Get a life!

10/8/2010 15:44 EST

This is a reply to Futurista, I heard that different parts of Italy is like day and night. Just like New York is very different from Seattle. My first trip with my husband will be this Christmas in Sardegna. Our first stop is in Alghero. I heard that Sardinians are not like other Italians, their culture and food is quite different from the mainland. I will stay away from big cities and concentrate on the smaller towns and getting to know real Sardegna, not interested in the tourist traps. Since I only have a short time, I will try to assess life there. I will let God be my guide. I will let you all know how it went and whether I will go back for another visit. My Italian is poor at best but I am working on it.

10/8/2010 23:26 EST

India is a third world country, NOT Italy. I say this from experiencing living in both countries as well as the US.

Unless you have actually seen children, babies and whole families starving and begging on filthy streets, living in places with no plumbing or toilets, emaciated, with no clothes or possessions, this is when you know you are living in a third world country, otherwise please don't call Italy third world.

I will tell you that I have not seen rampant homelessness and poverty in Italy. unlike India and the States

You may have had bad experiences, but that can happen anywhere in the world. America and Americans in general have no culture-they are a very materialistic, selfish group of people, and guess what? I am American born! You want to talk about crime? Murders, rapes, kidnappings, shootings, children being molested, theft is a part of America everyday, everywhere.
I don't let my kids walk home from school and I happen to live in a decent neighborhood, outside of the city because I am too scared that something will happen to them.
The education sucks. Believe it or not third world India has a much better education system, modeled after the British system than America does. I have never seen such a group of people who are so in the dark about everything-I think America does it on purpose, meaning not providing quality education, so that Americans won't speak out about anything and follow the so called leaders of the country blindly, who I might add are very corrupt.
It amazes me to see how economically poor Americans are treated, and how people are homeless, or losing their homes, but yet the American Government has so much money to help other countries. America needs to mind it's own business, stay out of other countries wars and affairs and help it's own people first!

Don't ask for any financial help either--you have to be a bank, major corporation or car company in order to get bail outs in America, not a normal person struggling to keep a roof over their head and food on the table.

The banks that received bail outs were supposed to help their customers but try to decrease or adjust your mortgage and see what hoops you have to jump through to get approved. It's BS.
The only people that got helped were the politicians and CEO's.

Italy's food, art, engineering and culture dates back to so
long ago, and I think surpasses anything that North America has to offer.

10/9/2010 07:44 EST

Good response Sharon. But a bit more. First of all third world refers to non_aligned countries, not communist or capitalist. What every one of you are reffering to is "developing countries" Italy is developed, the south less than the north.
To respond to futerista, the reason for the labor laws in Italy and Europe is that they consider people human, not cattle Like in the US.

10/9/2010 10:19 EST

futurista too bad do you expect italians to
kiss your ass im sorry
are you italian by the way
we all have been approached by the gypsies cest la vie
it just seems you want your bread and buttered 2.
let me tell you astory sometimes i get the feeling from my non italians friends that i am their servant=on call to help them 24/7
and if i dont respond to them i get tons of emails
wanting to know why wont respond.
well its like this i am generous with my time and hospitality as are most italians
but when my non italians friends dont reciprocate
and worse start grinding me like i am their hired help butler waiter etc
i say bye bye
you know why
they think they are better then me
itilians are good souls
and if you watch bicycle thief again you can realize the heart break that existedin italy after the war
futiursta =if you come across arrogant in might work on rodeo drive in beverly hills but not in italy
italy and itlains have taken enough crap long enough and io dice arrivedci

10/9/2010 11:27 EST

Futurista: After my own rant yesterday, I want to say sincerely that I wish you well in your return to Canada. You obviously had some unusual and bad experiences in Italy. I don't want to invalidate the personal story you have shared with us. My only concern is that so much anger and dispair was communicated, that I hope you have a good support group ready to listen and help out upon your return. I am certain to remember a few of your comments as I face my own challenges trying to live in a different culture. Sorry I was bit harsh myself yesterday. I truly wish you a rewarding journey! Tom

10/12/2010 17:11 EST

We're also looking for any insight into moving to Rome for a two year period. We are self employed, semi retired.
Want to leave Aug. 2011.
Would welcome connection with folks who have been there, done that.

10/12/2010 19:14 EST

Be prepared for lots of red tape and paperwork. Start with your closest Italian consulate website for details of all the documents you will need and which need to be translated officially. There is paperwork to gain once you arrive, too, like a permission to stay, a coda fiscale (like Italian social security), maybe a nulla osta, a visa to stay longer than 90 days.
It can be very daunting, but the sooner you start, the closer you can get to the arrival date you are hoping for.
Be very, very patient - things in Italy move very, very slow and lots of paper:)

10/13/2010 11:03 EST

"codice fiscale"

10/13/2010 12:30 EST

Just to let you know, I think the Questura, where you get your immigration documents and such from and the Italian Consulate, want to know how you will manage to support yourselves when you live in Italy, especially if you are not an Italian (citizen). If I am not mistaken, they will require you to prove to them how much money you have available, what source it is coming from and also you may need health insurance while you are in Italy. I speak as a self employed person too, it may be difficult!!!
My advice to you, like some other members have mentioned, is to verify everything with the Italian Consulate and make sure that you have everything in order. Italy doesn't operate without its paperwork!
I think it is much easier if you are a citizen, as the Italian government loves it when their people come back, especially with its declining population.
Good luck!

10/13/2010 12:34 EST

Hi 2Torino,
It seems as though your Father is not well? I am so sorry and wish him the best. My own father had a major stroke last year which left him paralyzed, at 85, completely dependent on others and unable to eat-he is on a feeding tube currently.
It is very difficult when your parents are sick. I hope everything goes well.don't forget to take care of yourself, too.

10/16/2010 04:46 EST

There is an american university in Rome called John Cabot university. The subjects are taught in english except italian language course. You can google for more info on this university.
Also I have a friend who is coming to Italy in November to teach english in high school. She received a letter from the school in Italy to take the Italian consulate to work as an assistant. She does not speak italian well. The teachers do not want her to know much italian because it makes the students speak in english. First she came to Italy for 90 days tourist visa that you can get from the italian police station once you arrive in Italy.
John Cabot university also have a program where amercians go to a high school to speak english with students.

12/15/2010 04:47 EST

Hello Carmine, I made a special trip to San Giovanni Rotondo, over a year ago. I have never been the same. I fell in love with Italy. I am a healthy fun energetic woman with a love of God..Although I was in Italia only two weeks that was enough for me to know where I would like to live for the rest of my life. I learned to speak passable Italian since Spanish being my first, language is very similar to Italian..I have been practicing and learning as I go. I am not rich by all means. I would just love to live where people still respectful to each other. Where the family traditions are still in practice. I find myself day dreaming. In all of the information that I am reading I don't know that my dream will come true. I hold on to the idea that where there is a will there is a way. I do much research as I can hoping that a door may open for me and may find myself in Italy. I don't believe that I would be hired anywhere..I am looking into networking.. I am convinced that Italy is where I would love to live..I have lived a long hard life now I would love to live in peace and love where I am. You are right the US is all about making money, status, family values don't much matter here for many. Our Blessed US is very corrupt..We are close to celebrating Christmas and I see so much depression..because society has set us up here..that we should keep up with the Jones. I would love to see more of the real Christmas Spirit, God" Well...I am not trying to put down my country however I love what I have seen and my heart tells me that it is a great place to be..My children would travel to see me. I am not afraid of living in a new place..I am very friendly and have never had trouble making friends. I would love to go to the market each day, see the children playing in the parks there. learning new recipes..I garden, hike, walk, sing, am still a good salsa dancer. I pray that perhaps I will still be able to make a move before I become older. I will be returning to Italy hopefully for a longer stay depending on if I can save up more money. A few thousand dollars to get there are worth every penny.
Gracias, Thank You, Grazie

12/15/2010 14:35 EST

well its corporate america everywhere
multi nationals and making huge amounts of money is
2 % of the populationa hold all the money most of it in off shore banks and they want more
no soul you have to be a machine
good elia
its getting worse people are depressed here because
they have been beat down
and there is no real
intimacy between people
good luck in your endeavours

12/26/2010 10:28 EST

I live in Italy now and also got dual citizenship. Im trying really hard to learn the language and I want to work. I know its just me judging myself but I feel like a tourist that is star struck with italy, sort of speak.
I am American obviously but im also italian which i think may bring me some brownie points. I started dating an italian well I never want to start up something. he doesnt speak english but its me who comprehinds his italian. Im so fearful that his family doesnt want me dating their son. Im afraid of everything. All I want to do is learn italian get a job not americanize missionary anyone and let it be known.
I feel like im at home right here in italy but sometimes I wonder where my family is i need a new outlet..

Anxious in Italy

12/26/2010 12:46 EST

italy now there are some therapists
in rome check in the english newspapers
or talk to a local priest

calm down
go for a walk
get help
stay focused carmine

1/1/2011 11:51 EST

Working situation in Euroope is horrible. In Italy it's the worst. I wanted to move to the US and had to give up...now I am trying to find a job back to Europe. But I do not need a visa because I am a EU citizen. I am searching in Italy, Spain, Holland and the UK.
South European countries are the worst...this is the way it is. Think it over very well and don't do like I did (quitting my nice job in Amsterdam and desperately trying to find one in the US). No visas ara available and living in a country without it's simply too risky. Is it worhwhile?

1/1/2011 13:55 EST

never had any tourble in eurpope really
people have dreams let them
my dream was to be aprofessional actor
people laughed at me
now 25 years later i have shot movies all over the owrld tv and done award winning plays
living in italy isnt hard
what is hard is the courage to do it
happy new year carmine

5/9/2011 19:40 EST

Ocelle: My wife and I are coming to la Marche for Oct and Nov - first time visitors. Any suggestions for contacts re different housing arrangements and locations where we might wish to stay over for three to five days at a time?

Ths, Geo

3/17/2012 08:38 EST

I moved to Italy a year an a half ago. I have no affiliation with the military. I moved here to be with my husband and his family.

This is just my personal opinion so you can take it as you may, but, Italy is a wonderful place.....to visit. If I would have known how bad things really were here I would have never decided to move here.

Everything is corrupted. There is organized crime at every corner and finding a job is becoming more and more difficult across the board.
In addition, the cost of living is very high. Even the most basic of necessities like toothpaste is almost double the price.

I will admit that Italy is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to, but the current state of the economy makes life hard.

By no means am I telling anyone to abandon their dream of moving to Italy, but, I do recommend putting some serious thought into it before finalizing that decision.

3/17/2012 18:28 EST

I have bought a house and lived in Abruzzo for 2 years and there is no corruption. No more than what is in America. This is a serious insult to Italy. Yes there is the mafia, but it is not every where in Italy. The economy is bad now like America was a few years ago. U.S. is now recovering just like Italy will recover. Italy is a beautiful place. There is good and bad in the U.S. and Italy. I can walk alone to the bar at ten o'clock at night in my village and in Rome. I would not dare do this in America.

3/18/2012 00:37 EST

Yes my Friend curoption yes Of all type i can say yes.. the cost of living is the same as United States as you say unfortunately as an American I realized where ever you are in this world sometimes nothing is perfect . Regared work ? forget it .I am hearing that there is a work up north of Italy . And thats it . I have been taveling a life time from USA n Italy and I understand what u r going thru if u need more help let me know

3/18/2012 00:42 EST

Sicily is beautiful I just moved here a few months ago I love it here

3/18/2012 00:57 EST

I just moved to Italy also and I live 6 months here and 6 USA I as lived part my life here n there I can say we good and bad were ever you go we have to say its about getting use to what the realty is

3/18/2012 19:26 EST

I did not go to Italy to find work. I am retired military. I knew this before I bought a house in Italy. As for corruption, It is in America too. I much watch my bank account every two days or so because some many people hack the internet. This have happen to me three times in America. I left my with my a scout to pay my light bill for me after I had return to america. The scout did not pay my bill. The scout is not Italian, he was an Englishman. Corruption is in every country.

5/31/2012 22:51 EST

Hi Ocelle.... don't know if you are still a member on this expatexchange site... I was perusing and saw your comment about moving to Italy (back in 2004?) with your four cats... that really caught my interest because I'm kinda interested in doing the same, only I have SIX little darlings! (all cats). Are you still living in Italy? If so, would love to hear how it's working out for you! Thanks!

6/2/2012 18:59 EST

i got eaten up and spit out. better luck next time for me.

6/11/2012 12:35 EST

I am new to this forum and just finished reading most of the posts in this topic. Fascinating reading! My husband and I are leaving in a month for Sicily to try and buy a retirement home. Why Sicily? 1. My husband still has family there, 2. We spent five weeks travelling Italy two years ago and Sicily was by far our favourite place, and 3. housing and cost of living is much cheaper there and our pension will go much farther there than, say, Rome. I have read lots about other places in Italy but haven't seen many posts about Sicily. Any comments? Advice? Thanks so much all!

6/11/2012 14:18 EST

My wife and I too are looking towards Sicily, in two years. My suggestion is to rent first. That will give you time to find the house and location that suits you. A quick visit is not enough time to make certain that you will fit in to an area.
Rents are relatively cheap in areas outside the major cities, Palermo, Siracusa and Catania.

6/11/2012 20:31 EST

Thanks Sergios. We have had this advice from a few other people too. While we are looking to buy, we are also open to other ideas when we get there. Nothing is yet set in stone, as they say.


12/26/2012 16:57 EST

It was a major pain in the butt. However, we did it and have a lot to say...I came out here with the intentions of taking a job. That job didn't happen. I found a job (rather easily) as an English teacher. Contact the private schools and you can do it. Thing is, they want you to have soggiorno...if you don't know what one is, better look it up. I have been out here for a year and a half now and things are good. I wish I were retirement age. I'm not, but I have figured out quite a bit. We brought six animals out here from the states, dealt with shipping overseas and customs, dealt with Comune on a myriad of things, it goes on and on. Once you're here, it's all good, but you better be prepared to "pay your dues". Italy is a socialist country, but tries to hide it. If you have money, they will find a way to it, so buyer beware....

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